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Phil 201 Response Paper Mccloskey Article

2094 words - 9 pages

Response Paper Mccloskey Article

Clark Hernanser

PHIL 201

February 24, 2013

Ramon Graces

Response Paper Mccloskey Article

In his article, On Being an Atheist, H.J. McCloskey tried to show that atheism is a more reasonable and comfortable belief than that of Christianity.   McCloskey argued against the three theistic proofs, which are the cosmological argument, the teleological argument and the argument from design.   He pointed out the existence of evil in the world that God made.   He also pointed out that it is irrational to live by faith. According to McCloskey, proofs do not necessarily play a vital role in the belief of ...view middle of the document...

  He stated that believing in an uncaused first cause of the universe is a problem because nothing about our universe forces us to that conclusion. The cause-effect rationalization understands a relation between things that are in existence, will come into existence, and pass out of existence.  If God, or something else (a power, force, whatever) were part of the frame of causation already in motion, then it would belong to that which is caused by something else.  The uncaused cause holds to that which is outside the framework of causation.  Most philosophers hold that this first cause cannot be caused for the reason that it is outside causation.  Something would need to set forth in motion the ring of causality.  If the premise stands, then such a first cause would have to exist necessarily, otherwise it would have been caused.   This necessity is one of causal relation, as long as the premise is accepted.  

As regards the cosmological argument itself, McCloskey states that "all we entitled to infer is the existence of a cause commensurate with the effect to be explained, the universe, and this does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause." (p.63)  This is indeed true, there is no reason to necessarily infer a God person, however; the inference is of the nature that suggests (hence the term infer) a cause of such magnitude that it is practically God-like.   Moreover, his words do not disprove the rational of a God.  Entitlement not to call this cause "God" is neither entitlement to deny calling this cause or considering this cause to be "God."

McCloskey grouped the teleological argument and the argument from design together and summarily rejected them both by suggesting that mankind does not yet have a full understanding about creation.   He offers the theory of evolution as the explanation of many examples of creation that would have once been explained by the teleological and argument from design. The objections in this section are based on his want for "indisputable" proofs (p.64) of design in the same manner as there are supposedly indisputable proofs for evolution.  The primary difficulty of evolution is that is has no proof of the actual existence of first organism development nor the actual pattern of this evolution.  The whole theory is based on biological likeness between organisms.  The weakness of this argument is many.  First, the change from simple forms to such complex forms of diverse species.  Did we all exist as the same simple organism or did many simple organisms exist and evolve?  In either case, there is no foundation for understanding where those first life forms came from.  At the same time, other things come into play that we do not understand.  For example, are we part descendents from Dinosaurs?  If they were erased from the earth for whatever reason, did their biological complexities survive into part of us today?  What came after them to evolve into the millions of...

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