H. J. McCloskey's "On Being An Atheist"
PHIL 201 - B15
Professor C. Wayne Mayhall
July 9. 2010
Author H. J. McClosky gives us a negative answer in dealing with the question of God's existence. McClosky attempts to answer a different question. So he does not believe. How we face the world and create meaning for ourselves is the crutch of a divine benefactor. In the literature of disbelief by setting aside argumentation "On Being An Atheist", the article written by McClosky does little more to this reader than confirm a faith in God and the existence His role has in one's life.
Granted it is well to know opposing ...view middle of the document...
We tend to reject religion, ideology, knowledge and science. Can we deny the need for love and compassion?
Mr.McClosky has taken a negative stance on the existence of something such as the need to believe in God. This is a very impersonal approach to a very personal question; however, each person must and have the right to answer within their lifetime. The idea that we must all think alike is boring and not stimulating and portrays a world of dullness and lifelessness. Even the most knowledgeable and most respected astronomers and scientist of times have succeeded the idea that the possibility of God exist. Although much information obtained by using telescopes to look into space, men have used ideas and theories to explain the universe and how it operates. When Einstein developer developed his theory of relativity, the Nazis were taking over Europe. Forced to move to the United States he ended up at Princeton University in spite of anti- Jewish sentiment. Without his discoveries we may not have been able to study space and the stars as soon as we have, simply based on what he "believed" about God and religion.
When McClosky talks about evil and uses the notion that Atheist are justified in their belief in a nonexistent God, we are confronted with the meaning of evil and its place in our world. The fact of suffering misfortune and wrongdoing as a source of sorrow, distress or calamity
in my heart and mind does not clarify the nonexistence of God. Was what happened to Einstein and many hundreds of thousands of Jews evil? Yes. There is no question of the existence of evil in the gas chambers used to kill the Jewish men, women and children simply because of their faith. The pain suffered by those and many others in history due to discrimination and the forces of evil are heart wrenching and sad. The idea that one person has the "right" to decide for another is unjust and evil in itself. Therefore, one could conclude the Atheist himself displays the very traits of which he criticizes others for, the human factor and the struggle between good and evil that rest within each of us.
Mr. Mcclosky uses the example of a child with meningitis who suffers a permanent impairment for the rest of her life. Would he then speak to the person or to the mother of the child to confirm faith in God? Having worked in a hospital with ill children and having seen the overwhelming power of prayer, this reader questions the legitimacy of the author's example in terms of faith and God. Just as McClosky argues against the existence, so can we not use the opposite approach for the existence and be on equal moral ground? Perhaps, McClosky is the father of the child described in the article and could we not then assume he is bitter or grieving? Then the argument would make sense. Without the human factor of love and compassion, we could conclude nothing. Assuming he is not, the father of the child the argument becomes vain and shallow resulting in little more...