McCloskey Article Atheism vs. Theism
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In McCloskey’s article his argument starts with the “proofs” that are nonexistent and we should simply abandon our theistic ways and what we consider our “proofs” to be that God does exist. According to McCloskey our world does not reveal the work of an all knowing all perfect being. I don’t know how one who is a Christian cannot get a little worked up when reading this article. That being said, I felt that when I watched the presentation it made way more sense to me than the article did. When McCloskey says that there cannot be evil and good, I disagree very much. How do we know for sure what is moral and what is evil and how do we describe this? As put in the presentation “you know it when you see it”. God is the standard of good. We are given the choice of free will, like Adam we are to be “god like” we have the value and are in god’s likeness but we can misuse our human freedom. Free will teaches us how to learn to react to things in our natural environment and that helps us evolve spiritually. According the McCloskey existence of the world is not enough to claim the existence of god. What I take from the reading in ‘Evans and Manis’ is that god is the reason there is a universe.
There is no law as to why these objects in our universe exist, so of course we would wonder why they exist, a being has to exist to cause the existence of these things. That being said, this does not prove that the creator of these objects is omnipotent. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, the existence of the world does prove that a being had to create the objects in our universe. I suppose in the reading McCloskey is right in that the mere proof of objects existence does not give us the right to claim an all-powerful, all perfect being created these objects. What I do believe is given this knowledge why would one not want to further educate yourself on this conclusion and open your eyes to the idea of “god” instead of shutting out everything and simply going with the easy answer that he simply doesn’t exist. In his paragraph about design and purpose McCloskey does state that we cannot argue the fact of a perfect planner because we do not have evidence for purpose or design.
I struggle with this a little, there are a few parts of his reading that as much as I don’t like it, and I feel he may be right. This for me is one of them. What really makes me believe that there is a designer of the universe is when I read in ‘Evan and Manis’ about how there seems to be no natural reason why some of these objects exist, so why is there something and not nothing, why is there a universe? To me when I think about this, it really puts into perspective the thought that there must have been a “planner or designer” of these things. If I say that evolution is true, I would also have to take a step back and say that weather it’s a scientific or ultimate explanation, this would occur because of the laws of nature and what they do. With the reading this still convinces me that god is the ultimate designer and realized his purpose, this doesn’t change anything for me. This goes back to the discussion about what is moral and what is evil?
How do we really know the answer to this question? In words it is very tough to describe these two, but as spoken if we talk about evil, it’s hard to describe but when you see it you recognize it, and the same goes for moral or good. McCloskey says you can’t have a God if there is evil. To me this is like saying you cannot have a car without having gasoline. Not true, you can have a car without gasoline you just have to know what to do with it and how to make the decisions to make it function properly. Yes it seems it would make perfect sense for someone who is all knowing and morally perfect to protect us from everything, if he could get rid of evil why shouldn’t he? We have to know that gods knowledge takes over ours, we take him for who he is, and we simply don’t ask questions, he hasn’t given us the reasons for the evils but we must trust him. He has a reason, sometimes it is hidden. When speaking of free will, it seems it would have been easy for god to create us to always use our free will to make the right choice.
I guess in my perspective I don’t see how that is considered free will. That means someone has programmed you to automatically respond to things in a way that is set for you to respond. I don’t believe for one minute that just because people are free to make their own choices weather these are good or evil that somehow this constitutes into the fact that there is no god. What this means is god will guide us if we will let him. He has given us the tools and opportunity to make the right choices in our life but we have to educate ourselves and have the desire to know right from wrong or moral from evil. The fact that we are able to make choices on our own free will is what makes up or character and give us hope. We are able to grown both spiritually and morally because of the options that we have and the ability to speak and think and know the difference between the two. This teaches us how to react to certain situations which sometimes can be evil, sometimes we really can’t see the good in things, we often don’t know why god would allow these things to happen in our lives, not only does free will give us the option of the choices we make in our lives from moral and evil, but it also allows us the mindset that we need to get through these things that we are often faced to deal with.
I can’t imagine what the world would be like if we were all programmed to think the same way and nothing ever happened in our lives that we had to deal with. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be good for no evil, but I think there would be no individuality and no ability to make choices. I raise my children in the way that I want them to know that I am here for them and of course as their mother I never want to see any hurt or evil in their lives but I have to teach them that the choices that they make can often determine what their life will be like, much like god does for all of us. This part of the article really bothered me; it almost made me feel sorry for McCloskey. I mean how anyone could really feel comfort in atheism. This seems so lonely. He talks about having the comfort and support of those who need us, and that is the same for a theist. We all want to be able to have the comfort of our loved ones around us whenever something does go wrong in our lives. He states we need our faith when evil prevails, this is true but we don’t just need our faith when evil prevails. McCloskey believes that our evil is an act of god, he couldn’t be more wrong.
He finds comfort in using the reasoning that things happen because there is no god; he could be in a much better place if he had his faith and belief in god. I am going to use a real life example for this one, it’s not easy for me to talk about but I feel it is appropriate for this discussion. My mom passed away of cancer 3 years ago. It was a horrible process and not something easy to watch. When she was first diagnosed she was so angry and hard to know and be around. During that time she had not found god and really she blamed him for everything. She was bitter and just overall hated the world and could not understand why this would happen to her. She was very young only 54 when she passed away.
I was there every step of the way with her, I had a lot of faith and many talks with god and I will admit in the beginning there were a few times when I thought wow god how could you let this happen, and quickly I realized that wasn’t the right state of mind for me to be in, I wasn’t meant to know why, I was meant to be there for her and help her through this and maybe lead her to god so she could find the comfort that I had. It wasn’t an easy road but after months of treatment and anger along with many other feelings, my mom finally gave herself to the lord. What is amazing about this is nothing changed in her condition, she was still sick, she still struggled and she knew she was dying, but the difference is with her faith came a whole new woman, she was pleasant, she was hopeful and most of all you could look at her and tell she knew the lord. I’ve read the books and the disputes between atheism and theism and I have to tell you maybe it wouldn’t have been so easy for me had I not gone through this situation, this goes back to things happen and we don’t always have the answers but we shouldn’t question. Yes I lost my mother and it was hard but she found the lord and if the circumstances had been different maybe she never would have. I will not question my faith or my god. To me it is an open and shut case.