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Davinci God

Logical Deductions on God and the Universe

A Response to: “On Being an Atheist”

                            

Introduction

In modern society with the popularization of philosophical views such as humanism, existentialism and materialism, many are turning away or rejecting theological worldview points. One such poplar writer on the subject of Atheism is H. J. McCloskey. McCloskey believes that existence of God can be disproved by the existence of evil in the world (McCloskey 1968).McCloskey can find no basis for the existence in God in the common defense given in the Cosmological, Teleological, or Faith based defense systems of defense used by theist that God exists. Many atheists mistakenly claim a sense of freedom and well-being arises from such a viewpoint.  The attention of the author is to disprove such believes.

Cosmological Argument

According to C Stephen Evans and R. Zachary Manis, “The Cosmological Argument attempts to infer the existence of God from the existence of the universe (Evans 2009, 69).” McCloskey however claims that the existence of the world or the universe proofs such a claim. Many famous theodicies have been built upon this premise. Augustine built his concept of God created many infinite worlds with finite conditions (some, good and some evil) but was under no obligation to create any world. He simply created the world based on reason but reason is not the basis of the laws of the universe. God is always free to create creation, as he seems fit. Another view is that of Leibniz, which states God, created best possible world operating out of sufficient reason in a universe of infinite worlds with finite properties. There are many more Cosmological theories in philosophy simply presenting two of the more common as an example for comparison and illustration purposes.

Within the Cosmological Argument lies the non-temporal form objection the poplar response to those who hold that all action requires a cause can be defined as contingency. A necessary being “God as the originator of all creation is the only logical explanation that can be given for any other explanation would require a further explanation. Whether one holds to a religious doctrine or the Big Bang Theory, it must originate from some source. Only a divine being in his vary nature as a necessary being and absolute source of all existence, substance, matter, omnipotent,  omnipresent, omniscience and true to his or her very essence can explain such a phenomena. All other deductions will lead to a circle of infinite unanswered questions.

Teleological Argument

The Teleological Argument views God as an intelligent designer. One may creation as machines of sorts. “In nature there exist many examples of a beneficial order that probably result from an intelligent designer (Evans 2009, 80) is a simple statement of this argument. McCloskey belief is one must hold fast to obtaining proof to to prove Teleological Design.  I personally believe that the Teleological Argument falls short were empirical knowledge fails to provide sufficient evidence such as in the fields of Metaphysics or Faith. Empirical reasoning and scientific knowledge can take one only so far. Many scientific principles are actual theory unto themselves, as the evidence cannot physically be experienced by the sense. Teleology also falls short in explain morality but will sever one well when explain natural evil (Pain, death, natural disasters and the like). Indisputable proof of God being, or the lack of, cannot thus be can by proven by empirical knowledge some sort of other form of deduction is required to substantiate such a claim as God either does or does not exist.

McCloskey implies that the Theory of Evolution has replaced the need for Teleology. Although Charles Darwin works have become widely accepted and practices such as carbon dated used to prove the various stages and era of our planets. Many of these theories are coming into question in modern times. Carbon 14 has been proven to yield false positives on samples from the same site or even when taken from the same sample performed under a later tastings.  A more common variation of Darwinism has shown theories of adaptation of species based on environmental factors and not from inter Genius-Species relationship (Man from Ape Theory). Any imperfections in nature do not disprove God as a perfect Creator but rather lead back to the adaptation theory and a modification of the Teleological Argument that places man and God in a state of partial creation during the initial creation process and even allows man to be active in the creation and destruction of the World. This theory is popular with those holding the free will theodicy, which allows man a level of free will given to man by his creator.

Faith

McCloskey’s main objection to those holding a religious worldviews is “No being who was perfect could have created a world in which there was unavoidable suffering or which his creatures would engage in immoral acts endanger the innocent (McCloskey 1968).” In response to this argument, which is commonly called the logical argument, the author offers this defense.

From the Judo-Christian perspective, morality originates out of man’s own selfish motivations and desires. It is from our own desires and not the desires of God moral Evil originates. Man was made in the image of God meaning given a body, conscience / morality (Spirit) and a mind (reason) and was originally pure and innocent until tempted and led astray soon after his creation. As a punishment for his disobedience man was cutoff (experienced a death) from God and the world became harsh to man (natural evil became real). Laws of society are divinely inspired attempts to become one with the creator not just to keep social order.

McCloskey also has an objection to the Free-Will Argument: “Might not God have very easily so arranged the world and biased man to virtue that men always freely chose what is right (McCloskey 1968)?” In Response to this objection, Plantigna offers the following explanations: It is logically possible for God to create a world described by McCloskey. However, we do not have reason to think that this world is such a world created by God. Thus, God can create a world dependent on the freewill of the creatures inhabiting it if God so desires (Evans 2009).

On the Comforts of Atheism

McCloskey argues that Atheism provides a far more comfortable life style than that afforded to the theist. William Lane Craig offers the following argument to this point. Citing from Nietzsche Craig points out that the atheist viewpoint will eventual push society into a nihilistic state. Craig further points out that the atheist in his attempt to prove the meaning in life by living up to a set of ideals only further contradicts his view adding strength to the prove of the existence of God and the need for immortality particular that which is offered by Christianity. In an attempt of the modern man to maintain a happy consistent life numerous philosophies have been developed. On such is termed the Noble Lie. The Noble Lie tricks us, compels us beyond self-interest and social coherence to believe in universal truths of morality and not to live for self but for the greater good. Such a philosophy would work well in a society where an elite group controlled society but not in the world as a whole (Craig 2008, 71-90). Craig further explains that the deeds, actions and accomplishments of one’s life are not enough to prove meaning. A similar theme can be found the Book of Ecclesiastes. The writer of the Biblical book who most scholars associate with  King Solomon explains who wealth ,women,  possessions, what one builds, leaves behind ,or any fame one acquires is of no meaning and results in little or no happiness. In all actuality, such things usual bring ruin and decay. The only true meaning and source of wisdom is a life lived in harmony with God.

Conclusion

In conclusion, McCloskey believes that existence of God can be disproved by the existence of evil in the world However, as outlined previously; Evil is not an aspect of God but of man and thus does not disprove God.  Natural and Moral Evil (Sin) arise as a punishment for man’s disobedience to God. Just as it is not unkind to punish a child for breaking a rule especially when the punishment may serve to teach the child morality and keep the child from causing harm to his or herself God uses evil to tech morality, judgment and reason to humankind. Freewill does not disprove God but in all actuality prove man’s active involvement in creation.  Many theodicies exist to explain why evil exist in the world today but most commonly hold true to the fact that there are multiple worlds of finite possibilities. Whether one is a Creationist, Cosmological thinker or holds true to any of the other numerous other theories pertaining to the nature of God, It is certain that true happiness comes from God and the belief in Atheism is a path of unhappiness and contradictory at best.

 

 

 

Word count: #1520

                                                          Bibliography

Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics 3rd Ed. Wheaton:

Evans, Stephen C. & R. Zachary Manis. Philosophy of Religion 2nd Edition: Thinking About Faith. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009.

McCloskey, H. J. “On Being an Atheist.” 1968.

 

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