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McCloskey in his article claims

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Atheism is a belief that has entered the mind of man prior to the advent of scientific revolution. This ideology is not an original one and has its roots even during the time of the kings and prophets in the Old Testament. The Bible records their existence in one of its verses “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God”[1].

They have been a minority in the past but as man’s ability to invent and create progressed so does his self ego and pride expanded. More and more people are now embracing the belief that there is no God and the belief in an all powerful being is simply unreliable because there are no strong proofs that can prove its validity.[2]

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Some of the countries which receive a high rate of atheism include first world countries like Japan, Denmark, Norway, Finland, France, Germany and Sweden which topped the list.[3] It has indeed received prominence in the world and it is attracting more supporters through the series of counterarguments it throws to theism.

McCloskey in his article claims that proofs or arguments which theists provide to support their belief “have no weight”.[4] He speaks of this primarily in relation to the ontological argument, the argument which attempts to show that the very concept of God implies his reality.[5] McCloskey believes that there is no point in debating on this particular proof because it has no bearing but the ontological argument serves as the very foundation for other arguments which supports and defends God’s existence.

If not for the purpose of proving His existence, the ontological argument is still necessary because it distinguishes the characteristics of God whom we are defending. The first rule of philosophical discourse is clarity and since God is the main topic, there is no way in which we should avoid discussing the ontological argument. Actually, McCloskey’s failure to analyze the ontological argument is one of the reasons why he failed to understand the theists’ arguments.

The diversity of religious beliefs scattered in the world is not aiding the theistic endeavor. It has further complicated the defenses used by theists all over the world. Fortunately, Evans clarified some misconceptions about the characteristics of God in his article.

For one, atheists refute the belief of an all powerful being because it will result to absurdity. According to them such a being should be able to create an object that is both a circle and a box or if not create a boulder so heavy that he himself cannot carry. But such a rebuttal should not be considered as worthy to be accepted. It is only a mockery.

Atheists fail to remember that the God who is being supported by the cosmological, teleological and moral argument is a God of reason.  He is indeed all powerful but the phrase “all powerful” is not to be equated to human vocabulary as being absolute. It is only used to elaborate on the fact that compared to man his power is unimaginable. He is not bound or limited by anything in this world.

He is not governed by the systems of the world rather he governs it. Whatever we do will not diminish nor lessen his godliness. He is the only thing that is constant in this world and will not undergo any change. He is self-existent and will remain that way forever.

Further clarification of the nature of God will lead us to the Cosmological Argument. The cosmological argument states that God’s existence is inferred through the existence of the cosmos or the universe.[6] According to McCloskey, “the mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being (omnipotent)”.[7]

He argues that the most we can accept is that the cause, which is the first cause or God, is powerful enough to create the universe.  But this position is in no way contradicting the belief that a being which is powerful enough did began the series of events which triggered the composition of the universe.

It perfectly meets the demand of the temporal argument which only assumes that the universe had a first moment of existence. I have earlier stated that the phrase “all powerful” should not be misinterpreted because it is only used figuratively to describe God. How can you further address someone that is able to trigger the formation of galaxies? Will the word “powerful” or “very powerful” be sufficient ?

For the sake of emphasizing his greatness we use the term “all powerful” because no man can ever do the things that he have done. It is unimaginable for man to even produce a single strand of hair from nothing. Yes, scientists have managed to clone plants, animals and humans but he is only capable of doing such if he has a specimen. He starts from something and makes it more complex but creation is not done in that process. It is from nothing to something.

[1] “Psalm 14:1”, The Holy Bible.com, accessed on 13 May 2010.
[2]  Martin, Michel, “Report: Atheism on the Rise in U.S.”, 2009, NPR.org, accessed on 13 May 2010 from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111885128
[3] Zuckerman, Phil. “Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns”, chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, ed. by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK (2005).
[4] McCloskey, H.J. “On Being an Atheist”, p. 50
[5] Evans, Stephems “Classical Arguments for Gos’s Existence”, p. 63
[6] ibid., p. 67
[7] opcit, McCloskey, p. 51

McCloskey in his article claims essay

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