Date: Aug 6, 2019
Category: Philosophy Essay
On Being An Atheist

The disputes on the nature of the Universe, the essence of human life and the proofs of the existence of God have been present throughout many centuries since people have been interested of the role of religion in their life. Many researchers dedicated works to the idea of the essence of God and His presence in our everyday life. People all around the world are in search of even more proofs that God exists. However, in the light of the modern perspectives, atheists reject the necessity of any belief in God and His mercy, and their arguments are still popular among certain communities. The main atheistic argument is tied to the essence of evil in human life. Why God allows cruelty, the development of numerous diseases in human life, accidents, and natural disasters. Does it all happen to punish people for their sins, or is it something even more complex, if we believe in God? If for example, a two-year-old child suffers from a serious physical impairment so he cannot talk or walk, the boy’s parents may feel anger with God for such a cruel punishment for this poor little kid that does not even know what sin is and how, not being even taught, to worship the God, what to confess. It is believed to be unfair. Is it possible that this child will get well soon? And what if an accident such as a plane air crush happened, like the recent Boeing crash in the sky of the Eastern Ukraine, where about 80 children were reported to be on the board. People search for ways to struggle with the feeling of grief and sorrow when innocent people die and we cannot stand as evil grows day by day.

In his article, “On Being an Atheist”, McCloskey states that evil is the result of imperfection of this world. And if there was God in the sky, who is reported to be merciful to His creations, He would not allow evil to spread all over the world and punish the innocent who are just sinless children. Since this world is imperfect, we cannot make a conclusion related to the existence of God and proofs that He created the Universe. “The cause is powerful enough and imperfect enough to have created the sort of the world we know”, - McCloskey concludes clearly on this matter. The researcher suggests that there are no grave arguments and evidence that can prove the existence of God and his hand in the creation of the Universe. Since there are no grave proofs, McCloskey states that the idea of the essence of God should be completely rejected. This leads to contradictions in minds and to numerous responses from researchers on this matter. For instance, in response to this article and in relation to the cosmological proof of the existence of God, Evans, and Manis (2009) develop a non-temporal kind of this argument. Their idea includes three components: “Some contingent beings exist. If any contingent beings exist, then a necessary being must exist (because contingent beings require a necessary being as their ultimate cause).

Therefore there exists a necessary being (which is the ultimate cause of the existence of contingent beings). However, MacCloskey argues that there is no reason to believe in God, as the “mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being [i.e., a necessarily existing being].” In response, Evans and Manis (2009) lead to discussion using the non-temporal form of this argument; they suggest that in spite of that everything requires a cause and atheists claim that God to be caused well, God is not a being of the contingent nature, therefore there is no need to explain His origin, it is not necessary. As they add, as if we could clarify the origin of God, He, in fact, would not stand in our eyes and minds as God. These statements are related to the cosmological argument that has to deal with two ideas: God is the cause of the Universe, and His origin needs not to be explained since the cause of the Universe is necessary.

The necessity of the Universe is clear, as life is of the essential meaning, and life has a purpose, either in the context of evolution or in the frames of life of an individual in particular. The creation of the Universe was the necessity, not only so that, in the opinion of theists, to glorify God, but also with relation to going to deeper meaning. Of course, everything that artists create, they are proud of, and they feel comfortable for everything they have created. Having a feeling of inspiration, every artist needs to create something and feel comfort. God is a perfect artist who needed to create the Universe for a special purpose. He did not want to feel alone in the sky, and he wanted to feel comfortable about His creation. The cosmological argument, in spite of this, does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause. However, the necessity of the super-power, super-natural creature is the argument of more importance than our methods of scientific cognizing. In this relation, it is quite possible to conclude that God’s power and human power and opportunities are rather different issues. God knows much and He can accomplish much. We do not know His plans and purposes, either about us or about this world. In addition, we have no necessity to get to know anything about this. We have no opportunity to realize God’s plans and have a stable proof about His existence, as contemporary research methods are not sufficient for this.

McCloskey claims that in order to set out the essence and the existence of God, the cause of His creating the Universe, as well as the purpose are needed. The examples should be indisputable, and, in the opinion of the researcher, he suggests a “very conclusive objection”, stating that there are no “indisputable” proofs of this, or they do not go very well. However, this statement is not that reasonable. The process of evolution is the mechanism of how God has been improving the world He created. When considering this from a contemporary perspective, the process of evolution is similar to updates in the software industry. Users need to get the world modernized, and as time passes by, we get new forms of bacteria, especially in the context of genetic mutations and transformations, as we get them in the new laboratories in many countries of the world, where such sort of experiments are allowed. Examples of design in the Universe are highly traceable, as anything here works as one perfect mechanism, and every detail is well adjusted to the circumstances. The example of the perfect design is presented by some species that can not live without each other in nature, or they simply need to build the relations of the mutual benefit in order to protect each other and them from predators or get food. The example of such a design is an ocellaris clownfish that is set to dwell in the tentacles of the Ritteri sea anemones. The fish protects anemones from anemone-consuming fishes, and in return, the anemone protects the clownfish from predators. Such relationships are just one of the trace of the perfect design in the Universe. However, contemporary researchers cannot explain every issue in evolution and in design according to the modern methods, so some arguments are not that valid. For example, the essence and the origin of black holes in the Universe that consume the material are still not clarified.

There is a grave argument, although not that indisputable, to provide strong evidence that the Universe was designed by a super-powerful essence. They claim: “Nature contains many instances of design. Designed entities are the result of architects work. Therefore, nature is probably the work of a designer.” Such an argument is observable in everyday life. The laws of nature and the functions of organisms within nature have remained consistent since humans made it a point to observe, record, and form conclusions. The belief in designing the Universe by a supernatural brain can be traced by many features we can observe daily. For example, all living creatures, either humans or animals, live according to their own “biological watch” that means that they eat, sleep, do other activities, according to laws of nature that are set by someone high above. Most of the birds sing in the morning, but an owl goes in for haunting in the night time, when their victims sleep. Early morning birds have no need for the night-time life, as their food is corn and insects that are visible during the day-time. Everything in this world lives according to its needs that prove the traces of perfect design.

In addition, there is evidence that evolution was also empowered by the designer. However, McCloskey implies that this process has displaced the need for a designer, even without any notice that process was already pushed up by the super-power brain that was aimed to improve the world he created. However, in response, Evans and Manis suggest that evolution is the result of improving the design of the Universe, making it more perfect.

Instead, McCloskey claims that the Universe is not perfect since there is much evil in this world. However, from the theistic point of view, all the world of evil is what humans created, but not God. McCloskey argues that there was a powerful malevolent or imperfect planner or designer since we can trace evil, sorrow, grief, and sufferings in this world. According to Evans and Manis, in the light of the cosmological argument, God is what cannot be explained logically according to the common laws of contemporary science. And if explained, He would not be the God, since we knew his origin and planning of life.

Furthermore, from history, we know some cases, when people were trying in their pride to stand over God, for example, when building the Tower of Babel. Any other tries to explain the origin of God and his planning as a designer seems to be similar to such attempts as well. The presence of evil in this world, even in relation to innocent persons (kids, animals), who do not know what sins are, Evans and Manis explain as side effects of the gift of free will. It means that God granted all humans free will so that they can lead a life in their own way, either commit sins or lead a righteous life. Lane Craig argues: “If life ends at the grave, then it makes no difference whether one has lived as Stalin or a saint. Since one’s destiny is ultimately unrelated to one’s behavior, you may as well live as you please.” Although McCloskey states that “atheism is a much more comfortable belief than theism”. Craig objects, stating that without God living is an absurd, as “in killing God, he [human being] will only succeed in orphaning himself”. Craig (2008) discusses the so-called “cosmic orphan” that without God has to be left without any support, any faith, hope or love.