Philosophy professor Alvin Plantinga explains that the argument — “If God is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-good, He would have created the best of all possible worlds” — is not satisfactory at all.
“How, indeed, could one argue, from the existence of evil that it is unlikely God exists?” (Plantinga, 1974, 61). We have every reason to believe that “all natural evils have perfectly natural causes,” Plantinga quotes from Cornman and Lehrer; and therefore it is “unreasonable to postulate some non-natural cause to explain their occurrences” (62).
Is Atheism really comforting?
McCloskey may be comforted with his beliefs, and a Christian will not and would not intrude on his comfort zone without just cause. But he is talking in circles when he speaks about the “self-respect” and “self-reliance” that comes with being part of atheism. Actually those phrases fit perfectly into the Christian theology as well. McCloskeys use of semantics and filibuster — and rhetorical bluster — just shows the flimsiness of his argument. In fact, the words of William Lane Craig are germane to this issue. Could anyone be comfortable believing God does not exist? If he does not, then, Craig explains, “life is futile. If the God of the Bible does exist, then life is meaningful [and as a result belief in God] enables us to live happily and consistently”
In conclusion, Craig rightly explains that it is important for the Christian to “push [the atheist] to the logical conclusions of his position [because the atheist] affirms meaning, value, or purpose without an adequate basis.” And as the thesis of this paper pointed out, Christians “need not make [the atheist] defensive by a frontal attack on his personal values; rather we offer him a foundation for the values he already possesses” (Craig).
Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systemic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 1993.
Comfort, Ray. How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God. Alachua, FL: Bridge Logos
Craig, William Lane. “The Absurdity of Life Without God.” In Reasonable Faith: Christian
Truth and Apologetics, third ed. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008.
Leff, Gordon. William of Ockham: The Metamorphosis of Scholastic Discourse. Manchester,
UK: Manchester University Press, ND, 1975.
McCloskey, H.J. “On Being an Atheist.” In Question Journal, 1968.
Plantinga, Alvin. God, Freedom, and Evil. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing,
McCloskey, H.J. “On Being an Atheist.” In Question Journal (vol. 1), 1968, p. 51.
Leff, Gordon. William of Ockham: The Metamorphosis of Scholastic Discourse. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press ND, 382.
Comfort, Ray. How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God. Alachua, FL: Bridge Logos Foundation, 2008.