I Simply Believe in One Fewer God than You


Actually, that’s not all there is to it.  I mean, it’s not quite so simple.  Ricky Gervais used this argument on Stephen Colbert.  He said that there are about 3000 deities to choose from and Christians don’t believe in 2,999 of them, the atheist simply goes one god further.  Gervais’ exact words are:

I don’t believe in just one more.

That “just” is key.   It suggests that there is a logical step that monotheists fail to make, and it suggests that this step is insignificant.  This is far from the case.

Belief in any one of the 3000 gods is an acknowledgement of transcendence, that there is something beyond or above the range of ordinary or merely physical human experience.  The belief in any deity is a claim that there is some external standard to which one must align ones life.  The atheist doesn’t go one itty-bitty step beyond Christianity, as the “just” implies.  Atheism takes a monumental leap beyond all religions and claim that there is nothing more to reality than what you see.

This is a “leap of faith” and it is important to acknowledge this (I think Gervais would).   People who beleive in gods, also take “leap of faith.”  Gervais point this out as he explains atheism in a nutshell:

You say, “There is a God.”

I say, “Can you prove that.”

You say, “No.”

I say, “I don’t believe you then.”

A theist can make illustrate the atheist leap of faith similarly:

You say, “There no spiritual reality beyond the material.”

I say, “Can you prove that.”

You say, “No.”

I say, “I don’t believe you then.”

The question is, who takes the greater leap.  The person who says that everything that we see in the cosmos and experience in life is the result of material processes, or the person that says there is something more than matter and its movements and modifications.

This is of course debatable, but the atheist claim that there is no God is way to significant to be minimized with the word “just.”

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