Proof #28: You Reject Many Gods

A reply to proof #28 of God is Imaginary.

Noting the number of gods that a person has to reject in order to become a Christian (or a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.) is a typical atheist talking point. The thrust of this proof can be summed up in this quote, attributed to Stephen F. Roberts:

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

The problem with this line of thinking is that it basically trivializes God himself, the transcendant Lord of the universe, by making him into just another god to window shop over and reject if he doesn't happen to meet your personal tastes. James White, director of Alpha & Omega Ministries, elaborates on that notion in this video:

Understanding the Rationalizations

The rationalization offered for this proof is basically a rehash of Pascal's Wager. The idea is that the believer has nothing to lose, but the unbeliever has everything to lose.

The typical atheist response is that there are millions of gods, so even if one exists we can't know which one is the right god to worship.

For the most part, the atheist acknowledges that if he's right, he goes to heaven and if he's wrong, he goes to hell. He believes that the choice of which god to align onself with is highly significant. He realizes the dire eternal consequences of making the wrong choice.

Then he refuses to make the choice, because in his mind, there's no way to know which is the right decision. That's not consistent. Recognizing the importance of the choice ought to make one extremely careful to make the right decision, not forfeit the decision all together.

This is another prime example of how internally inconsistent the atheist's position is. Atheism is not a defensible position.

GII then asks us to imagine if any god were real. In that mental exercise, GII reveals why many people reject God: God doesn't make life easy for them. This is what GII says would happen if a god were actually real:

If one of these thousands of gods were actually real, then his followers would be experiencing real, undeniable benefits. These benefits would be obvious to everyone. The followers of a true god would pray, and their prayers would be answered. The followers of a true god would therefore live longer, have fewer diseases, have lots more money, etc. There would be thousands of statistical markers surrounding the followers of a true god.

Everyone would notice all of these benefits, and they would gravitate toward this true god. And thus, over the course of several centuries, everyone would be aligned on the one true god. All the other false gods would have fallen by the wayside long ago, and there would be only one religion under the one true god. 

Notice what they're actually saying? If God were real, he'd answer our prayers (which really means give us every single thing we ask for without limit), live longer, have fewer diseases, have lots of money, and so on. We see here the mindset that God is supposed to bless his followers with all manner of earthly riches. Since we don't see that, then they reason that God is imaginary.

Once, when we were in communion with God in the Garden of Eden, life was idyllic and peaceful. It was utopia and we reaped the benefits. Until that fateful day when Adam ate the forbidden fruit! Everything changed after that.

Genesis records that God placed a curse on the land because of Adam's disobedience. We now have to work hard. And this is what we see today. Is the atheist really objecting to having to work hard?

Belief in God, living a life of faith, is not going to automatically be an easy life. In fact, Jesus repeatedly promises that it will be a hard life. Jesus' brother James wrote that we should count our tribulations as joy. These tests of faith teach us many profitable lessons and strengthen our resolve in God.