Proof #3: Look at all Historical Gods

A reply to proof #3 of God is Imaginary.

Understanding the Rationalizations

The rationalization: Christianity is true since millions of people believe in God.

There is something reassuring about a strength-in-numbers defense like this. However, a little bit of deeper thinking is all that is needed to defuse this proof.

The argument used is internally inconsistent. On one hand, they are trying to argue that we know the gods of the ancient world don't exist because they lack modern worshipers. Then, they acknowledge that God has millions of modern worshipers, but dismiss the number of worshipers as irrelevant to proving the existence of any particular god.

But, if the number of worshipers is integral to proving the non-existence of ancient gods, then that same number cannot be irrelevant to the existence of the God of the Bible.
The thrust of this proof is that no one worships the deities of historical Egypt, Greece, Rome, Aztec, or any other culture. We know that these deities are imaginary, GII asserts, because no one worships them anymore.

Really, that's how GII thinks it can prove that these deities never existed. If no one worships them anymore, then they must be imaginary. The actual words of the website:

  • . . . we know with complete certainty today that the Egyptian gods were imaginary. We don't build pyramids anymore and we do not mummify our leaders. 
  • Yet we know with complete certainty that these gods were imaginary because no one worships Zeus any more. 
  • If the Aztec gods were real, we would still be offering sacrifices to them. 

GII goes on to say that "The fact that millions of people worship a god is meaningless." However, this completely contradicts the point that they are trying to make. They connected lack of continuing worship to the existence of a deity, then proceed to say that the number of worshipers is meaningless. This is a serious contradiction.

But it just gets worse from there. GII then repeats the discredited theory that Christianity was borrowed from pagan myths. The site offers two quotations from "popular literature" that make this exact point, however there is no citation offered as to where these may have come from.

Even if the pagan copycat theory wasn't completely discredited, there is still one additional problem. This proof is completely incoherent! The argument flows like this:

  1. Many, many historical gods have no worshipers today.
  2. No worshipers means that the god doesn't exist, otherwise it would still command worship.
  3. Millions of people worship the God of the Bible and Jesus, but number of worshipers is irrelevant to the existence of a god.
  4. The story of Jesus is borrowed from pagan myths.
  5. The pagan myths are untrue per (1) and (2).
  6. Therefore, God is imaginary.

The problem is that (3) must be true for (6) to follow from (4) and (5), but if (3) is true then (1) and (2) are false. Either (1) and (2) are true, or (3) is true. All three points cannot be true at the same time, but all three are required to be true in order for (6) to be a logical conclusion.

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