Thursday, December 31, 2009

Do Christians Just Believe In One More God Then Atheists?

This piece is from my good friend Mr. Lewis Moore, feel free to leave comments!

When people say that there are other gods we would consider silly, they tend to forget that it would be silly to call such a thing god.

I have in mind here the common tactic of trying to make belief in the Christian God seem silly, by pointing at silly gods. Mythological or other fictional (FSM, for example) gods are the primary examples, but surely, given what the word "God" means in the Christian tradition (the ultimate, infinite reality and source of all existence, a being ... See More Containing all perfections etc.) to point at an anthropomorphism, or even worse, a lob of pasta, is to commit an inexcusable error.

"God" is not merely a title, its meaning is largely derived from its applicability. That is, it denotes a being of a certain nature, and is only applicable to a being of that nature. To treat a mythological use of "god" and the Christian use of "God" as if they were the same is equivocation at best, dishonest and rude at worst, and a sure sign of ignorance if we give the skeptic the benefit of the doubt.

So, why do I say it would be silly to call such a thing god? Well, for the same reason it would be silly to call a marble a boat. To call a thing a boat is to attribute to it a certain nature: namely that of being a vehicle of a general shape by which people may travel on water. A marble is hardly such an entity and it would be absurd to attribute such a nature to it. Likewise, to call a thing "God" is to attribute to it a certain transcendent, necessary, infinite (in a less mathematical sense), non-spatial, (in most cases) non-temporal, and ultimate nature. To give the title to an entity which is anthropomorphic, contingent, finite, spatial, temporal, and derivative is, indeed, silly

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