Article Published by Matt Blair on June 18th, 2015

In listening to debates featuring some of the most prominent atheists in the world, I have been struck by one request that seemed, at first glance, to be very enticing (This request has also been used recently in an article written by Ricky Garvais entitled Why I Am An Atheist). While the specifics are different with each debate, the request basically follows this line of reasoning:

The “One More God” Request

“Christians are atheistic about every other god that has ever been invented. We’re just asking them to go one more step and embrace atheism about their god.”

This request leverages the somewhat embarrassing story of religion in the last 4000-6000 years – namely that people have chosen to believe in gods that obviously did not exist. While the exact number seems to vary from person to person, there have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 specific gods that have been worshipped in dozens and even hundreds of different religious belief systems.

This request, therefore, suggests that Christians are no different than the countless thousands and millions of other ignorant and mislead sheep (sarcasm included) that simply made up a god to try to explain a seemingly inexplicable act or even to control certain behaviors in a given society.

Are atheists correct that Christianity is no different than the countless other false religions whose god(s) have faded into obscurity?

The Need For Concession

For the sake of this discussion, let me make one concession so as to not detract from the core of this atheistic request.

The arguments against the “One More God” request could be used in defense of any monotheistic religion (Islam, Christianity, or Judaism). This article really isn’t about defending Christianity against other monotheistic religions but rather against the request of atheists to go with them “One More God”.

The Absurdity Of The Request

With that ground conceded, let’s begin looking at the request from a logical perspective. As I understand the breakdown of the request, their logic suggests:

  1. Christians don’t believe in any of the 3000 other gods
  2. The other gods have been clearly shown to have never existed
  3. Therefore Christians should abandon belief in their own God

If this logic is sound, then the following must also be true:

  1. Christians don’t believe that 2+2 = 5, 6, 7, or 8
  2. 2+2 does not equal 5, 6, 7, or 8
  3. Therefore, Christians should concede that there is no correct answer to 2+2

Both arguments are demonstratively false for the same reason. Just because there are incorrect answers to a question does not therefore mean that there is no correct answer.

If God does exist then He must possess certain specific attributes. He must be of a certain essence and nature. It follows then that just because other beliefs systems have been shown to be false, it does not therefore mean that there is no such being as God.

If God does exist then there must be a correct answer to the question “Who is God?” just as there is a correct answer to “2+2 = ____”.

Atheists, at this point, would probably suggest that my comparison is flawed. They would likely state that using a mathematical equation that does exist is not a fair comparison to a non-existent god. “Of course there is a correct answer to the equation 2+2=_______”, they would say, “but this has nothing to do with made up gods.”

I’m not talking about made up gods, however. I’m referring to a very specifically defined God – namely a spaceless, timeless, immaterial, powerful, intelligent, creative being. I’m talking about a very specifically defined God that must exist in a very specific universe like ours. I’m talking about the uncaused first cause. I’m saying that He absolutely does exist and has a specific nature and essence, therefore I can no more dismiss this God as non-existent any more than I can dismiss the answer to the mathematical equation 2+2= _____.

I’m all for dismissing gods who don’t exist by the way. That is akin to getting rid of the nonsense that 2+2=5. What I’m not willing to concede is that there is no God whatsoever.

Atheists, who have yet to provide any real answers to the questions of origins (read my article “Is It Too Soon To Be An Atheist” here), are suggesting we dismiss the idea of God without providing any alternative to how anything came into being. Atheists could easily refute this argument by simply showing us how the universe came into being and how life arose from non-life without a creator. Atheists are asking us to dismiss the idea of a designer without giving one credible answer as to the origins of our current realities.

What atheists are really saying is this,“We don’t know the answer to the question of origins but let’s go ahead and rule out one very plausible option.”

The “One More God” request from atheists is nonsensical and demonstratively fallacious and should be rejected by any thinking person. It is simply an emotional appeal and not at all based on sound evidentiary logic and reason.

An Appeal To Reason

What’s also interesting about this “One More God” request is that atheists suggest that belief in God shows intellectual weakness on the part of the believer, but is this true? Is belief in God some crazy religious talk, or is it consistent with life experiences? Let’s consider the following questions.

Does it really sound unreasonable that something as complex as the universe (including life within the universe) has a designer? Is that crazy religious talk or a logical conclusion much like you make every day of your life? If bubble gum has to have a designer, does it seem so absurd to suggest that the mouth you chew that gum with is designed?

The Illogical Logic Of Atheism

If atheists applied their logic to current realities they would be laughed out of the science centers across the world. Imagine an atheist visiting Mount Rushmore and seeing the faces of past presidents etched in the mountain. Now imagine them leaning over to you and saying, “I wonder how long it took random acts of nature to produce that? That must have been some kind of rain storm or meteor shower that chipped away that mountain to carve out those faces. Or…I wonder what genetic mutation took place within that rock complex to cause it to evolve into the faces of past presidents.”

Imagine that same atheist standing beside you as you admire the incredible art work of a great sculptor and the atheist says, “You don’t really believe a sculptor made that do you?”

Atheists are asking us to deny conventional wisdom and common sense so that we can deny the idea of a designer. It seems a little much for me to accept. I would encourage atheists to reconsider the “One More God” request as I believe it shows a lack of sound logic and reason.

What’s At Stake

In their quest to lead individuals away from belief in God, atheists have failed to meet the standard by which one might be led away from belief in the existence of God in the first place. Worse than that, atheists have requested we abandon belief in God without considering the cost of such a decision.

Giving up on the idea of God is no small request. If God does exist then the cost of dismissing Him could be devastating. I’m not trying to sound overly dramatic. Rather, I’m trying to sound realistic. If God does exist then it would be critically important to understand the purpose of our existence, any standards or expectations He may have for us, and any benefits or consequences of not meeting those standards or expectations.

To Conclude

In conclusion, I propose that the “One More God” request be either substantiated with sound evidentiary logic or abandoned altogether as it has no convincing basis in its current form.