"I Just Believe in One Less God Than You"
When searching YouTube for “Best Atheist Arguments,” several videos appear that include a popular saying often repeated by atheists: “I just believe in one less God than you.” What do atheists mean when they use this argument? They list several “gods” such as Zeus, Poseidon, Vishnu, Buddha, Horus, and Apollo. They then say something to the effect of, “Tell me why you don’t believe in those gods, and I will use your very same reasons to tell you why I don’t believe in yours.”
The problem with this “argument” is that it’s not an argument at all. It’s a neat little play on words, but when looked at closely, it is not a logical reason for anything. The idea being presented is that just because there are many wrong answers, then all the answers must be wrong. In fact, the statement implies that the “one less” answer is just the next step in the sequence. But let’s think through that. If there really is just one correct answer, then of course all the others would be incorrect. For instance, if a person were to say, “You don’t believe that 2+2 equals 5 or 6 or 7 etc., therefore 2+2 does not have an answer. See, I just believe in one less answer than you.” The problem with such reasoning is easy to see: If there is a singular answer, then the “one less” statement leaves out the one most important correct answer.
To further illustrate, when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, the story is told that he said that after trying 10,000 different filaments, he had not failed; he just found 10,000 things that don’t work in a light bulb. Now suppose a person were to say, “Tell me why those 10,000 substances did not work and I will use the same reasoning to tell you why the one thing you say will work, won’t. I just believe in one less filament than you.” Again, the fault in the reasoning is evident. The characteristics of the filaments that don’t work are obviously different from the ones that do. Yes, it may be true that atheists believe in one less God than the God of the Bible. But the fact is, no other God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good Creator of life Who came down to the Earth in human form and sacrificed His life for His human creatures simply because He loved them. Yes, atheists believe in one less God, but it is that God, and only that God, Who truly fits all the criteria to be the singularly correct answer (John 11:26).1
1 Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” https://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1175.
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