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by Gil Gatch
There has been a lot of debate against my recent articles that stems from a common mistake made by atheists. This article is a little more in depth, but if you can get this you will really have something good to chat about with your atheist friends.
Many of you who are Christians may struggle with the arguments made by atheists against our beliefs. You’ve heard it before that believing in God is the same as believing in Unicorns, Fairies, Santa Claus and the like. An opponent challenged me to prove that God wasn’t just another one of these superstitious characters.
Atheists will use these superstitious characters in one of two ways usually: 1) They will show the absurdity of believing in imaginary creatures and use that as an analogy for believing in God, or 2) They will ask you if you believe in Unicorns, Fairies, and Santa Claus and when you say, “no” they will try and turn the tables on you and say, “see, now you show me your evidence for not believing in those things.”
Another very popular argument was born in Stephen F. Robert’s statement made to Theists in 1995 (later popularized by Richard Dawkins) that, “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.”
This is a common misunderstanding and conflation of 1st and 2nd order questions. Listen up. This will help you.
A first order question for our purposes explores the “what” of God. In other words, what is the general idea of a being that is God? An answer from Alvin Plantinga explains that this idea of God is something “having an unsurpassable degree of greatness—that is, having a degree of greatness such that it’s not possible that there exist a being having more.”
It is impossible to have two beings (or more) that possess an infinite degree of greatness. It is a metaphysical impossibility. A universe with two or more omnipotent, or supreme, or infinite beings is absolutely impossible…
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