Thor, Elvis and Atheists

by Luke Nix

Today atheists are fond of bringing to light the fact that Christians reject the existence of all other gods of history. They articulate it in such a way as to make the Christian an atheist then use it against them. The challenge usually sounds something like this: you are atheistic regarding the millions of gods that others believe exist; why not just do away with the final one? This past weekend my wife and I went to see Thor: The Dark World (do not worry; there are no spoilers to come), and it got me thinking about this a bit, so I want to explore it. However, I want to begin, not with Thor but with…

…The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Elvis Presley was and still is so popular that there is an entire line of work dedicated to impersonating him. Some impersonators are really good; some are really bad. The challenge offered by the atheist appeals above to the Christian’s (and broadly, society’s) two understandings that many who have claimed to be or were understood to be God have been shown to be false. Let’s start with the claims then move to the understandings.

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I have chosen the example of Elvis to show just how illogical it is to reject the existence of the real thing just because impersonators exist. We all recognize that Elvis Presley did exist, and we recognize that the impersonators are just that: impersonators. The fact that impersonators exist does not logically force us to conclude that Elvis did not exist. But, let us forget that this is so obvious for a moment and look to see how it can be so obvious. What is it that we know about the real Elvis Presley that is different about the impersonators that allows us to accept one and reject the other? While fans of Elvis are going over their list of impersonator pet-peeves in their minds, I’ll just bring up just one. My understanding, as well as most everyone else’s, is that Elvis has passed away, while the impersonators are very much alive. This alone allows us to remove all impersonators from the possibility of being the real Elvis Presley, and the reason why they are called “impersonators.” (*see note)

However, many other attributes of the real Elvis Presley can also be brought to strengthen our acceptance of one but not the other. The concept of Elvis Presley is what we examined versus what we see…

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