In several discussions and debates I have had online, this quote has been presented in such a way, that some appear to think it decisively shuts down any argument in favor of the God of Christianity.
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other gods you will understand why I dismiss yours."
...Stephen F Roberts
For those interested, Mr. Roberts recounts the origin of the quote here.
His quote and explanation also remind me of a short discussion I had with a pleasant follower of paganism, not long ago. She also brought up evidence for Zeus and other gods in comparison to Christianity, much the way Mr. Roberts does. It seems this meme is becoming quite common for those who do not believe in Christianity or in theism at all.
Unfortunately, the quote and appeals to other gods err by assuming the quantity and quality of evidence for other religious claims are equal, that is simply not the case. There is also a fundamental difference between evidence that people believe something and evidence for what they believe in. It seems that many are not making that important distinction.
It should also be noted that the internal coherence and fitness to humanities actual needs varies across the spectrum of religious claims and tenets. Throwing around a quote that ignores all of these issues is not very impressive except perhaps to those who have never really gotten beyond a Sunday school class for young teens. It's no wonder that when such a level of knowledge is faced with an "adult" argument, the belief fails. But then, knocking down a straw man is not very difficult to begin with, is it?
Suffice it say, many adults of great intellect are Christian and arguments for theism and Christianity continue beyond grade school. Intellect and rationality are not exclusive to atheists or other non-Christians, despite what some may try to claim. Quotes of superficial cleverness will not change that, especially when they only mask the rather large and incorrect assumptions being made. Besides, we all know what they say about the word assUme.
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