суббота, 18 ноября 2017 г.

"One less god" argument (response to New Atheism)

"So you believe in one god, I assume. . . . But there are 3,000 to choose from . . . so basically, you believe in—you deny one less god than I do. You don’t believe in 2,999 gods. And I don’t believe in just one more." 
(Ricky Gervais on the Stephen Colbert Show) 

This argument ("one less god") crops up in debate over the existence of God. I would like to share my answer to it. 

I want to compare faith in God and acceptance of the theory of Darwinian evolution. I am not necessarily pitting these against one another; it is simply an analogy to explain a point. 

Atheists generally accept the theory of evolution or, should I say, *a* theory of evolution. However in doing so, they accept one particular theory. They deny, for example, Lamarke's theory of evolution. Lamarke, for example, held that organisms adapt to their environment during their lifetime and then hand on these changes to the immediately next generation. This is no longer held. They also, I imagine, reject aspects of Darwin's original theory, such as the notion of pangenesis. Moreover, at one stage it was held that a fetus, as it grows, repeats the stages in the evolutionary process ("theory of recapitulation"). This is also now no longer accepted. In rejecting these aspects, atheists are not denying the theory of evolution as such, they are simply rejecting falsehoods in favour of a truer theory. 

In the same way, believers don't disbelieve in particular gods. We reject false perceptions in favour of belief in the true and living God.   

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