It is true that there are many gods that have been invented by man. However, the Christian might be able to say several things in response. Firstly, this doesn’t provide a logical defeater of traditional Christianity. It only tells us that many people have invented gods. Instead, the Christian could note that it confirms the biblical message that man knows that God exists. Biblical theology claims that some “by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18) whereas others will search for God and in the process create false man made religions. That many gods are alleged to exist is not a defeater of Christian theism.
However, as Ravi Zacharias has noted, the uniqueness of the Christian message seems to stand out: “Thus in Greek mythology, heroes and the personification of ideals proliferate. In pantheism, avatars, or incarnations, form the bulk of revelation. But in the Christian faith, the fact that God comes close while remaining transcendent is very unique” (1). Similarly, Tom Gilson believes that “Judeo-Christianity’s view of creation is unique among the world’s religions and philosophies. One large group of creation stories has the world beginning with an eternal dualism of mind (or spirit) and matter. The mind battles to contain and restrain unruly matter, with only partial success. Plato’s view was much like that. Another large group considers matter to be a kind of emanation from spirit, so that matter is actually spirit in another manifestation, sometimes even an illusory one” (2).
A third point is that the atheist must be careful not to commit the Fallacy of False Association. That is to argue that because “some” concepts are incorrect, therefore all concepts are incorrect. That conclusion wouldn’t follow. Rather each concept must be analyzed in its own right, and evidence and arguments must be weighed.
However, this might provide the atheist with an enigma. If the atheist is willing to challenge the God believer in this way, then a believer might ask the atheist if she has done research into all the gods and religions and come to the conclusion that all of them are man made. If the atheist hasn’t the she is holding to a double standard.
1. Zacharias, R. 2008. Cries of the Heart. p. 86.
2. Gilson, T. 2009. God and Science Do Mix: The Creator’s Interference in Creation. Available.