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 IAmAnAtheist » Only One

Only One

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

A theist and an atheist at a mutual friend’s birthday party

Elric: Hey, Dex! Did you have a chance to look up the thing about Abraham?

Dexter: Yep. You were right about that.

Elric: Have you got any other "challenges" for me? You know I’m up for it.

Dexter: You really want to get into that now?

Elric: Why not? The night is young!

Dexter: Okay, then fix this one for me. In the Old Testament, it sure sounds like God is saying that other gods exist.

Elric: They do exist, but not literally. They’re just objects of false worship. There’s only one God.

Dexter: How do you know that?

Elric: God comes right out and says it. It’s in the Bible.

Dexter: But putting aside Biblical translation problems and ambiguities in the text, how do you know that God isn’t just pretending there are no other gods?

Elric: Even if we couldn’t trust God for some weird reason, we’d know that there is only one because God is infinite. You can’t have two infinites.

Dexter: You can have two infinites. Positive numbers and negative numbers are both infinite and they both exist.

Elric: Those are just concepts; God is a real thing. You can’t have two infinite, real things because once you have one, there is no place left for another.

Dexter: That’s true for material things, but why should it be true for God? Couldn’t you have an infinite number of immaterial things in one room and an infinite number of immaterial things in another room?

Elric: You can’t put God in a room. He is everywhere.

Dexter: I didn’t mean you could put God in a room. What I mean is that the rule that you can’t have two things in the same place only applies to material things. Two immaterial things could be in the same place.

Elric: No they couldn’t. God is infinite. If you have one infinite thing, then you don’t have room for anything else.

Dexter: But you already said that God is everywhere. That means at least that our material world exists in the same place as an infinite God.

Elric: That’s different. The material and the immaterial can coexist.

Dexter: Fine, but why couldn’t two immaterial things overlap in the same way that a material and an immaterial thing overlap?

Elric: Because God’s infinite. There isn’t any more room. I said that.

Dexter: Are you just not getting what I’m saying? Immaterial things don’t take up any room at all. That’s kind of the point of being immaterial. There not being enough room for something immaterial shouldn’t even be a concept.

Elric: That doesn’t imply to an infinite God. Even taking no room multiplied by the infinite nature of God means He takes up all space, even if it’s just the space available for immaterial things.

Dexter: Wait — is Heaven a real place?

Elric: Obviously.

Dexter: Is it a material place? I mean, can you get on a rocket and fly there?

Elric: No.

Dexter: Then if Heaven is immaterial and God is taking all the space for immaterial things, where is Heaven?

Elric: It’s not even meaningful to ask where Heaven is. Besides, Heaven’s a place, not a thing. God is everywhere in Heaven, too.

Dexter: Then what about human souls? They’re things and they’re immaterial, so where do they go if God is taking up all the room for immaterial beings?

Elric: They go to Heaven or Hell.

Dexter: How? There’s no room with an infinite God in the way.

Elric: It’s just one of those things mortal minds can’t comprehend.

Dexter: You’ve got that right. Can you tell me anything else to make it more clear?

Elric: Not really.

Dexter: Okay then, let’s try a different one. Did you know that Methuselah didn’t die until after Noah’s flood?


If you have a conversation that you’d like me to consider publishing on this blog or in an upcoming book, please see the conversation guidelines.

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

One Response

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  1. Written by Joakim Rosqvist
    on June 25, 2013 at 4:22 am
    Reply · Permalink

    And of course: if God can pretend to be the only god, he can also pretend to be infinite.

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