The worst paper topic at Torrey Honors is the freshman paper “Our God is Greater than Zeus.” As a reflection of careful reading of Homer and the Old Testament, it just does not justify the four units of credit the eager student is trying to earn. After all, it is obvious. Who would confuse the wicked Zeus, more super villain than Divine, with the God of Genesis? It turns out quite a few people. In recent discussions on Intelligent Design, many other wise well educated people keep telling me that “Zeus was a god and “Yahweh” is a god. . . and I don’t believe in Zeus. . . so there!” Well, that shows Christian theism! The obvious response is that if theism is true, it does not imply that all forms of theism are true. Second, even if Zeus is real, philosophers would want to ask if he is worthy of a free man’s worship. The whole Trojan War episode would seem to remove him from consideration! Finally, the Greeks did not claim that Zeus was an all-mighty creator god. If he did exist (and I am agnostic about whether demonic activity was part of the religion of Zeus worship), then he is not in the same category of “god” as the Christian god. Our god could beat up their god. He is also good, loves us, and does not abuse us. The internet atheist position that “all gods are created equal” is absurde. . . but common. Maybe this term I will go easier on those freshman.
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