Just a thought-experiment.

Monotheistic faith seem to emphasize that their respective deity is great. In particular in the Islamic world the respective phrase is used quite a lot. I assume that’s “great” in the sense of big or in the form of another special, but nondescript, quality. I also think that I have finally found out why this emphasis is placed by monotheistic believers 😉

Clearly, if you take the overall number (and greatness) of all possible, alleged and worshiped ^{1} deities we have a number that approaches ∞ (infinity). If we now take any monotheistic faith, they explicitly claim the existence of a single (`1`

) deity only and argue that there are no others – much like an atheist does with their one deity, by the way.

Anyway, if we keep this strictly mathematical we must conclude that `∞-1`

is still `∞`

and you cannot sensibly compare `∞-1`

with `∞`

. Accordingly a believer of a monotheistic conviction is in fact no different from an atheist – or rather, the difference is so minuscule that *it should be negligible* by mathematical standards.

Alas, if a quality such as “greatness” is introduced, it’s not a question of quantity anymore. Now it’s no longer about deity X versus infinitely many other deities, now it’s an infinitely great deity X versus infinitely many negligible deities. I suppose this bumps the value of deity X in a believers mind to a size way beyond even the summary value of the *remaining* infinitely many possible, alleged and worshiped deities.

Anyway. My conclusion from this is that people of faith ^{2} and those without faith share more than both of them would consider or admit at first. Namely they share the profound disbelief in `∞-n`

deities, where `n`

stretches from `0`

for atheists and `1`

for monotheists to something higher for other faith systems.

// Oliver