Even if there is a deity, why should your god be the one?

This is a common response from the nonbelievers. I assert that it is a logical fallacy, not because the statement in itself is totally foolish, but because they put it forward (often implicitly) to defend their position. It is a logical fallacy because anybody can put forward that argument whenever there are more than two choices: You promote the value of science and scientific thinking, and that truth is attainable through science, etc., and I go: Well, religion A claims the same thing, so does religion B, so does that pseudo-science, etc., so why should science be true?

Obviously—at least, to me—this is a stupid argument. Anyhow, is there a name for this type of fallacy?


Respectfully, I do not understand why this question has turned into (almost) a religion discussion. I thought, my question was simple: It cannot be a rational argument to defend one's position with respect to “Why don't you accept preposition P” by stating that “Well, I choose preposition Q, because there are other propositions, P1, P2, P3, etc., Why should I choose yours?”

What I am saying is that even though “Why should I choose yours?” is a valid question, it does not carry any value with respect to defending choosing preposition Q.

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    This might be a good question if you would define "god". Because the lower case g indicates "idol" (not Almighty God). And if you are speaking of idol worship, the answer to the rhetorical question is "superstition" and "idolatry". So your question is really implying that God is nothing more than a silly idol. I'm thinking the fallacy is probably of the Straw Man variety.
    – Bread
    Apr 22, 2019 at 1:34
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    Not only is it not a fallacy, it is a very sound argument against all the metaphysical proofs of god, like the Kalam cosmological argument: "well, let's even say your flawed argument works and there must be a first cause we name God, does it in anyway prove that it is YOUR god and that anything in your sacred scriptures or laws is more than fiction ?". The burden of proof is on you, you have to prove that god is the way you claim it is. Lastly, the reversal you propose does not work: unlike religion science makes very precise predictions about counter intuitive phenomenons. Science works.
    – armand
    Apr 22, 2019 at 2:25
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    I don't see how this is a fallacy. In fact I think it's a legitimate question to ask why should I believe in the existence of any god over, say, Zeus.
    – Cell
    Apr 22, 2019 at 2:28
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    I don't quite understand what the analogy is trying to demonstrate, since to me, "Why should science be true?" is itself a perfectly fair and valid question.
    – H Walters
    Apr 23, 2019 at 1:18
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    -1, just because these questions seem all too common on SE.Philosophy. Specifically, someone doesn't like something that casts doubt on their position on something, so they ask what manner of fallacy it is. The trouble's then that people who want to be helpful try to reinterpret the statement into something fallacious to appease the asker. This makes such questions into communal strawman competitions.
    – Nat
    Apr 24, 2019 at 9:15

3 Answers 3


As currently phrased, this does not have the form of an argument, and therefore cannot be a fallacy. As @Josiah noted, this is a completely reasonable question to ask (if asked in good faith, as part of a discussion) and is perhaps best addressed as such.

However, as I read you, you're asking about this question used in a purely rhetorical fashion, as a stand-in for the claim "there is is no reason to believe in any one given god over another." This, if used as a conversation-ender, not a conversation-starter, is really just a disguised version of the argument from ignorance ("I don't know a reason, therefore none exists"). It's also (in the form you've explained it in), an example of false equivalence (at least, in the case that the arguments for all gods are not, in fact, equally strong).

Strategically speaking, it's worth noting that, even in this form, this line or response still opens the door for you to explain why you do believe in the God you worship, and not other gods. It can sometimes be useful in an argument to take people for the face value of what they say, even if you are sure they are being insincere. It's also worth noting, if you find it unanswerable, or if you're the one who treats it as a conversation-ender, then it may be that the weaknesses are with your position, and not your querent's.

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    I think you're wrong. It is obvious from the context that this scenario is a casual conversation so you cannot expect an argument with premises and conclusions all laid out. This question is an implicit argument. The argument is that there likely is or isn't a/aren't god(s). If there likey is/are, then because there are >1 groups that claim the true god(s), I'm certainly to be punished one way or the other thus I'm not any worse off not believing in any of them. I suspect your answer was chosen because it was the only one to reaffirm the original poster's beliefs.
    – Cell
    Apr 24, 2019 at 22:56
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    @Cell I would encourage you to post this as your own answer. And anyone who disagrees with the green checkmark is free to vote. With that said (a) you, me, and the OP all agree this question is an implicit argument, so there's no disagreement there. (b) I realize there's not enough room to develop a full argument in a comment, but your argument, at least as outlined above, is no stronger than the ones I did consider. Apr 25, 2019 at 13:10
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    @Cell I did make some edits to address your concern that this answer panders to the OP's point of view. Apr 25, 2019 at 13:15

As mentioned in the comments, it is not a fallacy. It is a question.

That is, presuming that you are arguing that your God exists. If you are just arguing that at least one god exists, then it is a red herring.

But if you are arguing further then the appropriate response is to answer the question.

If they, say, ask "why not Zeus" when you have been talking about the creator of the universe, then they are committing the fallacy of conflation. They are using other examples that take the word "god" but do not have the properties under discussion of being a creator being. However, I would suggest that rather than say "that is a fallacy" it would be more helpful to say "ah, because even the ancient greeks did not think Zeus was the creator of the world."

If they ask "why not Brahma?" you will not have that particular get out. (aside: I think it is more helpful in a discussion setting if you are the one to bring up the examples that you don't have convenient get outs for, ideally immediately after talking about Zeus not being a creator) In that case you just need to acknowledge the case is not quite closed yet and start looking at the closer details. Which brings me back to "answer it as a good faith question."


Partial fallacy, it does not disapprove God, but it does disapprove certain religions

Let's assume we have agreed that there is a certain supreme being called God. But what are his positive qualities ? What do we know about him ?

For example, what does God command to do with adulterers ? Should we stone them to death (Judaism, Islam) or have them repent then forgive them (Christianity) or God(s) simply do not care about them (Cthulhu Mythos ) ?

As you can see, simply believing that God does exist does not affirm any other religious belief about him, there is no logical chain from God's existence to any of known or unknown religions.

However, fact that we do not know much about God's nature is not a proof that God does not exist either. In that sense, this (rhetorical) question is a fallacy as a way to disapprove God's existence .

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