In A Devil’s Chaplain, Richard Dawkins reechoed an increasing popular meme. Dawkins contended:
[M]odern theists might acknowledge that, when it comes to Baal and the Golden Calf, Thor and Wotan, Poseidon and Apollo, Mithras and Ammon Ra, they are actually atheists. We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. (Dawkins 2004, 150)
I presented a case in Dissecting ‘One God Less’ Meme showing that this meme is nonsensical utterance because it confused the concept of God, a general notion/idea of a being that is God, with conceptions of God, the way in which that general notion/idea is perceived or regarded. Noting that concept of God refers to objective notion/idea of a being that is God, while conceptions of God(s) refer to a particular groups’ subjective way in which that objective notion/idea is perceived, the meme appears to be a mere wind-egg. This article offered an analogy to explain the argument presented in a more simplified form.
Explanation From Analogy: United States of America’s Future Presidency
Say we are in USA in year 2050. There is a confusion over who is the current president, if indeed there is any. State B claims that Theodore Baal is the current president of USA. State C claims Benjamin Thor is current president of USA. And so on.
Newly formed State X dismisses Baal and Thor &c., as current president of USA and X claims that William Allah is the current president of USA. State U rejects all B, C and X former-candidates regarded to be in the presidential office and hold that the former-candidate, now in office, is unknown. In this pool of States there is also ‘apresident’-state, State A. A claim is that there is no such thing as a president in USA.
From this analogy, it is clear that states B, C, X and U agree on the notion of there being a former-candidate that is now occupying the presidential office. What they disagree is who that former-candidate is regarded to now be in that office. State A, contrary to other States, reject that notion of a being occupying the presidential office, since according to A, there is no such thing as presidential office.
Dawkins one-god-further’s blunder is on failing to note that by X dismissing Baal, Thor, &c., former-candidates regarded to be occupying the presidential office, X does not dismiss the notion of there being a being in presidential office. There is multiple former-candidates but a single office presidential office. There is no multiple offices for A (or B, C, X and U) to go one further. There is either an office or no-office.
Claiming that X is like A in regard to Thor, Poseidon &c., but A goes one president further is nonsensical utterance because what X dismisses is not the notion of presidential office (concept), namely there is a being in office, but who is in that office (conception). U, for example, rejects all former-candidates regarded to be now in the office, but U is not A because does not reject that there is someone in that office.
Dawkins, Richard (2004) A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love. A Mariner Books. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt