The Quote

Brief history of The Quote...

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
...Stephen F Roberts

...Yep, that's me! I am the author of the above quote which has become a bit of a popular statement throughout the net (and some in the real world too).

...I first used The Quote as a tag line for postings on the newsgroups alt.atheism and talk.atheism at some point before October 1995. I don't remember exactly when I started using it, and unfortunately lost my mailer that would have contained the archive. The earliest records that have is back to 1995, and by October 1995 it apeared 'widespread' in taglines, so I must have originated it sometime before then

...The Quote is an original quote that came from an online debate I was having with religious people in the newsgroups. I used the a similar comparison in a debate when my opponent wondered why I ignored the evidence for god, and in return, I wondered why my debate opponent chose to ignore the evidence for Shiva, or Zeus, or any of the other possible gods.

...I then slightly refined and shortened it the next day to the 'modern' form it is now to use in a tagline. Within days, The Quote was in use by others in their taglines (I added my name as an attribute a few weeks later when people asked me if it was my original quote).

...About a month later, I made another variation of the quote that also appears sometimes: "We are all atheists, some of us just believe in fewer gods than others"... but it never quite got the popularity of the original :-)

...So there it is, my only contribution to the net, and its brief, but interesting history.