Examples of (mostly) non-religious, mythical creatures include:
- From Irish folklore.
- Typically depicted (in modern times) as a white horse with a single, spiral horn growing out of its forehead. The unicorn appears in eight different parts of the King James Bible: Job 39:9-11 , Deut. 33:17 , Numbers 23:22 , Numbers 24:8 , Psalms 22:21 , Psalms 29:6 , Psalms 92:10 , and Isaiah 34:7 .
- Imaginary animals. They vary. A few are like dinosaurs. Most are just fantastic. Dragons are monsters.
- Wikipedia:Loch Ness monster
- Sometimes affectionately called Nessie; currently thought by some to reside within Loch Ness, a narrow yet deep body of water near Inverness in Scotland, UK. Nessie and Loch Ness are popular attractions, with thousands of tourists arriving each year in the hope of catching a glimpse of the creature. Systematic investigations of Loch Ness have failed to provide conclusive evidence of the existence of any such creature.
- Have taken on many different forms in the popular imagination throughout history. The most common modern conception, which became very popular in the early 20th century, is more or less like a more elegant (usually somewhat angelic) version of the Peter Pan character Tinkerbell — a small, flying, female humanoid. In the past, however, the term has referred to a variety of magical creatures, such as trolls.
Use in counter-apologetics
Because most theists agree that non-religious mythical creatures do not really exist, they often serve as good substitutes for God (or angels, etc.) in counter-apologetics, either to show the weakness of a theist's argument, or to show the reasonableness of a corresponding counter-argument — especially in the context of the reasonableness of belief without evidence, or the nature of burden of proof when applied to issues of existence.
- Atheist: "Do you believe in leprechauns?"
- Theist: "No."
- Atheist: "Why not?"
- Theist: "Because they obviously don't exist."
- Atheist: "Prove it."
- Theist: "I don't have to! No one really believes in leprechauns."
- Atheist: "Do you have evidence that they don't exist?"
- Theist: "No, but you don't have evidence that they do."
- Atheist: "You're right. But why not believe in them anyway, since we don't have good evidence either way?"
- (and so forth...)