People are much more complicated than that. Its a much more intense struggle (and worthy cause) to reconcile conflicting feelings and thoughts about who God is, rather than just some logical theorem of weather God is or isn't. Otherwise, we distance ourselves from moving towards finding what real truth is, and these "arguments" are just a charade preventing us from really delving into hardcore answers about life and community.
Finally, someone with a brain re-enters the forum... *sigh*.
Now, Lyte - it seems you went more into the theology of God - for example, there *IS* a God for all of us, believers and non-believers. For children it's their mothers (I love the quote 'Mother is God, in the eyes of a child'), when some grow up it may be their heroes, hopes and dreams, aspirations, a loved one, a child.
I see what you've basically put down is that "God" is basically whatever we believe in... Which I agree with...
God *CAN* be a bearded geezer in a white tux, with black tap-dancing shoes and a green fedora.
Or he could be your good-luck charm.
Or he could simply be the needed push in the right direction to get two people talking.
I don't agree with another part of your posts (sorry can't get an exact quote):
The question isn't about whether a Christian God exists, but if he is good/evil.... thinking about whether he does or doesn't exist stops us getting real (true) answers for the meaning of life
So, with the first you're assuming
he does exist (ie: an assumption is when you take something as true without proof) - which, let's face it, is the whole point of belief.
You BELIEVE God is there without proof.. And let's face it, the Bible is like me telling you that I've seen alien's invading the back garden for the last 2 weeks - they are stories written down by MAN (the truth of these I'm not going to argue over).Side note: I now hate myself for writing "let's face it" twice.
You're right that arguing over whether he exists is a tiny thing in the scope of everything else.
*BUT* if you're a religious person, then you must regard God as your 'meaning of life', and that he has some idea that you won't grasp until the end (or when you're playing checkers with him)... Since he created life - thus giving it it's meaning.
.. I've highlighted true up above because I found that a bit hypocritical - a religious person, as well as a sceptic, will NEVER be able to find the 'truth', since they are bias... Take the "Earth is Flat" cult, which completely denies people have gone to the moon and that the Earth is indeed flat. Take the fact that evolution is being removed from a great many US schools (actually, is that all of evolution or the man-from-ape theory of total evolution?).
Total truth is only found through asking questions, testing suppositions, and thus gaining 'answers'.
.. Personal truth, is gained through asking questions, understanding that there are no tests and thus, no real answers.
..... God (and religion) lies here.
Just because I don't clap, doesn't mean I don't exist
True, but just because *I* write down something, it doesn't make it true either.
Similar to the "if a tree falls in the woods and no-one hears it - does it make a noise?" (.... yes) question.
.. I guess the more important question is: what is the 'clap'?
What *are* the actions he does not - or more importantly **does** - take?
How can you possibly blame something else for all the bad/evil, since God infact created them (thus meaning there is just God, instead of God and the Devil)?
Skipping past that, and onto the last point:
most atheists hate God thus don't want him to exist
Sorry again for the "not-exact" quote.
I've often wondered if I'd hate God if I knew him to exist... It would be a lot easier for me to blame something for the wrongs in my life. (I'm not an atheist by the way... agnostic)
But then, thank him at the same time for simply existing. And also trusting that he would look out for me, and thus be more free to chase after what I wanted... Although things are usually different when thinking about what you *would* do "if...".
Yes I do have a downward view on my life - not that I'm not optimistic: I believe in human kindness, I look for the best in people, etc. Not that too much has gone wrong for me (I haven't been beaten, raped, etc)..
But more then that, it really takes something vindictive to make me angry (or idiotic). And as such I don't think I would hate him - but neither would I love him.. I would treat him as I treat everything else, with common courtesy.
Anyhoo - I enjoyed writing this post