As the video linked in my argument against faith thread said, the more qualities and details you put on a specific deity, you only end up massing the burden of proof against you that much more. Going the other way and trying to prove an abstract and unknowable god only makes it that much more irrelevant.
I guess it comes down to a good old fashioned stalemate. You might never win the argument with them, but they don’t even have the proverbial snowball’s chance in their Hell of ever winning it…except within the confines of their own skulls.
As far as simply arguing the existence of a certain intangible God (or not) goes, I think that about sums it up. I was watching a campus protest and counter-protest for some time today... Finally pointed out some historical issues with interpretations of the Bible to one of the avowedly anti-gay Christian protestors, only to be told essentially: Well this is what has been passed down for ages, see the cover it says "Holy Bible" doesn't it? And I am simply convinced they are going to hell, so this is just my public service announcement.
What concerns me is that the Christian God often fielded by the evangelical American right seems to serve as a sly front for social platforms that are not explainable through good logic either
. While Christian philosophies have been used to do some good things, they have also been used to:
1. Disempower women. For one example: In the process of power plays rejecting Gnosticism back smack between Jesus and the Bible as most people know it.
2. Claim divine backing for colonialism and racism... Black sexuality as "out of control," the Muslims "hate us for our freedoms" but God must be on our side, etc.
3. Attempt to delay and scare away the increasingly real, popular progress of gay rights - not least by quoting passages from a language that didn't even have the idea
So, we do not simply have a bunch of people saying, "I really believe in this book and you should or you'd go to Hell." We have people saying that who are holding signs saying "God Hates Homosexuals" and many other things widely accepted among a younger, more liberal generation. Evangelical Christians say they are concerned for your soul but often they take very pragmatic action. These are designed to get in others' way, attempt to deny resources, and try to divide and conquer based on fear of things that are flat untrue or grossly misrepresented. Anti-gay Evangelicals are not marching around with 10' high signs condemning everything from gays to "Jesus mockers" to video games and pizza simply as an expression of mere belief in a nice, comforting creator for themselves
. They want something from me
. At least enough to disrupt traffic around my campus long enough for someone to think, oh look a flashy political mob we have to deal with.
This one selective, elitist book made by a papal gathering almost 400 years after
Jesus (assuming disparate, retrospective authors got something right about him in the first place) to the exclusion of dozens of holy documents of the time, is continually held up as an excuse to hold or steal real social privileges. Again, as mentioned in the video... My problem is that disinterested persons and different, often less bullying persons are supposed to take the social policy demands on faith. In fact, the political system lends some ear to these actions (and thus allow their clearly discriminatory agendas) simply because they create a ruckus. This is simple dirty politics and it therefore gives spirituality a la the Christian Right a bad name. Shouting in the street is one thing, but this is shouting about "my way or the highway." It's not any sort of practical argument.
It's not just the historical distortions of a book. It's the book as a front for distortions of current reality that go unexamined because to ask more seriously debatable philosophical and practical policy questions is framed as an "attack on people's faith." It would be nice to drop the faith -- and "faith versus orientation." Instead of assuming one or the other type of household or relationship is always automatically good, let's talk about various how people from either side actually win and lose through their particular relationship models here on Earth. About what kind of society each platform might build, and where that might go. This is what's really at stake when we shout sexual freedom or oh, that's going to Hell.