Alright Brad, I mean Norton. You are trying to mix me up with two separate things here:
1) Is someone's belief genuine
2) Does the object of their belief exist
I believe this thread is only about point #1. And the argument is that both your and my faith were genuine, the difference is I quit believing. Trying to imply that a genuine faith presupposes the existence of God and his crew is a Jedi mind trick that won't work on me, young padawan.
You also mentioned a relationship. Did I BELIEVE I had a relationship? Yes. Do you believe you have one? Yes. But how can one have a relationship with something that doesn't exist, you ask? (see, I can spot you coming from a mile away)
The short answer is that you can THINK you have a relationship, and it will look exactly the same TO YOU as if you actually had one. The long answer entails an example:
Say as kids we both believed in the tooth fairy, "felt" her presence at night, saw the "evidence" of teeth magically exchanged for quarters in the morning, etc etc. Does the fact that we now know she doesn't exist mean we weren't real tooth fairy believers? And does the fact that we thought we had a "relationship" with her presuppose her existence? I suppose it does, but only in our minds. And that is where I believe your god resides, as did mine.
Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.
- Heywood Broun