I think these answers reveal why Christians are sometimes skeptical of atheists. While I know everyone was being sincere, and I appreciate that, what I heard was: "No - I've already decided that a 'good god' isn't possible and so whatever you propose to me, I'm not going to accept it. And besides, I really don't care anyway."
I don't think a "good" god is plausible when considering the living conditions of many people in this world, whether or not it is possible. I think if there is a god, or basically a "first cause", he/she/it is indifferent to the plight of humanity. I don't think God was ever really thought of as "good" until somewhat recently. God was to be feared, as a scared abuse victim is of his/her abuser. Abusers aren't good, but people who are under their control will sometimes become convinced they are and that whatever evil thing is done to them, they believe they deserve. This is exactly how the bible god (OT) is portrayed, with the occasional exception of his "chosen race", or at least that's what they wanted to believe.
Now, I've got to be real honest, there are a whole lot of very close-minded Christians. But I don't see how this kind of attitude is much different. Am I misrepresenting y'all, or is this true?
I'm not closed minded if there is some evidence to support believing in a certain deity, but unless he/she/it reveals to me personallly the same thing it reveals to all others, then I have no reason to believe.
For instance, I could just as easily believe that an invisible flying pixie zips around sprinkling fairy dust all over the earth, which I see on my furniture as evidence of her existence. And if, when I am dusting, I silently pray to this "fairygoddess", and some of what I pray for comes to pass, well of course I would praise the almighty T.B.! Even though many of my requests may seem
to go unanswered, I'm certain she hears and is just answering with a "no" or "not right now", for my own good of course. And if I have a dream that she spoke to me and told me that everyone
has to also believe in her or spend eternity in Neverland, where crocodiles will forever torment them, then I should reasonably expect everyone to believe, right? Especially if I am very persuasive.
Well, say several people who are deathly afraid of crocodiles decide they aren't going to take a chance, so they convince themselves to believe. Then they teach their children, who teach their childrens children, etc., and pretty soon, many people are believers. And for those who don't see a logical reason to believe, since they don't agree that dust is caused by the pixiegoddess, but rather that it's a natural, scientifically understood occurance from our atmostphere, then we should make them feel guilty and worthy of eternal torment for not buying into my personal dream revelation, right?
Now of course, if T.B. revealed herself to everyone in the world personally, there would be no doubt as to the truth of where dust actually came from. Then doubters would be able to understand that she only made dust appear
to have a natural scientific explanation. but in reality, she is the one sprinkling it because she is a supernatural being.
Well, I must go dust my furniture now...Praise T.B.!