So I guess this might be the final post on the subject, which might be for the betterment of the sanity of believers and non-believers on this board. I'll use my usual quote heavy response.
The main reason why people like me continue to believe in God is this;
We are ALIVE and LIVE in this universe that current science says "had a beginning", if it began "something" caused it to begin. Because science says there must be a "cause" if there is a beginning. I know we are going in circles on this, but this is a main point for believers, what was this "cause?". Science readily admits, it does not know.
You may argue that energy was always here, but that still does not explain what set this energy in motion (expansion of the universe),which is "cause and effect" Nor, what harnessed this energy for use in bringing forth the abundance of different types of living forms that now exist on our earth. The chances of this happening on its own are astronomical, and science agrees "life cannot come from nothing" (or nonliving matter). This "evidence" points to some type of cause and "intelligence" really behind all living things.
I don't argue that energy was always here, I site a law of science which I'm sure I could produce the studies if necessary that prove this is law. My argument is and has been God doesn't have to be the cause of anything, it could be a plethora of other reasons none of which involve a super intelligent being that decided to create us. I also need to point out, you are using scientific principles to prove the universe needed a creator but then throwing them out when the same is applied to God. Then when I use a scientific principle to show that things can always exist you apply that to God. If the universe needs a cause to be in existence because it is an existing thing which has a complexity to it then God needs a cause to be in existence because he/she/it is an existing thing which has complexity to he/she/it. The scientific principle either applies all the time in your argument or not at all. You can't have it both ways. If energy was re-arranged to make the universe then energy had to be re-arranged to make God. There's no getting around this, if the universe needs a creator due to these scientific principles then God needs one too. You stated here "the chances are astronomical" but there is a chance. And regarding Abiogenesis (life coming from non-life) science doesn't agree that life cannot come from non-life, I site Stanley Miller's expiriments which show that organic compounds can be generated from non-organic compounds.
And when you look at living things and how they are made, you cannot wonder about the intelligence in their design. If even a simple structure (say a house) must have a designer, how can a more complicated "thing" such as a human body not have one?
Some say this intelligence is in Nature, not God but then again, nature acts too within "laws of nature". Someone had to create laws for humans, so "who" or "what" created laws of nature? Since we need "intelligence" behind our laws, and we see intelligence behind natural laws, how can we think they came about on their own?
I can believe they came about on their own easily, there's no proof of a creator creating it. The thing with your example about a house needing a designer is all well and good, but I can call the designer, I can look up who made the house, I can look in the official records, I can talk to people who were there, I can look up the original building permits. Many things come about spontaneously. If you want me to concede that because nature has "intelligence" in it's design and attribute that to God then I can also attribute the facts that we have twice as many nerve endings to feel pain as opposed to pleasure, nature is full of examples of kill-or-be-killed, nature is red in tooth and claw, everything is designed to simply survive and if their surviving is based upon the need to prey upon other animals they are (excuse the wording) perfectly designed to kill. There is nothing loving about nature if you look at it from the bottom of the food chain, or even if you look at it from our perspective. What's so "intelligent" about a shark attack, a bear attack, or a lion attack? And please don't use the Bible's account of the Garden of Eden because this is external for reasons I have listed in various previous posts. There is no proof that bears, sharks or lions were ever herbavores, or any proof that every animal at one time were herbavores. If God created it then he sure enjoys creating things that were specifically designed to kill the other things he created.
The biggest proof of God is everything around you; Paul used a similiar point to the men in Athens;
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
So forgetting the Bible for a minute, the ultimate proof of God you are seeking is in his creation. But since you do not accept "creation", God cannot nor will ever be proven to you. So we will just go back and forth on the same few points. However, Please think about this one thing, if you will and I will happily admit my defeat that I could not "prove" God to you.
I will forget the bible as long as you stop bringing it into the conversation.
This intelligence, or "cause", behind all living things and the universe, you are right to say May not have been God of the Bible. Although believers firmly disagree, you are entitled to your view also. But since science has never been able to fully rule out God, how can you and your fellow athiests, rule him out completely?
I rule him out because there is no proof for him. Just because there is no proven answer doesn't mean that you can insert anything into it. I can't fully rule out God, just like I can't fully rule out the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Allah, or Zeus, or Odin, or The Great Spirit. I'll gladly concede the point that I cannot fully rule out God if you also concede you can't fully rule out the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Allah, Zeus, Odin, The Great Spirit, Hera, Hercules, The Smurfs, Green Cheese. If you're saying you don't know the answer, then you don't know it, you can't rule out any of those. I know for a believer it seems crass to suggest that any of those crazy creator possibilities, but in the end you're basically asking me to do the same. Because I cannot site a specific proof ruling out God I have to accept that it could be. The same turns around, you cannot site a specific proof ruling out any of those suggestions (externally of the bible of course) so you would have to admit you cannot rule them out completely.
I guess its because not accepting God is a belief, that is as firm as the belief I have in accepting him? Anyway, since both sides are firm in their own belief system, the is there a God/ is there not a God is just an intellectual exercise. Since both sides are based on "faith" that what we believe is true, niether can provide any absolute evidence to convince the other.
Once again I don't see how mine is a "faith", I don't fill in answers I don't know with a supreme diety. I say I don't know the answer, you don't know what the first number is and neither do I, we can both say we don't know the answer without making up a number that is the first. I don't have "faith" there is no creator, I simply say the proofs there (the bible, the environment, personal expiriences) are not enough for me to conclusively say there is a God. All examples are subjective in a way, as I think I proved in our various perspectives, you see a miracle and I see a coincidence (unless it's something spectacular like restoring lost limbs through prayer, moving mountains, parting the ocean, etc.), where you see a beautiful environment designed perfectly I see an environment full of killing, keen at every opportunity to inflict pain, and where you see a perfect holy book full of all the answers in the universe I see an inconsistent mish-mash of myth and folklore full of rape, animal mutilation and mass genocide. To each there own. You might have faith in God, I don't have faith in anything, prove it to me conclusively and I'll believe it, otherwise I won't. I don't have a firm belief there isn't a God, as soon as some undeniable evidence is provided I'll gladly believe in God, it would be nice to know I hadn't wasted the majority of my life talking to the wall.