For me, it is the certainty that people have about religious convictions that annoys. This is like thinking you have a firm foundation on shifting sands. It is an illusion. God is necessarily a human concept, one created, along with many other ideas, to explain the underlying reason of everything: why we die, the earth goes round the sun, earthquakes kill thousands. The human intellect is wasted on who god is. For if such a being exists it is beyond our experience of him, and as our language is based on our experience we end up having a meaningless discussion, about something we do not know.
How I live my life, how the natural world exists at this present moment, is not dependent on this question. It is part of our childhood at the dawn of Homo sapiens. Perhaps we will soon start asking questions worthy of us having obtained consciousness.
Often on a journey, to make any headway, we need to discard unnecessary baggage. Let’s leave the discussion of god to Vroomfondle and Magicthighs (philosophers in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), for there are more pressing things to occupy our time. In short, the theist atheist debate is non-sensei cal and its conclusions unimportant to real problems of philosophy, the natural world and ethics.
Too many resources have been wasted before blood thirsty gods, and even a world renowned biologist is being forced to try and put faith back in its place instead of concentrating on the natural world. I agree with Sam Harris that it is depressing that in some ways we need to still discuss whether there is or is not a god – my point is that it is not the question to be asking! The debate should not be about whether God exists or not. You and I cannot talk about anything beyond experience. God as a concept is definitely outside of our experience, like the sound of one hand clapping or meeting a man that was not there. We have better explanations for life the universe and everything, the god of the gaps argument is narrowed.
Wittgenstein said: ‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent.’
With creationists the biggest refute is not the irrationality of their religious beliefs, but that their faith tells us nothing about the natural world. That only empirical adequacy as demanded by science is the way to explain natural phenomena. That “We don’t know yet but we are working at it” is an acceptable statement of now and potential for the future.If you really believe that Bush invaded Iraq because god told him too than you are as gullible as a young earth creationist. There is more to the machinations of man than can be contemplated in your philosophy. We must separate the (meaningless) debate of there is/is not a God from the important point of whether our belief, philosophy, and actions benefit humankind or not. That is the task of the philosopher; to understand how this framework to achieving this goal may be achieved.
Vroomfondle and Magicthighs are a side show to the main event. Do not become distracted; religion is irrational not because of the god concept, but the tenant of faith that is placed in man because man said this in the past.