I got it! Just as I signed off a while ago it occured to me what I had experienced here as objections to logical proofs of God’s existence.
The problem goes deeper than logic—it’s that you cannot bear the thought of God ... even as a hypothetical.
It may be that you are referring to my refusal to accept your challenge, the one in which you wanted me to repeat a theist mantra. If you had asked me to consider the words without reciting them, if you had asked me to evaluate the words without the lie of pretending to believe them true, I would not have objected. You twist the words in suggesting that I cannot bear the thought of God even as a hypothetical. There was nothing hypothetical about that mantra or about reciting it. Perhaps you could see that if someone had asked you recite the same mantra, replacing God with Jupiter or Shiva. That’s a mere hypothetical. I would not ask you to mouth words that you do not believe. You also seem to think that I believe your mantra to be false. I do not believe your mantra to be true, which is not the same thing as believing it to be false.
I have given a lot of thought to God traditions, especially to what the various sects of Christianity teach. I grew up with a fair number of Jews and Buddhists, but the majority of people I knew were Christian. Here are some of the results I have achieved in assuming that your God exists. I find Christians describing
a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones;
who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one;
who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short;
who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it;
who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body;
who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell;
who mouths morals to other people and has none himself;
who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all;
who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself;
and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!...
Now I know that you think sects of Christianity other than your own are corrupt, teaching error. They think the same of you. You think they have misled me. They think that you would mislead me if you could. Having escaped or recovered, I stand outside Christianity. From here, I look at its multiplicity of contradictory creeds. Logic forces me to the conclusion that, in theory one of the creeds might be true, but it cannot be that two of them are true are since they contradict each other. Then I look at what leads people to accept one or another of the creeds. It is wishful thinking, mere sentimentality, mental inertial, and over-wrought respect for ecclesiastic authority and scripture pertaining to alleged divine revelation. Members of the various sects all use these same methods but reach contradictory and irreconcilable beliefs. That tells me that the methods themselves are unreliable. There is no adequate reason to think even one of the sects is correct in its creed.