Yes, I disagree. While it may be strangely possible for people to get a sunburn without the sun (I'm guessing something else is going on but I'm no authority so I'll not argue the possibility), I don't quite see how you can refer to the sun as imaginary or your god as real Well I'm trying my best here. You give me a definition for the sun. I give you the same definition using the same term you used to define the Sun but replacing the sun for God. And you keep telling me that the sun exist and God doesn't. What is the difference?
Were I a bad guy (and I most certainly am not, but I've seen 'em in movies), I could strip you to your underwear, stake you to the desert floor in Arizona in August, and watch you cook away until you were dead. It would probably take a couple of days, but I could arrange it for you not to survive, using only the sun as my weapon.
There is nothing you could do to me that would cause your god to have any effect, other than arrange for me to be stoned to death. And that would be people doing it, not a natural phenomenon.
Reality hurts more than a god. That's how I know.
Sunburn (the physical result used to define the reality of the sun) can be real (people were under the sun) or imaginary (people were not exposed to the sun).
The changes God made in my life (and others) are real. Hence God is real. (according to your definition of what is real)
No, you're allowed to say what you think is real, but you're not allowed to redefine what I think is real. There is a huge difference between the sun or any other physical reality and your god. I know you want to compare the two directly, but you have to cheat a lot to do that.
You and I would burn under the sun but you may burn before I do it does not make the sun less real.
You and I will see the change in our life made by God. I may feel the change before you do but it doesn't make God less real.
What is the difference?
A bit over half a century ago I became an atheist. I didn't even know that there was a word for it, but I became one anyway. I saw no change in my life when I stopped thinking that there was a god. Why is that. If he is real and I was a kid who accepted that there was a god because adults told me there was, and I felt nothing, why should I think that you are describing your experience accurately?
If your god wanted me, he had his chance. He could have given me the same sort of feeling you say you experience. I didn't notice anything. Others have told me that they knew there was a god when they were young. Why didn't I notice him if he is real? Did I get special non-treatment?
Every time you say "we" like in "we have ways of measuring", "we are sure are accurate", "we've got that pretty much down pat." You are talking about something someone (or Google) told you was true and that someone were proof enough.
Am I not proof enough? What about the others who agree with me?
I understand that you might want to conduct your own experiment to make sure that that "someone" did indeed told you the truth. Some experiments, you might never be able to reproduce (like picking up an atom of the sun to make sure it's indeed hydrogen) some you might be able to reproduce (going outside and getting a sunburn).
You can conduct experiments to make sure that what I told you was true.
No, sorry to say, you are not proof enough. The collective "we" I use refers to the people who have gone to the trouble of searching and discovering and writing things down and concluding through trial and error what is real and what is not. They have found and disseminated accumulative knowledge that is useful on the big and small scale. And what they told me matches what I call reality. That gives them a huge advantage over religion, with its fantastic tales. Tales too fantastic to be believable (over half a million people lost in a desert for 40 years), too fantastic to be useful (if you want stripped goats, mate the parents in front of striped sticks), and also, too mundane to be useful (A begat B, and B begat C. and C begat D. and that's important stuff, but notice how careful god was not to mention germ theory.)
So while I don't need direct proof when claims are made, so long as they are consistent with my reality and not immediately dismissed by Snopes.com, the complete and total lack of physical proof of any god or gods has left an impression on me. When I used to step on my kids lego in the middle of the night, I didn't once think that the feeling that gave me was god telling me I should turn on the lights. When building houses and hitting my thumb with a hammer, it never occurred to me that I was feeling the lord coming down on me hard. I've stood atop high mountains and looked around at all the beauty below without ever stopping to give credit to your god, who you probably claim is the guy who made those mountains so darned steep.
Anyway, I have no idea what you're feeling, and if I don't know that, how can you expect me to automatically consider your claim to be as valid as the one that says if I drive over the speed limit, I might get a ticket. Because that one I've done, and I accept it as accurate. And since the claims that I've verified (like "don't volunteer for anything when you're in the military") are consistent with other claims that I haven't bothered verifying (Robbing banks will get you tossed in jail).
Reality affects me directly. Yes, I understand that the human mind and its sensory capabilities are limited, and distorting, and far from perfect, but I've used them to guide my hands and feet while climbing thousand foot cliffs and driving a car with my little son in it for thousands of miles without incident. Which means we humans can make allowances for our biological shortcomings, and many of us manage to survive on this planet despite its many dangers. And that works whether we believe in a god or not.
Your "feelings" mean nothing to me. That doesn't mean that I don't care about your emotional state. What it does mean is that you are not defining or describing those feelings with any effectiveness whatsoever. In fact, you are redefining how general the term "generic" can be with your feeble efforts. And in fact I doubt that you could describe them accurately to anyone, believer or not, because we humans are seldom able to do that, unless we are competent poets. And even then, they have to use allegory and simile and dozens of other word tricks to get their point across, no matter how skilled they are.
I don't have to point to my sunburned arm and say "Oh, forsooth, it doeseth look as if sandpaper covered mice have been running around on my mighty forearms!" I just say "Ouch, I got sunburned" and most everyone knows exactly what I mean. You don't have any way of getting the details of your feelings across. That ain't my fault. If it was such a big deal, your christian forefathers should have come up with words and processes to make that as easy as saying ouch. Why didn't they? Because they didn't know how to describe their feelings either. Ethereal stuff is like that. Whether it is true or not.
Now you just claimed that there are experiments that can be done to confirm that what you are saying is true. You need to cough a few of those up. Give us specifics. Let us do whatever we have to do to get those feelings. If you can do it with any effectiveness, I'll probably be too busy gasping in disbelief to follow up on it, but perhaps others around here will be more able to control their reactions and try recreating the experiments you are about to suggest. We're all ears. Though you're right, I can't prove that.
he [God] doesn't know how to create a world where people such as myself can believe
Is it because he knows that he must do it? Did you ever ask yourself why God gave you your freedom? He could have not give it to you and force you to believe in him but he chose to let you have the choice to believe in him, or not. Why?
God didn't give me freedom. His non-existence is somewhat limiting. But you used the word "must". You are telling me that your omnipotent god "must" do something. Why is that? And why would your god play with our feelings they way he does if he is real? Why has he allowed me to live in relative peace throughout my life while chrisitans I've known have dropped like flies. Cancer, murder, car wrecks, stillborn babies, physical abuse, squished by falling boulders; why has he been offing them by the dozens during my lifetime, but not bothering to harm a hair on my head (well, what's left of the hair on my head?) If I became a christian, would I immediately die in an earthquake or otherwise start having bad days? So not only are you in trouble trying to describe your feelings, but you'd have a heck of a time explaining what the advantages would be even if I had feeling to respond to.
How the heck are we going to agree on anything other than the fact that we disagree? You can't actually ask me to conjure up similar feelings or similar emptiness if you can't describe it with any accuracy. On the other hand, I can describe the sun.
Oh yes I can, like many others did before you and many others will do after you. You cannot describe the sun without asking me to "conjure up similar feelings or similar emptiness". In the same way that 2 trees drawn by 2 people, one on each side of the black board, will never look the same. We all have different ways God changed our lives. But we all agree that it was Him who did it.
Were I the aforementioned bad guy, I wouldn't have to ask you to conjure up anything. By staking you to the desert floor, you would get my point with painful precision. The words we use to describe reality aren't necessary. Reality is there whether we define it or not. I contend that your god is not there, no matter how well you define him. And thus far, nobody has done so to my satisfaction.
If I were going to make up a religion, I would have to have an invisible god or gods, because they wouldn't be real. And I would have to come up with a variety of excuses to explain why my god couldn't be seen. And I would have to say I can feel or hear or otherwise connect with him because I'm special, and I would have to spend my time trying to convince others to start feeling him.
And were I adequately incentivized, I could do it.
Why does your god, supposedly real, have to use the same processes as fake gods? Why does your god have to hide? Now I know you have a a series of pat answers for this, and I don't really need to hear them. But I'm not asking for my sake. I'm asking for yours.