So, my belief is, without the analogy, that the only time the two subjects in the second argument can know if God exists or not is at the time of death, that is when the hand touches the skin of an elephant, rhino or the animal that never was.
Yet, that is demonstratively false or at best inconsistent with what we know to be true and asserts that what many would wish yet do not know is actually knowable.
Specifically, and as a reminder;
1. The time of death is variable. When one person was considered dead even a few years ago is no longer true and some have been revived. We even have terms for types of death now so that they can be distinguished from one another.
2. At the time of death by massive blood loss, we know that the brain is one of the last organs to loose oxygen. As that oxygen is depleted, specific parts of the brain are starved first before others. The "tunnel of light" effect that people report in near death experiences is caused by this selective blood loss.
3. If there is or was an afterlife, then it could only be experienced when the person is dead. At that point, if the person were brought back to life, where would the experience of the afterlife be stored? For that matter, what 'experienced' the after life if the body was not involved? (If you say the soul, then why did the ancients refer to the breath and the soul as one in the same?)
4. The soul? A myth (said with respect) that adds complexity to the issue and no insight. With it being introduced we now have to deal with the religious concept of an immaterial vapor ... something that is asserted as fact by many, has not been verified by anyone who is not predisposed. (The soul and the breath were considered to be one and the same by many of our ancestors. With that they were not too far from the truth.)
5. Nobody who is completely dead is ever brought back to life so they (soul in tow) can't say anything about what happened even if there was an afterlife. We have no facts, only assertions, and those assertions are very detailed and differ from society to society, from religion to religion, from sect to sect, and often from person to person.
Because in general we know these things are true, I can't agree or even assess the topics covered in much of the rest of your comment. I don't think anyone can unless we have honest neutral and verifiable facts to go on. Anything else is wishful speculation or at best a presumption.
Hermes, I agree with you, no need to rule anyone out of the thread for sake of a lackluster discussion. I am having fun, so let them all say their peace.
FWIW: The word seeker kinda misses the point. Some folks are. Most are not. Personally, while I am compelled to learn and will change my opinion, I'm not annoyed and dissatisfied with what I do know.
As an example, with news of a potential body of Bigfoot reported in the news a few days back, I did not dismiss it entirely. I did think that it being a hoax was a likely certainty. When the facts came in, all that was left was a bare assertion that they had Bigfoot's body in a freezer box and a bunch of reasons why people can't investigate the claim itself.
When religious people proclaim miracles or supernaturalism as true, I will give them some time to offer proof but as soon as they refuse to put the claims they make to a review I'm done with them. Why take seriously something that is extraordinary just because they say so?