Why must our position be negative? I ran across a website called The Church of Reality It says we can have a positive position by believing in something (reality) rather than nothing. Something is better than nothing and it increases the value of our stance. I thought this was a better position to be in when making my claim on religion.
That's true, but I think there is another factor involved and that is the degree of genetic predisposition that one inherits. To determine if a trait is learned or innate the strongest evidence is if the trait is exhibited by members of the species in wildly divergent environments that are separated for 100's of generations. Religion of some sort or a strong mythic tradition is found in all cultural groups. Many of the groups separated by as much as 70,000 years (over 4000 generations). I don't believe a cultural meme would survive 4000 generations but a genetic trait will. Written history has existed for only about 300 generations.
I used to be a regular on The Church of Reality site - I should check back in.
Best argument I've ever seen was from a 12-years old.
It was during a summer camp, a Catholic boy was debating his faith with other kids, until one of them (who had remained silent so far) stepped in, said something like "There's more evidence for my Holy Ghost than for yours", turned 180°, bent over, and released a loud and smelly fart.
God is the metaphor for love. Love is a concept. God is a feeling you get. God, the concept does not love you but rather is the love itself. The Devil is a metaphor for hate. Some people just made up some big story about each metaphor. But to define the God I say does not exist is the concept for a supernatural, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God who created everything that we can see.
There are over 4,200 formal 'definitions' - the vast majority of which exclude the validity of the other definitions. This makes it one of the most useless terms in any language.
That being said, the majority of definitions include:
An eternal being that is separate from the universe
This being created the universe
This being has a master plan
This being is all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, infallible, and the embodient of 'good'
It is possible, despite the Master Plan or anyone else's self-interest, to successfully petition this being through personal or community petition (prayer)
This being grants eternal life
The exclusion I referred to earlier has to do with the fact that most definitions (religious dogmas) say that the belief in the 'wrong', highly specific definition of 'god' results in the loss of one's 'soul' at best and eternal torture of that 'soul' at worst.
If you wish to make the term 'god' even more useless by suggesting that there is a definition that an atheist can latch onto - go right ahead. As I say, it is already a totally useless term.