As Amy-Jill Levine and Douglas Knight point out in a recent article on Huffington Post, and I quote: Such debates over the existence of God are not only tedious, they are also pointless.
Amen. That has been my position for some time. Actually, ever since Nietzsche very helpfully pointed it out to me in Morgenröte, erstes Buch, 95. Among other reasons, because the "familiar claims," of which Levine and Knight list a few in their first paragraph --
"humanity could not control nature, did not understand conception or birth, and feared death, and so we invented a God that brought order to chaos, purpose to life and comfort in death. Next, we developed religion to placate the God we invented to assuage our fears of what we could not understand or control. Then, we wrote the Bible to sanction the religion that placated the God that we invented. Next came clergy, to interpret the Bible"
-- are indeed so familiar, and so eminently sensible and convincing and proven in such ever-greater detail, their truth so obvious, that anyone not already convinced by them has already proven him- or herself to be resistant to argument. One would just get all dirty and the pig would have all the fun, if one failed to respect oneself sufficiently in such a case. I do indeed so fail from time to time, but for the most part I'm really talking to the other atheists and, among other things, trying to persuade them not to get all muddy in a futile effort. Not that there's nothing to discuss with believers. Often they know their medieval and ancient history and prehistory a tad better than those who are going from calling the OT bronze-age to calling it neolithic or older, or denying that it has any originality at all, or pointing out triumphantly that a Harry Potter novel mentioning London doesn't make it nonfictional, or another of their many very tired memes.
Levine and Knight:
"Rather than repeat either the tired positivistic arguments for atheism or the equally tired apologetic pronouncements that study is dangerous to faith"
-- instead let's repeat this no less tired assertion that there is some sort of equivalency between atheism and the most simplistic apologetics. In short, between everyone who disagrees with us moderate types.