Carnival of the Godless #32 is available for reading. Once you’ve read through all that, there’s also a somewhat interesting theistic point of view to consider. The author quotes Pascal:
Let the skeptics first learn what religion is before attacking it. If religion boasted that it offered a clear vision of God, and if it asserted that there was ample evidence of his existence, then the skeptic could simply argue that the evidence is not conclusive. But religion says the opposite. It recognizes that people are in darkness, remote from God, that God is hidden from their understanding. Yet it proclaims that God has given signs for those who truly seek him with their hearts. Thus the skeptics could only successfully attack Christianity if they themselves had sincerely sought God, and failed to find any signs.
He takes the claim that God is remote and difficult to know in a curious direction…as an indictment of the so-called ‘spiritual’ leaders who offer simplistic recipes derived from their religious absolutism.
For the fact is, most of those who set themselves up as religious or spiritual authorities in that country [the US], especially in the Christian religion, are just quacks. Fundamentalists are to real spiritual leaders as creationists are to real scientists—in fact, that’s why fundamentalists and creationists overlap so profoundly. They’re a big happy coterie of quackery.
I agree (no one is surprised, I’m sure). But I don’t think the author goes far enough. If gods are murky and nearly unknowable, with no clear evidence for them, why believe in them at all? We shouldn’t trust the charlatans who define Christian behavior so sharply, but why then should we trust any assertion about the nature of any gods, including the claim that there is no “clear vision” of them? Throw out the whole business of god-belief, I say.
As for that concluding bit that says that skeptics who claim to have sought gods and failed to find them had not sought them “sincerely”, well, that’s simply the old No True Scotsman fallacy. Why is it that everything I’ve read of Pascal’s theology suggests that it was painfully simple-minded (I could bring up Pascal’s Wager, the worst argument for gods ever, but I’ll spare you)? The CotG is much more satisfying.