I have been debating with myself one specific point which essentially stems from the fallacy that a lack of evidence is not an evidence of lack. (Note that this a purely a thought experiment, not a claim, and that, on balance, the whole set of arguments against theism outweigh one possible philosophical issue which only relates to intellectual decency.)
Essentially, the fact that there is a lack of evidence to support theistic views does not mean that it's evidence of a lack of God. Imagine God to be something similar to our 21st century minds and technology like the continent of America was to 15th century Europe.
(Side note: To avoid potential nitpicking about this specific premise, I know that America was discovered and rediscovered, but the "official" discovery was an accident as the goal of the expedition was to find India. That some in the 15th century Europe might even have been aware that America existed is a bit irrelevant as society as a whole certainly did not believe it was there, and it's the mindset of those who did not believe which is interesting.)
Now, try to enter this mindset and think that God is in a similar situation. Just like the 15th century mindset and technology could not comprehend the continent of America, the mindsets and technology today is not capable of providing the evidence required to detect or understand a divinity.
Therefore, a God may exist (but it doesn't matter).
Edit: The title was erroneous in it's use of the word "for". This is not an argument for theisim, it's an argument not against theism. Thanks to Kasu for this insight.
Did the theist poster delete his posts and leave? I think you guys scared him off.
Either that or I have somehow managed to tune out theist arguments so well that I have started to not see their posts at all...
Perhaps we were..... maybe it was god. hahaha
He came. Revealed the "truth" to all us heathens then vanished and left no trace of himself.
Given all possibilities, that is obviously the most logical one to jump to.
You know, even some sort of conscious cause for the universe does not constitute a god. At least when I believed I had faith there was a real, caring, powerful god who heard my prayers and protected me. He was a mighty creator who wasn't just everywhere but the very concept of where in conscious form. He was the ultimate judge who wasn't just all knowing but the very concept of intellect in loving form. He was the foundation of morality who wasn't just all powerful but the very source of warmth that glowed.
The problem is that the above contradicts itself in at least a dozen different ways. We know for an absolute fact that there is no god. Now if you have come here to offer some watered down version designed to keep the rational mind from gagging then please get explicit and call it a conscious prime mover theory or some such thing - but leave 'god' out of it because that concept is self-refuting.
This is why many atheists such as myself identify as Agnostic-Atheist. Because you can't prove nonexistence.
Burden of Proof. Anyone making a claim something exists has the burden of providing evidence for its existence. Technically, this means if you lack a claim then you do not have a burden to prove nonexistence. It is impossible to prove something does not exist.
Example: Russell's Teapot.
I found a relevant video that should explain to you further. It contains many answers to the questions you bring up in your post. Very excellent video.
"I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden."
-Richard Dawkins, The God Deulsion
Unless something can be categorically ruled out (which is only a hypothetical state), it is not impossible. I did warn that it was a philosophical gedanken experiment. :)
And thanks everyone for building my arsenal of arguments.
Only if atheism would be considered "lack of knowledge" (as the example of the 15th century folks was attempting to illustrate), otherwise it is irrelevant to the argument. It was an argument for a deity being a theoretical possibility, not an argument that it is an actual fact, nor that it would demand the worship of the creation.
It's the similar case with aliens having visited earth. We can't categorically deny the possibility, though the probability is virtually non existent. And they probably wouldn't care about attire, worship, sexual preferences, or take attendance. :)
I recommend "God- The Failed Hypothesis" by Victor Stenger - this book addresses this issue.
Also see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/the-evidence-against-g... for an article by Victor Stenger about this issue.
"Lastly, an anecdote from Roar Lauritzsen about Absence of Evidence:
"Suppose you are a programmer, and you are looking for bugs in a program. At first you cannot sleep at night because you are convinced that there must be a bug somewhere, you just haven't found it yet. To find the bug, you test the program to see if you find something that doesn't work as you expected. If you found something, it would be evidence that there was a bug. If you test the program a lot, and still find no evidence of a bug, this increases your confidence that there is no bug. In other words, it counts as evidence for the absence of a bug, and you are finally able to sleep better.
After a while, your program is thoroughly tested, and you still find no evidence for a bug. You begin to suspect that there might not be a bug after all. However, if there is no bug, you will have no purpose as a programmer. You feel as if your life depends on the existence of a bug. You are now looking for the Bug that will save you. You believe that there must be a Bug, so you test your program even more thoroughly. When you still cannot find any evidence for a Bug, you start to rationalize: Although I cannot find any Bug, that does not prove that there is no Bug. You are now a true believer in the Bug." "
Arguments such as mine are generally only useful for thought experiments. In the real world, where decisions need to be made: Lack of evidence is evidence of lack, correlation is causation, arguments from (informed) authority and majority are usually correct, etc.
Excellent page you linked there too.
You're welcome- his books are pretty good too.