Quite frankly, I’ve come to the point where I can no longer take the purported “debate” between “atheists” and “theists” seriously.
My primary reason is: the notion of “theism” is essentially a particularly shitty caricature used by self-proclaimed “Atheists”, without ever explicitly being defined.
For example: Abrahamic” monotheism (Judaism/Christianity/Islam etc.) typically defines “God’ as “Omnipotent”, “Omniscient” and (at least in some variants) omnibenevolent.
Now, here’s the thing: The “God” put forward by such “Mono”-theists has absolutely NOTHING meaningful in common with the way “Gods” are typically conceptualized among “Poly”-theists.
Just for starters, NONE of the “gods” mentioned by the various polytheistic religions qualify as “omnipotent”. Some are “less powerful” than others. More to the point, they can — and often do — thwart one another’s plans.
A great example of this is the Greco-Roman “Gods”. They are basically a “more powerful” version of humans. Another great example of this is: the Norse pantheon.
Neither Loki nor Odin are “omnipotent”, in the sense that Odin has to resort to imprisoning Loki, rather than merely “wishing” him out of existence.
Which is of course not to even bring up the whole “Ragnarok”/rivalry with the “Frost Giants”, etc.
You get the idea: the “gods” of polytheism are also unaffected by the “Epicurean Paradox” with regard to the “Problem of Evil”:
However, by the same token, the mere fact that they ARE conceptualized as being “Semi-“potent, “Semi-“knowledgeable etc. begs the question as to why exactly anyone would bother “worshipping” them?
The tacit assumption among Abrahamic monotheists (and ESPECIALLY Christians) is the “carrot and stick’: the “threat” of eternal hellfire, unless the “believer” resorts to accepting Jesus’ “get out of hell free” card.
(Which admittedly, is actually amazingly shitty motive, if you think about it):
The Heaven/Hell “gimmick” tends to reduce “morality” to some variant of “if you do what we claim that Yahweh ‘says’, then you get a cookie! Of course, you cannot have any evidence whatsoever to back up this claim — except after you’re dead.”
That strikes me as amazingly “scammy” reason — both on the part of the clergy, and on the part of the “believer”.