Re: How can we have a dialogue about...
It makes sense that dialogues concerning God, Goddess, or gods, or the absence thereof, would spark controversy and conflict.
These issues strike at the core of who we are and what we deem essential in life. There is no 'neutral' ground, per se, in these conversations. We are already committed in multiple capacities before we even begin the discussion.
And what is this discussion about? As I see it, it is about love, and what it is we love when we say we love God. So, for those who feel the conversation is simply a matter of lining up evidence, arguments, a priori's and other assorted debate tools...I think they miss an essential point. Love is the point, and that is hardly a banal argument to prove or disprove.
It's more like a trust to be upheld or betrayed. It is a risk as well, a task and challenge that demands a response in word and deed...not simply a treatise or argument. In other words, when talking about love, talk is cheap.
I think talking about God should shake you up, agitate you, force you to consider the impossible and question the safety you find in what is possible.
I think discussing God should bring you to what is most pressing, integral, and demanding in your life...eliciting a response to the question "Who do you serve, and why, and what does it cost you to do so...what are you sacrificing to this ideal, axiom, dream, fantasy, delusion, hope, and love?"
There is a wrestling with values here that will painfully expose all traces of denial and avoidance...and a disrupting confrontation with our ego inflations that should bring us to a shuddering humility...if we love ourselves enough to brave the enterprise.
The philosophers and scientists who see Faith in God as simply neurotic superstition stemming from childhood trauma, resentful frustrations, cowardice, sloth, ignorance or lack of imagination...should look carefully in that very same mirror of scales, and see where these judgements lie when they place themselves in the same dock.
As for me, love of God is precious and awesome and it elicits a ravenous wonder and excitement about life...and it shocks me to the core as I ponder the scale and power of such a mystery.