Define the God you believe in, and tell me why you believe.
For any debate or discussion between Atheist and Christian, this is a good idea. It assures that both parties are talking about the same thing.
At no other time is it a good idea to just let each person define their deity. If God exists, He/She/It/They are far too vast and varied for a mere human mind to comprehend. This is why Christians are often disappointed when Atheists fail to believe, because the claims are impossible, or internally contradictory. There just does not seem to be any way to present a coherent definition of “GOD.”
The first claim that many Christians make about their definition of God, is that (it’s almost always a) He is the Creator of all things. Even if there were some evidence that was true, it still doesn’t make the Creator, a “God”. Even if some entity caused it, it may have been accidental, and unintentional – or it may have been intentional, but irrelevant, like a young boy with an ant farm.
No way does the mere claim of a Creator, turn it into a God. A God wants something – both for us and from us. He would want to give us life, and a universe to exist in. He wants worship, obedience, belief and faith. He wants to give us morals, and rules to live by. A Creator wants and needs none of that.
In my opinion, Deism is the most useless, contradictory belief position. A Deist believes in a Creator, but does not believe in a personal God. A Deist believes in “The Watchmaker God,” an entity of some sort which produced our Universe, wound it up like a watch, with all its physical rules, and then just sits back and watches it – like the lad above, with the ant-farm, an uninvolved observer of His creation, whether unwilling or unable to affect us or our situations.
An invisible God is indistinguishable from a non-existent God. A ”Creator” which performs no miracles, who answers no prayers, who gives nothing to us, and asks nothing of us, quickly becomes indistinguishable from that non-existent God. Most Deists don’t believe in Heaven or Hell, salvation, or any sort of life after death. I’ve got a pet rock from the ’80s that can do that much. Any Theist who wants non-believers to accept claims of his particular pet Deity, had better be ready to offer more than a ‘Creator.’ He’ll need evidence of some sort, of supernatural involvement in the natural world.
I don’t know even how the supernatural could be viewed, recorded or measured, ‘naturally.’ Christians often ask Atheists what sort of evidence would convince them of the existence of a God. The short answer?? Empirical! The conversation will not even begin until they can present a verifiable, repeatable occurrence that can not be shown to have a natural explanation.