This is precisely what I mean by bullshit philosophical hair-splitting. Since they have not shown themselves, we have no idea whether or not invisible elves exist who are really running around pushing things towards the ground. Since they have not shown themselves, we have no idea whether or not unicorns, trolls, fairies, witches or wizards exist. Indeed, since we don't know anything with certainty, the_world_in_my_eyes would, to be consistent, have to argue that we have no idea about anything.
This kind of radical philosophical skepticism is fine for college sophomores and second-rate professors of comparative literature at third-rate state colleges, but serious people with work to do have no time or patience for such bullshit. We are not certain, but a lack of certainty is a very long way off from "no idea".
And what does this bullshit hair-splitting have to do with religion? There are millions of people who believe God does "show himself", that He hates faggots, commies, atheists, LIEberals, EVILutionists, scientists, abortionists, sluts, heretics, iconoclasts, niggers, kikes, spics... indeed anyone who doesn't look exactly the same and believe exactly the same set of ludicrous superstitions that one's
What kind of ridiculous god doesn't do anything? What kind of scaredey-cat god hides behind my couch? Trying to associate such a bullshit idea to the kind of religion we see every day is as contemptible as trying to defend rape by pointing out that masturbation never hurt anyone.
We don't need a god that wants everyone to be happy; we already know that everyone wants to be happy. We don't need a god to be kind and helpful to other people; we've spent the last 100,000 years evolving our brain, and the last 10,000 years evolving our social ideas, to be kind and helpful to others: everyone wins when we're nice to each other, and everyone loses when we're mean to each other. We don't need God to show us what's right before our eyes. A god who gives nothing, tells nothing, shows nothing, does nothing that we can't do for ourselves is no god at all.
The question is simple: The idea is that a God exists, not some bullshit peekaboo god but a real God, a God with some fucking stones, a God who makes demands on human morality, demands that cannot be justified according to rational, scientific thought, mutual benefit and evolved and socialized human empathy. Do you believe that or not? Maybe it's true. And maybe we really should shoot abortion doctors. Maybe we really should crucify heretics. Maybe slavery really is justified. Maybe we really should keep women in reproductive slavery. Maybe we really should "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
Are you really in doubt? Seriously? Honestly? Fine. Call yourself an agnostic.
(By the way, do you think that if such a God exists, He would be satisfied with your agnostic "me dunno" fence-sitting? Dream on. You're either with Him 100% or you're against Him; there's no middle ground.)
When hundreds of millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and no small few Jews, stop oppressing and murdering women, stop murdering gay people, stop denying gay people ordinary civil rights, stop reproductive slavery, stop supporting imperialist wars of aggression, stop electing monsters like George W. Bush... when hundreds of millions of religious people stop acting like complete fucking assholes, then I'll start to consider "respecting" the deists, the "moderate" Christians, the religious humanists.
But until then, the moderates who demand "respect" for religion — who demand "respect" for what is nothing but the irrational and moronically stupid justification for not all but an enormous part of the evil and suffering of the world — will receive nothing but my contempt. You can take your "respect" and shove it up your ass, sideways.