I came across a most excellent article at Science and Religion Today that is the best explanation I know of about why atheists and theists arguments will never convince the other side of its perceived truths. In a nutshell here’s the money quote:
To convince atheists, theologians have erected arguments after arguments. So have come about various proofs for the existence of God, some even mathematical. Such proofs have done little to convert unbelievers, and are not likely to do so.
There are at least three reasons for this. First, every vision of God is deeply anchored to a religion and is therefore related to a historical and cultural framework. Absolute truths about the world have to transcend local creeds and comforts. Secondly, God is invariably linked to the presence and propensities of human beings here below. Science has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that human beings are but one of myriad creatures and that earthlings have no more importance in the vast expanse than dolphins in the deep blue sea. Finally, and most importantly, God is not so much an entity hiding somewhere like an Easter egg, to be uncovered by an eager searcher, but rather a deeply felt experience that humans are capable of. God, like music, is to be experienced, and no analysis of musical notes can prove or disprove the joy and ecstasy that comes from listening. Like the colors of the rainbow, God is a resonance in the conscious soul to an aspect of the world that instruments and theorems, syllogisms and scrutiny, can never unravel.
So, in debates on the existence of God, the atheist will always win, for belief in God is not subject to logical categories, just as no amount of reasoning can dissuade a lover away from the beloved.
Intuitively, everyone knows that faith lies beyond logic, but invariably the logicians refuse to acknowledge that such faith is just as powerful to the faithful as any fact. Their refusal to allow for faith as an informant to an individual’s reality is in itself a form of denial of the person; a denial of the free agency or “soul freedom” that every person is born with and which should be respected no matter how ridiculous it seems to some. I am not going into an argument here about whether this extends beyond the individual into politics or whose faith is more valuable than another’s. That’s not for me to say. I’m not sure either I buy the feminist argument that the personal is always the political. Some things are for individual consumption alone. But I will say that faith is not the final answer to anything and that science can better explain the actual world of our senses far better than faith can, so trying to make societal rules from such an experiential medium is not a good idea. If I had to choose between doctors and faith; I would choose the doctor every time.
However the music analogy is an excellent one and one that I’ve come across many times on others’ blogs. I too no longer believe in a God or Goddess that is an entity over and above the music of the spheres. This Divinity is within the universe and within every human being, animal, and plant; all that is called life. Therefore there will always be a multiplicity of god/desses as many and varied as there are living things. Faith is merely our response to that individual call of the soul.