In response to the opening post, here's something I wrote in a different thread (link). I can only speak personally about this, because every atheist is different. The first thing I'd say is that any acceptance of God on my part would be predicated on the same kind of reasoning as any other belief I accept. I am a trained scientist and critical thinker, so I realise that even the facts that seem most solid and immovable are, when it comes down to it, provisional. One must always be open to changing one's mind in the light of new evidence. In short, doubt is a healthy attitude to have about everything. I believe that trees exist. I believe that because I see them, I can touch them, other people around me speak and write about them and agree with me that they perceive them in a similar way that I do, and so on and so forth. It is possible that trees do not actually exist. I could be a brain in a vat, so that every tree I have ever perceived is just a computer simulation fed directly into my brain. But, based on the evidence available to me, I accept provisionally that trees are real, understanding that it is possible (though in this case I think it extremely unlikely) that I will have to change my opinion in the future. So, God. As I understand the concept, God is supposed to care personally about human beings, at least to the extent of interacting with them in various ways. God is supposed to know everything, and God can do anything. There is, of course, the deist conceptions of God as a Creator who basically creates a clockwork universe then does nothing after that. It makes no practical difference whether I accept the existence of that kind of God or not, so I don't really want to discuss evidences for that kind of God here, now. So let's think about this personal, interventionist God that the major religions talk about. That kind of God could easily talk to me if he wanted to. he could appear in front of me in any convenient form and start up a conversation. Or he could speak directly into my mind. If such a God were to appear and to speak to me, I would be inclined to believe in him. Of course, it would be good to check that I wasn't hallucinating. Preferably, this God should also communicate to other people as well, so we can compare notes about what he had to say. If he appeared to a crowd of people instead of just to me individually, and we all agreed that his appearance was miraculous, then I'd be more likely to believe. I'd also be more likely to believe if God told me things that I couldn't (easily) know through other means. That is, God would need to say more than "I love you. I've got your back" and such platitudes. He could easily convey private or previously-unknown information that could not be obtained (easily, or at all) by other means. I would also probably accept God if he were to appear and do an impressive miracle of some kind. For example, if he were to lift a mountain into the air and suspend it there, whole, in front of myself and other witnesses then I'd have little choice but to accept that, at the least, a being with incomprehensible power was present and active in the world. Similarly if he brought the long-dead back to life. Really, any reasonable miracle would go a long way to convincing me. As a wise man once said, any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, so it is true that mountain-lifting or resurrection might be achieved by super-advanced aliens and it might not actually require supernatural omnipotence. But such aliens would be hard to distinguish from gods, anyway, so it couldn't hurt to accept, at least, that god-like powers were on display. God could break the laws of physics if he wanted to. It wouldn't be hard for him to arrange some convenient demonstration for my benefit, I'm sure. That would be quite convincing evidence of his existence, as far as I'm concerned. (With the proviso about advanced alien technologies and yet-to-be-discovered physics, of course.) Speaking personally, there is sufficient evidence to suggest to me that trees exist. I therefore believe in trees, wholeheartedly. I could be wrong. Maybe there are no trees after all, but the evidence I am aware of sure looks convincing to me. Similarly, I can imagine all kinds of evidences that would be sufficient to convince me that God exists. Again, I could conceivably mistake certain evidences as evidence for God, when in fact they were evidence of advanced aliens, or whatever. But I can still imagine circumstances in which I would happily concede that I believe in God, because the evidence sure looks convincing to me. Theists like Jan Ardena, of course, believe in God in the absence of any of the kinds of evidence I used as examples above. The kinds of things that present-day theists claim as evidence of God inevitably turn out, upon examination, to be equivocal and/or unconfirmed and/or purely subjective. So much so, in fact, that people like Jan are forced to concede that there is no good evidence for God at all. This is why theists say that you just have to open yourself up to God, accept God regardless of evidence. Because the evidence doesn't stack up. Something needs to stand in place of evidence to justify the belief. That something is "faith".