You asked: "Do you think it impossible that a theist can perceive God, and an atheist can't?" To clarify my answer from above, which you seem to want spelled out: No, I do not think it impossible: a theist can perceive "God" whether God actually exists or not: if God does not exist then the "God" that the theist perceives and believes in is simply in his imagination. The perception is there and interpreted to be "God". Perception is the interpretation that we give to what we sense. It can be fooled and is often fooled. It can be shaped by our experience, our motivation and expectations. While what we sense exists, our perception is entirely subjective and thus what we perceive might not actually exist. If you disagree then feel free to browse the Internet for relatively simple optical illusions, where our perception can be demonstrably different to reality. So, in summary, you are wrong; and just because you perceive God does not mean that God actually exists. As said, you use the term in a restrictive sense not necessitated by the definitions. It may make no sense to you but then you have always struggled with the agnostic atheist viewpoint. No, just because I have an absence of evidence I do not conclude that this is evidence of absence. But if you wish to keep asserting what you think my position is, I can happily drop out of the conversation entirely and let you argue with your strawman? No, it does not mean that God does not currently exist. It means that God may exist but I just don't know. Yet you argue as if all atheists are the same, and then in the next breath treat your own brand of atheism differently. Consistency, Jan. So now you're equating an atheist to being not good and untrustworthy? The issue, though, is not with your analogy but with you arguing that "this is the way all not good and untrustworthy people behave..." (to continue the analogy) only to then say "but when I act not good and untrustworthy I am able to behave differently." Do you not see that you are special pleading from your own arguments? So clearly you think there IS a difference between them, rather than "nothing". Consistency, please, Jan. So then the question is why do some people require evidence and some don't? And your inevitable answer of "they are without God" is a non-answer for question-begging, so please don't offer it up as your response. Come up with something that actually moves the conversation forward, if you can. No, it is right to explore it in this thread. This thread is about atheism, and this seems to be a key difference between atheists and those that aren't atheists. So do you have an answer? The quotation marks were not intended to suggest you had said it, just that it is a phrase in the same manner as "without God" - and in this context to be taken as meaning the opposite of "without God". No, it's really not. If God exists. So are you going to actually respond to what I said with anything that moves the conversation forward?