|When trying to understand how people--and I mean, otherwise intelligent people skilled in abstract thought--nevertheless believe in a god(s), this is the only situation I've been able to see:|
Start with the assumption that a "god" exists. Initially, this is fine...inasmuch as it's true that something exists, as opposed to nothing. Unfortunately, if the notion of god's existence is justified only by the fact that existent objects do, in fact, exist, then the defintion of god should not overstep the bounds of "existence." Unfortunately, the word "god" has a definition tacked onto it in order to support their beliefs in the traits of this being. Suddenly, the notion that things exist no longer support the concept of god anymore...however, since god must exist (since things exist), they have to find a way to logically prove this being...naturally, since the traits of god took it out of the totality of existence, they can't do that. God, once defined as more than existence, is unprovable.
Somewhat-intelligent pantheists seem to understand this, and equate god with the universe. One of two things then happen: they're really atheists for all intents are purposes, or they have to "pump up" god up to a coincidence-of-opposites entity; i.e., contradictions must logically exist in order for their god to exist!