You know I hold a tremendous deal of respect for you, and do not usually "pile on" in these situations, but you (again) compared the state-mandated policies of communism with atheism as a whole. You should know by now how much I despise communists (remember the non-math oriented conversations w/Alexander?), and so I'm allowing myself to jump into the fray...
>>>"...the minimum path is the best approximation of God's nature."
>>>"Over time the world tends to good as God's actions are continually felt in the world."
>>>"God will unify the world and bring lasting peace."
Aren't you begging the question? Where is Occam's Razor in your rationale here? Could it not be that most people are inherently good, and that no God is neccesary for the existence of this natural progression we might casually label, "goodness's triumph over evil"?
>>>"For example, it is almost meaningless to talk about electrons as part of an atomic model unless we accept that electrons do in fact exist - at least for all practical purposes."
I can function fine without tying "meaning" into everything (or anything) around me. And it's a fair bet I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
Indeed, I think the reason many of us require "meaning" is because (1) we get to know the world around us in a very holistic way before we are taught to break things down into reductionist concepts, and (2) we have only very recently (in evolutionary terms) begun to quantify things around us. It's natural to be uncomfortable not knowing "the whole picture."
I see this explanation as much more satisfactory than attaching "God," spirituality, or some other irrational standard to my view of life.
>>>"...a unifying paradigm that summarizes all the worthy principles in life in some unified manner... is what religion accomplishes."
Not quite. It could be argued that some Eastern religions attempt to accomplish this, but so far none has succeeded... and Western religious are so exclusionary and inflexible that this lofty "accomplishment" is a virtual impossibility.
I'm SO GLAD we've gotten this forum back into intelligent discussions. More to come.