'...if they have a feeling, a deity must have this feeling as well.' why does this seem unreasonable and/or unbelievable?
'Christians and other zealots love to say that god is all love, he's all the good stuff without any of the bad stuff.' Justice is not always pleasant. And, please remember, not all Christians, OR zealots, or even atheists believe/are informed of the same things within their 'groups'. I am not ignorant or deluded that God has done nothing that seemed unkind. But there are many things we don't know, and by his loving nature/preference, readings show it was not a joy for him to exercise certain authorities over humans when he'd started us out in a paradise. What dad wouldn't rather a kid play ball and go for walks instead of repeatedly reaching for the pot of boiling water on the stove?
Who needs God? everyone who's ever wondered if they're 'worth' anything to anyone, if there is anyone who cares, when they appear to be/feel alone. Sure, a person can drive a car with bad steering, low oil, and a flat tire - but for how long? doesn't one excel more when all parts of them are 'all they can be, according to their design'? had i remained unbelieving, i would have been able to make myself happy in some ways. but since i have come to really believe there is someone like that, i hope i have better appreciation and 'listening' than i had before so that i can maximize my connection with the rest of life. true atheists don't bother to even discuss the matter, much less to the length you and i have. so i wonder if you're sensing a knocking at your 'door'. what you do with it, if anything, is up to you; it is not for me or anyone else to have an opinion on. that's the wonderful freedom of choice, and i respect that. i welcome you to email me if you like, email@example.com . my apologies if i seem preachy. it truly is not my intent - i haven't forgotten what it was like before i started to believe. it was reading first hand more than talking with believers that strengthened my own conclusions. you might be interested in remembering that satan hasn't the power to generate his own 'believers'; his only powers are in persuasion of those who already exist. this often includes planting seeds of doubt like 'god's not REALLY going to be mad, he doesn't REALLY exist, you don't really need him,' etc. that's what he did to eve in eden. but as we read in the new testament, even satan and all his cronies do acknowledge a)there is a God and b)that same God is powerful enough to squash their efforts. i'd like to think i'm a little bit more endeared than satan is, and hopefully much less boisterous in my 'pride'. :)