Firstly, I just want to point out what I am NOT saying.
Religious people can be tremendous people and contribute hugely to society. Indeed many do.
But their irrational belief in God is dangerous because it leaves them more susceptable to other irrational beliefs and religion encourages irrational behaviour generally.
Indeed people like Blimpish use religion's very irrationality to justify it, by saying that because religion is not rational, it lies outside of science's remit. He trys to deliberately cloud the issues by burying this argument in unnecessary complexity, but don't be fooled. This is exactly what he is arguing.
The beauty of science is that it is about questioning and testing EVERY theory against the available evidence. Religious beliefs are theories. The reason that blimpish says religion lies outside this testing procedure is because he knows that scientific enquiry quickly discredits religion's claims.
Any concept of god that lies outside religion's benign definitions is effectively meaningless because it doesn't make claims on our behaviour. Therefore, I only have to disprove religion's benign concept of god to disprove a meaningful god.
Science has comprehensively disproved religion's concept of god. For example; the bible is claimed as the word of God, and the bible claims the Earth was created in 7 days. Blimpish claims that the bible shouldn't be taken literally but should be interpreted metaphorically. In science, when a theory is disproved, nobody says 'I still believe in this theory, because it should be interpreted metaphorically'.
How reasonable is it, to base your life on a belief that there are fairies at the bottom of your garden? This has the same amount of supporting evidence as the existence of God and just as much scientific evidence to ridicule it.
Blimpish then argues that believing in God is about more than scientific proof, it is about morals.
Who is the more moralistic? The person who is moral because he wants the reward of eternal life and is fearful of god. Or the person who is moral because it is the right thing to do.
I have some more questions for Blimpish and to help keep him away from sidestepping the issue, I am going to keep them simple and try a different tack.
Is it possible for an atheist to go to heaven? If not why not?
If it is not possible for an atheist to go to heaven. You are either saying; an atheist can't live a good enough life to please God OR that God only cares about people believing in him. How benign is that?
And if it is possible for an atheist to go to heaven by leading a good life, why the need for the irrational belief in religion? You admit yourself that religious teaching is just full of conflicting and confusing metaphors and symbols. How does that help?
Either way a belief in god just doesn't make any scientific, rational or moral sense. So what is the point of believing in a god?