(continued...) You should read Richard Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker, which addresses your misconception at book length. (But you won't.) You are correct when you're talking about the kinds of watches we are familiar with. Those watches can't reproduce themselves. They are not subject to natural variation. There is no process by which they undergo natural selection (although, interestingly, there is an "artificial selection" mechanism at play in the "evolution" of watches, which you could potentially learn something from if you were willing to think about it at all, which of course you aren't). It doesn't matter. We have no direct "experience" of atoms, but they are fundamental to physics and chemistry. We have no direct "experience" of plate tectonics, but it is fundamental in the earth sciences. We have no direct experience of DNA, but it is fundamental in our understanding of genetics. We have no direct experience of time periods longer than a hundred or so years, but we can still study history. Are you about to come out as not only a Creationist, but a Young Earth Creationist, too? There you go again, making unwarranted assumptions. You'll never make any intellectual progress unless you can stop doing that. I know you don't like it. You like to think that your personal religion is a sort of broad tent that houses all the rest of the world's religions, even though they would tend to deny it. To even start to make your idea plausible, you have to turn your God into a sort of featureless nothing, which basically has no function other than to start the cosmic ball rolling. Yours is a small-target God - I suspect you deliberately construct it that way. Most religious people believe in a bigger God than you do: a God who acts in the world, a God who is a person with goals and plans, a God who often cares about the morality of human beings, a God who responds to prayer, a God who requires worship. Your God, as you describe it, is a cipher. It's a barely fleshed-out concept. I'm not about to go along with your pretense that all the theists who are able to describe their gods in detail are really worshipping your God without knowing it. You're not better than other theists, Jan. You don't have a perspective that is any wider than theirs. If anything, your belief system is much more limited than the belief systems of the major religions. You don't really allow your God to do much of anything. I have asked you, time and again over the years, how it is that you gain this knowledge you claim to have. The answer you give always boils down to avoidance or inexplicable magic (even if you don't like having it expressed that way). It is a pity that you never think to ask yourself how it is that you know all about your God. If you did, you might gain some insight. I guess we can discuss that after you have established that "some type of agency" brought "everything" into existence. Transcendental (a.): existing outside of or not in accordance with nature. You're saying your God is supernatural. Your God is the supernatural cause of everything. The problem is: nothing has ever been shown to have a supernatural cause. Is this the one exception to the rule, then? Is your God everlasting? Or did he somehow manage to bring himself in? Yes! They rely on their faith. That is, like you, they pretend to know stuff they don't know, to aid their belief. They have not managed to show any so far. No. I'm quite happy to run with your definition of God as the "transcendental cause of everything", when conversing with you. It would be a bit obtuse of me to start a thread asking for definitions of God if I didn't think it was possible to define the word. Exactly. Makes sense to settle on a definition and stick to it, then, doesn't it? It doesn't have to be that. That just happens to be your preferred definition, for now. See the "Definition of God" thread for other definitions. You might like to have some discussions with your fellow theists about what is the most appropriate definition. You might even convince some of them that yours is a good one. Strange thing to say. For example: God (n.) The object of worship in monotheistic religions. How's that? I'd say it's accurate, though not particularly helpful in suggesting a research programme to find out if God is real. I guess we can start by asking the religionists why they believe it's real... Please set out your Occam's razor argument. Show me your logic.