Perhaps you should approach the discussion with atheists with the goal of achieving a mutual understanding. You used to be an atheist, but that does not necessarily mean that you understand our perspective today. If your book is intended to be read by atheists, then you should really try to figure out what we think. I've been trying to help by explaining my thoughts on things, and you could explain (or teach) what your beliefs
there is nothing in being an atheist that should make you a bad philosopher. There is no atheistic reason why they should dump on philosophy and refuse to learn anything about it and love empiricism and hate logic. when I was an atheist I was never an empiricist!
For example, you've been going on about how we're arguing against a strawman God, i.e. the "magical man in the sky". I think we only do that in discussions with Christians who believe that sort of God.
they do it with me all the time. They totally resist learnign anything about any other view. well some. I'm not saying all.
In discussions with you, on the other hand, I've been trying to explain that your God is not only the Ground of Being, but has some additional properties as well. I know you probably disagree with this, so maybe you could explain why the Ground of Being gives life depth and meaning.
there is not a separate entity called "the ground of being." saying God is the ground of being is like saying God is first cause; whatever that is. whatever the ground of being is, that's God. Now I have my own ideas about it, and they certainly must differ from others.
why it gives meaning is because it created what is according to a purpose.So that purpose is the meaning. Just as the content of speech is the meaning of that speech act.
I'm also interested in whether you understand the atheist's perspective of where these apparently transcendent qualities come from. If you don't see how the atheist perspective makes sense, please ask for an explanation rather than dismissing it as ideological blindness. Heck, maybe you'll even end up pointing out a gross inconsistency that I can't answer
at other times people tell me there is no "atheist perspective." there's no card carrying athist with the official position. there are atheists and they have their own individual ideas and most of the time they don't make sense becasue they tend to be people who like to learn about philosophy or ideas so they just repeat the mistakes of bad philosophers.