('exploded paragraph' entry by André Comte-Sponville in his The Little Book Of Atheist Spirituality):
"Let's say I want to purchase an apartment in the United States -- in one of Manhattan's most elegant neighborhoods, for instance, with a stunning view of Central Park. I would like the place to have at least six bedrooms, two bathrooms, a balcony facing south, and of course it must be in tip-top shape and cost no more than a hundred thousand dollars.
" 'I haven't found it yet,' I might tell you, 'but I'm still looking. I feel confident -- I believe in it!' You would say I was deluding myself, and of course you would be right. That by no means proves I am wrong. I could run into an insane real estate agent or an unusually generous patron of the arts. It does, however, make my position very tenuous. Deep down, all of you are convinced that my search will be fruitless.
"And now, if I tell you I believe in a God who is immortal, omniscient, all-powerful, perfectly kind and just, loving and merciful, you find that more plausible than a stunning six-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for less than a hundred thousand dollars? Then you have either a paltry notion of God or an exalted notion of real estate."