The mariner had no takers on the difference between God and non theists who believe in a totally predetermined universe designed to be what it is and nothing more. The non theist idea is that everything is created with a purpose that completes the grand plan of the universe. Those who believe this way are called teleologists. There are many groups who don’t know they are teleologists and have composed parallel atheistic arguments against the presence of a God.
What separates Christians from teleologists is free will. A second element of Christianity is that there is a responsive relationship between each of us and with a God that loves us. A third element is accountability to love God and love our neighbors. These responsibilities are the two Great Commandments.
A nice metaphor is a wooded Indian versus a real Indian. The wooden Indian is a part of the grand design, completed. A real Indian has a life to live, choices to be made, to love, and to relate to a God that responds to him.
If the Conundrum was too obscure, the mariner apologizes.