posted on May, 5 2012 @ 01:28 PM
Prepare for a TLDR.
Hello. I’ve read most of the thread, but regrettably not all of it. 20 pages of the constant back and forth is a bit much too tack, especially when
all these arguments have been made already.
First off, I will say, yes my prayers have been answered. I will not, however, go into details over that.
My reason for that is how do you define and answer? The argument has been made on the thread already that anything that could be attributed to God can
also be reasonably and logically explained away. If someone says they heard a voice telling them to step out from danger, people would say he was just
hearing his own internal voice, or that he was just hearing things. If someone says they had a vision, others would say it was just a dream or a
hallucination. If someone says a disease was healed, others would say, it was only natural. And so on and so forth. So it’s clear the argument
can’t be answered there. There is no way to answer it there because there is no accepted answer.
I argue that there could be an angel, complete with hair like the brightest white, voice like thunder, and the earth shaking as he spoke, who came to
a group of people and said ‘Yea there is a God!’ and at the end of the visitation, there would be people who claimed it was either technological
trick by TPTB or an advanced alien trying to brainwash everyone.
There is no one answer that will satisfy everyone, and why would there be? Not everyone is ready to believe or have faith.
If in religion, faith is important, how would we cultivate faith if all our prayers were answered in such a way that there was no doubt left in
anyone’s mind? It wouldn’t be faith then. Faith isn’t knowing something without a shadow of a doubt, though with honest seeking it can become
that, but to those that don’t take the journey willingly, it will never seem to be a knowing, because they’ll be intent on explaining it away.
So why not just answer everything in such a way that there’s no doubt? If God really wants us all to come to heaven, why doesn’t he just give us
all the answers we want right when we want them? Why doesn’t he do everything for us? Well simply put, because he loves us enough to let us learn.
If you have a child who’s learning to ride a bike, and you are parent, you run along and hold the bike, or you put on training wheels. When the
child is ready, you let go, or take off the wheels. But the child may get injured! You can’t just let them go, they’ll get hurt. It must be better
to hold on for a bit longer or to leave the wheels on. What harm is there in that? The harm is, they’ll never learn to ride the bike. If you never
let them figure it out on their own, they’ll never be able to ride the bike.
If God were to shock you every time you sinned, it wouldn’t take you long to stop being bad, but that’s not the point of life. The point of life
is for us to learn between right and wrong, and then choose the right. If every time you did something wrong you go that shock, it wouldn’t be a
choice. There would be no choice to make.
So how does this relate to prayer? Well it harkens to faith, and our faith in God to choose the right in the face of impossible odds. If we knew
without a doubt what our choice would end up causing, then there would be no choice. We pray for guidance, using faith that God is real, and we can
sometimes receive guidance. If we don’t receive guidance, then we can make the choice and ask God to confirm it’s the right choice. Sometimes we
don’t get a prayer answered, sometimes we are left to our own devices, not because God isn’t real, but either because we are on the wrong course,
or because it’s something God wants us to learn on our own. So how do you tell the difference? That’s something for each person to come to terms
with. Everyone is different.
So then what about all those people who die needlessly in the world? If God is real, why not just stop all war and hunger and thirst and disease in
the world? Well my counter question is, as a Human being, why aren’t you doing something about it? God allows this because he wants us to learn to
care and try and fix it, and be sure, if we focused our efforts and stopped being so petty, we could fix it.
But surely God letting so many people die for the sake of a lesson just makes him some cruel God who only cares about those he chooses to let live.
Not so. Remember that if there is a afterlife, as most people who believe in God claim, then there is more to existence and whatever misery we may
feel in this life. I am a believer in the concept that God does not judge someone as condemned to hell simply because they never had the chance to
hear about God, or simply because they never had the chance to be baptized. That would be needlessly arbitrary to judge someone over circumstances
that they had no control over. So those people in Africa, millions perishing every year, they will be judged of their heart, not their circumstances.