You know blake...for instance, an 8 year old who is put into sex trafficking and is raped daily by men who most likely are giving her diseases as well?
Or is that not 'suffering' to you? Where is the FREE WILL there for the little girl? Should she just say 'Hi sir, could you please not rape me this time? I would love to exercise my free will and ask you to stop raping me. Thanks.'
So how is this 'all loving' for God to 'allow this' to happen? To millions if not billions of humans in the history of the human species and billions if not trillions more of animals ripped to tiny pieces and shredded into writhing bloody messes while still kicking and screaming?
So what you are doing is creating your own definition of 'all loving' and disregarding the concepts of 'all loving' that we can in fact study here on earth.
The most loving parents in the world would allow their children to play in the middle of the road during traffic? Would they say 'Oh sweety, it's so cute when you don't look both ways when you cross the street - oh how I love to allow you your free will!'
Do they allow their children to play with fire? Do they allow their children to go near deep water without knowing how to swim?
Could you elaborate on how allowing humans to suffer in any way is also 'all loving'?
He not only allows people to suffer in their mortal life, he makes them suffer in the after life too. What kind of "all-loving" being tortures his creation for eternity simply for not believing in him, despite offering no evidence whatsoever for its existence?
So here is my question: You say you are an atheist because you accept reality and the universe. Does this mean that because I believe differently, I do not accept reality?
If you believe in god reality is a challenge for you. Yes.
You said it, not us...
If you understand what reality IS, rather than what you 'want it to be', then you may begin to question many things regarding your beliefs and your beliefs in Christianity / Jesus / God / Miracles / Holy Ghosts / Virgin Births / The authenticity of the Bible / etc etc
It's all a house of cards. If you believe in magic and miracles, then you can get yourself to believe anything. If you don't find any evidence for magic or miracles, then one begins to assume they don't exist..
So if I am understanding this correctly, you believe that my faith has impeded my ability to understand reality?
If you want my honest answer, my answer is yes, I believe it has.
This does not mean that it has prevented you from EVER understanding reality, but that is in a block in the path to discovery.
I think all Christians should research the counter arguments to their faith position. Research it a lot. If it's true, then the research should do nothing more than solidify your personal view, no?
And I don't mean reading Christian views who speak for atheists. I mean read atheistic literature. Watch a lot of debates too because for me, those are more engaging and fun. Just type in 'religion debates' in you tube and you can find tons of them.
Well in a way, haven't I taken that first step by asking these questions?
yes, but the stair case is very long. Very very long....and you have taken only the first step as far as I can see. ;)
Well then, I would hate to disappoint.