Originally Posted by MrBIG
I think prayer to a lot of people is a form of meditation not an actually way to change god's will.
It's true that a lot of undeserving people are in pain in this world, but how much of that suffering is inflicted by other humans and the society we've created?
racism, murder, poverty, etc. Is mostly shit we've made up, God intervening would basically be robbing us of our free will.
What you say here is true, but the bible says that God listens to prayers and answers prayers. God intervening to save the life of someone shot in the face, involved in a car accident, or dying of cancer does not necessarily take away the free will of anyone. God saving someone who has been shot in the face is not necessarily taking the free will of that shooter to attempt to take that person's life. People live and die by chance all the time. God occasionally intervening to remove tumors from your body, tighten your seat belt before impact with a drunk driver, or guide the mugger's bullet from striking your brain anywhere that might cause death would not necessarily be taking away anyone's free will unless he was repeatedly taking away that mugger's free will to kill you, assuming that the mugger has tried at least once more after failing the first time, since it is not unusual for people to survive gunshot wounds even in the face.
Honestly, all God would have to do is show his face, turn some water into wine, and do a few magic tricks that even Chris Angel couldn't pull off, and the world would know for sure that he exists, and that alone would make the world a better place. He could say, "Hey, no more suicide bombings. There won't be any virgins waiting for you in hell when you get there," and voila, peace in the Middle East. He doesn't even have to take away free will from anyone to intervene and make the world a better place or just make the lives better for people of his choosing, which most religions teach that he does anyway. People pray to him and praise him for what they believe are his miracles and blessings.
Originally Posted by MrBIG
He loves us enough to let us pick our own path. Free will becomes an illusion if he intervenes at all.
That's not even the view of most Christians nor the catholic church.
Even the pope said that atheists could reach salvation. Meaning that what you believe in doesnt matter but it's the way you lead your life. Your actions that matter.
Churches teaching that God answers prayers and plays a role in our daily lives creates an illusion of him intervening.
"Sister Rita was mugged in the parking lot, and the safety was off the gun, and the mugger pulled the trigger, and the barrel was right in her face, but the gun jammed."
"God made the gun jam. He prevented that mean old mugger from shooting sister Rita in the face. It was a miracle."
"I'm not going to fear those muggers no more. God will protect me late at night while I'm walking to my car."
What the pope said has always been common-sense thinking to me, in my ideal perception of God. The God I imagined as a kid wouldn't give a shit which region you claimed to follow. He wouldn't give a shit about how much money you donated to your church and wrote off on your taxes, helping your church or pastor get rich or richer while setting yourself up for a possible refund. As long as you lived life in a moral manner, you'd go to heaven whether or not you ever prayed to him a day in your life. And all those who molested children, along with the popes and other church officials who knew about it and protected their fellow men of God, would all go to hell no matter how many Hail Marys and confessions they did. This is kid of how I imagined God until I realized that the bible was just a bunch of fairy-tale stories that rarely made common sense.