Wez, I think you are skirting around this issue without taking the time to think this through.
What you are arguing is that people have the ability to help, and they don't. For many people, this is true. Lots of people could help others and they don't. The difference, however, is that humans are not all powerful beings. We do not have the ability to snap our fingers and end the suffering of that child instantly. So the analogy is a poor one. You can not compare the actions of humankind, with all its imperfections and limitations, to the actions of God as if they were on the same level. They're just not. It's almost as if you forget that God can (purportedly) do ANYTHING He wants. Show me a human that can do that and perhaps your analogy is more fitting.
You are right, we cannot snap our fingers and have someone be healed, if it were that easy, we would take it for granted. Its easy to notice that you have to work hard in life to get things done, at least that is what I have noticed in my own.
Now, if a human being had the power to end all of that suffering with a single thought, and decided NOT to use it, what would you think of them? I would dare say your criticism would be well deserved if that were the case. This is what you need to open your eyes to. God (if it exists) is the super powerful human with the ability to fix that child, and chooses to do nothing. What you have to then realize is that God WANTS that child to suffer. If He didn't, then He would end it. That's the bottom line and you can't escape it.
By end it, do you possibly mean finally cutting that child off from his/her suffering and bring that child up his/her rightful place in Heaven? And if a single human being had that power, then yes, I would criticize him, because I believe that there are certain things in this world that God would like us as humans to work out, something we rarely do...
But the other issue that comes up is when you argue that it is humans who have the power to fix things. Ironically, I doubt anyone here would disagree with you. After all, atheists understand suffering to be a natural thing and that humans can play a role in it. The other side of this, however, is that if suffering is a natural thing, then why couldn't the opposite be completely natural as well? Why couldn't all the good things that happen in the world be completely natural as well? Since this world is full of suffering and goodness alike, if you were being honest with yourself here... what sort of God would that point to? Could it not simply be that good and bad are matters of perception, and that there is no need to suppose that a god exists to explain either side?
Tell me what good things have happened to you in this world without the effort of you or someone else to make that good thing happen? You see, if as a human race, if we worked together, we could all enjoy peace and good, but because we are humans, that does not happen. If everyone who had the ability to help came together to help all the starving children around the world and succeeded, wouldn't that be a good thing? I think you would be surprised to think about it for a while and realize that good things come at a cost, usually some sort of effort and work.
Also, with regard to your hypothetical notion that God helps us 'behind the scenes' so to speak and does things that we don't even know about... If that is the case, then what that means is that God has the ability to help everyone, but instead uses his power to help those he picks and chooses, while allowing suffering on a massive scale for others. Is that a quality you would worship? To use an analogy... imagine I had a pill that cured cancer in every patient who took it; and then imagine your mother getting cancer and me telling you to piss off when you ask me for a pill. A God that has the ability to help all, but picks and chooses to help some and let others suffer horribly, is not worthy of worship. It's disgusting.
I didn't state he picks and chooses, I stated that there might be situations in this universe involving all of us where he is preventing or making certain things happen.... I do believe that God gives everyone a chance, and gives everyone some help, whether indirectly (such as giving each of us the ability to work together and help out, or through ways that we don't even notice), or directly (i.e. my dad's friend that was randomly cured of full body arthritis and cancer).
The notion that I have an eternal cosmic dictator looking down at me at all time, judging everything I do (including what I think), who's verdict is unquestionable, and who's punishment is endless, is a burden.
Please refer to my previous post.
A. How do you know what the 'true meaning' of the church should be? Who put you in charge?
B. Don't you mean the meaning you think they should have? Do you really believe that you, yourself, have deciphered what the true meanings of the churches should be, and that all the millions of churches out there get it wrong.
I don't know what the true meaning is, that is why I called it my belief. You would probably be surprised to know that I would probably agree with a lot of your opinions on the negatives of some churches... I don't know if they've always been this way...
It's always been ridiculous. In fact, it's been way worse than it is now. Think 'dark ages'.
I would disagree with you, I believe that as the world progresses, as more human error is introduced into this world, the suffering increases as well. I can understand your view on that living in America, where we have pulled a cover over much of the suffering present in our country and people, but if you were to take a look at other countries and civilizations around the world, then maybe you might change your mind.
If you kept religion private, there would be no problem. But so few of you do. It infects society everywhere, which is why we fight it. But just look at yourself... you sit here and rail against organized religion, yet at the same time, you think your beliefs and the way YOU do things is not somehow a problem. Don't you realize that the respect you want for your beliefs is the same respect that all religions expect for theirs? You're religious beliefs protect the very beliefs you rail against.
I agree with you, it is unfortunate how religion infects society, and I do not blame you guys for fighting it.... It really bothers me to see hypocrites present in any religion trying to shove their bible down other people's throats, that's not the way it should be.... All those people do is make their religion look that much worse... My religious beliefs do not protect the hypocritical people who go around trying to force their religion upon other people, causing problems and war, and belittling their religion in the long run...
This seems to say that you know what religion was in the first place. Do you really claim to know that? I'd like to know what sources you use to come up with what religion was in the first place. Stick with Christianity if you want, just to make it easier. Perhaps you don't know as much about this topic as you should. Be aware, you're in a forum FULL of people who probably know a lot more about that than you do.
lol you guys love to jump on the opportunity to tear apart my vocabulary, once again sorry..... Let me see if this will help a little more:
I don't believe a religion should be force fed to anyone. I believe it should be up to each and every person to determine for themselves. There is nothing wrong with someone offering their beliefs to someone else just so they know, but it should not be forced upon the other person. This will be my basis for this topic. Now, that being said, one of the biggest detriments that religion plays in our society is problems it causes, that I would like to associate with those who try to force their religion upon others.
I am more than aware the number of people present in this forum that can possibly know more about this topic than me, as if you haven't noticed already, this whole entire thread has basically been me debating against all of you. I am more than okay than that, like I have stated, I would just like to offer my point of view on things.