I think your argument boils down to 'How can a good and all powerful God allow evil and/or major suffering ?'. Correct me if I am wrong.
Yes - and please remember it was you who said that God is not constrained by time - so He has no excuses for sitting around watching. Actually God doesn't do that. The Bible and testimonies of theists say He intervenes - a lot. The Flood, bombing cities with fire, turning people to salt, helping Jephthah with military tactics to wipe out enemies, parting the sea, dropping quails everywhere to eat, chatting freely to prophets, facilitating miracles, and constantly moving around in the Holy Ghost to whisper stuff in people's ears - to name a few of God's interventions.
I suppose that could perhaps be considered off topic and/or have been dealt with in many other threads but in the interests of clarity I'll address it here anyway.
No it's completely relevant because God was right there in the throbbing dark, pressing through the hot mucous of Hilter's mum's fallopian tube when Hitler's dad's semen came squirming through - and this God, fully informed about Hitler's potential, was either faced with clear choices, or was forced to create Hitler's soul.
1. At the core of Chistianity is the claim/belief that physical life is temporary and is a pale imitation of the spiritual life which is our essential and permanent state. 'We see now as through a glass darkly' was Paul's attempt to explain our physical life situation.
So this Paul fellow ... could he see the future spiritual life himself or did God tell him about it? Was Paul's glass less "darkly" than mine? Is God incapable or unwilling to reveal to the rest of us what He revealed to Paul?
Paul's explanation seems like a bumpluck unless God was behaving differently towards Paul than most other humans.
2. A permanent existence in heavenly perfection without any opportunity for a physical life like this one is unlikely to be properly appreciated without knowing anything to compare that 'blissful' state to. You, William, (and all of us) would not know any 'better way' that God 'should have done it' if we did not first experience something to the contrary.
Ah, I see now - heaven only is relatively blissful. Not absolutely heaven. I suspected as much - to enjoy being stuck in place like blank wallpaper in God's living room we need to already know what anxiety and pain is all about. And especially for hell to feel terrible - its efficacy as a punishment depends on longing for the better time we had during our lives.
But wait, what about the spontaneous abortions and infant deaths?
I suppose they just miss out on the benefits of relativity. Or maybe they get recycled for another go - reincarnation - there's a thought.
3. Furthermore, I would imagine that we would in fact demand some opportunity for some hardship and challenge if we were initially denied it. We might think Heaven becomes dull when all is easy and smooth. Think of how we seek out adventures, challenges and selective dramas in our normal physical lives.
Yes this all makes sense. Except for aforementioned infants and people with Alzheimer's - will they start demanding adventures on arrival in heaven?
The case for Buddhism and reincarnation is getting stronger.
4. Now taking it one step further, if we were to launch into this earthly 'adventure' with full memory of our heavenly nature then we would hardly take this life seriously at all and hence we would probably fail to learn or even strive for anything useful at all. So the ultimate adventure requires entering this Earthly plane with no memory of our true heavenly nature.
Okay I'm losing the thread of your reasoning now. Why is anything on earth useful at all? God doesn't provide cures and scientific solutions to problems - so how are they useful in God's plan? If the whole idea is to make heaven feel great, then why is learning and achievement useful? Surely having the "ultimate adventure" on earth would diminish heaven as the ultimate reward!
5. The final essential ingredient in this physical experience is free will. Without free will we would simply complain that we are just being forced robotically through experiences which thus makes the whole process pointless. And again our wish is granted. What this all amounts to is that a temporary physical life as we now experience it is exactly what we would demand if we were in a situation of eternal bliss.
No, I don't get this, not even from the Bible. Did Paul have "free will" when Jesus shouted at him from the sky?
Acts 9: 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
And the Lords Prayer: "... Thy will be done
Jesus had to tow the line for God's plans:
John 19:28 Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty."
Where is the free will in any of this?
6. In this scenario, the dreadful events you describe while being some of the worst and most distressing aspects of living this human existence, they are in fact not harmful to our true spiritual nature, but instead serve to teach us the meaning of goodness, love and beauty by experiencing the alternatives. And our demand for free will insists that we have access to these experiences and further insists on as little interference as possible from God (unless specifically requested). This is the very nature of free will.
Well the plan is backfiring on me - spiritually
All these terrible events teach me is the illogicality of theism and the importance of science and organisations like médecins sans frontières. And you are saying God knew I'd come to these conclusions regardless, but went ahead with me anyway!
Either God loves the idea of me going to hell or His hand was forced back there in my mother's fallopian tube in 1959.