Well said, Chicago. This presumed 'god' loves us, calls us 'His children' and our 'immortal souls' are the goal in a divine scavenger hunt?<quoted text>
This exchange presumes that God is like a person; that God wants to communicate, has plans, and gets angry if we don't listen to his messages. Why should God be thought of as a person? Is it because we like to project our own experience of reality on some "ultimate reality?" Can God just be some little-understood force, without human emotions? Without human prejudices? Without needing to really "care" at all what goes on in our small brains? I think the major fault of all religions is that they construct an image of God to support pre-existing prejudices and desires. I cannot believe in any notion of God other than total. utter, and unapproachable mysteriousness.
I do appreciate the fact that 'He' granted us free will, I mean how much fun can a planet full of zombie worshippers be? The 'God works in mysterious ways' is simply a non answer. It is like telling a person who suffers from severe depression to 'snap out of it.'
Gotta admit though the power plays on people's fears seems to be pretty effective on some and that promised reward of eternal life has a lotta folk jumping through hoops. If I actually thought there was a god, there is no way I could worship such a manipulative, diabolical b@st@rd.