My idea for this fora would be to assume that there is some kind of deity or supernatural intent behind the universe. Then to discuss the possible intent or rational behind the world being what it is, given the deity in question made a conscious effort to create.
This could be Allah, Yaweh, Odin or whatever, moving in mysterious ways and our job (here) is to provide a rationale for the behaviour of the deity.
Kind of like apologetics, but not just for xians.
BTW, good to see you here, Phat, this site could do with you as a mod.
If that is where the evidence leads should we shy away from conclusions simply because they conflict with what we want?
Even if we do make the assumption that we can infer characteristics of a god from the properties of the world we still a questions such as is the world a reflection of a god or is the god a reflection of the world?
In both scenarios we have two people coming into contact. An evil-doer hurting an innocent. One of them will leave the situation with a restriction on their free will. God decided to restrict the innocent's free will. I decided to restrict the evil-doer's free will. Who's got the moral high ground? Me for punishing an evil-doer who decided to do evil? Or God for punishing an innocent who's just in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I would like to sell my house on god's green Earth and buy some property on Stiles green Earth.
It would take a god to view it all and evaluate the relative worth of each item. It's not something you're able to do.
I declare a world were every one suffered as muc as I have in life is far better than the world we live in.
I'm healthy, educated, loved, happy and hopeful of a bright future. Never on e have I died of AIDs as a baby, been burnt to death, tortured, denied my rights to freedom or been drowned, crushed or electrocuted in a freak natural disaster.
If every one had a similar level of good in their life the world would be a lot better for evey one.
Why not just clip one side? Rather than create good and evil why not narrow the scale so that the only possibilities are indifference and escalating degrees of good?
The old argument goes that you can't make someone love you. They have to be able to choose to love you. Or not.
Aside from this not addressing Straggler's point at all; why would you choose to love someone who makes the place you live in a total shit hole and if you are not greatfull you go to an even worse place?
Back on topic.
The essence of faith and belief is the denial of new data.