Because "all powerful" is not the same as "grand puppet master who doesn't let people make their own choices". But maybe that's a topic for a different day.
Oh, I understand that... but, even with free will, I don't know why the god doesn't make it clearer what pleases and displeases him.
Such as, Pat Robertson. He spreads a lot of hate in the name of his god, and I can understand the god allowing him to do it in the name of free will... but why is it so profitable
? Pat's rolling in money, weilds tons of power, and has made a cottage industry out of it. He's seemingly being blessed
for his mis-use of the beliefs. Same deal with Jerry Falwell.
And it goes on. Mel Gibson makes Passion of the Christ
. I don't think that's evil, necessarily (although the depiction of the Jews and Mel's motivation is questionable), but - at least to my thinking - it misses what was most important about Christ; his teachings, etc., and boils the whole thing down to snuff-porn. This thing was a money machine. They were even selling some of the most crass merchandise possible - sterling silver crucifiction nail pendants? And crowns of thorns?
I know it's not my place to say, but... I don't think the fella who booted moneylenders out of the temple would be too thrilled with that stuff.
Sure, they have the free will to do this... but, if it was my name they were doing it in, and I had the ways and means to manipulate all the forces in the universe, I'd find a way to make it not turn a profit.
I'm not trying to put any believers on the spot here, or offend anybody (and if I am, please say so and I'll apologize and back out of the thread right now - I know this is a touchy thing and I'm sincerely not trying to step on toes), but it's difficult for me to see these gods as gods when they don't seem to have as much brand-name-control as Disney does...
I'll pick on Allah for a second. The Middle East was the birthplace of civilization. For centuries it was the most advanced place on the planet; they developed almost everything before anyone else. Given a massive head-start like that, it, by rights, should still be one of the most advanced places on Earth... but instead it's become one of the most backward. And that happened around the time that Islam became prevalent. Their religion has brought them ignorance, nonstop wars, persecution, and held them back... but they persist in thanking Allah.
There's a lot of wisdom in the Koran, it's one of the world's great books, along with the Bible... it should
be a good thing and a positive force, and I know that in many ways it is. A lot of people get a lot of good from it, even though the terrorists seem to get all the headlines, the Christianity's terrorists like Fred Phelps get an unfair share of the headlines, too. It just seems strange that a proud god like Allah would allow himself that kind of track record. He wouldn't have to do away with free will to get himself better results.
If I had a kid, I could let him do what he wanted... but I could also make it clear to him when I wasn't pleased with his choices, even if I didn't stop him from making them.
Like Drew said, maybe it'll all sort itself out in the end. For now, though, it's kinda hard to figure... at least, for me.