I was agnostic (knowing nothing) until truth was revealed.
Kant could't. Nitczhe is dead. Aristotle was correct.
At the very least, don't hide behind a biased world-view of God. God does not need human worship. He exists.
As a final straw, you might try reading the Bible. Actually reading it, instead of relying on reviews presented by leftist professors.
Keep an open mind, but don't let your brains fall out.
We aren't all 81, but we all face mortality.
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis addresses the other issues in your post, if you're interested. It's a complex problem.
Anthony Flew is one of the most influential atheists of the past 50 years. I read some of his work in college when I was an agnostic.
In 2001, Flew was still claiming to be an atheist.
Either the Guardian has it wrong, or something's changed for Flew.
You would need to know the fulfillment of the plan to determine whether or not it were malevolent. Evil lacks nature, and is the result of creatures rebelling against the "Planner" with their freewill - given to them by their Creator.
In certain christian mythos heaven is the "beatific vision" the permission to look upon the face of god for all eternity. Maybe it's just me, but if a supreme being needs that kind of fawning from its' flawed finite creations there's a serious ego issue at play.
The Beatific Vision - "to make blessed" - is the gift of Grace which allows a finite creature of God to share directly for all eternity (which God is) in His Glory. The final summation of "The Plan". The Supreme Being doesn't need this "fawning" from His creatures, rather He Wills to bestow this supernatural happiness, namely Himself, on those who freely choose it/Him. Indeed, from a Christian perspective, the central mystery of God that He has revealed to us about Himself is that God is an Infinite Being of three Divine Persons absolutely united together in communion so as to share completely in One Nature.
As I see it hell must have a far more interesting group of people.
That's the problem. There are no groups of people in hell. It is a final state of being, chosen through fault of the individuals who may end there, of complete isolation and loneliness.
<< Second: if this reality is all part of a completely thought out plan, then the malevolent nature of the mind that came up this is jaw droppingly frightening.
... As I see it hell must have a far more interesting group of people. >>
Maybe, just maybe, God created a perfect system and the malevolence you see and complain about comes from your own mind.
Just because you don't want something to exist, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You deny the power of creation but you claim to have the power of destruction - by wishing away what you can't accept.
"If I'm wrong" - you say - so you are still buying into the hypothesis.
It's not a matter of guessing correctly based on logic. As you see, logic leads nowhere. Neither does belief.
Just think of the most miserable depressed tortured lost hopeless and insane people you know on this earth. Are they "interesting"?
So would you believe hell in hell is better than hell on earth?