How Could a Good God Allow Suffering? Flashcards Preview

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"If a good and powerful God exists, he would not allow pointless evil"

What is the hidden assumption in this statement?

"If evil appears pointless to me, then it must be pointless."

Just because we can't see a good reason why God allows something to happen doesn't mean there isn't one

Such reasoning places enormous faith in one's own cognitive abilities.


What is the "no-see-ums" illustration that shows the fallacy at the heart of the "how could God allow evil" argument?

If you look for a St. Bernard in a pup tent and you don't see one, then one can state that there are no St. Bernards in the tent.

However, not seeing a small insect in a tent can't lead to the same conclusion that no small insects are in your tent.

Just because you can't see a good reason that something bad happened, doesn't mean God doesn't have a reason you may have missed


Are bad events in life always bad in the long run?

No. I can look back at really rough times in my life that, while terrible at the time, have really helped to build and shape my character. I am now grateful for those experiences

Therefore, God can have cause to allow bad things that are good for us in the long run


How does suffering provide a better argument for God's existence rather than against it?

This objection against God is based on a sense of fair play and justice. But these two concepts are foreign to atheistic and evolutionary mechanisms.
Evolution, in particular, depends on death, destruction, and violence.
Your only other option is that you are holding the world to a non-natural standard. One outside of your own personal tastes. God.


Can there be wickedness and evil without God?

No. The natural world has no place for genuine moral obligation. Therefore, to claim there is without God is just your own personal taste that no one else has to be held to


"Despite these arguments, this doesn't get the Christian God off the hook for evil and suffering!"

The Christian God deliberately came to earth to put himself on the hook for human suffering. In Jesus Christ, God experienced the deepest levels of human pain and suffering


"God doesn't understand my pain"

Christ went through more devastation (cosmic abandonment by his Father) and suffering (slow suffocation while nailed to a cross) than any of us ever have. Yes, he does understand.


How does suffering become more bearable for the Christian?

Because there is hope of the resurrection. That despite all the terrible things that can happen to us hear, there is an afterlife coming that will make it all worth it


How did C. S Lewis succintly describe the pain of now compared to coming paradise?

"They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into glory"