Why Does God Allow Suffering?


By Prayson Daniel


One of the greatest objection of existence of God is problem of pain, suffering. If there is a God why so much suffering? Medical doctor, Justin Thacker answers this question in a reasonable, easy to understand, and great power point presentation that will expand how you think about Existence of God and problem of Suffering.

Part 1 Intellectual Problem of Suffering


Part 2 Personal Problem


Part 3 Emotional Problem


Part 4 Wider Prospective

© 2010 Justin Thacker

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14 thoughts on “Why Does God Allow Suffering?

  1. Again, non-belief is the lack of acceptance of certain supernatural claims; there is no dogma, it’s not a religion, doesn’t tell you “think this” or “think that”…there is no book to follow, no infallible text, no prophet we have to listen to…as I understand what Dawkins said, I accept it, but I disagree with him on other issues (for instance, the whole “Smarts” idea), and am not bound, as to a pope if Catholic, to accepting what he claims…you wouldn’t have to believe those things if you were a non-believer, though I do feel they are somewhat implied if one doesn’t think there’s an intelligence out there…

  2. “…we are no just to ignore it as if evil does not exist.”

    No one said we had to ignore anything, just that we don’t have to invent purpose where it probably doesn’t exist…we can always try to fight natural disasters, try to overcome our miseries without pretending that something out there is doing it with us or undoing that against us…

    “Then I know there is meaning to life, and when disaster happens I know they have purpose and meaning even if I do not like the purpose or meaning of it.”

    You said you don’t even know the meaning…how can you like or dislike something you don’t know?…Are you saying that we should accept that suffering glorifies God? In that case, I would agree, if there was actually any evidence that that was the case..we would have to surrender to such a possibility, if it seemed to be true…but part of accepting what you don’t like is admitting that, then, God wouldn’t be a Good God, even if you would still want to call Him that…

    “I wish there was an answer. Atheism offer me to think of crying babies as just freaky nature. That I can not accept.”

    I wish there was an answer too, and especially a solution, but there may very well not be either of those, and I have to be able to accept that…non-belief doesn’t tell you what to think about crying babies…it just suggests what nature might think of them: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING…you shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that humans are supposed to imitate the natural world, given Dawkins remarks…the man was simply saying that nature is probably indifferent, not that we should be, if I understand him…

    • Hehe wrote: “You said you don’t even know the meaning…how can you like or dislike something you don’t know?…”

      I love that question. If the Lord works in mysterious ways that we sometimes don’t understand, how do we know we understand enough to know he isn’t evil? I think what has happened throughout history is when the stories of the Bible were written, there was enough love and kindness in there to get people to agree with it, and the bad things God did (especially things like the genocide in the OT) was considered a reasonable way to get things done. Slavery was normal and accepted, so rather than ban it outright, which would not have gone over well at all, the authors of the Bible just made a few rules to clean it up a little. The horrible acts done by God were also good for instilling fear in ancient people who were easily convinced by such things (a carrot and stick, so to speak).

      As society has advanced and opinions about things like slavery and genocide have changed, apologists have had to come up with new ways of interpreting those parts of the Bible. It eventually gets to a point where they have to admit that mere mortals cannot understand the ways of God, which is when questions like Hehe’s should be asked.

      Christians like to say you can’t get an “ought” from an “is.” My question is this: Since we can’t fully understand God, how do we know God “is” the one we “ought” to be following? If God were evil and not worthy of our worship, would we know?

      “I wish there was an answer. Atheism offer me to think of crying babies as just freaky nature. That I can not accept.”

      Crying babies has a simple natural explanation. Imagine two babies. One baby cries when it is in need (hungry, hurt, etc.) and the other one does not. Which baby is more likely to thrive and pass on its genes?

      • Dear Brap,

        God is love, and God is just. We can not choose one sided God.

        If the Bible is right then God wrath was poured to both Israelis and non-Israelis in a mass killing.

        God in the Bible use Israelis to bring justices to the nations around and when Israelis fail in many ways, God used Nations around it to bring justices to Israelis.

        I, when an atheist never saw this truth. I automatically sided with non-Israelis, why would God mass kill them. But as I read, Israelis also were mass killed, taking captive numerous times.

        The period of Jesus, Israelis were under the Roman captivities.

        The more I got the big picture the more I understand. I moved from a God who would not hurt a fly to a God who is Holy, Just and wrathful, who will send sinner to eternal punishment if choose to not accept Christ as a redeemer.

        Thus I do not deny, God is one dangerous being and wrathful being, and because of his righteous and Just will punish, destroy, unjust, unrighteous.

        But yet God is love, in a sense that He send his only Son to die, so that the unjust, unrighteous who believe the Son as the mediator, the carrier of their punishment, the absorber of God wrath on their behalf.

        How about Children and women, was my objection, and my answer was non is just in front of God. Nether Israelis or non-Israelis. All are unjust and unrighteous. It is our nature after the fall to hate God. And that is so until Christ set us free. I sound like a priest now 🙂

    • Not knowing the meaning does not mean no purpose.

      If God allow evil for a great purpose, it does not matter if I understand it or not, if I discover his meaning or not.

  3. So you are now a Christian because you don’t like what a godless, headless view of things implies…not because of any logic, reasoning…if one theory doesn’t look too appealing, go for another one without any care for what’s actually true, hmmm…

    I absolutely agree with what Richard Dawkins says in those quotes, if I interpret them properly…

    “If you ask me why earthquakes and tsunamis, I will answer as a believer, that it some how glorify God in a way I do not understand. Because God does what pleases him. I think this will be my first question, to God when I meet Him.”

    And right after:

    “Thus if Christianity is true, suffering makes much sense. The earthquakes and tsunamis are call to turn to God.”

    If we pretend that’s a scientific theory, we would look around to see if evil people are hit more often than others by natural disasters…I’m not 100% sure that’s the case, but that’s just me…How does it make more sense? Your ignorance of the reason for suffering under the rule of an All-Knowing All-Powerful God makes more sense than accepting that nature might not be out to get you ? Glorify God? The child weeping because his mother has died in the tsunami? The homeless children in my country, Haiti, being taken in as slaves? That glorifies God? If He’s infinitely Good, we need to redefine the word “good”…

    I guess you would side with Pat Robertson on that one, with his consoling words after several natural disasters, including the January 12th earthquake in Haiti, 9/11…God reprimanding sinners…

    • “Thus if Christianity is true, suffering makes much sense. The earthquakes and tsunamis are call to turn to God.”

      It makes sense in a way that it matters, it is not just blind nature and we are no just to ignore it as if evil does not exist.

      I am a christian because it make sense of metaphysical questions: Is there God? Is there meaning in life? What is the bases of moral? Are we valuable? Is there meaning to life? Is there hope? what is life?

      I am christian because from History, we have a figure called Jesus Christ, If he is true? if his claim to be God incarnate is true? Then I know there is meaning to life, and when disaster happens I know they have purpose and meaning even if I do not like the purpose or meaning of it.

      The child weeping because his mother has died in the tsunami? The homeless children in my country, Haiti, being taken in as slaves?

      Brap, I do feel how you feel on this issue. Honest I will say I do not know why in way that I could quench your thirst on this question 😦 I really do not know. Could there be a reason why God if exist allow this?

      Funny enough most countries with lot of disaster are countries which Christianity is growing faster.

      I wish there was an answer. Atheism offer me to think of crying babies as just freaky nature. That I can not accept.

  4. try fourth one. But it would be hard if you just watch one. Take 2 and 3 also it will open your mind to so much on this topic

    • You’re right about four, though I don’t agree with the idea…but the explanation is just “We don’t have any explanation, God does”…I wouldn’t make a video titled “Why dogs chase cats” and say in the video “We don’t know”, or “They have a reason too complex for our minds to comprehend”…that’s not a reason…

      The man doesn’t answer the question asked in either of the videos, he simply tells us how to deal with suffering, misfortunes, especially #2 and #3.

      In #2, I think he makes a horrible analogy about an ambulance, about someone refusing to be taken into one because of his misunderstanding about his misfortune…the thing is, the people in the ambulance didn’t cause the accident, whereas God supposedly causes misfortunes (or allows them to happen)…the analogy is inappropriate, you wouldn’t resent Mr. X because of something Mr. Y did, while you might resent Mr. Y…

      • Hej Hehe,

        Thank you for watching all 4 clips. I will be the first to admit that there are evil I can not explain or try to understand.

        Example earthquakes and tsunamis. I had the same problem one I were an atheist. Richard Dawkin capture it so well when he writes:

        We are machines built by DNA whose purpose is to make more copies of the same DNA. … This is exactly what we are for. We are machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object’s sole reason for living. — Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, ‘The Ultraviolet Garden’, (No. 4, 1991). Quoted in Vinoth Ramachandra, Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping our World (2008), 187.

        We are survival machines, robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still with astonishment. The Selfish Gene (1976), Preface.

        DNA which neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.(River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life(1995), 133)

        Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous—indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose. River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995), 112

        We are survival machines, robots, earthquakes and tsunamis, wars, children abuse, rape, stealing, its all part of nature. Nature cares nothing. We just need to dance with it.

        The moment we speak of evil, we assume non evil. We assume that something ought to be right and this is not right. What is right? Nature know no right and wrong, no value, no just. You eat or get eaten, a robot, surviving to pass your DNA.

        New Atheist, like Dawkins refuse to admit that evil exist, Buddhist believe it is just an illusion, Hindu,s something wrong in the previous life. But non offer a solutions. They simply say, “Sådan er det bare!” Danish meaning It is just the way it is and nothing can not be done about it.

        But the problem of evil is for both theist and atheist to answer. I find Christianity more plausible because not only it explain why there is evil but also say there is an end to it.

        If you ask me why earthquakes and tsunamis, I will answer as a believer, that it some how glorify God in a way I do not understand. Because God does what pleases him. I think this will be my first question, to God when I meet Him.

        C.S Lewis writes in his book Problem of Pain

        God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world

        Thus if Christianity is true, suffering makes much sense. The earthquakes and tsunamis are call to turn to God.

        God is being portrayed unbalance in Church, a loving Father, a forgiving, sweet pal, but they leave out God hate to sin, wrath, Noah’s floods, sulfur rain in Sodom and Gomorrah. God is love, yet He is holy and just. If God is outside time, then even the Children are not innocent for God can know before they are born to the time they die. Thus he knows what the unborn or born would have done any how. Sorry I am going into theology.

        In short, we are tough incomplete nature of God(If he exist). But why create a universe with free will being? or Unbalance naturally process with earthquakes and tsunamis? No answer will quench my thirst, but in Christ, I come to learn that the world was perfect in the being, fell, Christ come to restore and one day He will come back to end all. But this is a Christian story.

        As an atheist I had to live knowing earthquakes and tsunamis are meaningless and pointless,just nature and I have to dance to its music.

  5. Anyway, the first video is the one addressing the intellectual problem, which I think is the most relevant one…they didn’t talk about natural disasters at all…

  6. I’ve only watched the first video so far…again, what about earthquakes and tsunamis? Effects of our free will too? Or have they been caused by the sins of Adam and Eve?

    I can see how wars and other man-caused miseries would fit with that, but those are not the sole sources of suffering in our world…

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