Would God opt to allow the evil, pain, and suffering that we see?
About the question
Our best goods require, risk, or result in suffering
The most valuable goods in our world require, risk, or result in the sufferings that we see.
This page analyzes 11 arguments:
The greatest goods include:
- Free will in a moral arena
- Best forming our own character
- God's atonement for people like Paul
- Worldly people turning to seek God
- Love-bonds forged in suffering
- Solidarity with Christ in suffering
- True evil-conquering stories
- A knowable unfolding natural order
- Sacrifices for good causes
- Being of use to those in need
- Appreciating heaven (no suffering)
This is relevant because greater goods can justify God's permitting some or all of sufferings that we see.
The world would be better
The world would be better in the absence of at least some of the sufferings we see occuring. This is relevant because, if and all-good God existed, then that God would opt for making the world better when possible.
By way of response, however, couldn't it simply be that there is no best world, so God would not opt for one.1
- For example, it seems like God could always add one more happy baby to the world, and thereby make it better.
It's more loving/humane (even if not better)
Choosing to prevent some sufferings that we see would be more humane/loving of God (even if it makes the world worse). This is relevant because God has a duty to treat his creation humanely.
By way of response, however, couldn't it simply be that God has no duties?[Forthcoming]