I run a personal page where I say things of the Faith, I do not go into apologetics as I am still learning, sometimes I have questions from people whom I can tell genuinely need an answer. I got the latest question:
“There is no loving god, NO way. If there is one, I doubt it, he is either a desinterested spectator of human suffering, or worse a sadist enjoying it. There is no explanation for all the misery in this world when there is an almighty, loving god sitting thereWhere is this loving god, who creates all life, let it be loved to mow it down before age 5. 9,000,000 kids dying before age 5. Explain this loving god to me. Thank you…”
I have no where to turn to for answers but here and I hope to plant a little seed in this person. I just dont know how to word an answer.
The 9 million kids are delighted to be where they are. That’s first. Our job is to care enough about each other to make the sacrifices be necessary to care for one another, including the 25k people a day dying of starvation. We only care that much, give that much, through the power of the Light of God, Who is Love. Love is an action, doing, sacrificing.
How much is this person doing, giving or sacrificing? Without the Light, all they can see is themselves and misery. With the Light they can, themselves, save lives, give hope, be a Light themselves.
Tell 'em to quit whining and get to work. Gods or no, there’s something to be done. Without God, no one would have the courage to do it. No one would bother.
There are better explanations out there, but this is how I explain it to myself (not that I understand yet):
God is not just a being, he is the Source of being. He is Existence itself. He is entirely perfect, He does not need anything; nothing is lacking in God. Many Christians point to this as one reason to believe that God is Love: He did not need us, yet we exist, and we live in a universe where everything we need to survive and be happy was ready and waiting for us long before we were born, without our making or earning it. (Of course, this doesn’t mean that tragedy doesn’t happen. Obviously people starve where food is scarce, but food - and the entire complex process of eating to restore health - does exist.)
If God was a Sadist, and made us just to watch us suffer, He would need something; he would be somehow lacking. He would have created us to fulfill a selfish wish, and if He was alone and didn’t have anybody to torment, He’d experience dissatisfaction.
Sadism is selfish, and focused on distortion; Love is not. Love would expend itself endlessly and tirelessly in the creation of a universe where life can exist and constantly renew itself.
I think the answer is that God gave us free will, evil is from the devil and those who choose evil.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, we read how He fasted for 40 days in the desert and was tempted by the devil. “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to’” (Luke 04:05). The clue is that the Earth was given to Lucifer. Before the devil fell from grace, he was one of God’s favorites, comparable to the disciple Judas. One can ascertain from the Bible passage that when God gives something, it is an unconditional gift. Notwithstanding the expulsion, “How art thou fallen from heaven, Oh Lucifer, son of the morning? How art thou cut down to the ground” (Isaiah 14:12). “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).
Only a Truly Loving God could grant us the free will to commit such evil and at the same time give us the ability, through peace, to end it. Only a Truly Loving God would watch with sadness and compassion, waiting for us to turn to Him and do his will, yet give us the freedom to choose not to. Only a Truly Loving God would provide life eternal- a life free from the temporary sorrow and evil of this earth. Only a Truly Merciful God would allow you the freedom to insult Him, yet give you the Grace to Love and accept Him.
But God is not just loving, he is PERFECT
And has the right to be perfectly disgusted with our behavior. (killing each other, complaining all the time, etc.) So in a way God is loving us by not getting rid of us.
Adam and Eve ate the apple when God told them no. And so sin and unhappiness came into the world.
Also, how could we show God that we love others if there wasn’t sad people for us to help? We would be unable to show our love in a very significant way if God never gave anyone the chance to show it. He turns the problem we got from Adam and Eve’s sin to a chance to obey him by loving others as he commanded.
The love that parents have for their children is itself a gift & the grief they feel at an early loss is an expression of that love. The early death doesn’t cancel that love; all love of any person on earth means that at some point, we will grieve at the death, or they will at ours.
My godmother’s only daughter suffered from leukemia for years, had a few years of remission, but died at the age of 29. Through love of her daughter, she shared that suffering in that way that only mothers know. Would it have been better for her, as another relative did, to lose her daughter before the age of five? Such comparisons are absurd. But I know a very holy Catholic woman whose sons defected from the faith & lived horrible lives & died, to all appearances, impenitent, which means she may have lost them twice, though she hopes God’s mercy found them. Had she lost them when they were only boys, she would not have had all the suffering which came from seeing them turn against their faith, their mother, and their own lives.
It is a terrible world; but it would be worse if we were to look on the death of children before the age of five with indifference. That would be Hell. Sadly, we learn to look on the death of children before they arrive in this world with indifference or acceptance. That shows how love has grown cold in our age.
Our faith exists because we believe that a loving God willed that His own Son die an agonizing, humiliating death in the presence of the Son’s most blessed Mother, who shared her Son’s agony to a greater degree than any other has shared their child’s suffering.
you want to know how to help this person and how to personally reconcile these terrible things with a loving God
it is difficult to know how to help your poster; there is nothing personal in the statement. It isn’t clear what is behind it, what would be the cause of the brokeness that he is expressing? I hear anger, depression and cynicism. I don’t know if he is trying to hurt you. Underneath there may be a hope that your words will break down the frozen walls he has created. Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of acceptance of the world, and a false belief that there can be heaven on this earth without Christ. You pray for him, let him know that you are doing so. If he is truly willing to discover the Truth, you may be able to help him. God bless you for trying.
I would ask you, what is the source of your caring if not He who is infinite compassion?
It isn’t clear what is behind it, what would be the cause of the brokeness that he is expressing? I hear anger, depression and cynicism. I don’t know if he is trying to hurt you. Underneath there may be a hope that your words will break down the frozen walls he has created. Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of acceptance of the world, and a false belief that there can be heaven on this earth without Christ.
The attitude of the speaker absolutely conditions what response can or should be made. Such statements usually aren’t the result of exact philosophical considerations; most frequently, it’s a cry of the heart faced with a world where death & horrific crimes strike seemingly at random. I think of a woman whose husband was a WWII veteran who had gone into the war as a devout protestant – a Baptist, if I remember – and whose overwhelming experiences seemed to suggest that there was no providence, simply accidents & incomprehensible caprice on the part of the universe . . .