I’ve been a practicing catholic for 20 years until recently I’ve decided faith in God is a laughing stock. Before I get started let me throw out a couple of your arguments towards me before hand: (My responses are the *'s)
What people consider evil or suffering is an illusion or unimportant.
*So killing an unborn child is an illusion?
God’s divine plan is good. What we see as evil is not really evil; rather, it is part of a divine design that is actually good. Our
limitations prevent us from seeing the big picture.
*His divine plan was to have millions killed in war for the big picture of people killing off random people in a “war zone”
A related posture holds that no theodicy is needed or even appropriate. God, if he exists, is so far superior to man, that he cannot be judged by man. Man’s assumption that he can tell God what a benevolent and all-powerful god can or cannot do, is mere arrogance.
*Let me say that’s a lie, well because if God is Omnipotent let him smite me right now! (didn’t think so…)
A perfect God is not only good but also evil, since perfection implies no lacking, including not lacking that which is evil. A lacking of evil would imply that there is something external to his all-encompassing perfection. This is related to monistic philosophies such as advaita, or pantheism.
*Right so he created evil, so people could be miserable? He must have a fantastic plan for us!
Evil is the consequence of God giving people free will, or God may intend evil and suffering as a test for humanity. Without the possibility to choose to do good or evil acts humans would lack moral content.
*Again with the evil nonsense. Why would he want us to hurt another or be hurt?
Evil is the consequence, not cause, of people not observing God’s revealed will. Universal reciprocated love would solve most of the problems that lead to the evils discussed here.
*Score one for Free Will apparently, I think he made a mistake.
God’s ultimate purpose is to glorify himself (which, by definition, he alone is infinitely entitled to, without vanity). He allows evil to exist so that humanity will appreciate goodness all the more, in the same way that the blind man healed by Jesus appreciated his sight more so than those around him who had never experienced blindness.
*I can guarantee you that if there was no evil everyone would be happy and not expect anything else. Hence pure euphoria all the time.
God created perfect angels and humans with free will. Some of them began to sin and lost their perfection, which resulted in evil doing and death. For a while God will allow this to continue, so that it can be shown that his creations can not be happy while independent from God. In due time God will restore the people who choose to depend on God to perfection and so bring an end to sin and with it an end to evil.
*I think he messed up with creating evil, the lack of god, why would he want people to not love him if he is all powerful? Does he want people to fight and kill?
God is a righteous judge; people get what they deserve. If someone suffers, that is because they committed a sin that merits such punishment. (This is also known as the just world hypothesis.)
*I’ll go with the unborn babies again or maybe the child who will never see because his mom was on drugs. Man, that baby was a sinner in the womb.( I didn’t know that was possible?)
Evil is one way that God tests humanity, to see if we are worthy of His grace.
*Why should we be tested? Who is to say Heaven and Hell exist? Has anyone seen Heaven/Hell? No proof.
Evil and pain exist in this world only. This world is only a prelude to the afterlife, where no pain will exist. The scales of justice are balanced in the afterlife.
*Refer to the question above.
The world is corrupt and of itself shouldn’t have been created, but the work of Christ (or some savior figure) redeems the world and thus God’s creation of it.
*Doesn’t everyone start out sinless? Isn’t that what he died for? Yet why do we have to go to church and learn what is "wrong?"
If we never knew what was wrong we wouldn’t be sinning, am I right?
Absolute evil is not actually real. Rather, it is only the condition of lack of goodness.
*Waste of time creating something to do wrong.
Evil is relative to good; neither good nor evil could exist without both existing simultaneously.
*I’m pretty sure an omnipotent being could make it work out without evil.
Karma: Evil is caused by past bad deeds, either in one’s current life or one’s previous lives. It is only when this karmic chain of causation is broken that reincarnation ends. This explains why an infant may be born into misery, due to actions that may have been perpetrated in previous lives.
*Doesn’t this contradict with Heaven and Hell?
Atheists resolve the apparent contradiction by rejecting the hypothesized existence of God. Some atheists think that the problem of evil can be used to prove that no gods exist by the method of reductio ad absurdum (proof by contradiction). This method does not prove the non-existence of all gods, rather it is an argument that if such a god exists then he is not both omnipotent and benevolent.
*Finally the correct answer, God is not helping anyone.