Since bad things happen, there is no God

I’ve been asked “how can there be a God when there is so much evil (bad stuff, sickness, disappointment, tragedy, etc) in the world? Why would a god allow such terrible things to happen?” and I’ve never been successful in answering this. I’ve used free will before, but that still doesn’t satisfy the question of why God “lets” these things happen. I’ve thought about the idea that we do not live in a utopia, and if we did, then no one would ever need to learn anything or improve. There should be some level of “inequality” in the world. I know what i am trying to get at with this response but haven’t been able to completely formulate it. Does anyone have good suggestions on responding to this question? To be clear, this is not a question that I struggle with; it’s a question I struggle answering for others who struggle with believing in God.

Bad things happening is NOT a sole reason many decide there is not a God. Let alone deciding on which possible ones could have been the real one over time that has developed.
By the way, I do hope you do not take this as criticism but I must say you certainly don’t seem to have spent even ten minutes googling the topic.

Well I always say to myself that God lets bad things happen so that good people would emerge and prove their worth. It parallels with what Jesus told his disciples in the parable of the wheat and the weeds

“Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.””

  • Matthew 13:30

I don’t think that any answer you would give them they would be satisfied with. So just try your best and move on.

IN ISAIAH AROUND 40 GOD STATES: I CREATE THE LIGHT AND THE DARKNESS, I CREATE THE GOOD AND THE BAD." GOOGLE IT. READ THE BOOK “WHY BAD THING HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE” WRITTEN BY A RABBI. IF WE HAD NOT BEEN DISOBEDIENT IN EDEN WE WOULD STILL BE THERE W ONLY GOOD. OUR DISOBEDIENCE BROUGHT OUR KNOWLEDGE INTO THE LAND OF EVIL. NOW, WE KNOW ALL. THE GOOD AND THE BAD. WE HAVE FREE WILL TO CHOSE THE GOOD BUT THERE ARE THOSE LIKE EVE WHO WILL PUSH THE ENVELOPE AND CHOSE THE BAD. GOD CREATED A HOLY PURE LOVE FOR US; SATAN GAVE US LUST. FEELS GOOD. MAKES US THINK WE’RE IN LOVE BUT IT HAS RULES. IT IS NOT TILL DEATH DO US PART. IT IS TILL IF YOU ARE UNFAITHFUL(SYMPTOM OF A PROBLEM) OR IF YOU DRINK TOO MUCH( TOUGH BUT SURVIVABLE W HELP). NO ONE SHOULD STAY IF THEIR LIFE IS IN DANGER. I’M TALKING ABOUT LOVE/LUST TO MARRIAGE HERE. EARNING MONEY W HARD WORK, STEALING. FOR EVERY GOOD SIDE OF A COIN, YOU CAN FLIP IT OVER AND IT HAS A BAD SIDE… TRUTH/LIES. LOVE/LUST HONESTY/DISHONESTY. PURITY/LEWDNESS. ETC.
YES, FREE WILL, CHOICES, EVE’S DISOBEDIENCE. TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL OF THIS SHE PARTOOK?? GOD DID CREATE IT. LUCIFER WAS A FAVORED ANGEL OF LIGHT-CHOSE PRIDE-FELL AND HAS BEEN TEMPTING US EVER SINCE. DID SATAN DO US A FAVOR. SOME PEOPLE ASK THIS. WE WOULDN’T HAVE KNOWN ALL WE KNOW-SAY THE FIELD OF SCIENCE. WE WOULD HAVEBEEN IN THAT BUBBLE W GOD. JESUS WOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO COME TO SAVE US W HIS SACRIFICE. I THINK I WOULDHAVE LIKED THE BUBBLE. BUT TODAY, SOME WOULD CHOSE KNOWING ALL. WHY IS GOD KEEPING US FROM ALL HIS KNOWLEDGE?? HMMM. THERE IS A GOD. IN SPITE OF OURSELVES HE STIILL LOVES US. WHY, I DON’T KNOW. BUT HIS MERCY GOES ON FOREVER AND EVER AMEN. THANK YOU ABBA AND JESUS AND HOLY SPIRIT.
YOUR DAUGHTER, HUMBLY, ALICE:gopray2:

Bad things happen as the result of both the human inclination towards evil and our having been given freewill by God.

I thought that the Catholic teaching was that God did not create evil. Now you tell us that He did?

I suggest you read the book “When bad things happen to good people” by Rabbi Kushner. Available here amazon.com/When-Things-Happen-Good-People/dp/1400034728. It is the one and only book which deals with this problem in a good, concise manner.

In Isaiah 45, God is speaking to the Persian king Cyrus, who will not only take on the role of king over the Jews, but also be the means by which they are returned home from their exile in Babylon.

God is asserting that He is in control of all things: it’s not that Cyrus is master of the world, but simply that he is God’s servant, like even the kings of Israel were.

It’s not literal; of course God doesn’t ‘create woe’; but, He permits it. Nice try, though… :shrug:

I like to tell people who have that argument…When times are all good, happy, happy, joy, joy, we tend to forget about God, we would have no need to pray to him if all was well. You would think this was all normal and eventually would see no need to thank God for your blessings because they would not be seen as blessings anymore.
I like to add, without sorrow, how would our hearts learn compassion?

BTW…tweedlealice - all caps is hard to read :confused:

Well, no it isn’t the ONLY book. and even if it was the ONLY book, that wouldn’t necessarily make it a completely satisfying treatment of the issue. Which it isn’t.

CS Lewis’ The Problem of Pain is also concise and has a far better overall consistency and set of conclusions in terms of actually resolving the issue.

This book has very erroneous theology mixed with one man’s personal philosophy that has not held up over time. I don’t recommend it. It is a good read if you want to brush up on how to spot obvious theological errors though.

I know what you are saying OP. Folks that are agnostic, or just have not encountered God yet often have this stumbling block about how bad things could happen - why, if there is a God he would allow it.

One thing I like to do is imagine, or have them imagine with you, a world in which no bad things every happened - where it was impossible for anything bad to happen because God created the world that way.

This line of thinking is what St. Anselm of Canterbury goes through in his classic works. You should check them out. The writings of the Saints are our best source.

Is the Bible inerrant?

Yes.

107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”

The Bible is inerrant. The Bible says that God created woe (or evil). God cannot create woe. —Contradiction.

Yes. That does not, however, imply that all interpretations of the Bible are inerrant. Your assertion about Isaiah 45 is one such inaccurate interpretation. :shrug:

Tom-

Do you think it would be helpful if you actually provided chapter and verse when you quote scirpture?

I do. :wink:

The Scriptural reference has already been given in this thread.
Here’s what the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible says
Isaiah 45:7
Douay-Rheims Bible
“I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things.”

Did the Bible err when it says that God creates evil?

Thanks for your comment. Your tone is accusatory and while you hope that I do not take your comment as criticism, I’m not sure how else to take it based on your choice of words. Your comment assumes that I haven’t done any research prior to posting (which, I didn’t realize was a requirement, but I understand would be ideal prior to any post) and also assumes that I’ve concluded that this is the main reason people don’t believe in God. I have researched and studied and tried to come up with my own response to this question, and I’ve had some difficulty. I also understand that this is not the only reason that makes people struggle with believing in God; I’m simply looking for assistance on one question that someone has posed to me. May I make a suggestion for future posts such as this? Instead of accusing the OP of not doing research, maybe ask if they’ve done research and make suggestions on what they could look into in order to further their attempt. I am falling short when choosing what to Google (as I feel I’ve already Googled this topic quite a bit to no avail) and could use any assistance of someone more experienced in apologetics.

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