Like most of us, I've been mezmorized by images of death, destruction, heart ache and extreme loss and human suffering. I've been moved to tears and so overwhealmed I couldn't stand to look, but like a drivering creeping by a bad wreck, could not turn away. Hour after hour watching to the same storeis, listening to the same reports, feeling helpless. Of course at the back, and sometimes the forefront, of my thinking in all of this "why does God let this happen?" I think we all ask this at such times. I do.
A poster on CARM called "Phyicist" says:
"Any Theist that defines his/her god(s) as being all-powerful
>and all-good must deal with the existence of suffering
>permitted by this Being(s). Of course, we have all heard the
>standard Apologist explanations to attempt to overcome this
>contradiction. Now, the most recent issue of the Skeptical
>Inquirer demonstrates that the exact same arguments used by
>the Apologist for the all-good god(s) can be equally applied
>to show that the god(s) is all-bad. Simply take the apologist
>argument and permute good and evil in it.
>The all-good god(s) allows suffering so that certain good
>tendencies (e.g. mercy, bravery) in people can be
>The all-bad god(s) allow some goodness to happen so that
>people will commit evil in new ways (e, g. avarice,
>Of course the point of the article is that the real world does
>not support either argument."
Of course that's a sraw man argument.
they never deal with the real issues, which is soterilogical drama. my argument of soteriological drama answers the theodecy quetsion.
soteriological Drama on Doxa
1)God's purpose in creation: to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good.
(2) Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated).
(3) Allowence of free chioces requires the risk that the chooser will make evil chioces
(4)The possiblity of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free outweighs all other considerations, since without there would be no moral universe and the purpsoe of creation would be thwarted.
This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entials. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclinded to sin.
This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it.
Argument on Soteriological Drama:
(1) Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tention exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultiamte goals, ends and puroses for which we are on this earth.
(2) Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us
(3) We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probalby all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from teh heart.
(4) therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internatilized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; intetrsubective, internal, not amienable to ordinary demonstrative evidence.
This pertians to natural disassters in the same manner. In order to further the daram, the world must be a real world. We must have to take life and nature on their own terms without speicail intervention everytime something goes wrong. That sort of intervention might come, but only on a personal level, and only in response to faith and other factors that have to be lined up according to God's will. So in general we have to live in a real world, that is a naturalistic world, and we have to take it on its own terms, and use our faith as a guide to make it through the stroms and stresses of this life.