If God exists, Dorian doesn’t
If God exists, Dorian doesn’t. Period. It’s that simple to many atheists and others skeptical of the notion that an all-loving, all-powerful God would permit great suffering. With each new natural disaster or mass shooting, their belief in God’s nonexistence is seemingly confirmed. And I get that.
Sometimes I feel like saying to God, why do you keep giving people more reasons to reject you? You could just vaporize Dorian in an instant and win over thousands who had dismissed you as no more real than a flying spaghetti monster. But instead you just watch from heaven as whole towns are destroyed and people lose everything they had, and both children and adults tremble in fear for their lives.
But he isn’t just watching, he’s scheming to bring further destruction and death with the next hurricane, earthquake or tsunami. Think about it. The evidence in nature itself for an intelligent creator is pretty overwhelming…the beginning of the universe from nothing, it being incomprehensibly finely-tuned for life, information-rich DNA. There has to be a god to account for all of that. So what accounts for all the apparently pointless suffering is that this god must be downright evil or at the very least uncaring, right? Or that he simply doesn’t exist and there is some nebulous, dubious, natural explanation for the origin of the universe. What other option is there?
Of course, I do believe there is another option…that God really is good and loving but has morally-sufficient reasons for allowing natural disasters like Dorian. This view accounts for all the evidence, as difficult as it may be to believe. Atheists point to the evidence of great, undeserved suffering and conclude that there is no God, but disregard the other evidence which calls their conclusion into question. Just like in a murder case, we have to take every piece of evidence into consideration. If we know the accused had a motive but disregard conflicting witness testimony, fingerprints that don’t match his, and his airtight alibi, we would convict an innocent man.
It’s understandable to doubt God’s existence in light of great suffering. So that explains that. But you’ve still got a whole bunch of evidence over here to explain as well, and the nonexistence of God just won’t do. The atheist will say, it may seem unreasonable to posit a finely-tuned universe coming into being without a transcendent personal cause, but that’s only because there are realities we have yet to discover. But how is this any different from the theist’s claim that God has sufficient reasons for allowing suffering that we do not or cannot know? And which makes more sense?
Conclusions arrived at from a single line of evidence are likely to be seriously flawed. Wisdom demands an honest evaluation of every piece of evidence available. Hurricane Dorian and her siblings may support the atheist view, but only if one ignores the tidal wave of testimony which threatens it.