Why do bad things happen to good people?


No, it’s not funny, it really isn’t. But if god existed, wouldn’t you expect him to spare you from suffering?

So if you believe in god and worship him, um… he has got to be freaking kidding you!

 

Image via smbc-comics.com
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7 thoughts on “Why do bad things happen to good people?

  1. Why would you expect that if God existed, He would spare you from suffering?  That assumes suffering has nothing to teach you; that pain (as well as pleasure) is meaningless.  But suffering and pleasure are meaningful and have much to teach us about God and this world.  Jesus knows what it is to suffer, and God the Father did not spare Christ from suffering because he was bringing about life for many through it.  And Jesus willingly endured that suffering on our behalf.  Christ suffered, not so that we would not suffer, but so that through our suffering we would become more like Him.  Our suffering helps us to empathize with others who have suffered, compels us to serve those who are hurting, it clarifies for us what is most important, and in our suffering we find our only true hope and joy, in Christ.

    How does one who believes there is no god answer the same question, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?”

    • “Why would you expect that if God existed, He would spare you from suffering?”

      If  a LOVING god who saw humanity as his children and loved us as a good father loves his kids, I would absolutely expect god to do what he could (supposedly everything) to prevent suffering because that’s LOVE.

      Let me quickly make a distinction between hurt and harm. Inoculations can hurt, but they prevent a greater harm, so I make my son go through that smaller pain to avoid a bigger one. But there are some pains that I don’t give a fuck how much he MIGHT learn from them, the pain is too great, the suffering and long term emotional damage too intense, so I do everything in my NON-omnipotent power to prevent him those pains. Examples: abuse, starvation, rape. You know – the kinds of things children (god’s children?) experience every single day.

      If a LOVING parental god existed, I would damn right expect him to do more than the nothing he does. If god existed, one child would not STARVE TO DEATH every five minutes on this earth, yet they do.

      How can you brush aside the genuine suffering of millions of actual living, breathing, feeling people because your fairy tale figure Jesus supposedly had one really bad day? How does even a horrific beating and crucifixion begin to compare to the suffering of a mother whose child has terminal cancer? or to the pain of a baby born with Tay Sachs disease? (And hey, why the fuck would a loving god even allow Tay Sachs to exist?!)

    • It may not provide comfort, but stuff happens.  If there’s anything that’s obvious to me from observing this existence is that random chance rules day-to-day operations.
      Atheism is not a religion to follow, but the conclusion of a logical thought process. It may not give you a warm, fuzzy feeling like believing in Jesus, but we never advertised it as such.

  2. The existance of god is irrelevant to whether there is pain or suffering, and I’m not talking just about Jesus, I’m talking about all other gods past or present. The main reason for me to believe there is no god is just simply that It’s illogic, unproved and highly unlikely that there exists a magical being call it Zeus or Jesus that created the entire universe. Suffering exists, pain exist, pleasure exists, and we as humans can learn upon it or let it just pass.

  3. Bryan: “Bad” things happen to “good” people because there is no good or evil, just circumstances. Life happens. And life  happens without the need to justify suffering as an educational directive from the supposedly omniscient guy who made everything imperfect in the first place.
    By the way, your worldview is just a tad bit sociopathic. You probably should have that looked at. Suffering should not be a way of life.

  4. @Angie the Anti-Theist, what you seem to be saying is that since YOU cannot think of any reason why God would allow suffering, there must not be a reason and therefore God does not exist. That is extremely subjective, don’t you think? I mean, I can’t see any good reason why anyone would be an atheist, but I don’t fool myself into believing there are no atheists. If there is a God who is big enough to be angry with (for allowing suffering), don’t you think there could be a God big enough to have greater reasons for allowing suffering than you can think of? Hurt and harm are synonyms, and while I understand what you are trying to say, again you are assuming that God would operate as you do, making yourself the ultimate authority. You allow your son to experience certain pain because you know you are preventing a greater pain by doing so. Why can’t you believe that God would do the same thing, but on a much different scale? Why do you get to be the judge of how much pain is allowed? Shouldn’t your son get to decide that? You obviously have a strong sense of justice. Where does that come from? If there is no God, then why do you get upset that children starve to death? Are you equally upset that other animals die every day as well? The strong survive; the weak die off. That’s the way the world works isn’t it? Or does humanity have a higher worth and value? What rationalistic explanation can you give for that? Why do you even believe in things like love or justice? It’s because they point to something beyond ourselves.
    @Rob, atheism is most certainly a religion. Is atheism not a ‘set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, agreed upon by a number of persons’? Do atheists not spend countless hours attempting to make converts? What makes atheism not a religion?
    @David Salas, the original cartoon did not ask whether pain or suffering exist, but why. We all agree that indeed pain and suffering exist. As demonstrated by the other commenters, there is no satisfactory atheistic answer for why suffering exists, other than ‘it just does’. You also say, “The main reason for me to believe there is no god is just simply that It’s illogic, unproved and highly unlikely that there exists a magical being…” What makes believing there is a God any more illogical than believing there isn’t a God? Can you prove there is no God? Can we prove anything, really? Can you prove that the only things that are true are those that can be rationally, empirically proved? No, there is no way to prove that statement is true, rationally and empirically.
    @Synthaetica, you say, “there is no good or evil, just circumstances.” Do you really believe that? You don’t believe there is any evil? So murder is not evil? Rape? Abuse? Your response to people who have suffered those things is ‘life happens’? That seems more like a sociopathic worldview to me. I never said suffering is a way of life, but simply that suffering is part of life and it has meaning and value in our lives, the same way other experiences do. We are shaped by them.

  5. Bryan, we can discount your contentions simply on the basis of your readily displaying ignorance of what atheism is (amongst many, many other things).  You make statements of absolution in regards to atheism being a religion with supporting arguments that are completely fallacious.  By your very definition, string theory is a religion, the big bang? Any scientific hypothesis for how existence came into being…religion.  Really?
    I don’t even gather an argument from the statement: “I mean, I can’t see any good reason why anyone would be an atheist, but I don’t fool myself into believing there are no atheists.” Why even make such a statement?  It clearly applies to the opposite as well…where we differ however, is that we are not contending an assertion is fact.  Why do not make ourselves (humanity) the authority, we quite simply ARE the authority.  Again, the issue is that your authority (god) cannot be shown in any scientific way to exist by any evidence whatsoever.
    When you say: “Can we prove anything, really? Can you prove that the only things that are true are those that can be rationally, empirically proved? No, there is no way to prove that statement is true, rationally and empirically.” I’m left wondering why you are even here making contentions…how do you even have contentions?  That would require you having a stance on something that cannot be shown in any sense to be accurate.  Perhaps this is the heart of the reason why you, who are of the opinion that *nothing* can be proven…need to have it all outlined for you by an authoritative deity?  Interesting though, that you find it reasonable to be of the opinion that such a deity does exist because of a textual vestige thousands of years old, and concerned about our disbelief, despite your being of the opinion “Can we prove anything, really?
    It appears you have no place attempting to instigate logical and reasonable debate, when you do not ascribe to logic and reason.

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