Our country was hit by two strong storms in the last few weeks. If my memory serves me right, there was only less than a week before another storm hit the northern part of our country again. These two storms caused a lot of casualties. It killed more than 200 people, displaced thousands of people from their homes, and destroyed a lot of properties. Not to mention the trauma that it left to the survivors especially to the young ones.
Instances like this is a challenge to the lives of the people who are affected. How will they move on with their lives when they have almost nothing left? How will they move on if their loved ones were killed? Where will they get money to start again? Where will they get help? I think all of these questions and problems can be answered and solved as time will pass by or if eventually some will help these people. Time will heal the wounds as a quote say. But a more important question still remains unanswered for a long time. Well many have tried but I guess their answers still faces a lot of criticisms and contradictions making the problem still a problem.
Where was the God that believers, mostly Christians, claim to be true/existing, loving, and powerful? Why God would allow this to happen? Well these questions are not really original and new but I think it would be good to ask this question again and again for more emphasis. I asked these questions subtly (subtly so that they will not be offended) to my theist friends and they all have their own explanations and theodicies. I wasn't able to reply and criticize them because of time constraints and that I do not want to offend, and humiliate them. So below is the four and most common theodicies that I encountered and my reply and criticisms to these four.
Punishment Reply. The people that suffered in the in the two storms were just punished by God because these people disobeyed God laws or that these people were very sinful.
My reply: Not all of the people that were killed or suffered are sinful. There were children and good people too who suffered and died on the said storms. Theists could reply that this is just a result of the original sin. But I say that this is not just and it do not show that God is loving. I mean, is it just to punish the grand grand grand grand grand grand100x children of a person who committed a sin long ago? You know the answer.
The Heavenly Reply. These people and children may have suffered and died but they will be compensated many times in heaven/eternal life.
My reply: But what's the point of them suffering here on earth? Why did'nt God put them straight to heaven even before they suffered? Heaven do not justify their suffering. This act is immoral even if heaven is so good because God could've put them to heaven or give them eternal life without suffering them.
Soul making theodicy. This contends that God allows evil because this builds up a positive character to the victims. And this compensate evil and suffering.
My reply: Is this how a loving God build up positive character to its followers? I think there are still many other ways that is less evil and crude. Also evil and suffering do not necessarily build up a positive character. Greater losses also occur. Families would break up, morale would go down, people would turn away from God.
The Privation response. Evil is just the absence of good just as darkness the absence of light.
My reply: Evil is not really a privation of good. If you are hurt, say you were punched or kicked in the ass, you know that it hurts. It is a positive sensation and not just the absence of pleasure. People who are numb or asleep do not feel pain, even though they experience the absence of pleasure and any other feeling.
So where's your God now?