If God is Good, Why Do the Innocent Suffer?

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

I watched a video on Facebook the other day, where Stephen Fry was asked what he would say if he died and discovered God was real. He chuckled at the absurd notion that God could exist, and then announced he would ask God, “How dare you? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's utterly, utterly evil.” The man proceeds to mention the great calamities that strike the innocent. Cancer in kids. Worms whose sole purpose is to burrow into eyes and cause blindness. You feel his bitterness towards a deity would allow those sorts of things to happen or create them Himself. “He could have simply made a creation in which all that didn't exist.”

At first, I felt the sort of shock a believer feels when God is spoken of as evil. And then, several hours later, I felt compassion. Why does Stephen Fry not believe in God? Because he hates to see suffering and sorrow. His atheism does not come from hatred, but from love. It comes from seeing the great injustices in the world and screaming out, “why?!”

No one is safe from suffering. Even those who cling to God and His Son are not exempt from disease, cruelty, or natural disaster. Out of the twelve who followed Jesus as his earthly best friends, eleven died by barbaric execution or torture according to church tradition. Everyone dies, believer and non-believer alike.