Over at Metamagician, Russell Blackford, analyzing an article by Barney Zwartz, produces a a short but characteristically incisive discussion of the problem of evil. Why does it exist in a world supposedly set up, or run, by an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God?
Now I’m no philosopher, but I’ve read a fair amount of theodicy, and have never seen a good solution to the problem of evil. Either you say that God wants some innocent people to suffer for reasons that make sense only to intellectual theologians (e.g., some of those people simply badly need to suffer; the Holocaust occurred so that Nazis could exercise free will); or you admit that God is sometimes a nasty deity (ok for the ancient Greeks, not so much for Abrahamics); or, if you’re an intellectually honest theist, you admit that you just don’t understand. But if you believe that God is powerful and good, by what virtue do you know those things for sure but don’t understand the rest?
And, of course, the best answer: there isn’t a God, much less one who’s omnipotent and beneficent.
It’s no surprise that the problem of evil has, in the end, driven many people away from their faith. But this is amateur philosophizing. Read Blackford, the professional.