Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!
Interesting article, Larry. I too believe that God is much more interested in our '''character''' than our '''comfort'''. However, I do find your concept of Natural Evil a bit puzzling. A tornado may be disasterous and horrible, but calling it ''evil'' seems a bit strange to me. And where do you draw the line? Does a tornado have to take a life to be evil, or can it simply destroy some property? What if it never touches down - is it still evil? I dunno, I just don't think I buy into this. Terrible things happen to good people, and these events you call evil. But often these people can overcome these events and eventually become a much better person than they ever would have if the event had never happened. I've seen it happen dozens of times. So was the event really evil, can a thing that is evil result in something that is good? Can it do so if God does not really exist? The small little community I live in just recently was devistated when three high-school aged girls were killed when the mini-van they were riding swerved off the road and rolled over. There was no alcohol involved, it appears they hit a pothole and lost control of the vehicle. All three girls were very active in their respective churches, we know that they were all Christians. I do not wish to diminish in the least the amount of grief that their families and indeed our entire community went through. But I will say this, that our community pulled together around these families, and absolutely outpoured our love onto them. Hundreds of families got involved in bringing whatever comfort we could to the grieving families, and as a result of their testimonies many kids who were making bad choices for themselves have decided to start making better ones. I'm sorry, but I simply cannot see the pothole as evil. The premises of the argument seem to have the bent that if God truly existed we would live in a environment where nothing ever went wrong. No one would ever get hurt regardless of the circumstances, and everyone would have enough to eat and drink. Why that does sound a lot like the Garden of Eden, doesn't it? It also sounds a lot like we would have very little freedom there - all of our choices would be between things that were already pre-ordained to be good for us. God never promised us smooth sailing, it simply isn't how the world works anymore. He did, however, promise us comfort in our times of sorrow and I can tell you from personal experience that he does deliver. --RaviDesai.