Here is my take on this:
Have you ever known someone whose parents always shielded them from the consequences of their actions, or the bad things that happens to all of us? I have, and they are usually pretty worthless. Would you want your parents to do this for you?
God treats us as adults. He hasn’t abandoned us, but He knows that we must be the instruments of goodness and change in this world. He has given us teachings that, if we all accepted them, would make our world a better place:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Judge not, lest you be judged.
Love others as you love yourself.
God does not force us to follow these teachings; He leaves it to our intelligence and our judgement to see the truth in them. If he were to force us to follow these rules, we would be no different than the sheep in the fields that are herded by dogs and men. He does not treat us as children, punishing us when we violate his rules, nor does he shield us from the grim truths of the world.
Yes, this means that terrible things happen - because he does not shield us from the consequences of our actions or the actions of others. How could we learn how important these were if we never experienced the consequences of violating these commandments?
If I am not mistaken, these commandments don’t show up in just the Christian religion. I know the “Golden Rule” shows up in many theologies, and is common in ethical considerations even when not attached to a theology.
If Christians and other theologies spent more time teaching these ethics, and less time trying to convince people that our idea of God is the only acceptable way to percieve God, this would be a much better world.
And the world is becoming better.
Despite so many Christians (and I only pick on Christians because it is the only religion I know well) actively spreading the opposite messages.
Just 60 years ago, the U.S. government villified and terrorized the Japanese during WWII just because we were fighting their country. Last year, after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government explicitly stated that middle easterners in America were to be given the same protections that all Americans enjoy. Christian churches opened their arms and hearts to Muslims.
75 years ago, killing a black man was considered good sport in places in the U.S. Now killing a man just because of the color of his skin is a worse crime than killing for money.
200 years ago, sodomy was punishable by death. Now, homosexuality is acceptable by much of society. (Some may not consider that getting better, but I certainly do)
As bad as the number of crimes commited against children this year seems, it is far better now than it has been in the past. Remember that news is news because it is not common, and that there is far less tendency to blame victims of rape now than ever before. So there is much more openess about rape and related crimes. Can you imagine a teenager who was raped getting on the cover of a national magazine in the 50s? It would have been unlikely that they would have even told anyone outside their family. My mom told me in the 70s that if I was raped we shouldn’t prosecute because it might make me a target. (My thought was, if someone raped me, I would do all I can to get justice)
And I haven’t even mentioned the advances in medicine and technology that make our world a better place.
The reason (IMO) that the world is becoming a better place is because more people are basing their life on love.
“And now, these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” 1st Corinthians, 13:13