I apologize if this has been covered - please point me to the proper thread if it has.
I’m curious how one might defend the concept of a benevolent and omnipotent God, given that bad things happen to innocent people, and those things have no visible benevolent purpose. For example babies are born with painful and quickly fatal physical defects.
One defense might be that there is a benevolent purpose behind every natural (God-caused) action, but it is just beyond our understanding.
In response, I would ask you to imagine an evil God that enjoys torturing and killing innocent babies, but still wants our love and worship. Would His defense be any different from the one I just mentioned? How plausible would you judge that defense to be if it were a powerful human giving it for apparently evil behavior?
Taking a different tack, would you expect a perfectly benevolent and omnipotent Creator to make creatures that are unable to understand the justification of the painful things being done to them? Wouldn’t it be more benevolent to create them with the ability to understand? We are capable of understanding the idea of experiencing pain to get a better future, why limit that capability?
Another defense could be that suffering makes us better people by overcoming it. But it doesn’t make the babies better people, and suffering short of painful death for innocent babies would seem to suffice.
I’m looking forward to an interesting conversation.