May 28, 2008

The Problem of Evil


In 1944 the Nazis decided to exterminate the children of the orphanage La Maison d'Izieu. Forty-four little children were deported to Auschwitz and murdered immediately upon arrival.

Eleven-year-old Liliane Gerenstein was sent to her death a few days after she wrote this letter to God:

Dear God,

God? How good You are, how kind and if one had to count the number of goodnesses and kindnesses You have done, one would never finish.

God? It is You who command. It is You who are justice, it is You who reward the good and punish the evil.

God? It is thanks to You that I had a beautiful life before, that I was spoiled, that I had lovely things that others do not have.

God? After that, I ask You one thing only: Make my parents come back, my poor parents protect them (even more than You protect me) so that I can see them again as soon as possible.

Make them come back again. Ah! I had such a good mother and such a good father! I have such faith in You and I thank You in advance.



The letter was found in April 1944 in the abandoned home in Izieu. Liliane's mother had been deported and was already murdered. Her father, Chapse, miraculously survived the horrors of the Holocaust and emigrated to the United States after the war. He died in 1979, never knowing the fate of his children.

Liliane was just just one of the millions of children who fell victims under the Nazi-enforced genocide during World War II. Some were experimented upon while others were directly sent to the gas chambers and their bodies incinerated or left to rot in shallow graves.

If God is indeed good, why then he allows such atrocities to happen to innocent children? God is supposed to be the father of all but he seems to be a negligent father. I am a father myself. I do not pretend to be a perfect father but as much as I can, within the boundaries of my ability, I never let any harm befall on my child. God is supposed to be more loving, powerful, and perfect, yet he allows his children to suffer senselessly.

The presence of evil in the world -- both man-made and natural -- is a strong argument against the existence of an all-powerful and benevolent God. The reality of senseless suffering negates the possibility of a perfect God who cares about his creation. If we mere mortals do all that we can to protect the welfare of our loved ones, what can we expect from an omnipotent being? A responsible and loving father will never allow his children to suffer senselessly if it is within his ability to do so. Hence, the characteristics of being omnipotent and omni-benevolent cannot simultaneously be present in God. He is either not capable of protecting the innocents or he simply does not care. In either case, the Christian concept about God becomes questionable.


  1. Only drowning in our sea of darkness, our infancy of consciousness can we presume that either good or evil exist.
    Surely, in truth, all things, at all stages of their evolution - as an oak is all oakness, from acorn to withered stump - are the one being - the one universal being - call it what we will - it is far beyond the realm of coarse words.
    The greatest love of all - the gift of free will - which we abuse in our ignorance - is no doubt the root of both good and evil - as it is no doubt the root cause of that which separates creator from the created (us creatures included.)
    The illusion of duality - in which we live our day to day lives.
    I agree that conventional religions leave an awful lot of unanswered questions.
    Your so called Atheism might well be the most profound decision of your life - clearing the way to insight.
    We have to do whatever it is we have to do - in order to remain true to our individual quest.

  2. Hey Homar! Welcome back. To be honest, I had figured you gave up blogging.

    Want to hear the real shocker. If you are truly a Bible believing Christian who believes that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior, then all of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust are in hell. So, from that perspective, as bad as the Holocaust was for the Jews who perished from it, what they suffered was only a bare fraction of what they suffer for an eternity in hell in the afterlife.

    I think that illustrates how absurd the Christian doctrine is.

  3. hi tommy, tnx for the visit and for leaving a comment. no, i haven't given up on blogging. i've just been busy in other things and i had this writer's block somehow.

    hmm... i haven't realized that. yes, you are right. from the point of view of fundamentalist christians, all who do not believe and accept jesus as personal savior are dammed.


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