Innocents suffer horrendously and God shows no sign of acting on it.
Believers then have an assumption to make. They assume that God is tolerating and then using evil for a greater good.
To say God tolerates evil or anybody does is a serious matter. It is as serious as calling them evil.
The reality is that if suffering is terrible and degrading you have no right to assume anybody tolerates it without proof or avoiding reasonable doubt.
Even more so you have no right to assume anybody uses it.
Those are not faith or assuming matters. They are proof or beyond reasonable doubt matters.
Anyway now why assume that a God who protects from suffering can line up with terrible chaotic suffering happening to innocent people?
1 You can say it is so that people can find hope in their suffering and know it will not defeat them.
2 You can say that you want to honour God by refusing to condemn him if he exists.
2 is the only real option for a believer for God's honour comes first and God as maker of all is what alone ultimately matters.
1 would be cruel if there is no God. It is better when you suffer to recognise when there is no hope. You will learn it the hardest way anyway.
1 is really a derivative of loving God. Why? It only works if you love God and God loves you. If he doesn't then it works for nobody and they only think it does work.
But in the real world, people promote 1 alone for they are trying to use God as a means for making others feel good or stronger. But that is bad if you think God is a being with rights in his own right. You do not really respect the victims if you want to ignore the respect due to God who loves them just to make them feel good. It is not your place to decide what placebo they should get. And a placebo is a lie and should never be used so liberally. Liberal use of placebos is asking for trouble and is really about you trying to make you feel you are great and compassionate and not about the other person. Your credibility will be in shreds.
2 takes us back to people theorising that there is a God and theorising that they have faith in him and theorising that people should have faith in him and insulting the suffering of others as if the theory matters more than the suffering. Faith is no excuse at all, not even in the slightest, for risking condoning suffering in your head and/or heart. Suffering is too serious and the human cost of it is too serious.
Are you claiming that you feel inspired to assume that there is a plan? But it is too serious to merely assume. If God battered his wife would you assume? If you feel inspired to say there is a plan, why don’t you say you feel inspired to say the child molester has a plan? Why do you choose to say you are inspired in relation to God simply because God is not testable? Who are you to say you are really inspired? Who are you to say that it is okay because you feel inspired when it might not be okay? Your feeling inspired does not matter more than the suffering of others.
So you assume evil fits God's love for the sake of honouring God. That is putting faith before a person. In short, it is about you putting YOUR FAITH first. If that is your attitude, it is no wonder if your record at caring for the most needy is so poor.
The good works done by believers could be part of an attempt to deal with the evil that faith puts in them. They try to compensate with good works.
Forgiveness is put out there as an option if you are wronged. But it is also an option if you are not wronged. If God or somebody tolerates great harm visiting you then there is an issue and forgiveness has to be considered.
Forgiveness that is too easy is not forgiveness at all. It is condoning. If believers were struggling terribly with what God is letting happen it would be different but they just go and worship as if it does not really matter.
Why do you not want to condemn and deny forgiveness to God? You are selfish if you are going to have an accepting attitude towards what he does to others in case you feel bitter and hurt and angry. It is making it about you. You have no right to accept what others endure so you can feel better.
The need of suffering is not something you theorise about. It is something you experience. It is insensitive and presumptuous for religion to theorise about your suffering or anybody's suffering. As only PERSONAL experience can say if suffering has a value that makes it worthwhile. You still have no right and are in fact doing wrong by thinking you experience value in suffering and that means you can think others is valuable too! You have to be everybody that suffers before you can say God permits it for a reason.
Theorising implies a lack of understanding and empathy.
You only really understand suffering if you endure it and as long as you endure it and if you are every person who suffers. Memory makes sure of that! Remembering it is not the same as enduring it all over again. And memory is reconstructive and not very trustworthy when it comes to suffering for you want to forget enough of it to move on. In that light, nobody has any right to say your suffering matches the idea of a loving God. It is not a theory problem but an experience problem.
Though experience would be the only hope you have if you want to justify God's responsibility for human suffering, it does not mean it will succeed.
This fact makes it even crueller to theorise. The less evidence you have for justifying God the worse you are. Thus if you see suffering that is gratuitous you have no right to risk taking the wrong attitude to it by saying that somehow it is not. You have no right to say it MAY be justified! You have to see such suffering as evidence against God. If evidence matters, you can't risk getting blind to it by trying to explain it away.

Recommended Reading

Aquinas, Thomas (1998). Selected Writings. edited and translated with an introduction by Ralph McInerny. London, Penguin.
Aristotle (1988). Ethics. Translated by J.A.K. Thomson. London, Penguin.
Augustine (1844-64). Patrologia Latina. Paris: J.P. Migne.
Augustine (1986). The City of God. Edited with an introduction by JJ O Meara. London, Penguin.
Augustine (1961). Confessions. Translated by R.S. Pine-Coffin. London, Penguin.
Caputo, J.D., Dooley, M, & Scanlon, M.J. (eds.) (2001). Questioning God. Indiana, Indiana University Press.
Chadwick, H (1986). Augustine. Oxford University Press.
Derrida, Jacques (1993). ‘Circumfession’, translated by Geoffrey Bennington in Bennington, G. and Derrida, J. Jacques Derrida. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Derrida, Jacques (2002). Acts of Religion. Edited and with an introduction by Gil Anidjar. London: Routledge, 2002.
Heidegger, Martin (1962). Being and Time. Translated by John McQuarrie and Edward Robinson. Oxford, Blackwell.
Kolakowski, L. (1993). Religion If There Is No God: On God, the Devil, Sin and Other Worries of the So-Called Philosophy of Religion. Indiana, St Augustine’s Press.
Matthews, G.B. (1999). The Augustinian Tradition. Berkeley, University of California Press. McGrath, A. (1990). A History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification. Oxford University Press.
Plato, (1961). Collected Dialogues. Edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Plotinus (1986). The Enneads. Edited by John Dillon. London, Penguin, 1986.
Taylor, A.E. (1986). Plato: The Man and His Work. New York, Methuen Press.



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