Ignoring the Problem of Evil

When I was a Catholic, I almost never thought about the problem of evil. I must have encountered the philosophical argument at some point and resolved the issue in my mind by concluding that God must have a justifiable reason for allowing suffering in the world which I just didn't know, but I can't remember it ever being an issue afterward. Now that I'm an atheist, I very often reflect on this problem when I see someone addressing some source of suffering in the world specifically from a religious perspective; I see someone perform some charitable work out of a religious motivation and think to myself, “Why doesn't their god solve the problem itself if it's infinitely perfect? How can their god inflict such suffering knowing the pain it will cause and realizing that the majority of it simply cannot be relieved by human effort? Why can't they see how much more benevolently they act than their own master?” Believers never seem to ask themselves these questions and I know that I certainly didn't ask myself them during my twenty-five years as a Catholic. They seemed blinded by something, whether it be love, fear, ignorance, laziness or something else. In my own case, the predominant religious emotion I experienced was fear of eternal torture.


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