Do Suffering and Evil Disprove God - Paper Sample

Published: 2024-01-11
Do Suffering and Evil Disprove God - Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology God
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1816 words
16 min read


Whether an atheist or theist, trying to reason why God could allow suffering and evil to coexist in a human society can make one doubt His existence. The Bible and other related theological writings have availed different descriptions to define God, who is all-knowing, omnipresent, and all-powerful. All kinds of evil are undesirable, necessitating any supernatural intervention to prevent or eliminate its occurrence among people. Sufferings are worse since they expose people to uncomfortable experiences associated with physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. Believers and Holy Scriptures will integrate evil to suffering, most of them, creating a cause-effect relationship.

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Most theists will argue that suffering is God's way to punish people who indulge in evil acts. But why should He allow evil to exist in the first place? Reviewing the debate video between Dr. Sinnot-Armstrong and Dr. Craig on the issue "Do Suffering and Evil Disprove God?" Between the debaters, I chose Dr. Sinnot-Armstrong argument against God's existence on account of evil and suffering's presence in the universe. A Freethinker and a believer get enlightened on the issue to make logical decisions on their faith and belief about God. Do the different kinds of suffering and evil present in a human society disprove God's existence?

Freethinker's Point of View on Evil, Sufferings, and God's Existence

With the assumption that God is Almighty, He should not have allowed all the evil and sufferings to create pain to victimized human beings. It is beyond doubt that even believers will ask themselves why God will allow some evil and sufferings happen, especially those that can be prevented (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). People sometimes engage in evil behaviors on a conditional basis. For instance, when one feels threatened by another person, they may harm or kill them on a self-defense basis. Nobody in their sane mind will allow be victims of other people's harmful intentions without reiteration for the sake of their well-being. Complete elimination of evil from society will prevent the occurrence of intentional and unintentional sin. It does not make sense that an all-powerful and all-good God would let evil, even preventable ones occur in society (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). It is essential that a moral and logical human being will respect society's fundamental rules and avoid immorality at all costs unless intimidated. If God is all-powerful, then He should prevent evil and sufferings unless human beings are better logisticians than Him or He does not exist.

Dr. Sinnott-Armstrong argues that if God is omnipotent, He is logical and will intervene in some of the sufferings that occur naturally (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). The morality ingrained in evil and suffering is situated in the universal laws and people's reasoning ability. Let us take like an earthquake or bomb blast; whether they are naturally occurring or humanly induced; the result is that it brings suffering to the victims and their loved ones. Logically, it is not possible to avert such sufferings without prior warning. But if God is all-knowing and all-present, He understands everything that is happening universally. It is not logical why he should allow innocent people to undergo suffering since an earthquake will be non-discriminative and hurt and kill both old and young people. It may mean that God cannot temper with nature's laws or not omnipresent to know everything that goes on in human society. If God was almighty miracles of Him intervening on disasters and even changing the laws of nature to ensure people's safety since He can do so (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). Airplanes will not be crushing for defying the laws of gravity when the systems fail to operate.

Traditional Faith Belief

Besides, it is irrational to justify the traditional faith belief that God unleashes suffering on people as a way of punishing them for engaging in evil. Still, a natural disaster, when it occurs, it may kill or hurt all people regardless if they were sinners or not. Even babies who cannot differentiate between good and evil will not be spared. If God uses suffering to punish evil, why should He expose the innocent to hurt and pain? Arguing that God imposes evil as a punishment for sin is irrelevant since sufferings are not distributed following the offense committed (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). Clinging on this argument by a believer only proves that if God exists, He is unjust in punishing those who defy His rules. Dr. Sinnot-Armstrong uses an example of millions of babies who have died at birth, and theologians use the Biblical belief of the original sin as a claim to support their death (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). Therefore, God using original sin to punish babies is not a justifiable reason and only proves that human beings are more logical and civilized than Him.

Closely related to the use of evil to punish sinners is the analogy that believers hold that God uses evil and suffering as a parameter to determine how many people believe and glorify him. It is narcissistic of God to allow other people to suffer to organize mass followers of believers (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). When using social media activities as an example, users have different ways of attracting followers, including many friends requesting others or updating a captivating display picture. The users respect other users' liberty to either accept or deny their request hence showing non-coercion interactions. Concerning soliciting for believers, God could use other means of like rewarding people with gifts or a comfortable life and not use sin and suffering to test their faith belief in Him (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). Therefore, unless people will think of God to have an egomaniac trait coercing people to believe in Him even if it against their will, undermining the fundamental human right on liberty.

When it comes to interpreting why God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present, will allow evil and suffering to be present in a human society, there is no logical or faith-based reason to justify His decisions if He exists. It is illogical to assume that God has a reason for allowing evil and suffering in society, and we cannot see it (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). If He created us as it Biblically proclaimed, then something is wrong. Human beings are rational beings, and despite being clouded with other manipulative religious beliefs, they still see the truth in scenarios presented to them. Even if there is no evidence, there are existing standards to measure a logical reason's efficacy. It cannot explain God, allowing evil in the society if He exists.

Believer's Perspective on Evil, Sufferings, and Existence of God

Dr. Craig presents logical arguments separating God from the evil and sufferings dominant in the world. It is determined that the existence of evil and suffering is the primary hindrance to people's belief in God, especially the freethinkers (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). Dr. Craig asserts that evil and suffering should not be used to refute the existence of God. Many things happen in the world that cannot be explained logically; for instance existence of the world itself is alluded to as a Supernatural creator by Christians, while freethinkers use provable scientific explanations like the biological reproduction process make any form of life. Therefore, according to theist faith, conceptualization, evil, and suffering represent human beings' defiant behavior and should not be used to disregard God's existence (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). I refute Dr. Craig's idea of disassociating evil and suffering with the existence of God since He is described to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. In contrast, Christians and other believers still experience the same or more evil and suffering like their atheist counterparts. If He exists, it only means that God does not care about believers' well-being, or else they will not undergo the same magnitude of sufferings as the nonbelievers.

Ethically gauging evil and suffering through a moral lens, then all of it should be justified to prove God exists. Since human beings engage in "gratuitous evil" in society, there is no claim to argue for God's moral justification for allowing evil and suffering to coexist with people (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). People engage in morally unjustifiable evil activities such as murder and still question the existence of God. If God exists, then all evils committed on this earth will have a moral justification. All murders will have evidence of self-defense to defend themselves for ending another person's life. Therefore, although Dr. Craig manages some sense of convincing by using the moral justification of evil to dissociate it from God's existence, there are still logical gaps to make sense of why a Supernatural being will allow suffering to dominate the universe.

Dr. Craig also argues that other unforeseen reasons make it for human beings to discern why God allows some evil to occur in our societies. God is all-powerful, eternal, and all-present. It means that he is limitless in time, reasoning, and power, unlike human beings. The supernatural abilities can make God see the reasons to justify His decisions of allowing evil in the society, something that a normal human being cannot make meaning or discern. Given the human limits in time, space, intelligence, and insight, we should not expect to see why God allows evil and suffering to occur in society (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). On ability inhibition accord, Dr. Craig makes valid reasons why people cannot morally justify God's action to allow evil. But since we are reasoning beings an evidence of God's supernatural existence in the form of miracles could prove His existence.

Furthermore, Dr. Craig makes a spiritually illuminating claim against freethinkers that humankind is in a state of rebellion against God and His purpose. As a result, instead of worshiping God, they go their ways and find themselves alienated from spiritual nourishment hence live in spiritual darkness, which is evil (Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong). The idea is built in belief premises, which is ignorant of a human being's fundamental logical abilities. Dr. Craig fails to recognize atheist people who live more righteous lives free from evil and sufferings than the Christians or any other faith believers. If God exists, why would some nonbelievers experience less suffering and evil compared to their theist counterparts? Therefore, without logical and moral justification on why an Almighty being will allow evil and suffering in the society, then the existence of God is questionable.


The debate between Dr. Sinnott-Armstrong and Dr. Craig provides an insight to the audience on the critical spiritual issues concerning evil, suffering, and God's existence. As a judge to this debate, I agree more with Dr. Sinnot-Armstrong's arguments against God's existence due to the presence of evil and suffering in our society. The logical concerns raised by him only raise one concern of why God will allow atheists and believers to experience the same magnitude of evil and suffering that is, if He exists.


Craig, William Lane, Walter Sinnot-Armstrong. "Do Suffering and Evil Disapprove God?" YouTube, Uploaded by ReasonableFaithOrg, 22 July 2020,

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