Friday, April 10, 2015
God and our moral sense
If God exists and has the power to intervene in nature, and on occasion apparently uses that power, they [critics of religion] ask, why does God fail to intervene in so many other cases of horrific injustice, cruelty, and suffering? Why, for example, did God allow Agatha to be tortured, abused, and mutilated before miraculously healing her through a vision of St Peter? Why would god allow some to be killed by volcanic eruptions and plagues, while bestowing special protection on the inhabitants of Catania? Why, in any case, does God need to use the powers of an object such as St Agatha's veil to achieve this protection, rather than acting directly to prevent the eruption or the disease in the first place? More generally, why is one person miraculously cured while another of equal faith and virtue suffers and dies? We might say that God moves in a mysterious way - which certainly seems to have been the case if we are to believe the many religious tales of wonders and miracles through the ages - but is that a good enough response? If God created us and our moral sense, then why do God's own ways of acting in the world seem to us not to meet our own standards of what is just and good?
Thomas Dixon Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction, pg. 56.