Stephen Fry and the question of suffering, part 2

Starting from where we left off last time, British actor Stephen Fry deliveres a lengthy diatribe against God for causing unspeakable suffering in the world. You’ll notice that it isn’t a diatribe that God does not exist, but rather, what kind of god does he think he is? Take a moment and watch the video here.

As Fry begins his arguments, it becomes clear that Fry sees himself, and the general population of humanity, as having a moral compass that is greater than God’s. Fry believes that God is a maniac. Yet, we have the ability to be more sane than God. Let’s think about that for a moment. Is it possible that God could create someone greater than himself, billions of people greater? No. But how is it then that we seem to have this moral compass, yet God seems to have “created” a world where he “intended” [as Fry seems to think] so much suffering?

The answer is simply that God did not create a world with suffering. God created a beautiful and perfect world that he called “good.” Everything in it was good. It was pure and without disease and pain. So then, what happened?

Many atheists are fully aware that God allowed mankind to have a will of its own, and that will includes the choice to rebel against God. They also are aware that God cursed the good and perfect world that he created not because God is evil, but because God is holy. And a just and righteous king will not let rebellion against him go unpunished. And this curse has brought about the pain and suffering humanity has endured for some six thousand years.

C.S. Lewis explains this more clearly:

“God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free.

“Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (…) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.”

C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity

Fry argues that God is selfish. Really? He apparently does not understand the meaning of John 3:16. He apparently hasn’t seen Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. (By the way, you’ll notice in instances such as Fry and other atheists–they’re still crucifying Christ!He apparently doesn’t understand that it was God the Father who sent his only son to endure suffering–for us and for his own sake (Isaiah 43:25). And for those who think that it was a cop-out for God to send his son, and not himself, to suffer and die, then they don’t know what it’s like to have a son.

God has, since before the beginning, deemed a time to end the suffering and pain on this earth (Revelation 21:1-7). For us, it seems like an eternity; but to God, a day is like a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8-10; Psalm 90:4). The time in which God will end suffering on this earth has already been established. We are in the middle of this curse, and hopefully, we will see it come to a close soon. But what are we to do until then? As Job’s wife said, “Curse God and die? (Job 2:9)”

That will be the point of the next post.



One thought on “Stephen Fry and the question of suffering, part 2

  1. Pingback: Steven Fry and the question of suffering part 3 – A Closer Look

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