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Why It’s Okay To Speak Religiously in the Face of Tragedy

True suffering — whether in death, disaster, or disease — is united by the fact that we hate it. Our beings reject it, our minds refuse to comprehend it, our bodies are sickened by it, and it’s all a simple matter of definition: To suffer is to experience that which we do not want to experience. Now it’s impossible, from a purely secular standpoint, to answer the question of why we suffer. For if there were a good reason for our suffering, then that suffering would become tolerable... Read More

Is God Pro-Life or Pro-Death?

This is the second in a series of posts on the “dark passages” of the Bible. These are texts which understandably raise the eyebrows of both nonbelievers and believers who encounter them and say, “How can that be in the Bible if it is God’s own word?” In my previous post I took up the problem of violent Old Testament passages in light of Pope Benedict XVI’s claim that violence is contrary to God’s nature. My book Dark Passages of the Bible likewise deals with this and various... Read More

Will We Have Free Will in Heaven?

Will we have free will in heaven? If so, does that mean we might sin and fall again? If not, what kind of free will would we have there? And if God can harmonize our free will and sinlessness in heaven, why doesn't he do so in this life? Here are some thoughts . . .   A Robot "Loves" Me. Big Deal. NOTE: This is part of a series on the problem of evil. Click here to read the previous posts in the series. In a previous post, we looked at a common answer to the problem of evil--that God... Read More

Why Does God Allow Sin and Suffering?

The most perplexing problem in apologetics is the problem of evil: Why would an all-good, all-powerful God allow evil to exist? There is a real mystery here, and we can only give partial answers. Here are some of mine . . .   Two Kinds of Evil We need to recognize that there is more than one kind of evil. When we use the word "evil," we often mean moral evil (sin), but historically it was frequently used for other things, such as suffering. These two forms of evil are linked: It... Read More

God in the Dock: Tragedy and Trilemma

The day after my son Joshua died, after the necessary funeral and burial arrangements had been made, I got into my car, drove aimlessly some distance, and finally parked in a relatively desolate place away from traffic, noise, and people. I turned the car off and began to talk out loud to God, but at a volume more accurately described with the term 'yell.' "Why? Why him? He had done absolutely nothing wrong. He most certainly didn't deserve this. He suffered so much over these last two... Read More

An Open Letter to Atheists

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's post comes from our friends at New Apologetics, a movement sharing a similar mission to Strange Notions. They use new media to dialogue about life's biggest questions, and have generated some great conversations on their Facebook page, which currently has over 65,000 followers. The authors of this article have offered to defend it and engage any questions or criticisms in the comment boxes below. So comment away!   As Catholic apologists, we want to do something... Read More

Hannah Arendt and the Shadow of Evil

The appearance of an art house film on the philosopher Hannah Arendt has sparked renewed interest in an old controversy. In 1961, Arendt went to Jerusalem as a correspondent for the New Yorker magazine to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi colonel accused of masterminding the transportation of millions of Jews to the death camps. Arendt was herself a Jew who had managed to escape from Nazi Germany and who had been, years before, something of an ardent Zionist. But... Read More

Nightclub Fires and the Problem of Evil

In the recent aftermath of the horrific Kiss nightclub fire in Brazil that claimed 235 young lives, people continue to ask what they always ask after a disaster: “Where was God?” On Sunday, January 27, the nightclub erupted into an inferno after the club’s band set off fireworks that ignited flammable material. The club’s poor design and the even'ts overcrowding were the main factors in the high death toll. Video footage of a similar nightclub fire in Rhode Island (be warned,... Read More

Why Is There So Much Disorder In The Universe?

"If God exists, if God is all good, and if God is the governor and order of the universe, why is the universe such a mess? Why is there so much evil in the world? That's a very serious argument. In fact, I think it's the only serious argument against God's existence."        Read More →

Turning the Problem of Evil On Its Head

Joker

Many atheists are fond of using the argument from evil to debunk the notion of God. It goes something like this: If God is all-powerful (omnipotent), He could stop evil. If God is all-loving (omnibenevolent), He would stop evil if He could. Therefore, if an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God existed, evil would not. Evil exists; therefore, an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God does not. Another variation of the argument was put forward by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, centuries before the... Read More

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