In other words, how do we get from….
1. Suffering exists
2. Therefore, God probably doesn’t exist……?
Now one could answer that the hidden premise is, “If suffering exists then God probably doesn’t exist.” Well yes, but why think that is true? Certainly suffering causes great emotional feelings to pop up because suffering causes a lot of physical and emotional pain in our lives.
I guess I just don’t see how suffering can be used in an argument leading to the conclusion of God probably not existing.
It seems that the atheist would have to qualify what he means by suffering. If he means, “God wouldn’t allow pointless suffering to exist,” then I think I would agree with that. I don’t think God would allow suffering for which he doesn’t have a good reason to allow. If God doesn’t have a reason for allowing suffering, then it seems that He wouldn’t really be God at all. He’d be evil and we’d call Him, Anti-God. However, I fail to see how we could ever really be in a good position to call a particular instance of suffering “pointless” or unjustifiable.
Some have tried to make the argument against God’s existence based off the horrendous sufferings that occur. I grant you that such suffering is horrendous by definition, I fail to see he problem. Obviously, it’s emotionally difficult to watch animals suffer, for example. But that’s just an appeal to emotion if I leave it at that, which says nothing about whether a good philosophical argument can be made against God existing based of off horrendous suffering.
Furthermore, some have tried to argue against God’s existence based off of the amount of suffering. But it’s not obvious to me that we could ever be able to know there’s too much suffering in our world. The more glaring problem is if we can even mount an argument against God based off the quantity of evil. For example, it’s true that getting shots hurt. But it’s far from obvious that if life was almost perfect (except for the fact that everyone would have to get two shots everyday) that this would somehow be used as an argument against God’s nonexistence. After all, those are a lot of shots, which therefore translates into a lot of pain.