I will begin this article by setting up one of the arguments that I am attempting to address when it comes to religion.
"If there is a God, why does he allow suffering? If he is all-powerful, couldn't he just make all suffering disappear? If he is God, that means he is willing this evil to happen. Why?
I addressed a lot of different questions here as to avoid this entire article being one giant strawman argument. The issue of suffering is one of the hardest questions that believers have to face. For if there is an almighty power, he is responsible for the evil, just as much as he is responsible for the good.
A little about where I stand on this issue so that I make any possible bias very clear. I am a Diest. I believe in God in the broad sense of the word. I still am forced to address this question due to my beliefs.
As a writer, I think that I can bring a unique, be it brief, viewpoint.
Let us examine the most basic and simple plot of a story.
The protagonist has a challenge to overcome (the antagonist) and grows along the way. Good guys win, bad guys lose. (and as always, London prevails)
Now, the important part of this plot is the antagonist. The antagonist is evil. In the story of life, the antagonist is the antithesis of everything that is good. This is the thing that we want God to erase.
Writing a story is the closest thing that humans can come to playing God. We create worlds, people, hell, we even know what happens before we put it down on paper and make it a reality. So why, if we really want God to eliminate all suffering, do we add it to our works? Why do people find stories of struggle interesting and engaging? This world has enough suffering, why would our method of escaping reality have the very suffering that we want to avoid?
Because without suffering, there is no growth. The book "The Giver" shows us a world without emotion. No one suffers, nothing bad ever happens. Yet as we read it, we instantly know that this is wrong, that all the things that make life worth living are missing. The capacity for happiness allows the potential for sadness.
I think that God, in creating the world, recognized this. What makes life worth living, all of the good things we enjoy in life, leaves us open to negative things.
As to why some people suffer more, let us again turn to the story. Can it be said that no author has introduced a character, just to have them killed off? Their entire purpose is only to create an emotional response. Now if we bring it back life, just because you don't like your or someone else's role in the story that somehow the author is wrong. Now, let us say that God recognizes that this is unfair. That he wants to create a way to give these unfortunate souls, who had done no evil, receive ultimate justice? Create a place that in which they can receive eternal life as a reward for their contribution to the story.
I will leave this here. Feel free to respond. Please do. I love discussing religion.
A parting quote.
"If you are right and I am wrong, I have lost nothing. But if I am right and you are wrong, you have lost everything."
-Dr. John Lennox addressing atheists.