Cruel men believe in a cruel god and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly god, and they would be kindly in any case.
— Bertrand Russell
(The following is not about any particular deity.) When trying Bing’s AI chat, this was asked, ‘Why did God create suffering?’ (Of course, this assumes there is such a creator in the first place.) The following are Bing’s replies, [with remarks in square brackets]. ‘That is a very deep and complex question that has been debated by many philosophers and theologians for centuries. [And so will we continue, attempting to arrive at a conclusion – again.] There is no definitive answer, [perhaps because it wrongly assumes there is such a creator], but different ways of trying to understand the relationship between God and evil, [if the first does exist]. One term for this is theodicy, which means “vindication of God”. A theodicy is an attempt to justify God’s goodness and power in view of the existence of evil, [which will be realised as inadequate as follows].
Some of the main types of theodicy are: The Augustinian theodicy, which argues that all evil is a result of human sin… and that God is not responsible for evil but allows it to exist as a consequence of human free will. [Why did a supposedly perfect creator create the imperfect and thus fallible, unless he is imperfect and/or does not exist? If the imperfect was created, with inevitable suffering as a consequence, how can this creator not be responsible? If free will is so important to have, why did the creator not offer free will to the created, to decide if free will is wanted or not? If a loving and capable parent will not allow the slightest ill consequence to perpetuate the slightest for a child due to the child’s foolishness, why would a perfect creator allow so much suffering to continue, due to those personally created being foolish?]
The Irenaean theodicy, which suggests that God created humans in an immature state and that evil is a necessary part of their growth and development toward perfection. [If there is a perfect creator, why did he not have perfect creations right from the beginning, with no need to work towards perfection, unless he is imperfect and/or does not exist? Is the creation of the imperfect prone to suffering not itself evil, thus the creation of evil at the same time?] The free will defense, which claims that God gave humans free will to choose between good and evil, and that evil is the result of their wrong choices, not God’s intention. [If true and since there is so much evil, does this not mean that creating free will is the first wrong and evil choice, and continues to be so? See more similar remarks on the Augustinian theodicy above.]
The soul-making theodicy, which proposes that God allows evil to exist as a means of testing and improving human character and moral virtues. [If there is a perfect creator, why would his creations need the slightest testing for the slightest improvement, when they should be perfect like the creator?] The best of all possible worlds theodicy, which maintains that God created the best possible world out of all the logically possible worlds, and that any other world would have more evil or less good than this one. [If there is a perfect creator of everything, including all of logic and possibilities, why is there creation of so much evil and suffering, with so little good, unless he is neither good nor powerful, or does not exist?]
These are some of the ways that people have tried to explain why God allows suffering, but none of them can fully satisfy everyone or solve all the problems. [Indeed so. None of the above can satisfy even one person here, as none can solve any problem raised.] Some people may prefer to trust in God’s wisdom and love without trying to rationalise his actions, while others may question or reject his existence altogether. [If the above remarks cannot be resolved reasonably, a perfect creator does not reasonably exist. If so, how can he be trusted, unless by being unreasonable?] Ultimately, it is a matter of faith [or doubt] and personal conviction’ [or uncertainty, due to the above. Perhaps, the idea of a perfect creator is an imperfection creation of imperfect beings after all.]
Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.
— Bertrand Russell
Are Buddhas Omnipotent, Omnibenevolent And Omniscient?