Does Presence of Pain and Suffering Imply That There is No God?

One Indian scientist-professor thinks so and has tried to spread that view among the public via a part of a newspaper article. The article argues for inculcating a scientific temper which is fine but goes way beyond the limits of science in its concluding part. The author mentions occurrences of natural calamities like earthquakes in 19th century Europe killing thousands of innocent people, including children which, the author says, convinced many thinking scientists that there is no god.

The author then questions, if there was an almighty god why did he not prevent it. He then states, “The only logical explanation was that there is no god with supernatural powers”, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/lets-ignore-science-at-our-peril/article4017252.ece.

That is a flawed logical conclusion. A correct logical conclusion that can be drawn from the previous statements is that if there was a god with supernatural powers he/it chose not to intervene to prevent the natural calamities.

A further question may be raised as to why did such a god with supernatural powers, if he/it exists, choose not to intervene to prevent the natural calamities. To generalize the question why does god allow pain and suffering? This is a complex theological question for which various religions have various answers.

The following are not definitive answers but some possible answers:
a) Perhaps it is part of the natural rhythm of existence that there is creation and destruction, pleasure and pain, joy and suffering/sorrow. Perhaps we cannot have one without the other.

b) Perhaps pain and suffering are triggers which make humans seek higher spiritual states beyond mundane material existence where he/she can transcend pain and suffering. Without pain and suffering humans may not have the motivation to seek higher spiritual states of existence.

Lack of a definitive answer to the above question does not lead to a logical conclusion that there is no god with supernatural powers.

What one can logically conclude is that if a god with supernatural powers exists then he/it does not always use his/its powers to prevent pain and suffering from happening. He/it may be using it on some rare occasions to prevent pain and suffering from happening e.g. miracles of such type claimed/reported by sacred scripture of various religions.

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