The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Why God Can’t Take Away Suffering


Because God is the provider of free will to all of humanity. We don’t possess that ability. By our trying to prevent harm upon another person doesn’t affect anyone’s free will. It may prevent the evil doer from carrying out his evil intentions, but his ability to do evil will not be affected. However, God most likely would prevent evil by forcing a mind change of the evil doer—hence negating free will.

Having said this, I suppose another way God could prevent suffering caused by evil people would be to miraculously intervene in each case. But if He did that in every case, the effect would be the same. The evil doer would be unable to carry out his evil acts—hence the negation of his free will.

In our case, we might prevent a few people from carrying out their evil acts, but that would not result in preventing evil people in general from acting evilly.


Hmm, I’m not so sure… a policeman’s handcuffs certainly impedes the will of any criminal intent on doing harm — their freewill choice, which is reflected in their illegal activity, has been clamped.


God does intervene, the problem is that there is no way we can measure the scope of God’s intervention. In other words, faith and belief become a paramount issue, suffering could be looked at as a part of the human experience, and we all will be there some day. Evil is a moving target. So I will rest with God knows what he is doing, no matter how hard it seems to me.


That will temporarily forcibly prevent the criminal from carrying on criminal behaviour. It may deter the criminal from committing future crimes, but not necessarily. Many who have even been imprisoned for years, return to crime as soon as they are released.


That’s true… as is the case with the many that incarceration has changed their will for the better.


Correct! Many prisons offer psychological programs which encourage the prisoners to think and to formulate solutions for dealing with real-life situations.