How would you respond if a co-worker asked you such a question? This was a question that was asked of a person who watches Pat Robertson’s 700 Club show and she decided to ask the big guy (Robertson, not god) what the response should have been.
Of course, no one is likely to ask an atheist like me such a question but if I had been asked it during the time I was a lay minister in the church, I would have been stumped. After all, the problem of theodicy has challenged the most famous religious apologists down the ages and their answers, when stripped of all the theological verbiage, essentially boils down to “Beats me. Who the hell knows? Just believe that it makes sense somehow.”
But Robertson knows. He replied;
“As far as God’s concerned, he knows the end from the beginning and He sees a little baby and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler, he could grow up to be Joseph Stalin, he could grow up to be some serial killer, or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease,” Robertson said. “God sees all of that, and for that life to be terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven so it isn’t a bad thing.”
So there you have it, the answer to theodicy. People may seem to die for no apparent reason but really it is because god saw that they were going to grow up to be evil monsters and so he nipped that in the bud.
So if someone should ask you this question, just tell them that they were lucky their baby died before it turned into another Hitler. I am sure that it will be a great comfort to them.
Of course, if god can know and do all that, why didn’t he simply turn the baby away from evil and towards the good, thus sparing the family all the grief? Maybe someone will ask him that next week.