October 17, 2015

Why do bad Things Happen to Good People?

I am not claiming to be the spiritual or philosophical genius of all time. Also, I am not saying that I have the only answer to the most pondered question in history. So, why am I even exploring this loaded query that, frankly, everyone asks, at some point? What gives me the right?

No, I do not have a huge ego. I’m just one of many individuals saddened by the increasing number of people who refuse to believe in a god who allows tragedy in their lives, and in the world. So, I want to share some of my thoughts, as well as the thoughts of prominent individuals.

My credentials: a lifetime of experience and research on the subject of man’s inhumanity to man.

Why do bad Things Happen?

Why is life unfair? If there is a higher power, why does he let us suffer? Why doesn’t he intervene? To my way of thinking, one of the main answers to this all-important query can be summed up in two words: free will. In brief, humans are given the sacred right to choose. We don’t always make the best choices.

Quotes on Free Will

“Good people will do good things, lots of them, because they are good people. They will do bad things because they are human.”—Harold S. Kushner, Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and Success
“According to most philosophers, God in making the world enslaved it. According to Christianity, in making it, He set it free. God had written, not so much a poem but rather a play; a play he had planned as perfect, but which had necessarily been left to human actors and stage managers, who had since made a great mess of it.” –G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
“I’m convinced that most men don’t know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man’s atrocities, but wouldn’t dream of imprisoning a mother for her son’s crime?”—Criss Jami, Killosophy
“God isn’t about making good things happen to you, or bad things happen to you. He’s all about you making choices—exercising the gift of free will.”—Jim Butcher
 You cannot hinder someone’s free will, that’s the first law of the Universe, no matter what the decision.”—E.A. Bacchiaveri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly
God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what makes evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”—C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity
The Bible

Free will begins early in the scriptures. It starts in Genesis, chapter two, when Adam and Eve make the choice to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil--against God’s express command.

They were not stopped from eating. They just had to suffer the consequences of their choice.

My Conclusion

I don’t believe in a divine puppet master. I believe in a divine being who has to allow us to create our own blunders and successes, just as we must let our children make their own decisions--when appropriate.

We are given the inalienable right to choose every thought and action. I don’t think that’s been negotiable since the world began. Sometimes, we make wise decisions, and sometimes we don’t.

Please see more about people exercising their right to choose in my book, Accept No 

How have you exercised your right to choose today?