Why bad things happen to good people
Posted in the Douglasville Forum
#1 Aug 6, 2012
Why do bad things happen to good people?
"Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" It is an incredibly common question.
This question is so common, in fact, that there is a well known book by that title written by Melvin Tinker. There is another, even better known book entitled, When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. Even more popular is the book When God Doesn't Make Sense by James Dobson.
For James Dobson to weigh in on this, it must be an important question. And that makes sense -- it is a total paradox for any believer, and rightly so.
In his book, James Dobson opens with the story of Chuck Frye, a gifted student who graduated from college and was accepted to medical school. Frye had decided to work as a medical missionary and Dobson says, "If permitted to live, Chuck could have treated thousands of poor and needy people who would otherwise suffer and die in utter hopelessness. Not only could he have ministered to their physical needs, but his ultimate desire was to share the gospel with those who had never heard this greatest of stories." Unfortunately, despite fervent prayers from his parents, family and friends, Frye contracted and then died of leukemia shortly after starting medical school. As Dobson puts it, "how can we make sense of this incomprehensible act of God?"
We see this kind of thing all the time. For example, we read about a woman who is a devout believer. She is so devout that she goes to church three times a week. She gives her time and money to charity. She is constantly helping others. She wears a crucifix and a WWJD bracelet. She walks with Jesus. Then one day a car jacker forces his way into her car. There is a Bible sitting right there on the front seat next to her, but it does not matter. The car jacker shoots her in the head and dumps her body in a ditch. Her family is left to pick up the pieces in bewilderment.
When we ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" the essence of the question is simple. If God is looking down upon us from heaven and answering our prayers, how could he allow these horrible things to happen to true believers? How could he ignore their prayers? If someone lives a good and faithful life, and if a person is doing God's work, then why would God allow bad things happen to that person? Why doesn't God -- the all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing creator of the universe -- protect a person who is going to church every Sunday, putting plenty of money in the offering plate, following the commandments, praying faithfully and so on?
The reason why this question is so puzzling is because the question makes two assumptions:
God keeps score
In other words, the question assumes that God is sitting in heaven looking down on us, answering our prayers and keeping track of who is good and bad on a minute-by-minute basis. We assume that God keeps a record of "goodness" and "badness" for each of us. Under the Standard Model of God, the reason why God is keeping score is so that he can decide whose prayers he should answer and who should go to heaven once they die.
But what if we were to approach the question from the opposite angle? What if we hypothesize that God is imaginary?
Once we hypothesize that God is imaginary, the paradox and the mystery evaporate completely. If there actually is no one in heaven answering prayers and keeping score, then one would expect bad things to happen to good people all the time.
When you look at it this way, everything makes sense. Whether you are good or bad is irrelevant. In the real world that we live in, things like cancer, hurricanes and serial killers would have no way to know whether you are good or bad, nor would they care. Therefore, bad things would happen to good people just as often as they happen to everyone else.
#2 Aug 6, 2012
To get a clearer picture of what is going on here, let's take a simple example. In the real world, what are your chances of getting cancer if you are good? We find that they are the same as your chances of getting cancer if you are bad. That is easy to prove statistically -- believers get cancer just as often as non-believers who have the same risk factors.
Why might that be? It is because any given cell in every human body has some probability of turning cancerous, and that probability is the same regardless of religious background. There are many different paths to cancer, but let's focus on one of them and use it as an example: cosmic rays.
Every hour of every day, your body is bombarded by about half a million cosmic rays. These cosmic rays have some probability of altering the DNA in a cell in your body. If a cell is altered in a certain way, the cell can turn cancerous and a tumor begins to form.
The cosmic rays in nature have no way of knowing whether you are good or bad, nor do they care. Everyone gets hit by the same number of cosmic rays whether they are good or bad. Therefore, everyone has the same probability of getting cancer from cosmic rays. Your goodness or badness has no influence on cosmic rays. Since God is imaginary, he will not protect you from cosmic rays if you are good. Therefore, cancer happens to good people in exactly the same way that it happens to bad people.
You actually can change the probabilities in certain cases. You do have some control over cancer. A person who smokes increases his probability of getting lung cancer. A person who likes to lie on a tanning bed increases her probability of getting skin cancer. A pilot or an astronaut gets hit by more cosmic rays and increases the probability of cancer. So by not smoking, staying on the ground and remaining pale, you reduce your cancer risk. But no one can eliminate the threat of cancer. You cannot stop the half million cosmic rays that will hit your body in the next hour.
If God is imaginary, these cosmic rays do not care whether a person is good or bad. In the same way:
A hurricane does not care if the people in its path are good or bad
A deer does not care whether the driver is good or bad when she leaps out onto a highway at midnight and crashes through a windshield.
Fat molecules do not care whether you are good or bad as they attach themselves to your heart's arteries and create the conditions necessary for a heart attack.
A volcano does not care whether good or bad people will be buried in its lava when it erupts.
And so on.
What we find in the real world is that a hurricane causes just as much damage for believers as non-believers. We also find that God does not divert hurricanes away from devout nations -- hurricanes hit the United States every year, often with devastating results, despite the fact that the large majority of Americans believe in God.
The thing for you to notice is this: If we assume that God exists and that the Standard Model of God is true, then the question "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is a complete mystery. Our world makes no sense. However, if we assume that God is imaginary, there is no mystery at all. Our world makes complete sense.
That lack of mystery is one way we can know, for sure, that God is imaginary. All evidence points toward the fact that God is imaginary. God is not reaching down from heaven and arbitrarily modifying the laws of probability on behalf of believers. We know that, with certainty, by analyzing the statistics. Nor is God sitting in heaven answering the prayers of believers. Statistics show us that as well. Therefore, bad things happen to good people all the time. Hurricanes, volcanoes, forest fires, tornadoes, tsunamis, car crashes, diseases... they do not care whether you have been bad or good. They are equal opportunity disasters. We can prove this both with common sense and statistical rigor.
#3 Aug 6, 2012
u need to get out more often.
#4 Aug 6, 2012
Idiot. Do you know how insane you are? You leave no doubt about your mental situation.
#5 Aug 6, 2012
You are as crazy as a sh*thouse rat. haha
#6 Aug 23, 2012
every good person can't have good things happen else there would be nobody to take care of...
#7 Aug 23, 2012
and then how would we get judged.. by God...
o you just meant in general.. with evolution?? Chaos theory???!
Since: Aug 12
#8 Aug 23, 2012
bad things also happen to bad people
Since: May 12
#9 Aug 23, 2012
I saw a couple on the news whose house was not burned by the fire in the west. Every house around them had been burned except theirs. They were saying how good God is and how it was God who saved their house.
So does that mean that it was God who burned all of those other houses? What did they do that was so special to deserve God's protection and what did everyone else do that was so bad as to not deserve God's protection. Did the others not pray enough? I bet they were praying just as hard or harder than this couple.
If God is purposefully good to some people does that mean that he is purposefully bad to others?
#10 Dec 17, 2012
God gave people weed.. all the poor suffering people could be high.. but it's illegal..
#11 Dec 17, 2012
personally I see God as an operator but it was not from anyone being good or bad.. but just a balancing out of events..
and that it only happened their house never burn because something else bad happened to them earlier and this was balancing it out..
or that something will happen to them later to balance it out..
#12 Dec 17, 2012
no athat can't even be true...
well here is the thing when some certain things happen to bad people they can't control the operation and get fixed because there is no soul energy from which to unbalance..
and cause better things and full healing to happen..
the balancing out operation only happens when there is a person to person contact...
#13 Dec 17, 2012
bad things happen to people who talk to people who bad things happened to...
#14 Dec 17, 2012
extremely superstitious yet christian based concept...
#15 Dec 17, 2012
also runs in contradiction to you are supposed to help others so that way the balance doesn't land you in hell..
#16 Dec 17, 2012
o yea but weed makes you kill people..
no you are all right man stuff is just bad here..
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