In the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan a little seven-year old Muslim boy shouted at Cardinal Sarah, “Does Allah exist? Why did he allow my father to be killed?” indeed, his father had had his throat cut by the Islamist rebels, in his presence, and he was profoundly shocked. In spite of the attempt to talk to him about the good Lord, God the father and creator of all wonderful things, who detests evil, the boy could not get over his traumatic experience. How could anyone ever forget such suffering which is a direct result of the barbarity of men who have perverted religion?
Of course, the great mystery of evil can drive some persons to doubt and atheism. Indeed, if God is our father, how can he allow the righteous to suffer? The quantity of evils is numerous to mention. In African, we have unfortunately, experienced several wars, famines and epidemics. In Haiti, in 2010, how could God allow people who were already so poor, deprived of everything, to suffer one misfortune after another, like the gigantic earthquakes, that led the population to face very violent huricanes, followed by floods, and epidemics? How can one reconcile God with the faces of so many women in the refugee camps in Jordan who had lost their husbands, their houses, their belongings and yet unable to take care of their children who were emotionally unstable and increasingly needy? We are not unfamiliar with similar gory details in our country Nigeria, ravaged by the inhuman activities of boko haram insurgents, and all other malevolent actions that have masterminded the slaughter of innocent persons, on daily basis and simply ending up as news on the dailies, face book pages, instagram and so on. Even the horror of the Holocaust (i.e. the killing of 6 million Jews by Hitler) is still a mystery of iniquity.
The question of evil, which goes down through the ages, remains the same: How can God allow such horrible trials and sufferings to be imposed on innocent victims? In this regard, Albert Camus position becomes very glaring. As a philosopher; he looked for reasonable certitudes by which to live. He saw faith as a “leap into the irrational” that turns the mind away from reality, in which man denies his faculty of reason, his “lucid awareness”. But what solidifies the thinker’s atheistic position even more was the existence of evil, which he, like the enlightenment philosophers could not associate with the divine omnipotence and wisdom. Albert Camus was unable to accept “the paradox of a God who was almighty and maleficent, or beneficent and sterile”, as he describes in his L’Homme revolté. How can you believe in God when innocent children are suffering? Well, let us not loose faith in this God until after our November series in tecsthought.com