If God Won’t Stop War, Why Won’t He at Least Fix My Bunions?

Those crazy imps over at the Prosblogion are at it again, this time speculating over why God permits bad things to happen.  And since that’s been done to death already, they take it to the next level–wondering why He allows great evils (like the Holocaust) versus why He allows trivial evils (like Shelley Winters‘ performance in “The Diary of Anne Frank“):

On the one hand, allowing a horrendous evil requires a much more potent justificatory reason. On the other hand, many horrendous evils do very obviously bring along with them the  opportunities for very great goods–exercises of courage, compassion, patience, forgiveness, etc. Granted, many will query if the value of the opportunities would be sufficient to justify God’s allowing the horrendous evil, and intuitions will differ, but at least we can, typically, point to a number of uncontroversial goods of quite high magnitude. On the other hand, with the trivial evils it can often be harder to point to any goods (e.g., consider the uncomfortable pebble in one’s  shoe).

So maybe it’s not harder to say in the case of the horrendous evil  “There is a justification, but we don’t know what it is” than in the  case of a trivial evil. But if so, then why is it that when we worry  about the problem of evil, we are more apt to worry about greater evils than smaller ones?

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