This is Part 1 in the article, “Are there some who deserve to suffer?” in the larger project answering the question, “How can a loving God allow suffering?” Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.
Now, this is a loaded question – “Are there some who deserve to suffer?” Anyone who is honest can admit to a fleshly moment when he wished suffering on someone else-even if it was just as a little boy angry at another boy for bullying or getting the upper hand in an “unfair” way! Then think of all the brutal dictators who have been mentioned in previous chapters – those who have caused thousands and millions of deaths. Certainly they deserve to suffer!
But the question I have to ask is, “Who is the judge who would determine who deserves to suffer? I know I would not qualify as the judge. But let me address how others seem to approach it.
Many Set Themselves up as the Judge
Wicked dictators, fearless military conquerors and even socialist leaders believe that they can determine who should suffer. How many people throughout history, those who have snuffed out life like walking on a red ant hill, believed they had the right to determine this? Life was “cheap” to those kinds of evil leaders. How could they decide which dads, moms, children and grandparents deserved to suffer?
And, of course, there are others who care nothing for people as they pursue their own desires and cause great harm to the innocent, caring nothing for people. Drug lords pursue millions of dollars through dealing drugs. They use people as pawns and partners, caring nothing for those who might be in the way on their pathway to power and prestige. They set themselves up as the judge. How can they be so thoughtless, uncaring and callused? Surely they deserve to suffer!
This is one of the reasons why Charles Darwin left Christianity and plunged headlong into his philosophy of evolution. Desmond and Moore record how Darwin blamed God for his daughter’s tragic death, “Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity…Charles now took his stand as an unbeliever.”1 Darwin’s philosophy was the main ingredient behind Hitler’s extermination of about 12 million people. Surely Hitler thought he could determine who should suffer. Should we all cast a vote that both Darwin and Hitler deserved to suffer?
Some Believe the Weakest Deserve to Suffer
Then there are those who won’t give a reasonable answer, but their philosophy does. Those who believe in evolution follow that the survival depends on the strongest and most fit. Evolution is based on time, chance and death. That is, those who are not the strongest will die off and the strongest will survive. That is why Hitler chose to murder children, disabled and elderly right away, because they would not be able to work for the Third Reich. Tommy Mitchell wrote,
The evolutionist has no basis for moral judgments. If man is just the result of millions of years of evolution, our behavior is based on random chemical reactions. There is no ultimate moral code. All morality is relative. So if a person needs money, why is it wrong to rob someone? According to evolution, the stronger person should succeed. Might makes right. So in the evolutionary view, such violence is a natural, and necessary, part of the world…If we take evolution to its logical conclusion, we will conclude that these widows and orphans should die, because they are a drain on the resources of nature…Those who reject the Bible have no basis for morality.2
After all, over “millions of years,” as the evolutionist will say, only the strongest and fittest deserve to continue in order for better species development through “evolution.” Hitler used prison camps in an attempt to remove these weaker ones. He justified his behavior as an attempt to hasten their already impending death because “might makes right.”
Do orphans and widows deserve to suffer and die? That is certainly not what God would say! He tells us to care for them, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (Jam. 1:27 NKJ)
Evolution promotes that death and suffering are something that have always been present. The evolutionist looks at deserved suffering on the weak no differently than the trauma caused by earthquakes, hurricanes, famines and floods. They are all just a fact of life and suffering visits both the innocent and the guilty alike. But in evolution there is no innocent or guilty, because there is no morality. Suffering happens! Otherwise, you’d have to say that catastrophes and the storms of life should be like precision bombing of modern times where only the military targets or offensive weapons are destroyed and collateral damage is kept to a minimum. But then who decides what surgical damage the catastrophes should be and where?