God and the North Wind

Interesting quote on the problem of God and evil, from Outland

“Then you do mean to sink the ship with the other hand?”


“It’s not like you.”

“How do you know that?”

If it is God’s will that a baby be stillborn, does that make Him guilty of murder?


  1. Noelle says:

    It’s not God’s will that there be death and disease in the world. The world was made GOOD, but because of man’s sin, the world is FALLEN and evil things happen. I don’t think it’s right to blame God for the bad things that happen because man sinned.

  2. roy says:


    On one level, you’re absolutely right that we shouldn’t blame God for the evil that we do.

    But what about the things that, to our eyes, look evil, but we can’t point to someone and say “It’s HIS fault!”? What about the ship that goes down in a storm?

    I think the point of the extract of the story I posted (go to my blog for the whole thing) is that our understanding of evil is usually incomplete.

    Take death. Evil, right? Well, according to Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

  3. Paulo says:

    Exactly. Our conceptions of what we consider the “evils” of God’s will must take into account the larger picture that God is setting things in place for an ultimately greater good. And how do we know this? We don’t, other than from His own assurances in Scripture. Hence the need for faith.

    Sunken ships, stillborn babies, human suffering, world poverty; we accept that God lets these things happen for a good reason — and at the same time we should also be acting in love and charity as part of His divine will.

    Um, yeah, sort of.

  4. rowster says:

    Interesting; we just discussed a related topic in class last week.

    First point: God doesn’t will evil. It is sin that causes evil. God “allows” evil because he has granted us free will. (Cf. the story of Adam and Eve and the doctrine of original sin.)

    Second point: Suffering is an ontic, but not necessarily a moral evil.

    Third point: The profundity of the Paschal Mystery lies in the fact that through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, Jesus transformed Suffering into Love. Because of Christ’s redemptive act, suffering never has to have the last word. Through Christ, Suffering is no longer absurd; because grace transforms it into Love. By sharing in Christ’s love we help to transform the Suffering we see around us into Love.

    … Just some thoughts I felt like sharing.

  5. rowster says:

    The meaning of the lines “Take up your Cross and follow me,” and the story of the rich man who was asked to give up everything to follow Christ are additional points we might want to reflect on. THe implied question is, When is suffering “good”?

    Also … many mystics over the last several centuries have written a lot on their reflections about this question, and it might help to look up some of their thoughts. (Therese of Lisieux is one of my favorites.)

  6. Noelle says:

    Uh… d’oh! Pardon this pedestrian, but I didn’t understand those last two posts. Ü

  7. Noelle says:

    Just to clarify… when I said “I don’t think it’s right to blame God for the bad things that happen because man sinned”, I meant man’s original sin. Famine, disease, disasters (natural and man-made) are not God’s fault.

  8. Roy says:


    You say “Famine, disease, disasters (natural and man-made) are not God’s fault.”

    Just one counter-example: the Deluge.

    God does not do evil. However, sometimes he does things that *seem* evil. Our understanding is clouded and incomplete, thus the problem is in our perception of what God does. That’s a large part of what I’m trying to bring across.