Stephen Fry, Suffering and God

Recently an interview featuring Stephen fry has gone viral, in it he is asked the question “What will you say when you meet God?” [paraphrased]

To which Stephen answers:

“I’ll say, “Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you! How dare you create a world in which there is such suffering that is not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god, who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?”

At it’s essence this is the common question “why does God allow suffering?”
This question is certainly not a new one, it has been asked for centuries. No one says that this is an easy question to answer. But if we look at Stephen’s answer he blames God for causing the suffering. This problem of suffering is often used as evidence that there is no God.

So let’s, for now, assume that this is true, that the problem of suffering in this world shows without doubt that there is no God. We are nothing more than the result of evolution, born out of primordial ooze which started on a planet in a universe that was nothing more than a collection of elements that came from a random expansion some 14 billion years ago.

The child still has bone cancer, but now they must have cancer in a cold, lonely universe that doesn’t know or care about what they are going through.
Removing God does not remove the problem of suffering but it does remove any sense of hope that exists in the midst of that suffering.

With God we have the sure hope that all things are in his capable hands, we don’t claim to know why everything happens but we do claim and proudly proclaim that “Our God is in the Heavens he does all that he pleases”(Psalm 115:3), he is in control.

It was no capricious, mean-minded, stupid God that saw humanity in the prison of sin, a prison of their own making, a sentence which resulted in eternal death. A God Who then sent his only beloved Son to die in the place those who rebelled against him. This same Son who broke in pieces the chains and bars that held those in this prison, and who so utterly destroyed their imprisonment so that it would never hold them again (Psalm 107:10-16, Ephesians 4:8)

That is the God we worship and the God we sincerely pray that Stephen will one day come to call his Lord and Saviour.

Comments are always welcome

7 thoughts on “Stephen Fry, Suffering and God

  1. Do you have any idea how calous that is? God gives a child bone cancer but he is our only hope? How about if I break both your legs with a baseball bat then sit there and listen to your pleading that I take you to a hospital. I’m your only hope of getting there.

  2. Will

    “The child still has bone cancer, but now they must have cancer in a cold, lonely universe that doesn’t know or care about what they are going through.
    Removing God does not remove the problem of suffering but it does remove any sense of hope that exists in the midst of that suffering.”

    First, this ignores the fact that there is always hope that science will be able to come up with a cure or treatment for this or any other condition. Science and medicine have a much better proven track record of alleviating suffering than does religion.

    I’m sure that many people do derive hope from religion, however this isn’t in any way evidence that the claims of religion are true. There are any number of beliefs that could give a person a false sense of consolation. For example, if you were trapped on top of a mountain, I’m sure having the mistaken belief that someone was coming to rescue you, would give you a sense of hope in that situation. However that could actually make your situation worse, as you would be relying on another person to save you, rather than saving yourself.

    Also, you ignore the fact that according to Christianity, many (if not the vast majority of) people are going to be condemned hell, including numerous people who have never even heard of the doctrine of salvation. In other words, the person with bone cancer may die and rather than the pain being over for them, be sent to hell to experience infinitely more suffering than they did on earth.

  3. “The child still has bone cancer, but now they must have cancer in a cold, lonely universe that doesn’t know or care about what they are going through.”

    The difference being that we know, we care and are actively trying to find a way to cure it.

    In a world in which a god exists, or any sufficiently powerful supernatural being, then curing bone cancer would be simple. And yet it hasn’t been cured.

  4. Stephen Fry isn’t blaming god, he is asking god why did that happen. Could it have been different? You miss the point when you say we should assume there is no god. Unless you didn’t see it, it was an interview and Stephen is told he has met god. So that is Fry’s exchange with god. Would you stop for a moment and listen to the clip again and stop repeating what every theist is writing on the blogs like you guys had a conference.

  5. Pingback: Five misused Bible verses | Behold Our Shield

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience with God’s truth about real faith. It’s so easy to blame God for the suffering and take personal credit when good things happen. Unbelievers don’t understand faith because it’s difficult to believe something that isn’t physically present. We do for the Holy Spirit lives inside our being filling our lives with Christ presence. Have a great weekend my friend.

  7. Pingback: Five misused Bible verses « Behold Our Shield

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