My mom’s murder wasn’t ‘for a reason’
The Golden State Killer (aka the Original Night Stalker) murdered my mom when I was 14. He murdered 11 other people and committed 50 rapes.
That is all gratuitous suffering. There is no ‘greater good’ that these acts of violence achieved. The direct and indirect victims are worse off, period. The world is worse off, period. It did not happen ‘for a reason’ — at least not, as the phrase always implies, for a reason that could be considered good.
If, against all evidence and logic, there happened to be an all-powerful and all-knowing god who foresaw the crimes of the GSK and was able to prevent them but just opted not to, that god would be as evil as the GSK himself; he would definitely not be worthy of worship or gratitude.
There is no point trying to reconcile the suffering caused by the GSK, or any of the other gratuitous suffering in the world, with belief in a ‘good’ god. What the GSK did is the product of bad genes and maybe bad influences. His actions were not a component of a beautiful divine plan. There is no divine plan. The universe is indifferent. Some people, and apparently some animals, have consciences and strive to do good, but that’s it.
Accepting this reality has been much more comforting for me (no way it could be less comforting!) than believing in a god who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and very cruel but less cruel than he could have been.