A response to Stephen Fry

Typewriters and latch-keys

Stephen Fry doesn’t believe in God. But he’s furious with him. I can sympathise.

His God is an “utter maniac” who, despite being “all seeing, all wise, all kind, all beneficent”, sits by while children die of bone cancer.

Judging by the reaction to his rant, this is the God that other people have in mind too. It’s a God I’ve had in mind, and railed at, and hated.

So I’m not dismissive of the rant, because this isn’t a God plucked from nowhere, a cartoonish fantasy that nobody with a faith has ever squared up to.

Fry knows this, because he starts his speech by describing it as “what’s known as theodicy” (Wikipedia: “the attempt to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil”). People of faith have been engaged in this attempt for thousands of years: philosophers and theologians, and those with the…

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