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Why would an all-good and all-powerful God allow a pandemic?

by John Shaheen—

John is a junior at the University of MichiganDearborn. He especially loves philosophy and biology.


Fear is aroused, panic abounds, medical supplies dwindle, and the economy suffers… where is God?
  Why would he let the people that he loves suffer?  Within months, the Coronavirus has rapidly spread throughout the world.  What seemed like alarmism now seems like inadequate preparation.  Surely, the question on the minds of many is why would God allow this?  Where is the God of infinite and perfect love and mercy?
     In response to the logical problem of evil, many solutions have been offered, the most famous being the Free will Defense.  Perhaps evil and suffering are a consequence of allowing free beings to exist.  The objection soon arose, what about natural evil?  How are floods, diseases, earthquakes, etc. the result of free beings?  Alvin Plantinga suggested that perhaps these disasters are the result of the free actions of supernatural beings such as angels or demons.  Though this is definitely a solution that makes natural evil logically compatible with a perfect and powerful God, it still feels unsatisfactory.  Why did God give these beings this kind of power?  He could have easily restricted their power without limiting their free will.  They can only cause this kind of havoc if God allows them.  God is still the ultimate authority and power in this paradigm.  Furthermore, in an age of scientific knowledge of the causes of natural disasters, this solution may seem unsatisfactory to the naturalist.  
  • 22 July 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 816
  • Comments: 0
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Tao and Tawheed is dedicated to exploring the mysteries of faith, reason, and meaning. We aspire to provide articles and videos that stimulate the serious consideration of truth as seen through the lens of these and related ideas: logic, purpose, order, beauty, hope, love, morality, happiness, natural law, intelligibility, science, and divine revelation to expand the list. Our presupposition is that all these things exist and create the tapestry of reality. They are so fundamental they both govern and drive us whether we know it or not. And through the art of good thinking, metacognition and civil discussion they are discernible to us as the rational beings that we are. This is what makes humanness wonderful. 

But why "Tao and Tawheed"? Because it's mysterious? Yes. But also because of what they mean to us. Tao is an eastern idea for which the religion of Taoism is named, although we are not Taoists. It refers to the comprehensive order and harmony of the universe despite things that seem chaotic. (In fact, we hold that there really is no chaos.) The late British philosopher C.S. Lewis used the notion of Tao to refer to natural law, or the moral order that permeates all cultures everywhere. Tawheed, or Tawhid, is Muslim concept that captures the idea of absolute unity. specifically the unity of God, or Allah. But we use it more broadly. To us it suggests that no matter how much diversity we see in the universe it is always still one. The opposite is also true, of course. Further, although we are not Muslims there is a powerful rational for monotheism that we embrace. Together we think they capture something profound: Faith, Reason and Meaning. 

But there is another word embedded in our emblem, do you see it? It's the Greek word "logos" from which the word logic derives. It is a very broad concept that by itself captures all the meaning of Tao and Tawheed together. Logos is a word that the ancient Greek philosophers used to refer to 'the logic of everything' or the 'order of all reality' consisting of both particulars and universals. Centuries later the New Testament writer John also used it in the very first sentence of his gospel. Without abandoning the earlier philosophers' notions, but with the claim of divine revelation, John appropriated 'logos', in word and principle, to Jesus the Messiah. This website recognizes and celebrates that. Therefore, our intent is to hold all ideas up to the light of the Logos personified.

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