Of course, none of us has a fully coherent solution to the problem of theodicy. But the problem is not exactly new -- every great religion has dealt with it, and most of the brilliant minds in history retained their faith in God despite all the unjust suffering they saw.
The difference today is that life has been so good for most Westerners that suffering is no longer regarded as part of life, but as an aberration that can be done away with. Meanwhile, the liberal wings of Christianity and Judaism are too influenced by secularism to make an effective religious case for God, whom the religious left has largely rendered a celestial buddy.
The fourth reason is Islamic violence and the tepid response to it by the liberal churches and synagogues. It would seem pretty clear that a major, albeit almost never acknowledged, reason for the huge audiences for recent books advocating atheism has been the massive amount of evil in God's name committed by radical Muslims. Nothing creates atheism as much as evil done in God's name.
That is why the pathetically weak responses from within mainstream, i.e., liberal, Christianity and Judaism have only added to the contempt for God and religion sown by beheadings and suicide bombings in Allah's name. The liberal Christian and Jewish responses have been to attack fellow Christians and Jews who have focused on Islamist terror. Instead of drawing attention to the damage radical Islam does to the name of God, liberal Christians and Jews focus their anger on co-religionists who do speak out on this issue and label them "Islamophobes."
That God is not doing well in the Western world may trouble God. But it is we humans who should be most troubled. The moral, intellectual, artistic and demographic decline in Western Europe (secular countries don't even have the will to reproduce themselves) is only gaining momentum. And the consequences of that decline will be far more devastating than all the tsunamis and all the earthquakes that may come our way.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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