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To ask, if you believe in a 'God'/Higher Being, how do you rationalise the death of an innocent child? **Contains graphic content - Thread titled edited by MNHQ**

(172 Posts)
DM1209 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:25:16

Good morning MN. I have been raised within a faith, Sikhism, and for the most part it brings me comfort and inner peace. My faith believes in equality for all mankind, standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves and in doing good for the world which is why, in our places of worship we offer free hot meals all day to ANYONE that walks through our doors, regardless of their faith, gender, or colour.

Over time though I am finding myself asking 'that' question. If there is a higher power, why does 'it' not stop some senseless acts of evil from happening? I know it's not as clear cut as that and I know life is about balance, you have good and bad. But how do you rationalise this in your head if you follow a faith? And if you don't follow a faith, is it easier to understand the cruelty of mankind?

I know acts and deeds committed are the result of a person and their actions, they are responsible, I get that too....but why? Where is the intervention? Where is that 'angel' or that divine power that steps in?

I've just read about a 22 month old little girl who in her short life was neglected and abused and as a result of which, she died, no was murdered with a massive overdose of codeine.

She was also found with multiple head fractures, rib fractures, broken bones and a split liver. These injuries were consistent with those of a car crash victim. This little baby lay suffering and dying in her bed, over the course of about 4 days, while her 'mother' and her boyfriend played games and spent time on Facebook. I cannot imagine her pain and distress, the confusion in her mind and the acceptance that this was her life. Why? How is this ok if you are 'God'?

When her mother finally called for help, she was already dead and rigor mortis had set in which takes several hours. She was just left. No love, no warmth and no comfort. Then people say 'she's in a better place now.' No she isn't, she's dead and has only know suffering while alive.

Why? Just, why?

I'm not expecting answers as just, I simply cannot understand. Call it a crisis of sorts I suppose.

forestafantastica Wed 13-Mar-19 09:27:28

Because God gave us free will and sometimes awful human beings do evil things. I think I struggle more with disease and natural disaster.

Babycham1979 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:32:45

But doesn't Sikhism say that everything is predestined?

savanna22 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:37:29

Nobody has all the answers but I just have the view that life here on earth isn’t meant to be like heaven. If he interceded all the time and stopped horrible things from happening then what would be the point of heaven. We can’t expect God to behave like we’d expect him to behave. Somehow we have to muddle through this life on earth, some of us have much worse than others. I don’t think it’s part of God’s plan to stop suffering. He knows we’re only here for a minuscule amount of time.

floorislava Wed 13-Mar-19 09:38:50

Forestfantastica - same. People have free will. I cannot understand or rationalise why babies get cancer.

I have a faith - I don’t go to church regularly but I have a feeling inside me that there is something there, something with me. I am aware that may be born from my own anxieties, and also I lost a few relatives in a short period in my mid teens which had a huge effect on me. I think the idea they were in heaven and I could see them again one day gave me huge comfort. I need to read more about religion because I have so many questions. The more I think about it, religion is just love and a need to love/be loved in return.

I have not been able to read the news reports about that poor darling baby. Bless her poor heart. I hope she is in heaven safe, warm and loved.

DM1209 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:38:52

Yes, it is the theory of Karma. Our past deeds write our destiny for our new life. This is why a huge element of the faith is based on a 'sewa' which is essentially working to help others, hence our free and open kitchens all over the world. The better your deeds to mankind, the better your destiny in your next cycle of life.

The element I struggle with is the suffering of the innocent and often it's the vermin that seem to go on and live long lives.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 13-Mar-19 09:42:31

No one is more 'innocent' than another, or should I put it, more or less worthy. And as Im not God, nor are any of us, it's somewhat pointless wondering why He does things.

Surely you can find the answer in your belief system : Followers are all trying to reach salvation, meaning they are trying to break the process of rebirth and become one with God. The thing that is keeping people from reaching union is bad karma. Bad karma is taught to be caused by pride, anger, greed, attachment and lust. Sikhs try to stay away from these things. Sikhs also believe that a piece of god resides within everything in the world. Once an individual discovers the god within and stops searching else then can he reach salvation.

DM1209 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:43:11

Thank you to all those that have replied so far. Every point of view is valid and helps me to see another perspective. I'm usually a very positive person, bad things happen and we get up and keep on fighting the good fight, it's the Sikh Warrior in me. Just today, I kissed my children this morning, have picked up a child protection case and then the news article. I literally sat at my desk and sobbed.

Today it just seems very, very hard to understand.

LazyFace Wed 13-Mar-19 09:43:12

I used to believe in karma. It was a comfort to lnow that somehow evil people will have it all coming back to them.
Since having children... I don't eat it any more. No comfort in that someone may get something bad happen to them in their mext life. I want them to suffer the consequences now.
I have lost my faith and it's a bit of a shitty, lonely place.

DM1209 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:45:59

Thank you again. I do indeed have an in depth understanding of my faith which is why I stated it brings me comfort and inner peace.

As I said, I have begun to struggle with innocents suffering and that is where I wish to understand how others rationalise it. I don't have all the answers but I do have an open mind and a heavy heart today.

DM1209 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:49:35

@Lazyface, I completely understand and I think it is this that I am fighting against. I believe in the good of people but then I pick up a file, or go to Court or read the news and I ask, 'what have I done by bringing children into this sick, sick world!' I am blessed that these moments and thoughts are rare and fleeting. Mostly I believe that I am doing good things to help people and they in turn will help others, like pay it forward almost. Today just feels like I'm treading water.

I hope you feel at peace soon.

SweatyUnderboob Wed 13-Mar-19 09:51:56

Because all of us are god experiencing him/herself and through multiple lifetimes we will play the victim, the perpetrator, the hero, the villain. There is no good or bad, just experiences. The soul wants to explore and experience every aspect of life. Whilst on earth, we are all actors playing parts in the great film of humanity.

Oakenbeach Wed 13-Mar-19 09:52:07

I don’t think it’s something that can be rationalised... To do so is crass and minimises the tragedy. Simplistic notions of God as some kind of omnipresent, omnipotent, onmiscient being break down when confronted with something like this. I would call myself a Christian, and this kind of thing is of course a challenge to me, but I nonetheless find the sense of meaning and purpose it offers more “true” than the nihilistic alternative of atheism. However, this does require the notion of God to be adapted from the traditional concepts, but then many elements of Christianity accommodate this. The theology of the incarnation being one that springs to mind.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 13-Mar-19 09:52:53

@DM - your belief system always seems like a decent one with all the right answers.

However, you are projecting your feelings onto a case you read in the media. You need to distance yourself.

FiddlesticksAkimbo Wed 13-Mar-19 09:58:31

"The better your deeds to mankind, the better your destiny in your next cycle of life.

The element I struggle with is the suffering of the innocent and often it's the vermin that seem to go on and live long lives."

Well presumably in this theory the people who suffer in this life (like the baby) lived very evil previous lives and are experiencing the consequences?

Magenta82 Wed 13-Mar-19 09:59:31

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

Epicurus’s trilemma is as relevant today as it was 2300 years ago.

RebeccaCloud9 Wed 13-Mar-19 10:03:05

I wonder the same thing (100% committed atheist).

I once read on fb a local church post thanking God for getting them the money for a new heating system. I thought, if your God busies themselves with providing for your new boiler while ignoring the pain and suffering in the world, then that is not an omnipotent being I would WANT to praise! Seriously, if that is what God finds a priority, he is deluded at best, evil at worst! Certainly not worthy of adulation.

QueenofmyPrinces Wed 13-Mar-19 10:05:20

Well presumably in this theory the people who suffer in this life (like the baby) lived very evil previous lives and are experiencing the consequences?

I had someone say that to me about karma.

That if people are so willing to believe that bad/evil people will be punished in their next life, then doesn’t it imply that the people (and children) who suffer in life were evil beings in their previous one and their pain now is their punishment?

Babdoc Wed 13-Mar-19 10:07:24

God created us with free will and equal capacity for good or evil. We have to be free to make bad choices, or we would just be robots, programmed to behave nicely.
I’m sure God weeps to see the evil that many people perpetrate.
Fortunately, this life is just a blink of an eye, set against the eternity of our life after death. Our souls will be reunited with God and our loved ones. As it says in the Christian Bible “There will be no more sorrow, neither death nor dying. And God shall wipe away all tears”.
Hang on to your faith, OP. You are doing God’s will, acting with kindness and decency. If only everyone did so, we could have heaven on Earth, rather than having to wait until we die!

LazyFace Wed 13-Mar-19 10:13:44

Yes, karma means that supposedly they've done something similar to someone else in a previous life. But I didn't see that. Or noone can have an actual proof.
I'm hoping there's more to life than our physical presence.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 13-Mar-19 10:15:48

Pain, sadness, loss, joy, life,death, happiness are things that make us human. If we lived in a world with no loss, no pain, no death, we wouldn't be human anymore. We wouldn't be Us.

Nesssie Wed 13-Mar-19 10:18:39

Babdoc I really like your way of looking at it.

Nickpan Wed 13-Mar-19 10:19:46

"Bless her poor heart. I hope she is in heaven safe, warm and loved."

And that's why religion was invented, as a source of hope and comfort.

lilybetsy Wed 13-Mar-19 10:22:36

I try to believe that "all things work together for good for them that love God" reinterpreted as " all things intermingle for good..."
So the good and the bad, and the inexplicably awful, will all have redemption and a positive outcome somewhere in the passage of time, even if we, as mere mortals can neither see nor understand.
If you believe that only God can see the whole picture, we cannot presume to be aware of all the outcomes of any particular event, and having faith, means accepting that.
I am not a very good Christian, and struggle with many aspects of religion, but this is how I make sense of this particular difficulty, because I AM sure there is a God

Foodylicious Wed 13-Mar-19 10:25:01

Please ask MN to edit your title to add upsetting content warning


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