The problem of evil

You probably have watched the brief interview of Stephen Fry.

His answer seems to have given some theists fodder to enlighten us on the problem of evil. The OP tells us

My point is simply this: evil is a problem for everyone, not just Christians.Whether you like it or not we live in a world where children do get bone cancer, where parasites exists, where ‘evil’ exists. I would therefore suggest the question is not simply ‘how could God let this happen?’, but rather ‘which worldview best answers the question of evil?’

Which is alright. Atheism however isn’t a worldview. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there is anywhere atheism

demands that there be no God, no purpose in the universe – we are simply the result of an accident, some sort of cosmic blip which caused everything that we see.

given atheism is a lack of belief in the existence of god[s]. So how someone gets from that simple meaning to atheism making demands is a logical leap, if ever there was one. It is enough for me to say I don’t how life began and whether or not the universe had a beginning.

This theist seems to me to not have listened to the clip. If he did, he should have been aware that Stephen Fry was asked what he would say were he to find a god. No one that I know of is claiming that diseases aren’t natural. There is no problem of evil in an atheistic universe. The problem of evil, is only a problem in a world ruled by a cosmic overlord whose followers believe that this being is both all-powerful, all-knowing and all loving. I have no problem with this statement of the OP

If atheism is true, then we are exactly the way we are intended to be: evolution just dumped us here, in a place where illness and death exist – the universe has no categories of right or wrong, it just simply is.

for I think it is the case. The universe isn’t intelligent so it doesn’t have the wherewithal to care for right or wrong. These categories are human categories.

The OP conveniently forgets that Fry had been asked what he would do if he found there was a god. It is true atheism cannot and doesn’t account for evil. It is not part of the definition of atheism to explain or account for anything. As I wrote a few days ago, if you are going to evaluate the correctness of a proposition by the questions it can’t answer, then everything will be found as irrational. The theist tells us

Personally I believe that Christianity is the best explanation that we have for the universe as we perceive it, evil and all. Very, very briefly: (1) evil is an alien intrusion into the world, caused by the Fall (see Genesis 3). This explains why we have a higher ideal for the world than the one we actually see – because creation is not as God originally created it. In other words, illness, death etc are not ‘natural’; (2) despite that, God promises that there is a purpose in all suffering – that “all things” work for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28, see also Genesis 50:20 and elsewhere); (3) One day God promises to end all suffering (Revelation 7:17). To my mind that is a far more convincing and comprehensive answer to the problem of evil than anything atheism could provide.

Which to me is further evidence of the ignorance of Christians of the world they live in. Each religion makes a claim about the universe. This particular person, due to his accident of birth, thinks his particular religion answers best the questions we have about the universe. If he read his bible, he would realize there is no where in Genesis where his god intended that man will live forever. In Genesis 3:22, the authors have god say

22 God said, “The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree-of-Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!

Only a silly person would think death isn’t natural and that eating a fruit, which the said god didn’t have to plant or after planting make known its existence, would be the cause for sickness. Atheism isn’t attempting to provide an answer to evil. It can’t. Only we as humans can answer that problem. God makes no promises. Unknown men, whose motives are unclear to us have made claims that god can do this or that. We have no reason to take them at their word. For all we know, they could as well be charlatans as the current peddlers of religion.

The world is not divided between atheism and Christianity alone. It is a wide world out there. Only a person of limited intelligence would see the world as a divided between on this two stances of belief or non belief.