I promise this is the last am writing on this topic. You have probably watched the 2 minute interview of Stephen Fry. I wrote about it here.
Here we have a theist who either didn’t understand Stephen Fry or went to this with his preconceptions.
The interview begins
“Suppose it’s all true, and you walk up to the pearly gates, and are confronted by God,” asked Bryne. “What will Stephen Fry say to him, her, or it?
Read that again. I will wait. Where in this statement is he asked about an atheistic universe? The question assumes there is a god. As an atheist, what would you ask this god? The question of what is true in an atheistic universe is no longer relevant.
So when Stephen Fry asks this god about bone cancer in children, he is answering the question he is asked. He could as well have asked why a prayer said by one team in the super bowl wasn’t answered or why some team lost. Any question here is game.
So when the OP writes
Now then first of all I would like to say that Fry is putting a huge burden of proof on his shoulders with these statements.?
one really wonders what is it that occupies the space between their ears. What burden is he putting on his shoulders. The age-old problem of evil is a challenge not to a god- I thought this was obvious- but to anyone claiming there is a good all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful god. Here Stephen Fry is asking the god itself for an explanation why children have bone cancer. I don’t think this is too much to ask and I see no burden it puts on Fry.
So when this theist writes
‘For any evil the non-theist might name, the theist can say that it’s logically possible that by permitting it, two similar events (and so twice as much evil) would have been prevented. If that’s not enough, then make it five times as much or a hundred times as much—any of these scenarios is logically possible
and to which we will tell her that such theodicies have been made and still found to be defective in answering the question why we suffer. One can easily ask why is there any suffering at all? What benefit does a god get from one suffering?
Fry makes these complaints about God yet on what basis on an atheistic world-view can he make these sort of moral judgements?
is to me a sure sign of ignorance on the part of the theist. The question to Fry wasn’t about an atheistic universe. Atheism isn’t a worldview. It is a statement of non belief. As a man Stephen Fry can ask any question. And the questions he asked above could be asked by a christian, a Buddhist or even a Muslim who met Allah. To try to limit the questions a person can ask is to me to push the limit of close mindedness to a new deafening level.
Fry or anyone else has no need to show
that on his view (atheism) why certain things are truly right and wrong and secondly he must show that it is impossible for God to have morally sufficient reasons for permitting such evils in the world. I do not think any atheist can achieve this – how could there be anything truly good or evil if we are just random accidents in the universe and by-products of evolution?
when they are asked what they would ask god. It is that simple. If this is difficult to understand, then maybe you are dumber than you really think.
The interview was never an apology for atheism. Unless the theists purports to speak for their god, Stephen Fry and anyone for that matter- if antelopes could speak they should also ask why they were made food for lions- can ask any of the questions he asked and much more. It is god to answer him and I haven’t seen any YouTube video done by a god- any god- in response to Stephen’s questions.
I suggest we wait for any god to answer Stephen Fry. Don’t bring unrelated issues into the discussion.