Yes, you heard me, tomatoes.
I am devastated. My harvest of about three hundred tomatoes has been decimated. Tomato blight. Gutted. The yield would have been my best ever, and they were very healthy looking.
This, to me, shows that there is no god. This is gratuitous suffering, I tell you!
Of course, this is just a case of natural evil (the type logically parallel to earthquakes) in the form of the Problem of Evil. Now, since this only really affects me and my family, I could react like this:
What have I done to deserve this? Why am I being punished so?!
But this kind of crop destruction has happened for millennia. I could, like my Irish friends, get fed up and emigrate to the New World. However, people die. Crops fail and people die. Yes, God could be punishing people. You know, children, babies, adults and adolescents, as if the entirety of communities are evil and deserving of death and famine.
Yes, one could appeal to the mysterious mind of God and to Skeptical Theism.
Or one could defer to the “God’s a complete bastard” approach.
As one friend stated on facebook:
Maybe its to ensure that the bacteria that damaged your red-ones were able to make truly free-will decisions as moral-bacterial-agents and will be judged in the afterlife.
How else could the bacteria live full and meaningful lives if they didn’t have the ability to cause green-suffering to fellow life forms.
Plus you’re in no epistemic situation as a mere human mortal to be able to tell what reasons tomato-god might have for destroying your crop.
For all we sow … there might be perfectly loving reasons behind all this.
I prefer, since God has apparently been on holiday for two thousand years anyway, the approach which concludes, you know, that he doesn’t exist. It looks far more likely, more probable. There are no ad hoc rationalisations. God is not pissed of with me. God doesn’t have it in for soft fruit often confused with vegetables.
No, God doesn’t exist. Blight fights for existence in the same way tomatoes and humans do. That’s nature. We gotta deal with it.