Monday, 11 October 2010

The curious incident of the baby in the night time

Being the father of 9 month old twins is a great joy most of the time. However, when one of them is awake screaming at 4 O Clock in the morning it quickly becomes one of those few times it is not. During these times I find myself babbling like a pagan asking God to stop her from crying so that I can get some sleep (oh and so that she's happy of course). However, sometimes God doesn't answer this prayer and she screams for hours and hours.

Now I know what goes on in my head at these times. I start reasoning with myself and my reasoning goes like this.
There is no reason why God would want this to happen.
I am asking God to stop it.
God wants to bless me and wouldn't pointlessly put me through this.
Therefore either God doesn't exist or he lacks the power influence to do anything about it.

This argument might sound stupid but it is the heart of the suffering argument made by many people and experienced by me regularly at 4 O clock in the morning.
Fortunately by the morning I am normally thinking more clearly and realise that just because I don't see a reason doesn't mean that there isn't one. The argument is ridiculous as it relies on us having absolute knowledge but yet it's such a common thought process in arrogant humanity.
Maybe through my baby's crying God is teaching me patience, maybe he is helping me to realise that in this fallen world even the best things (my amazing daughters) are not perfect and to long for something better! The fact is I don't know what God is doing but the fact that I can't see a reason is hardly a strong argument against the existence of God. Dawkins may talk of a God of that gaps this is well and truly an argument of the gaps.


  1. I do it too I pray for God to make Sam sleep and He doesn't answer. I guess he must be teaching me something

  2. This is v interesting - it's exactly what we were talking about at my philosophy course tonight.

    A big problem behind it is what you assume God creates us for. Does he create us for comfort and 'happiness' or does he create us for something else? If it is for something else, then could that mean that he allows something that makes us temporarily uncomfortable in order to achieve his greater purpose.

    I've just read an epic article by William Lane Craig (finished literally 5 mins ago) which kinda talks about what you've been talking about, but in a bit more detail. This is the link, if you're interested:

  3. That's a really interesting point scottface-never thought about the fact that God might not have created us just to be happy. I suppose also that our definition of happiness is so warped by what the world views as happy. (e.g. i've been thinking lately i'd be happy if i was rich and could buy a flat in london! totally not true though)

    i'm glad i'm not the only one who has these thoughts ben!