Why do bad things happen to good people?

Atheist View

The Atheist Perspective

The Naturalist response to this question is fairly obvious: bad things happen to good people because the universe is an unintelligent, undesigned monstrosity that has no concern for whether it helps or hurts us, and doesn't even know or care who is good or bad.

That good things should happen to good people (and, perhaps, bad things to bad people) is only something that can be understood and caused to happen by an intelligent, compassionate being, and so far we have only found one such being to exist: us.

Therefore, if we want good things to happen to good people (and, perhaps, bad things to bad people), only we can make that so. That means we have to work together to defy the cruel indifference of the natural world, and create our own world of justice and compassion. That is the only way such a world will ever exist.

That is what Secular Humanism is all about, as one can learn by exploring the following Secular Web Library:

Secular Humanism

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Christian View

The Christian Perspective

Jesus teaches us that no one is good but God (Mat 19:17, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19, Rom 3:12).

According to the Bible, every one of us has failed at what we have been called to do (Rom 3:23). Even the best people in the world have been dishonest, greedy, selfish, or lustful at some point in time. All of us have done something we shouldn't have, and as a result, our connection with our perfect Creator is damaged and broken.

When we disobey the Lord, do we really expect that good will come of it? Unfortunately, most of the time, the answer is yes. We expect good things to happen to us, whether we obey Him or not. This is probably because God is merciful (Deut 4:31, Neh 9:31), forgiving (Num 14:18, Dan 9:9), and often gives us what we do not deserve (Prov 3:34, Isa 26:10). We get used to His goodness, and take it for granted, thinking we have earned it.

But the Bible tells us that what we have really earned is death (Rom 6:23).

However, it goes on to say that God has offered us a free gift, something we have not earned, the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23).

It seems as though, from a Christian perspective, since there really are no good people, the real question is, "Why do good things happen to us bad people?" And the Biblical answer is that there is a merciful and gracious God in heaven who loves sinners so much that He sent his only Son to die in their place (Romans 5:8; John 3:16).

Have you accepted His forgiveness? The Bible teaches that "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved!" (Rom 10:9)

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Muslim View

The Muslim Perspective

Misfortunes or calamities happen to everyone. Allah (God) says:

"And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong doers)." (Quran 3:140)

They are also a result of the deeds we do. Allah (God) says:

"And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much." (Quran 42:30)

Allah (God) also says:

"And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving (living) creature on the surface of the earth, but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves." (Quran 35:45)

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Hindu View

The Hindu Perspective

We make judgements of good and bad based on our own conditioning. What is good for one person is bad for another. Therefore what constitutes a 'good person' or a 'bad person' is a relative consideration.

Beside that point the answer that Vedanta gives to your general question is that Karma (action and reaction) is anadi - or beginningless. Everyone has unlimited amounts of karma and it is presenting itself in different forms to us. We have our parabdha karma which is karma being played out in our current field of activities which is the body and the phenomenal world. Karma is also behind the scenes in seed form - reactions that will come to fruition in the future. You, no doubt, have heard the term 'skeletons in the closet' which refers to things about people which are not apparent to others. The unlimited Karma represents the 'skeletons in the closet' that are attributed as causation of action be it good or bad.

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