And this was the other provocation:
Fine, but I just hope that serious atheists will not take these words of Attenborough as a reasonable argument against the existence of God – which seems to be the suggestion, at least judging from the way the poster has been composed.
The worm in the child’s eye is at least as bad an argument for the non-existence of God as the beautiful flower is for His existence. God may have indeed created the worm, a creature that in itself is capable neither of good nor bad deeds as it lacks free will, but certainly God did not create the “worm into the child’s eye”. If such an appalling condition exists I believe it is much more easily attributable to the conduct on this Earth of free-willing humans, rather than a direct evil act of God.
Moreover, to take a beautiful flower (or the worm itself for that matter, depending how one’s sense of awe is pitched) as an incontrovertible evidence of an intelligent creator is certainly a naive argument for a believer. However that the state of nature, or for that matter reality as a whole, awakes a striking awe in the beholder is not a laughing matter. At the very least the beauty, or indeed the drama of nature, will awaken the question in the careful observer: “where is all this from, and why is it like this?”. To raise such a question is the beginning of a religious attitude which may eventually find God after an accumulation of other evidences, or it may find other answers which do not require the God’s hypothesis. What would be sad though, is the suppression of such questions from the onset.
At any rate, the questions of why is there evil in the world if God is good is indeed one of the most difficult and debated issues in theology, and no doubt puts a very justified pressure on the theist. But at least for me it provokes me more tightly to know more closely who this God really is, rather than straight-away deducing His non-existence. For example, the fact that He did not spare Himself from such evil or suffering, but partook in it with us (sending His Son who died on a cross) leads me to think that creating a world where we (also) suffer may not be after all just an evil trick of His.