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Stephen Fry describes God as monstrous in interview clip

Screenshot of video appearance of Stephen Fry, seated by a window, prepared to answer a question on The Meaning of Life broadcast

Stephen Fry describes God as monstrous in interview clip

Noted actor Stephen Fry appears in an episode of The Meaning of Life where he is asked a hypothetical question by presenter Gay Byrne. “Suppose it’s all true, and you walk up to the pearly gates, and you are confronted by God. What will Stephen Fry say to him, her, it?”

Fry responds with indignation, stating that he’d criticize God for the natural evils within the world. Fry explains that his atheism is founded not merely on the idea that there is no God, but that if there was a God, he’d be a monstrous and capricious creature. Despite his strong opinion, Fry remains his genial self, and the two men share a laugh at the end of the clip.

His response is one answer to an old theological question. We recently linked to a short animated clip by the BBC, “The Free Will Defence: A Good God vs The Problem of Evil”, that explores another response to this question.

Are there other answers you’ve found comforting in considering the clear evil in our world? Do you have other resources you like that tackle this online?


Posted by David Streever

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Robert Martin

Yes, this is the classic negative argument against God, that even believers sometimes ask: Why does God who knows every hair on our heads, let bad things happen to good and innocent people?

Before spinning this question into atheism however, I would point out that Mr. Fry posits the existence of a good. I would ask him, where does this good come from, if not from God?

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Mary Ayers

When considering this hard question, I always turn to my favorite theologian, Mr. Fred Rogers. When he was a child and saw bad things happening to good people his mother would say to him: "Look for the helpers." Because when you find the helpers, there you'll also find God.

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JC Fisher

"His response is one answer to an old theological question."

I wish Fry understood this. He seems to think that theists (of any stripe) have never considered this before.

I tend to give LGBT people more of a pass on anti-theism---because they have SO much cause. On the other hand, as Fry is ethnically Jewish, rabbis would *tend* to have more of a problem w/ his marrying a non-Jew (as I believe his new husband is), than marrying a non-female!

I don't pretend to have THE answer to the Hard Question (cancer in a child, for example). But I have also seen how Episcopal communities have uplifted families in terrible circumstances such as these---has Fry ever witnessed those???

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Bro David

"I don’t pretend to have THE answer to the Hard Question (cancer in a child, for example).” It’s obvious JCF, they are "uncommitted nominal members or people in general who do not practice the awareness of God at all” Because "committed individuals who do follow the wisdom of God actually experience better life-long and long-term outcomes."

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Emily Windsor

Sure thing. We run into people like this all the time, who have an intellectual grounding in reason but whose lives have not yet been transformed, as the Apostle Paul was transformed.

He presumes God creates evil because he doesn't know otherwise. Just because Fry is an intelligent man, that doesn't change his ignorance of God personally and by principle. He is unable to speak to purpose or reasons why Evil is not merely eradicated instantly. Well, lots of ordinary sheeple reflect his view.

Nature is predatory, absolutely and naturally. Now, is man simply another simian to live and sleep at the base of his banana tree, or is man here to learn something else, perhaps to deal with predation wherever it occurs and exists?

Fry could talk about that if he were informed by the Holy Spirit of Truth. He could talk about the outcomes of Evil, short- and long-term; and he could narrate how committed individuals who do follow the wisdom of God actually experience better life-long and long-term outcomes than either uncommitted nominal members or people in general who do not practice the awareness of God at all.

He has chosen the knowledge by which he lives, and he has chosen the anger with which he speaks. He has free will, but so do the rest of us, who choose God in relationship.


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