Observation on Job and on Suffering

Plantinga, Alvin

expressed to Neal Plantinga, March 9, 1988

It’s important that Job never really finds out what’s going on. Given Job’s righteous status, his suffering appears not to have been triggered by anything Job had done. Surely it’s not retribution, in this case. God finally overwhelms Job with the stuff about “Were you there when I . . . ?” Point: God may have some good reason, no doubt does have, for permitting evil, but it might not have anything to do particularly with the person who suffers evil. There might be some other good purpose the person doesn’t know about, maybe couldn’t even understand or know about. So, if you can’t see what the good is that a given evil is outweighed by, it doesn’t at all follow that probably there isn’t one, or, that there surely isn’t one.