I realise that I haven't gotten a post up for SWF yet. Hopefully that will be soon. But had this thought, so figured I'd write it out.
One of the big arguments that is given against the Christian idea of a loving God is the prevalence of suffering and pain in the world. If God was so loving - wouldn't he do something? Seems to be the basic idea, or something akin to it.
It's something that was tackled by John Dickson, in If I Were God, I'd End All The Pain. Definitely recommend you having a look at his argument at some point, because it's quite simple, yet I think quite strong. But I want to have a look at a different angle.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think that people are loving? On this earth - do you think that there are people that show love? Or even just one person - even just one person, that you would describe as loving? I think that most of us would say yes, we believe that either people in general, or some people at least, are loving, to some degree. A few more than others, perhaps. Mothers, or doctors, or firefighters, maybe.
Okay, then. Let's assume - for the sake of argument - that there is a God that has created everything. We take that as a given. And we take, as a given, that he has created us. We also take as given that he existed before anything else. (It's okay if you don't think that these are the case. Just using it for this point here for now.)
Now, a question. Can you create something - when you have never experienced it yourself? If you told a person to paint a tiger, if they had never seen or heard of one - how would they? If you told someone to make a sphere, but they didn't know what one was; could they do it? And similarly, if God did not know love, if he was not a loving God - how could he create loving people?
This, for me, doesn't make sense. How could an unloving God create people that are loving? How could an uncompassionate God create people who are compassionate? How could an apathetic God create people with empathy? I don't think it's possible. If we are all of these things - then God must demonstrate these at an even higher level than us. So, in a sense - the fact that we are asking why a loving God doesn't end all the pain, shows that God is loving. Because we are asking that question out of our own desire to help, out of our compassion and empathy and love.
It's quite possible that this isn't a watertight argument. I've just thought of the example of A.I. - if we can create A.I. that exceeds our own level of thinking, couldn't God do the same with human emotions? And perhaps it's possible. But I think there's a big difference between creating something that exceeds you at something you possess, that is better than you at something; than creating something that has something that you do not, that you are unaware of and have no knowledge of.
Please, feel free to discuss this - but nicely! :)