See here's the thing Jeremiah. I don't think suffering is bad per se.
You seem to accept suffering as nonevil if it leads to a better outcome. Great. An omnipotent god could simply bypass the suffering and go right to the outcome. There would be no such thing as necessary suffering, since all of reality would be contingent upon God; God could make suffering completely unnecessary. In a universe with an omnipotent omniscient God, who can run the universe however he sees fit, all
suffering is unnecessary. God didn't even have to invent the concept of suffering.
Consider wolves feeding on a pack of Caribou. The lousy caribou die. The wolves get fed. The better Caribou have more grass to eat, then the next generation has more good Caribou and less lousy ones. A few of the wolves stink at killing Caribou and they die too. The Caribou and the wolves suffer. Do I think it's evil
? Heck no, I think it's awesome
! Yay for suffering!
Such suffering is still unnecessary, since an omnipotent God has much better ways of feeding wolves and improving the gene pool of caribou than by crude natural selection. Why does this point escape you? You're committing the theistic error again: assuming that an unlimited
god would somehow be limited to create the world we see.
I don't see suffering as evil. I think it's pretty devoid of morality actually.
What about inflicting unnecessary suffering, or sitting back and allowing it to happen? Are these moral? Are these loving? For starters, not according to the people who are defining God's morality
! And most people consider causing and allowing unnecessary suffering to be immoral.
This is the inherent contradiction, boiled down as simple as I can make it: theists claim that God is the epitome of some standard of morality, that God desires to uphold that morality, that God is perfectly able to uphold that morality... and yet God doesn't uphold this morality
. Most theists will acknowledge the presence of evil in the world -- however they define evil. Their own claims lead to the logical conclusion that their God is logically contradictory and therefore can not exist.
To make it even simpler, theists who believe in the existence of a omni -benevolent, -scient, and -potent God are basically saying that an omnipotent omniscient God is somehow unable to get what he wants. A logical contradiction.
Or, for another twist. According to the theists, God could and would stop any act he considered evil, since he is all-powerful and all-good. But God doesn't stop many acts that the theist considers evil. Hence, the theist's claims are logically contradictory.
You can call it evil if that's the system of belief you choose,
I call it evil because the people talking about their god call it evil.
but going and saying "God's weak and/or a jerk because we suffer and I don't like it." only really works for your definition of evil.
If allowing people you claim to love suffer unnecessarily doesn't fall under your definition of evil, I'd love to hear why. The existence of evil implies that God either does not want to stop evil (i.e., a jerk), does not know about evil, or can not stop evil (i.e., weak), all of which contradict the concepts of omnibenevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence. If these concepts don't apply to some god concept, then the Problem of Evil doesn't apply to it.
Which I'd like to hear by the way.
At the very least, allowing or causing others to suffer unnecessarily. Why does my definition of evil matter anyway? The morality of those attributing morality to God is what matters. They're saying God wants something, some moral standard, and yet acknowledge that God is not getting what he wants. Which is nonsense and a logical contradiction.