One of the questions that my resent heart problems raised for me was “Why?” I protested that I had kept all the rules regarding my health my health and still ended up 24 hours from death. This struck me as unfair and I quoted the aphorism “If this is how you treat your friends, God, small wonder you have so few.” Now there are several difficulties with this proposition not the least the assumption that there is a God who is in control of Everything all the time. I struggle to keep in touch with all the elements of my life. (I suppose God might also set up Divine Direct Debits to ensure that some things happen automatically.Thus leaving Him time to think about Everything Else.) So, we opt for a God who actively manages the Universe. Presumably He has some kind of guiding principle. X number of Males. Y number of Females. A number of Births to B number of Deaths. F number of hurricanes to G number of droughts. I suppose it could work. But how would He make these decisions? And what about the personal impact of these actions? If my heart problems were part of a Grand Design, then what purpose do they serve? I was already healthy. I can only be so healthy. Why was I allowed to survive when each day at Papworth, lots of other people were dying. Does God favour Quakers? Or dislike Muslims? Am I living on borrowed time? God has privately decided to give me five more years then kill me offcompletley? (Mmmm. Not a comfortable thought!)
Yet the idea persists that we live in a moral universe governed by a Divine Super Ego. We innately object to things that seem unfair. The cry of the disgruntled child is “It’s not fair!” And they are right. Life is fundamentally unfair. So what? But like the smile of the Cheshire cat, the ideas persists that the Universe should be fair.