~~ In God's Defense ~~
One of my favorite responses from Christians as to why God allows this to happen is that we, as human beings, are not meant to understand His powers or His way. We have a mere human understanding of God so we shouldn't attempt to question His motives or His capabilities. I've been told on more than one occasion that His logic is so far beyond anything that we can possibly hope to comprehend. If that's the case, then I should be forgiven for asking the rather self-evident question of why we should pay attention to the priests, rabbis, clerics, reverends, and all of the other religious leaders who have written down His words and have done such a fantastic job of interpreting those words for us. After all, it is this same merely human understanding of God that is used to give Him the attributes of all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving in the first place.
Mankind's inability to comprehend a deity may be my favorite defense offered up, but the most common defense given for the Omni Paradox is that of free will. God put man on Earth and gave him the ability to make choices. God didn't do those things. Man did those things. Man has the ability to choose between good and evil. If you really think about free will and how it plays into this defense, I hope you'll follow it through to its logical conclusion. All it takes is one - JUST ONE - act of suffering or evil that is NOT caused by man to validate the Omni Paradox and discredit the "free will" defense. Surely we can't blame 2005's Hurricane Katrina or the massive 2011 flooding in Thailand on free will, can we?
Believers can choose to ignore the floods, droughts, genocide, and mass starvation that we see every day on our planet and God's role in it all, but that doesn't mean that those things aren't happening. For those who are standing pat on the "free will" defense, I have to ask whether or not free will circumvents God's abilities? Does free will render God useless? Does the Christian belief that man is a sinner alleviate God of any responsibility to act? Does free will turn God into something no more useful than an impotent bystander - powerless to stop our choices? If free will does not transcend God, then logically God must be powerful enough to override free will. If God is more powerful than free will, He has chosen not to intervene during any of these atrocities or perhaps He wanted them to happen for a reason only known to Him, in which case He falls tragically short of the All-Good (loving) trait. Regardless of how one chooses to interpret His abilities, the end result is the same and it cannot be argued. Those events happened. God was completely impotent to affect real change. If He could stop it, He didn't. If He loved them, He didn't show it. If He knew it was happening, He looked the other way. At some point, the Omni Paradox should be become self-evident to any rational human being.
I've even heard the argument from Christians that it was Satan who did those things. It was Satan who entered the hearts of those priests. It was Satan who brought the devastation. For those who believe that, I encourage them to read the previous paragraph again and substitute the words "free will" with "Satan". You can achieve the same result. It also seems a rather obvious question, but why can't an omnipotent God defeat Satan or render him powerless? Comedian Bill Maher once asked this same question and rhetorically answered, "...it's the same reason the comic-book character can't get rid of his nemesis. Then there's no story. If God gets rid of the devil -- and he could, he's all powerful -- well, then there's no fear."