Art by Norman E. Masters
We're *already* caught up in *lots* of false mental projections as soon as we use language like "Creator," "Creation," & "Maker."
It seems to me that the theodicy "problem" is ultimately a false problem -- derived from a false mental conception of the Divine.
It comes from that interfacing of our religious programming -- as children -- & our more mature adult perceptions.
As a 3 year old child Daddy can *appear* like he can do *anything* & knows *everything*! -- when Daddy is smilingly, tolerantly aware that such is *far* from the case!
Judeo-Christian & Islamic religious traditions attribute all-powerfulness, omnipotence to "God" -- but that's rooted in the 3 year old child's view -- & scriptures that attribute sorcerous, magical powers to divinity. The universe is created in 6 days -- & all life on Earth -- just thru a Super Sorceror "God" saying the magical words of command... Jesus walks on water, raises the dead (necromancy), turns water into wine, magically multiplies a few loaves & fishes soas to feed over 5000 people, ascends into heaven... It's all sorcery -- & would have gotten him burned at the stake as a warlock in some places, by his own believers, centuries later.
The stories were made up to *sell* the religions (trying to get a competitive edge over other religions) & because people *love* fantasy & *want* to believe in such magical powers -- that such is *possible*. Feeling powerless & impotent such beliefs provide the hope of an inner power & significantly meaningful potence *in* life (and simply being watched over, like a child, as a True Believer). There is also an evolutionary thrust in such fantasies in that they become possible goals that science *can* -- in time, make possible!
So, in a larger sense, it's believed in (as a religious fantasy) to program the possibility of making the dreams come true.
However, i don't think we should seriously be criticizing the Divine for not living up to our own false expectations of Its (not really omnipotent) Power!
i don't believe the True Divine *has* the power to prevent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions & hurricanes, for example. The Divine is *Spirit* that *informs* reality -- & then begets a millenial-slooooow transformation/evolution of that reality -- *thru* that reality's higher manifestations -- which include woomanity.
That 3 year old child within *believes* "God" can part the Red Sea, resurrect all the corpses of all time, stop the sun in the sky, wipe out everything & make it all over again in a mere week; but that *is* a childish fantasy from the childhood of humanity -- & *not* the Way the True Divine *works*.
It is *not* that the Divine is indifferent to all this (seemingly) senseless loss of life & undeserved pain. The Divine feels every bit of it -- for it is *all* happening *to* the Divine! Every living being that dies is a *part* of the Divine Body; the Divine *feels* that dying -- fully as deeply as that living pseudopod of God/dess feels it. The difference is -- *we* are very sheltered & protected from *all* that pain... We feel only our own deaths & pains -- & that of those who are close to us, principally -- &, thru empathy -- that which comes in via the news. The Divine feels every bit of it.
It is the Divine Travail -- giving birth to the Transformed Reality. The Divine's travail is like a woman giving most painful birth in ongoing contractions that span *eons* -- this process of evolving Divine Consciousness out of matter's turgid nescience... (But there is also great joy, wonderment, ecstasy, etc. amidst it, too, ongoingly...)
We *are* the Mind of the Divine evolving in this time, this place, this matter, this space... As soon as *we* are able to control the storms, the tectonic plates (without destroying this world in the process), *then* the Divine will also be able to -- *here*! We *are* seedling god/desses -- our inner lightsparks seeding the flesh of this world to grow the furthest that is possible. Our mythological stories -- projected *upon* the Divine -- are seed-pointers to our *own* potential growth & potency.
Unfortunately, this kind of growth is not *possible* without pain.
An eternal painless Eden is an eternal childhood -- with no maturity. This is not only true for ourselves, but is also true for the transcendent aspect of God/dess. Compassion for our pain (Its pain) teaches the Living Transcendence, also.
There are things we can not do for our children. They must learn to do them for *themselves* -- lest they ever *be* but dependent children. Likewise there are things humanity *must* do for itself -- if it is to ever outgrow a childish dependence -- expecting Big Daddy to do it all! (We can see what happens with spoiled rich kids; it tends to most prevalently beget *decadence* rather than the opposite. The same process works with the larger humanity.)
When, scientifically, we learn *how* to prevent earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions (etc.) we will be close to being able to bring "dead" worlds to life -- thru terraforming... It is *possible* for humanity to bring the Moon & Mars *alive* with a life-envelope like Terra has -- but it takes the motivation to solve the Problems *here* to foster that knowledge. Thus -- over the longer span of potential history -- it requires the "natural disasters" here to *train* us to beget the possibility of an *expansion* of Life to other worlds that seemingly *have* no Life on them, yet. In similar fashion, the seeming *insanity* of "fouling our own nest", the potentiality of pollution, nuclear waste *destroying* the environment (so that maybe the cockroaches & ants could become the next major lifeform -- taking our place) *will* teach humanity terraforming skills -- thru survival *necessity*: develop these skills, this potent potentiality -- or perish! -- if it gets that bad.
And i believe that the souls that died (painfully) in the "natural disasters" (and otherwise) *do* return-to-Life -- in future incarnations. It was but a *momentary* pain -- not a forever-pain -- for a more promising gain -- later on.
In Divine Love no one really loses, in the end, in the endlessness. *Everyone* wins!
Also relevant to this Question, George Bernard Shaw (in a letter to Leo Tolstoy, circa 1919), expressed *his* view in this manner :
"To me God does not yet exist; but there is a creative force constantly struggling to evolve an executive organ of godlike knowledge and power: that is, to achieve omnipotence and omniscience; and every man and woman born is a fresh attempt to achieve this object.
"The current theory that God already exists in perfection involves the belief that God deliberately created something lower than Himself when He might just as easily have created something equally perfect. That is a horrible belief: it could only have arisen among people whose notion of greatness is to be surrounded by inferior beings -- like a Russian nobleman -- and to enjoy the sense of superiority to them.
"To my mind, unless we conceive God as engaged in a continual struggle to surpass Himself -- as striving at every birth to make a better man than before, we are conceiving nothing better than an omnipotent snob.
"Also we are compelled by the theory of God's already achieved perfection to make Him a devil as well as a god, because of the existence of evil. The god of love, if omnipotent and omniscient, must be the god of cancer and epilepsy as well.
"Whoever admits that anything living is evil must either believe that God is malignantly capable of creating evil, or else believe that God has made many mistakes in His attempts to make a perfect being. But if you believe, as I do... that the croup bacillus was an early attempt to create a higher being than anything achieved before that time, and that the only way to remedy the mistake was to create a still higher being, part of whose work must be the destruction of that bacillus, the existence of evil ceases to present any problem; and we come to understand that we are here to help God, to do His work, to remedy His old errors, to strive towards Godhead ourselves.
"I put this very roughly and hastily; but you will have no trouble in making out my meaning. It is all in Man and Superman; but expressed in another way -- not in the way that an uneducated man can understand. You said that my manner in that book was not serious enough -- that I made people laugh in my most earnest moments. But why should I not? Why should humour and laughter be excommunicated? Suppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?"