The problem of evil in a cosmos supposedly crafted by an infinitely loving and most merciful deity has plagued many people throughput history when they've turned an unflinching eye toward theism. To date the most used apologetic for this is that whatever god the speaker holds to be the true god, gave humanity the choice to believe in it or suffer the most depraved shocks to the mind and body that could befall a mortal being. I find this defense of the notion of theism flimsy at best.
Over the course of humanities current, known, time in existence, over roughly 5 billion gestating infants have died unable to form the intent to choose a god, or choose any thing. That's also post natal children who've died from all manner slow excruciating deaths by disease, by having their brains bashed in by pre-bronze age invaders, by freezing to death on treks to lands they'd reach only for burial. In the face of the fact that these deaths and pains involved no possibility of being connected to choosing sin or another god, the free will position doesn't hold up. But let's go a bit further...
To say that our choice freely given to humanity, by god, is the reason that being allows people's moms to have their intestines slowly eaten by cancers, is to say (proudly) that your version of god is a remorseless psychopath. Whether theist, atheist, deist, pantheist, etc. the large majority of you if it were in your power to immediately stop suffering of such degree, would. I have no doubt of it, never have. Now as the "it's free will," argument is designed to protect the notion of a benevolent god created a world we puny humans sinned in, it fails again once you take this into account.
But I could be wrong, so let's debate and discuss it.
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