Bad things tend to happen but some are so bad that some characters can't refrain from concluding that there can't be a God in this universe, or if there is then he's insane or malevolent
Please note that this trope is about questioning a benevolent God's existence because of a single bad event or series of them. If God is confirmed not to exist in this particular universe, it's Religion Is Wrong
. When God is
confirmed to exist and also confirmed to be good
but lets the bad event happen anyways, you have the Omniscient Morality License
To counter this idea, the faithful may choose to believe that God works In Mysterious Ways
, so He may allow bad things for a higher purpose. One common argument is that evil results from God allowing people to have their own free will
. Alternately, perhaps God Is Flawed
Sometimes this is the result of a game of Religious Russian Roulette
. See also Crisis of Faith
. The direct opposite is, of course, There Is a God!
. Compare God Is Dead
. Also compare A God I Am Not
, where a godlike being refuses to be called "God". May be related to Good Running Evil
Anime and Manga
- Setsuna F. Seiei of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 believes that there is no God after his traumatic childhood. To summarize, he (and a number of other children from his hometown) were convinced to become Child Soldiers by an Axe Crazy mercenary in what he described as a "holy war."
- In One Piece, the Minister of the Right refuses to believe that there is a god or a Buddha after Queen Otohime is shot during the most successful time of her and possibly the kingdom's life.
- One of the story beats in Warren Ellis's run on Stormwatch, which carried over into The Authority a few years later, was that God does not exist. The Doctor mentions it offhandedly in Ellis's final arc, and earlier, a "villain" called the Eidolon had come back from beyond the grave to try to convince people to make the most of their lives.
- A favorite Author Tract in The Boys.
- In Caddyshack, one of the club members (who happens to be a bishop) has his perfect game of golf (in the middle of a raging storm) ruined by a single bad putt, turns to curse the heavens, and is struck by lightning immediately. The next day, he's shown as a drunken mess proclaiming that there is no God.
- In one film version of The Count of Monte Cristo, the despairing title character gives up all hope in God, having been incarcerated in a harsh French prison for several years.
- Brassed Off: Mr Chuckles, after memorably screwing up a children's party:
Angry Middle-Class Mum: May god forgive you.
: God? Oh right, there now, there's the fella. I mean what's he doin', eh? He can take John Lennon
, he can take those three young lads down at Ainsley Pit, he's even thinkin' of taking my old man, and Margaret bloody Thatcher lives?
I mean, what's he soddin' playin' at
, eh? ... You've been great. My name's Coco the Scab.
- Illusive Tracks: One of the nuns, after Gunnar wreaks havoc and hurts several people, including her.
- In the film version of Born on the Fourth of July, Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) rants at his mother:
"It's a lie! It's a fucking lie! There's no God. God is as dead as my legs! There's no God, there's no country! Nothing. Just me and this fucking wheelchair for the rest of my life."
- Imam believes this to be the case in Pitch Black with Riddick. Turns out that, after all the harshness that has been his life, it's actually a couple of different tropes that Riddick believes.
- In Cube Zero, at the end of the titular Death Trap filled labyrinth any survivors are asked if they believe in God. If they say "no", the Cube's operators press a button marked "No" which causes the survivor to be incinerated. When the new operator asks what the button marked "Yes" does, the other much older operator says he doesn't know: no one has ever said "Yes".
- There was an throwaway gag in one episode of Frasier where he learnt that a radio show he hated had received national syndication. Frasier's response was something along the lines of "Well, that's great news for her - and also for the many atheists who will welcome this new proof of their theory."
- Firefly Backstory is that Mal lost his faith at the Battle of Serenity.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni uses an extremely dark take on this in the backstory of Miyo Takano, making this trope the root cause of both her megalomania and as a result the Endless June.
- In the Simpsons episode "Last Exit to Springfield," when the school photographer gets Lisa to smile for her school photo and sees the horrible 19th century style braces she's wearing (because there's no dental plan at the Power Plant where Homer works) he gasps out "There is no god!"
- The infamous Family Guy episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" has Brian using Meg's unattractiveness as evidence of God's nonexistence.
- Logically, as he argues that no loving creator would make Meg in her ugly father's image rather than her hot mother's, Brian is actually arguing that Seth Macfarlane either doesn't exist or is a cruel bastard.
- ...Which suddenly explains EVERYTHING.
- One episode of South Park sees Cartman inheriting a million dollars and buying his own private theme park. Kyle is dumbfounded at the idea that God would reward such a rotten person, and ends up getting a hemorrhoid. As things get better for Cartman, Kyle's condition worsens and he renounces his faith. At the point where Kyle is on the verge of death (yes, from a hemorrhoid), Stan brings him to the theme park in time to see Cartman's dream destroyed by his own greed, at which point Kyle makes a miraculous recovery.
- The episode also has Kyle lampshade the story of Job by asking how the God who would punish a decent man just to prove a point to Satan could possibly be considered benevolent. It doesn't help that his parents don't read the last part, where God rewards Job,and gives him more than what Job had before he lost everything.
- Cracked loves this trope. Especially in lists of Top X Things That Are Somehow Unpleasant To Even Read About.
- One article in The Onion had a Straw Loser whose very existence was an affront to both the theory of evolution (what purpose can this guy possibly serve?!) and the existence of a kind and loving god (If we're made in God's image, well...), with each side parading him around as the ultimate argument against the other.
- One of the oldest arguments against a benevolent omnipresent God's existence is "If God is so and so, how does he let bad things happen?" That Other Wiki has more here . As Greek philosopher Euthyphro put it: "Is God able to prevent evil, but not willing? Then he is not benevolent. Is he willing, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
- It's also a subversion in cases where people do have an answer for that question. How good those answers are varies, but most firmly religious people have one.