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Top 100 Atheist Challenges

If those who die as infants go to Heaven, why doesn’t God kill everyone in infancy in order to maximize the number of those in Heaven?

Because God is completely good, he can never do evil.  In order to kill everyone in infancy without doing evil, he would have to accomplish this through the means of some other agent’s free action. This is because earthly human life is a good, and God’s nature as wholly good would thereby preclude him from destroying such life without a morally sufficient reason. 

 

But since the infants in question are, of course, innocent, his goodness would preclude him from ending their earthly life directly.  Thus the free action of another would be required if he were to carry out that particular action.   But in order for him to allow that, he would have to allow at least some free agents to live past infancy (so that they could kill the rest of those in infancy).  But if he does that, there is no non-arbitrary way to decide who gets to be killed in infancy (and thus who goes to Heaven) and who does the killing of those in infancy (and thus who is not guaranteed Heaven by dying in infancy).  Thus he cannot kill all those in infancy so as to maximize the number of those in Heaven.