I’m far from a pro, but I figured why not give this a stab?
This is, indeed, a tough question. However, at least according to the Bible, we may have a pretty sound reasoning behind this kind of evil. If we recall, everything was peachy in the world until man decided to “be like God” by taking from the tree of knowledge. Whether the tree was an actual thing or not (which from my point of view, why not?) is not necessarily important. The significant part of it was that man attempted to become God. Man decided to take on the world on his terms, not God’s. As a result, the consequence was that all of creation would groan from the suffering and pain of childbirth. [Romans 8:22] Paradise was lost due to the moral shortcomings of humans.
This paradise that slipped from our fingers is a broad explanation to the problem of natural evil, like the stuff that at first (second, and third) glance are not our fault–tsunamis, earthquakes, diseased babies, flies that eat eyeballs, etc.
It may also help to think of evil as the lack of good, as opposed to an actual entity. Like when someone says, “It’s cold outside.” Technically, what she is saying is that there is a lack of heat outside. So, evil may be the result of a parasite that has eaten away at the good.
Assuming Fry doesn’t believe in the existence of God, I wonder about his moral framework to even classify things as evil. If one is to say that something is evil, we must also acknowledge that something is good, which also gives rise to a moral law. This begs the question that in order for there to be a moral law, there must be an entity that gave the moral law, or a moral law giver. If we peel this logical reasoning back, we find that at the root of it all, stands God who set the standard at the beginning of it all.
Stephen Fry’s attempt to annihilate God only goes to prove his existence.
Lucky for us, though, we have someone that will answer to the inevitability of evil—Jesus Christ. I know this is unusual for me to write about these things, but it is the only thing that makes sense.
We have constantly tried to take up the world on our own terms, only to find that we continually fail. We need to know that this world comes to us on God’s terms, not the other way around. Once we are able to internalize this, I feel like the weight of the world that rests on all of us will be lifted. It’s what the message of the Gospels is all about. Suffering will never cease to exist, but through Christ we have grace.