Russell Blackford argues that the paradox of suffering requires one to become an atheist. He writes that the "intellectually honest response, painful though it may be, is to stop believing in that God":
[M]ost of the supposed explanations of evil make sense only in a pre-scientific setting. They are now absurdly implausible even at face value. In particular, most of the suffering that there has been on this planet took place long before human beings even existed. An all-powerful God did not need any of this. It could have created the world in a desirable form without any of it just by thinking, "Let it be so!" That's what being all-powerful is about, if we take it seriously.
I have never found the theodicy argument against faith convincing. My own faith teaches me that suffering is part of a fallen creation that lives and dies - how could it not be? But it also teaches me that suffering in itself can be a means of letting go to God, of allowing Him to take over, of recognizing one's own mortality and limits. That to me is not some kind of crutch. It is simply the paradox of the cross.