If God is the author if nature, and smallpox is a part of nature, then God caused it. If things are happening in nature spontaneously that God has no control over, then He is not in fact the author of nature as Christianity claims.That depends on the kind of control you think God has on nature. Spontaneous things can happen which God might "foresee" but not directly cause (e.g. the genesis of smallpox, some think, evolved from a rodent virus that was then transmitted to human beings), and there might be other agents involved in changing the natural world. - This would all be separate to the point of whether God Himself could legitimately cause certain lifeforms to exist that threaten other lifeforms.
Then God would still be morally culpable. We don't put a knife in the hand of a lunatic and then sit back respecting his free will while he rampages through a kindergarten. Who could worship a deity who cares more about the freedom of demons than of the suffering of children?Why? God gave angels/demons free will too. Again, He might allow their interference with the material world.
I think my point stands. There is no logical necessity in the species or world in general becomeing more susceptible to death and disease as they turn away from God. If this is how the universe works, then it is either because God designed it that way, or because these are fundamental aspects of reality over which God has no control.I'm not saying that any particular individuals that turn away from God become more susceptible to death but as a species and as a world in general. There are far worse things than diseases and if diseases actually cause people to turn back to God, then that can be an overriding factor.
It might be abstractly possible, but it isn't a possibility anyone takes seriously. Again, no-one stood up in opposition to eradicating smallpox on the grounds that we'd be spiritually worse of without children dying in pain, or because the disease itself has rights. Anyone arguing this would have been dismissed as certifiably insane, and there is no reason to think differently in hindsight. Again, when it comes to practical action we all know that smallpox was an unnecessary evil that we are all better off without.We might be materially better off but are we spiritually better off? I don't know. I'm just saying that it could be possible and, if so, then it doesn't disprove a loving God.
As I've said, there might be good reasons for allowing the disease, let alone the fact (which very few people consider) that the disease (or virus) has some kind of existence of its own, which is a good (obviously, with bad outcomes for us, though).
It has been many years since I read Singer, and you're right that he argues for a position most would be uncomfortable with. But that's really beside the point here, as there is no such personal cost or sacrifice required of God in removing deadly diseases, or just not sending them in the first place.I think Singer does take it to extremes. Have you read "Famine, Affluence and Morality"? He basically argues that anyone who doesn't "give till it (almost) hurts" to help those in need is immoral and by implication (rather than outright stating it) is something like a criminal.
This doesn't really answer the question. Obviously I'm asking under what conditions you think one would be morally responsible for failing to intervene and prevent suffering. My position is that one is responsible when one has the knowledge and resources to do so, at minimal cost to oneself. What other conditions would you add? And why shouldn't God be responsible - just like a doctor for his patients - for the well-being of those he created in the world he created for them?I'd consider someone negligent for failing to intervene and prevent suffering when they have the authority or responsibility to do so, e.g. a physician in a hospital who neglects his patients' health. While God has the authority to do so, I don't think He has the responsibility to do so.