UK
14/10/2015 21:01 BST | Updated 14/10/2015 22:59 BST

Jonathan Sacks, UK's Former Top Rabbi, Explains Why God Created Atheists

NEW YORK -- One of the UK’s top rabbis explained why God created atheists on Wednesday. Speaking in New York, Jonathan Sacks, former chief of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth, said non-believers exist to “challenge” the credulous.

Sacks, who is in the US to peddle his latest book, “Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” spoke to HuffPost Live, discussing the role he saw for atheists in the world. "I love them,” he said of non-believers. “I call them his majesty's loyal opposition. I don't know if that phrase translates into America, but you get the point."

The rabbi said that non-believers pose questions that that can trouble the faithful, including himself. "Why did God invent atheists? To stop religious leaders from getting too big-headed, to challenge us," he noted.

"[They may ask] 'If God exists, how come there's so much suffering in the world?' An atheist tells me that and I can't sleep at night, because it's a good and valid point. But the truth is, you don't have to be an atheist to say that, because Abraham and Moses also said it," he added.

Watch the clip above. Below, Sacks talks about the resurgence of anti-Semitism.

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