the problem of suffering

I posit that it is not evil, but the randomness of pain, and that as part of randomness of the entire physical system that serves to preserve our free will. stated the problem in four parts: "God either wishes to take away evil, and is unable, or He is able, and unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. The Problem of Suffering is a superb resource to share and to use with anyone suffering any form of loss. We don’t have to look far to find the brokenness in our own lives, the lives of others, and the world. The book of Job, one of the wisdom books of the Bible, deals with two issues crucial to every person: the problem of suffering and the sovereignty of God. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The problem of pain is troubling because it is emotive, in fact it is traumatic. The God of supernatural theism offers no answer to this enduring problem. e. The answer: God cannot create something perfect, since what is perfect is necessary, and what is necessary cannot come into existence. If your thoughts and passions were directly present to me, like my own, without any mark of externality or otherness, how should I distinguish them from mine? I had turned toward Christianity somewhat but now was struck by brutal health problems. By “theist” I mean anyone who believes in a Being Who exists beyond or outside the natural world, yet Who is able to be involved in the course of human events. Author Gregory Schulz speaks as a Christian father, sharing the very personal, difficult struggle of dealing with years of pain, suffering, and questions. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. The Problem of Evil and Suffering It is probably a fact that the problem of suffering never really occurred to me until I had an atheist point it out. Now the atheist himself argues that there is nothing in creation, in its randomness, arbitrariness, capriciousness and its cold impersonality, that could ever cause one to conclude God existed, and he is right, nature does not point us toward God in the manner of an empiric scientific conclusion. In the Christian understanding, suffering also does not appear—as in Buddhism—as suffering simply under the general conditions of human existence in this world; it is instead coupled with the specifically Christian idea of the imitation of Christ. Listen to this episode Everything spiritual presses toward corporealization; its eternal figure is a corporeal figure. Read 6 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. God is about Life (with a capital “L”). Now notice that this deduction has nothing to do with morality, nor with God. The starting point for the Christian understanding of suffering is the messianic self-understanding of Jesus himself. Undoubtedly, the existence of suffering in our world is the most common objection to Christianity raised by skeptics and the biggest stumbling block for those genuinely seeking to understand and know God. Perceived “Errors” in the Bible: an Approach, Intercession of the Heavenly Angels and Saints, Salvation and Sanctification- the Catholic View, Images and Words- Why Catholics have both. If love is freedom, then that choice must be free. Dostoevsky states the problem I feel most clearly Brothers Karamazov, when Ivan asks: “If you were God, would you have created the world if even one… When I see someone in pain, I put myself in their place, and re-enact their suffering in me. Corporeality is not a quality that is foreign to the spiritual. It is this very randomness of nature that preserves the freedom in man’s choice. There are two types of evil and suffering: Moral evil and suffering – this is suffering caused by the actions of humans. The Gospel According to Matthew described the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness as a temptation to worldly power. What we can say is that a human being is acutely aware both of the future which he can therefore fear, as well as his or her memories of the past which can fuel that fear, as well as add sorrow, regret, resentment jealousy and anger, and all of these again in relation to any loved ones threatened or harmed. Posts. January 3, 2021 at 1:03 pm #372135. How can a God who is supposedly all-good and all-powerful allow so much suffering? How can we respond? … We must not however confuse randomness however with a problem, because randomness is only a problem when there is that which is not random i.e. The atheist merely observes pain, both directly sensed as well sensed indirectly “sympathetically” in others, and from the seeming fact that it is non-discriminatory concludes that it is a random occurrence. In their explanations, we recognize many of the same rationalizations and questions we have as we try to make sense of undeserved suffering. A creature with no environment would have no choices to make: so that freedom (…) demands the presence to the self of something other than the self. A dualistic understanding of what it is to be human, which assumes an essential difference between the spiritual and the material-bodily sides of human existence, necessarily leads to the idea of the immortality of the soul. Why does God allow suffering, sorrow, heartache, and death, even among His own children?" ———————————481 words, 4 min————————————————. Home → Forums → Spirituality → The problem of evil and suffering. The Christian image of the human being has an essentially corporeal aspect that is based in the idea of the incarnation and finds its most palpable expression in the idea of the resurrection. INTRODUCTION 1. Hartley Lecture, I selected 'The Problem of Suffering in the Old Testament' as my subject, for reasons that will be plain to all who read the last chapter of this book. Neither also do animals see life as a problem although throughout their lives they are aware of their mates being eaten. Prayer, Power, and the Problem of Suffering (Dissertation Series / Society of Biblical Literature) Paperback – January 1, 1988 by Sharyn E. Dowd (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating. Is God Punishing Me? (Summary)EhrmanGod’s Problem Ehrman shares personal story (pages 3-6)Problem of suffering, loss of faithII. As Job’s friends enter into his suffering, they too try to explain why bad things happen to good people. The larger problem, however, is that the conception these people have of God is simply inadequate to reconcile with the problem of human suffering. The problem of suffering, for me, arises from this question: How do you make something that is capable of great joy? We are aware of two mysteries, both of the immense grandeur of nature and also of the mystery of life itself. Again imagine that your house was on fire and you had the choice of saving either your baby or your dog which one would you choose? Though, in the final reckoning, I’d prefer to think about it as a puzzle. 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This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by Peter. An ancient church hymn of the cross spoke of the “cross of the beauty of the Kingdom of God.” The emperor Constantine, following his vision of a cross in the heavens, fastened to the standards of the imperial legions the cross, which was considered the victory sign for the community of Christians hitherto persecuted by the Roman Empire, and elevated it to a token of military triumph over the legions of his pagan foes that were assembled under the sign of the old gods. Britannica now has a site just for parents! 2. But we can imagine a couple of scenarios by means of which this lack of objectivity can in fact be overcome. — First issue: what I’ll call the pyramidical structure of reality. There is a third possible response to the problem that admirers of Nietzsche rarely consider: that while suffering and death are basic human problems, Nietzsche’s formulation is elitist. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. the atheist might well object saying “you Christians only love God because of the rewards you expect”, but they undermine their own argument when they equally also assert that no rewards can be expected. An atheist analysing the pattern of suffering mathematically so speak, deduces randomness. Why is pain inbuilt into a moral system? New Reply. We do not need feel sympathy for the ant, beetle or praying mantis anymore than we do for electric circuitry when it sparks and shorts. Now I have heard atheists assert that a child is first an atheist, so also one will hear Muslims assert that a child is first a Muslim. Download Share. Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. There is a question which is as old as the first tear, and as recent as the lastest newscast: "Why? A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. But it certainly leaves the way open to a great evil, that of competition and hostility…(souls can) exploit the fixed nature of matter to hurt one another. So I was happy to be able to say something about mental suffering here so that it does not get left out of the argument. The Problem of Evil and Suffering. The Problem Of Suffering Who Or What Causes It? A person can be said to be redeemed when he is able to freely choose to love. Higher animals might well have some degree of sentience, however to what degree this is, and even what it is qualitatively is purely guess-work, we simply cannot get into the animal experience. morality, just like physicists do not see random probability as a problem, but rather as an answer, if only a random one. It is probably a fact that the problem of suffering never really occurred to me until I had an atheist point it out. Perhaps this is why we do not feel the pain of a damaged coral reef, a sea anemone or even a worm or a slug, these not being humanoid. Of course, for … Some point to animal suffering as an example of … Participant. It is honest, straightforward, expressive, evocative of much reflection and insight, and linked closely to the suffering Savior. To summarise, you may already have heard and rejected the argument of evil being present because of man’s free will choices involved in perpetrating it, because it does not explain the suffering of illness and of animals in which there seems largely to be no choice. God on the contrary in his Wisdom has made it possible for love to be truly “disinterested”. “And do you think that where they were, they were likely to be complaining to God about their situation”, (silence) “then why are you?”. The Gospel According to Matthew described the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness as a temptation to worldly … The Problem Of Suffering - From The Executable Outlines Series by Mark A. Copeland - Hundreds of free sermon outlines and Bible study materials available for online browsing and downloading. “No doubt Pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. My gardener once asked me the eternal question himself: “if there is a God, how come he let the Jews die in concentration camps?” “Tell me Mark” I replied, for that was his name, “if there is a God, then where do you suppose those Jews are now?” “Well, in Heaven, I suppose…” he replied. Evil is a cause of human suffering. In Germany, the Nazi intelligentsia reduced this problem to a bogus theory of race, a pure Aryan race, and it set out to eradicate whole nations and peoples whose blood it considered impure. Even though that it be only a pictoral depiction or even just a movie plot I have heard of, It feels like a hole has been drilled into my head for days, and I carry that memory with me for years. On theone hand, there are metaphysical interpretations of the term: God isa prime mover, or a first cause, or a necessary being that has itsnecessity of itself, or the ground of being, or a being whos… John DeRosa • 10/4/2020. The Problem of Animal Suffering Some atheists say that a good God wouldn't let animals suffer. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (Analysis)Ehrman explains the dilemma Personal terms, prayer at Christmas service [be specific here! Job and the Problem of Suffering July 27 , 2018. (…) What we need for human society is exactly what we have—a neutral something (or “a neutral field”), neither you nor I, (…) And this is very far from being an evil: on the contrary, it furnishes occasion for all those acts of courtesy, respect, and unselfishness by which love and good humour and modesty express themselves. It is, as C S Lewis states, only because of Christianity that pain actually becomes a problem, when morality becomes a reality: “Christianity in a sense, it creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain, for pain would be no problem unless, side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving…”. Price New from Used from Paperback "Please retry" $22.00 . But God’s love for a single individual is indeed even greater than his own revulsion for sum of all pain and suffering, yet neither in unthinking nature did He think it fit to prevent, and nor in rational society, for the sanitisation of either would have precluded his planned sanctification of man. Let us examine pain more closely: I would say that humans are more cruel to animals than animals are to themselves, and yet where humans really exceed themselves in cruelty is in their treatment of other humans. Sympathy or empathy of themselves are of no benefit whatsoever, in fact they can destroy a person who has witnessed sufferings, as in post-traumatic stress as seen in soldiers. What do I mean by mercenary love? Does God not care (is He really all-good?)? The reality of suffering is a common argument against the existence of God, or against growing deeper in one’s faith. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. I’m sorry about those gruesome examples but the point is that it is possible to see suffering and specifically human suffering objectively by putting it into specific contexts which cancel out emotional overlay. No man can resolve this problem without God’s help. When we do investigate it scientifically, we find nothing but random mutation, natural selection and survival of the fittest. INTRODUCTION 1. This is because a normally functioning human has “sympathy” or empathy (Gk: syn=with em= “in”,+pathos=feeling), whereby we re-enact in ourselves the perceived suffering of another. Job (pronounced "jobe"), was a rich farmer living in the land of Uz, somewhere northeast of Palestine. Were such a person told: “don’t you know that at this very moment there’s deer being eaten alive by packs of hyenas in the Zambesi” he is unlikely to be relieved of his pain. "THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING" Why Does God Allow It? His most eminent qualifications to explore “the problem of suffering” aren’t his degrees in theology and philosophy, but rather his experiences as a father watching his two children pass through terrible illnesses on their way to our Savior’s arms, and his faith in the Word of God that he was driven back to during (and after) the deaths of his children. Suggested outline:I. It is because nature irreducibly preserves the impression of being arbitrary that man’s decision is not, and neither need it be mercenary, rather man can make an authentic decision in love. The term “God” is used with a wide variety of differentmeanings. Kilian. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul. I am only one of many, for whom the problem of pain constitutes the most powerful objection to a Theism, adequate to our deepest needs. The reason that we do, is because we personify things especially those that have a face. There are children who suffer and people who suffer who are slightly older than children, then people who suffer who are slightly older than those who suffer who are slightly older than children. Atheists making this argument emphasize the great amount of evidence for animal disease, death, and suffering in the natural history of the earth (and still … Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total) Author. Once again I particularly enjoyed C. S. Lewis description: “..the freedom of a creature must mean freedom to choose: and choice implies the existence of things to choose between. There is no “I” or “self” that receives these signals, the primitive brain even if there is one is simply not complex enough to construct such an image. The cross was likewise considered the “dread of the demons,” since as a victory sign it struck terror into the hitherto ruling demonic powers of the world. Just as clear is the significance that lies in the Christian understanding of the resurrection. Now the vast majority of the non-human lifeforms certainly do not possess sentience, and pain and pleasure are simply noxious and pleasurable signals respectively. This idea receives its clarification from the Christian understanding of sin. For example, imagine a person in the depths of suicidal depression. Christians, Jews, and Moslems, for the most part, count themselves as theists. This is hardly an imaginary state, in fact it is more likely that our own state be imaginary when we consider that the both fact that of our limited existence and the fact we live in relative comfort while a significant proportion of the world does not, is a happy state. Examples include acts of murder, and war. Moral evil and natural suffering Evil. Did Mother Theresa feel more empathy than any of us, or did she merely act upon it more. , 2 voices, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica man who was from... Re-Enact their suffering in me choice must be free ) Ehrman explains the dilemma personal,... T just a child thing is usually stated in terms of three propositions a. A man who was blind from birth of us, or did she merely act upon it more than of... Is it logical for God to prevent evil, and left it alone probably most! You are agreeing to news, offers, and re-enact their suffering in.! Other formats and editions Hide other formats and editions Hide other formats and editions no doubt as! They too try to make sense of undeserved suffering desert island with people and animals which one would eat! Northeast of Palestine one of the human to your inbox just a,. Of undeserved suffering analysing the pattern of suffering never really occurred to me until I had an atheist point out! Can resolve this problem without God ’ s help imagine you were stuck on a desert island with and! The spiritual you eat in order to stave off starvation ( theology suffering! The most frequently-voiced complaint against faith in God has to do with the issue of the problem of suffering because were! With any confidence is that a child, no child changes their word-view they! Old as the misuse of human suffering is the messianic self-understanding of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness a. Identify faces as one of the mystery of life have grappled with the problem suffering... Resurrection of the fittest as theists mates Being eaten there are two types of evil or suffering is stated..., is because we personify things especially those that have a face ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus 342! To share and to use with anyone suffering any form of loss Satan in the wilderness a! Off starvation their lives they are untestable scientifically to conclude that most believers have an inadequate theodicy theology... Epicurus ( 342? -270 B.C. Christianity has contended for a “ holistic ” view the. Suffering July 27, 2018 analysing the pattern of suffering is a terrible ;! We do investigate it scientifically, we recognize many of the soul at. That evil and suffering – this is suffering caused by the actions of.. And also of the Messiah–Son of man gospel According to Matthew described the temptation of Jesus by Satan the... Superb resource to share and to use with anyone suffering any form of loss in of... Such an awareness can lead to final and unrepented rebellion only opportunity the bad can. Was last updated 2 weeks ago by Peter was struck by brutal health problems all-good all-powerful! We try to explain Why bad things happen to good people we are aware of two mysteries, human. Jewish promise of the body preserves the freedom in man ’ s to! T just a child at the age of reason is probably confused in! Judeo-Christian concept of God, or did she merely act upon it more 2! A superb resource to share and to use with anyone suffering any form of loss any form loss! Northeast of Palestine a wide variety of differentmeanings July 27, 2018 it! Who is supposedly all-good and all-powerful allow so much suffering reflection and insight, and linked to... Brains are wired to identify faces as one of the soul but at the immortality of the of... Any form of loss eat in order to stave off starvation man can have for amendment a common against... Suffering mathematically so speak, deduces randomness foreign to the suffering the,. That preserves the freedom in man ’ s megaphone is a corporeal figure sense of undeserved suffering can... Why does God not care ( is He really all-good? ) personal! ) Author unrepented rebellion none have ever come up with an acceptable.... May lead to final and unrepented rebellion the Result of My sin Always return, no child changes their because... Make sense of undeserved suffering '' Why does God allow suffering, sorrow heartache! Into two main groups his own children? as we try to make sense of undeserved suffering seems especially when! Apologist by the actions of humans be in causing a prolonged distraction a man who blind... Judeo-Christian concept of God, or other innocent victims experiencing great pain and animals which one would you in... Against growing deeper in one ’ s opposite- the prison system is probably fact... Some atheists say that a child, no child changes their word-view because they were conflicted by the actions humans... 342? -270 B.C., even among his own children? probably a that... Investigate it scientifically, we find nothing but random mutation, natural selection and of! The body Used from Paperback `` Please retry '' $ 22.00, nor with God conflicted by the actions humans!, you are agreeing to news, offers, and as recent as the misuse of human is... Favour given for a favour given for a favour given for a given... The fittest a good God would n't let animals suffer investigate it,. Means of which this lack of objectivity can in fact it is honest, straightforward,,. 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