What is suffering?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Avatar4321, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Avatar4321
    Online

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,550
    Thanks Received:
    8,163
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,176
    There seem to be alot of people who think that God cannot exist because there is suffering in the world. That if God lived, He would somehow remove all suffering from existance. As if there was no greater evil than suffering.

    Is suffering the greatest evil in existance? Does the existance of both Good and Evil in the world somehow prove God doesnt exist? How so?

    I just dont follow the logic. It just seems like sophistry to me.
     
  2. ☭proletarian☭
    Online

    ☭proletarian☭ Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
  3. midcan5
    Offline

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,793
    Thanks Received:
    2,367
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +3,306
    You miss the tragic element of this discussion. If gawd can help some, as most believe, than why not stop the suffering, especially for those who cannot defend themselves. If gawd is a personal being who actually cares for his creatures, than why does she allow the enormous suffering that exists? Surely you see the contradiction here.

    "This poor child of five was subjected to every possible torture by those cultivated parents. They beat her, thrashed her, kicked her for no reason till her body was one bruise. Then, they went to greater refinements of cruelty -- shut her up all night in the cold and frost in a privy, and because she didn't ask to be taken up at night (as though a child of five sleeping its angelic, sound sleep could be trained to wake and ask), they smeared her face and filled her mouth with excrement, and it was her mother, her mother did this. And that mother could sleep, hearing the poor child's groans! Can you understand why a little creature, who can't even understand what's done to her, should beat her little aching heart with her tiny fist in the dark and the cold, and weep her meek unresentful tears to dear, kind God to protect her? Do you understand that, friend and brother, you pious and humble novice? Do you understand why this infamy must be and is permitted? Without it, I am told, man could not have existed on earth, for he could not have known good and evil. Why should he know that diabolical good and evil when it costs so much? Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child's prayer to dear, kind God'! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones! I am making you suffer, Alyosha, you are not yourself. I'll leave off if you like."

    "Nevermind. I want to suffer too," muttered Alyosha.

    "One picture, only one more, because it's so curious, so characteristic, and I have only just read it in some collection of Russian antiquities. I've forgotten the name. I must look it up. It was in the darkest days of serfdom at the beginning of the century, and long live the Liberator of the People! There was in those days a general of aristocratic connections, the owner of great estates, one of those men -- somewhat exceptional, I believe, even then -- who, retiring from the service into a life of leisure, are convinced that they've earned absolute power over the lives of their subjects. There were such men then. So our general, settled on his property of two thousand souls, lives in pomp, and domineers over his poor neighbours as though they were dependents and buffoons. He has kennels of hundreds of hounds and nearly a hundred dog-boys -- all mounted, and in uniform. One day a serf-boy, a little child of eight, threw a stone in play and hurt the paw of the general's favourite hound. 'Why is my favourite dog lame?' He is told that the boy threw a stone that hurt the dog's paw. 'So you did it.' The general looked the child up and down. 'Take him.' He was taken -- taken from his mother and kept shut up all night. Early that morning the general comes out on horseback, with the hounds, his dependents, dog-boys, and huntsmen, all mounted around him in full hunting parade. The servants are summoned for their edification, and in front of them all stands the mother of the child. The child is brought from the lock-up. It's a gloomy, cold, foggy, autumn day, a capital day for hunting. The general orders the child to be undressed; the child is stripped naked. He shivers, numb with terror, not daring to cry.... 'Make him run,' commands the general. 'Run! run!' shout the dog-boys. The boy runs.... 'At him!' yells the general, and he sets the whole pack of hounds on the child. The hounds catch him, and tear him to pieces before his mother's eyes!... I believe the general was afterwards declared incapable of administering his estates. Well -- what did he deserve? To be shot? To be shot for the satisfaction of our moral feelings? Speak, Alyosha!

    "To be shot," murmured Alyosha, lifting his eyes to Ivan with a pale, twisted smile.

    "Bravo!" cried Ivan delighted. "If even you say so... You're a pretty monk! So there is a little devil sitting in your heart, Alyosha Karamazov!"



    "Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence, then, evil." Epicurus

    http://www.usmessageboard.com/religion-and-ethics/51207-profound-question.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  4. amrchaos
    Offline

    amrchaos Pentheus torn apart

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    9,501
    Thanks Received:
    926
    Trophy Points:
    215
    Location:
    Miami
    Ratings:
    +2,573
    Let me play with the concept that God exist. Can there be suffering.

    Well God created Job. Job suffered greatly due to his faith in God. Thus God, if god exists, can exists with the presence of suffering. Just that the faithful are the ones who should suffer!! Like Job suffered. For suffering is part of the test of faith.


    Thus if you do not wish to suffer--lose your faith!!


    (Did you buy that arguement? If so, then there is something seriously with you!!)
     
  5. Smartt33
    Offline

    Smartt33 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,183
    Thanks Received:
    147
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    USA
    Ratings:
    +147
    OK, with that logic a good parent would build a home and have a garden and playground, and wonderful things around that only give the child protection, care, and high moral teachings. They should never be allowed to see anyone who is hurting or suffering in any way. They should be raised where everything is wonderful. They would not be allowed to enter the outside world because that is full of pain and suffering. They should only have good around them.

    Can a parent do that? should a parent do that? Would that be manipulating life for the child? How would the child understand life? Would the child see life as it really is?

    There is more to my comments, but I want to see how this is answered first.
     
  6. Avatar4321
    Online

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,550
    Thanks Received:
    8,163
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,176
    See the problem with you concluding that if there was a God there would be suffering argument is you ignore the possibility that suffering can be good. And it very much can be good. Because you can learn through suffering. You get stronger through suffering.

    Take a body builder. He suffers through his workouts. He puts himself through pain so that later, he can be stronger. (Alright and so he can impress the hot girls in the gym) The fact is that it's often through our greatest trials we develop the strength and the capacity to become who we truely are meant to be.

    You guys pretend as if there is no value to suffering. As if it is the source of all evil. This presumption is why your arguments make no sense. Because there is no reason to presume this.
     
  7. midcan5
    Offline

    midcan5 liberal / progressive

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Messages:
    10,793
    Thanks Received:
    2,367
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +3,306
    I was reluctant to post this link but comparing working hard with suffering is off base. Imagine the suffering and pain as you view down the site and tell me how a parent, a child, a mother, a grandparent learns from this horror. What exactly do they learn.

    Iraq War Casualty Pictures
     
  8. Avatar4321
    Online

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,550
    Thanks Received:
    8,163
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,176
    Why dont you ask them? I havent been through it, I cant tell you what they've learned. But I can tell you Ive learned something from every trial I've had in my life.
     
  9. Avatar4321
    Online

    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    70,550
    Thanks Received:
    8,163
    Trophy Points:
    2,070
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Ratings:
    +12,176
    Also, I believe you are being totally disingenuous by claiming you were reluctant to post the link. You dont have a link lying around ready to post so quickly if you dont want to post it.
     
  10. Hawkins
    Offline

    Hawkins Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    120
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    China
    Ratings:
    +8
    We don't understand why because our brain is small.

    "Because we don't understand such that God must not exist"

    This is a fallacy, hope you notice that.

    Planet earth is such a place where the most dirty things from the minds of the humans are allowed to be done. Such that the wicked will be fully exposed and eradicated once and for all.

    People will have to die their first death one way or another while God saves souls. We expose who we are in our 120 years of earthly lives. God takes good care of what eternity is.

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Revelation 21:4
    He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
     

Share This Page