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Why is there suffering in the world - Essay Example

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The question, “If God is all powerful and loving, why is there suffering in the world?” engenders a series of hot debates among the scholars as well as the common people. Whereas an atheist generally tends to defy the existence of God in the conclusion, a theist will resort…
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Why is there suffering in the world
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“If God is all powerful and loving, why is there suffering in the world?” The question, “If God is all powerful and loving, why is there suffering in the world?” engenders a series of hot debates among the scholars as well as the common people. Whereas an atheist generally tends to defy the existence of God in the conclusion, a theist will resort to the only possible common point that God lets the evils and the sufferings exit in the world because he wants ‘man to be man’ in the real sense. This proposition about ‘God’s desire to let a man be a man’ is not as simple as it sounds. Indeed the philosophical conundrum about this question essentially arises from the perception that ‘God or good is meaningless without the existence of evils and sufferings. (Craig 2) Therefore, atheist philosophers assume that God does not exist; otherwise he would stop all kinds of evils and sufferings in this world. In this regard William Craig comments, “there’s no reason to think that God and evil are logically incompatible. There’s no explicit contradiction between them” (2). Indeed by doing so they ultimately defy the very essence of a man, ‘freewill’. If God would act according to the claim of an atheist and had He stopped a tyrant who brings down sufferings upon others, He would have to seize that tyrant’s freedoms to act, to talk and even to think. Therefore, in a sense, by provoking God to stop sufferings that have induced by a tyrant, an atheist wants to seize ‘freewill’ the essence of being a man.
Then an atheist may ask why God does not stop sufferings caused by natural disasters like earthquakes, Tsunami, etc. Here again the atheists fail to evaluate the role of sufferings in God’s world. According to their claim, if God should make the world free of sufferings from natural disasters, He also should make it easy in the fullest sense. But obviously a theist will object to the idea of a hunger-free or pain-free world, since a hunger or pain-free world is, in some way or other, inert. In this suffering-free inert world, no one needs to work, to create good relationship, to talk, or to interact with others, since man is then self-sufficient. In such world, the ‘good’ or comfort is absolutely meaningless, as suffering or evil itself is meaningless. Again a theist will necessarily argue that when an atheist wants God to make the world free of sufferings, he or she wants a meaningless and inert world.
Indeed the question that necessarily arises here is: “What does the Bible says about the role of suffering in this world?” The Bible says, “[man] means something for evil, but God means it for good” (Gen. 50:15-21). From this biblical assertion, one can assume that nothing is absolutely evil or absolutely good. While currents in the rivers or seas can be harmful for some people, the same thing can be used to produce electricity for man’s comfort. Even though electric shock can save human life, it can kill a man easily. Yet the Bible says that suffering is the aftermath of man’s sin and rebellion against God. Though in a broader context it appears to be true, it is often hard to explain such statement in specific context. It is difficult to explain why a baby who has not committed any sin yet suffers. Still suffering is a warning (Rom. 5:12) and an instructions (Heb. 12:6) from God for people. (Campbell 1)
Again when suffering is the most painful for those who inflict sufferings upon others, it is the sweetest for those who suffer in a godly manner for others, as Jesus says in this regard: “the greatest act of love is to lay ones life down for another” (Slick 1). Indeed God allows evils and sufferings in His world in order to execute a greater plan. It is not that God cannot create a pain-free world; obviously he can, but He preserves it only for those who suffer for others. God says about such world as following: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
Works Cited
Campbell, Charlie. “Does Evil and Suffering Disprove Gods Existence?” 29 October, 2012. Available at Read More
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