Board index The Problem of Evil and Suffering

Why do bad things happen? Why is there so much suffering in the world? How can we make sense of it all. Is God not good? Is he too weak?

What do some people suffer more?

Postby Joint Venture » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:50 pm

Why do many people suffer more than others if everyone has only one life to live?
Joint Venture

Re: What do some people suffer more?

Postby jimwalton » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:55 am

The Bible's pretty clear that life doesn't work according to the retribution principle (that good people have better lives and bad people suffer more). If, for instance, godly people suffered less, people would be godly for selfish reasons rather than to honor God, so they would be being less godly! Can't win if that's the way. But, in contrast, if godly people suffered more, well, what kind of thing would that be! If everyone suffered the exact same amount, then science and cause-and-effect would be inconsistent and unreliable ("I've already had my quota of suffering, so nothing will happen to me even if I get hit by a car or fall off a cliff"). I know it sounds silly, but if we think your proposition through all the way to the edges, it falters. If someone's month (or year, or life) has been going pretty well, then he has to really be worried because he KNOWS the hammer is going to fall. He has to reach his quota! Augh, that doesn't seem right.

So we're left we cause and effect, and "stuff happens," and we each walk our own path in life. Some of get the gold, and some get the goat. While that doesn't seem fair either, because sometimes good people have so much suffering, and sometimes rotten people seem to have it easy, suffering turns out to be a teacher. Good people, despite their suffering, get stronger from it and learn from it, treat other people with more patience and understanding, and are helpful to others. Sometimes bad people learn from it, too, and sometimes bad people even make life changes because of it. I think, of all the choices, and despite the agony of suffering, the random hits keep science in tact, make cause and effect reliable, don't make us lazy, cocky, or fearful, and teach us important life lessons that can be of benefit. The other side of the coin is the serious pain and suffering that people have to endure, but that would be the case in every system.

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