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The Puzzle of Suffering

  • Date Submitted: 03/17/2010 10:56 AM
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The Puzzle of Suffering
The puzzle of suffering is a very interesting and widely debated topic about how we view god and his relation to suffering, that is, if you believe in him. There are two types of evil which cause suffering natural evil and moral evil. Natural evil includes things like hurricanes and volcanic eruptions which are all natural. Moral evil is man made evil, for example the holocaust and the 911 bombings.   I am going to cover and explain some beliefs (Christianity, Islam and humanists) and how they deal with this puzzle, and how does it change their view on God.

Christianity
Traditional view-Saint Augustine
Christianity actually is sub-divided into a number of groups and I am going to be explaining only 3 of them: Catholic, Traditional and Liberal.
Saint Augustine lived around 400 AD here we will look at his theodicy which will help explain the problem of suffering. As many people blame God for suffering Saint Augustine wrote his theodicy (i.e. a defence for an omnipotent, Omni benevolent and omniscient god). He said that God made the world perfect with no moral or natural evil. Angels and Humans lived in complete harmony and the animals and plants were there too. But as god had made people and angels with free will they could choose to be good or bad. It was one angel Lucifer (commonly known as the devil) who thought impure thoughts and wanted to be just like God. God as he is omniscient knew what Lucifer was up to and Lucifer was sent out of heaven humans then chose to disobey god too and that was how moral evil first came about and Gods world was now imperfect (fallen world). Natural evil was now the punishment for moral evil as now the people were bad the world was punishing them in natural ways as they miss used their free will. But God was still being benevolent giving us free will and not interfering with our own choice, we could choose our own destiny by deciding to be good or evil, if we chose to disobey god and lead a life of...

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