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Why does God allow suffering? (in just one minute)

November 2, 2013

The problem of suffering is a very common reason why many atheists don’t believe in a god. Here is a quick answer to this objection.

This often personal question has puzzled philosophers for centuries. The answer is multifaceted.

– First, not all suffering is bad. Suffering can be disciplinary or can build our character – we can be stronger after suffering.

– Sometimes we deserve suffering. We deserve it if we do something silly like put our hand in a fire. God gives us freedom to make mistakes.

Yet some suffering seems inexplicable, undeserved or disproportionate. Here the Old Testament book of Job helps. Job knew suffering yet the book says that sometimes the reasons for our pain are beyond our understanding.

Yet amidst our suffering – there is hope – because God himself suffered. Jesus suffered and died on a cross and his suffering gives hope that one day there’ll be no more tears or pain.

We don’t always know why God allows suffering, but we do know, one day it will end.

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8 Comments
  1. This is where reincarnation comes in to teh picture. At least so it does for me.
    This phenomenon goes beyond “sometimes the reasons for our pain are beyond our understanding.”
    For if our souls have lived other lives, chances are that in some of those lives we have been the bad guys, thuss earning us suffering equal to the amount given, back in future lives. Interesting post!

  2. “Suffering can be disciplinary or can build our character ”

    Building a human that NEEDS to suffer to become better is not really nice, is it? Why not build a better human in the first place that doesn’t need to suffer?

    “We don’t always know why God allows suffering”

    So you admit, you don’t have an answer to the problem, just some vague ideas for some aspects of it…

    • I didn’t say that a human needs to suffer – I suffer when I study for an exam, but I am better for it. The suffering produces better character and respect for discipline and hard work. Are you suggesting that this is unnecessary?

      • Of course, yes. If you are god, why don’t you built people who don’t need that suffering? Who enjoy it 100% instead? Suffering is not a requirement for god, it would be his choice.

  3. Jesus gave us much more than hope when he suffered.

    We can agree that whatever Jesus touched during his life became blessed. He touched water and blessed it for baptism.

    He touched the sick and they were healed inside and out. He even turned water into wine at the order of his most merciful and thoughtful Mother, saving a married couple from shame on their wedding day.

    By touching suffering, Jesus turned it into a blessing. And it is within blessings that we see the will of God.

    By seeing the will of God and taking to it, we are once again in Eden.

    That is what suffering does for man, thanks to Jesus.

  4. Take any of our many gods out of the picture and accept we are part of nature and all makes sense.. Its just hard for people to accept the facts and they would rather wishful think there is a god even if there is absolutely no proof of one. Do you realy think that the Austrian woman who was locked up for many many years and raped etc. while god watched with folded arms, will be better of in another life, so it was all worth it?? Its time we grow up as a human species and stop delluding ourselves by saying god works in mysterious ways. We know too much about the world we live in today to be so ignorant anymore.

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  1. Can God and Suffering Co-exist? | Sandy Citro

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