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Why is there so much suffering

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We see pain, suffering and death all around us
Holocaust wipes out 6 million Jews during WWII
September 11, 2001 attack on World Trade Center resulted in the death of 3000
Tsunami kills more than 250,000 in Dec. 2004
2 million Sudanese Christians have been martyred for their faith
Earthquakes, floods, accidents cause thousands of deaths
Earthquake in Haiti kills more than 150,000 in Jan. 2010
Human suffering
Toothaches to broken limbs and cancer
Infant deaths
Wars
Famines
Etc…
Suffering caused by man, natural disasters, & disease
Human suffering
Toothaches to broken limbs and cancer
Infant deaths
Wars
Famines
Etc…
Suffering caused by man, natural disasters, & disease
Three main categories:
Suffering caused by man,
Natural disasters,
Disease

Published in: Spiritual
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Why is there so much suffering

  1. 1. Why is there soWhy is there so muchmuch suffering?suffering? YRM Nov’16YRM Nov’16 Ehab RoufailEhab Roufail
  2. 2. 22 Pain/Suffering/Death isPain/Suffering/Death is EverywhereEverywhere We see pain, suffering and death all around usWe see pain, suffering and death all around us Holocaust wipes out 6 million Jews during WWIIHolocaust wipes out 6 million Jews during WWII September 11, 2001 attack on World Trade CenterSeptember 11, 2001 attack on World Trade Center resulted in the death of 3000resulted in the death of 3000 Tsunami kills more than 250,000 in Dec. 2004Tsunami kills more than 250,000 in Dec. 2004 2 million Sudanese Christians have been martyred2 million Sudanese Christians have been martyred for their faithfor their faith Earthquakes, floods, accidents cause thousandsEarthquakes, floods, accidents cause thousands of deathsof deaths Earthquake in Haiti kills more than 150,000 in Jan.Earthquake in Haiti kills more than 150,000 in Jan. 20102010
  3. 3. 33 Pain/Suffering/Death isPain/Suffering/Death is EverywhereEverywhere Human sufferingHuman suffering Toothaches to broken limbs and cancerToothaches to broken limbs and cancer Infant deathsInfant deaths WarsWars FaminesFamines Etc…Etc… Suffering caused by man, natural disasters,Suffering caused by man, natural disasters, & disease& disease
  4. 4. 44 Pain/Suffering/Death isPain/Suffering/Death is EverywhereEverywhere Three main categories:Three main categories: Suffering caused bySuffering caused by manman,, Natural disastersNatural disasters ,, DiseaseDisease
  5. 5. Logical and emotionalLogical and emotional questionsquestions • Logically: is it rational toLogically: is it rational to believe in a loving andbelieve in a loving and all-powerful God, givenall-powerful God, given the moral evil andthe moral evil and horrible suffering in thehorrible suffering in the world?world? • Emotionally: how can IEmotionally: how can I trust God when Hetrust God when He allows me to suffer? Howallows me to suffer? How can I find meaning orcan I find meaning or value in my suffering?value in my suffering?
  6. 6. 66 Atheist ArgumentAtheist Argument  How can an all-powerful, all-loving GodHow can an all-powerful, all-loving God allow pain, suffering and evil?allow pain, suffering and evil? – People ask why such things occurPeople ask why such things occur – Why such death and suffering if a loving GodWhy such death and suffering if a loving God is in control?is in control? – Atheists use the pervasiveness of suffering toAtheists use the pervasiveness of suffering to discredit a ‘loving God’discredit a ‘loving God’  Why doesn’t God use His power to stopWhy doesn’t God use His power to stop the evil, suffering, pain, and death?the evil, suffering, pain, and death?
  7. 7. 77 Questions People AskQuestions People Ask  What is evil?What is evil?  Where did evil come from?Where did evil come from?  What is the purpose of evil?What is the purpose of evil?  Does there have to be so much evil?Does there have to be so much evil?  Couldn’t God make a world without evil?Couldn’t God make a world without evil? – Could have not created anythingCould have not created anything – Could have created a world without free creaturesCould have created a world without free creatures – Could have created free creatures that would not sinCould have created free creatures that would not sin – Could have saved all sinners in the end despiteCould have saved all sinners in the end despite their sintheir sin  Then why did God choose this world?Then why did God choose this world?
  8. 8. What is the purpose of life?What is the purpose of life?  What is the purpose of life?What is the purpose of life?
  9. 9. TheThe Purpose ofPurpose of LifeLife  What is the purpose of life?What is the purpose of life? ––  ““Now all has been heard;Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments,Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.”for this is the duty of all mankind.” Ecclesiastes 12:13Ecclesiastes 12:13  ““I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power ofI want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in hishis resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Philippians 3:10Philippians 3:10
  10. 10. What is the purpose of life?What is the purpose of life?  What is the purpose of life?What is the purpose of life?  If circumstantial happiness then God hasIf circumstantial happiness then God has failed.failed.  However, if it is the knowledge of God andHowever, if it is the knowledge of God and a relationship with God, then suffering isa relationship with God, then suffering is not necessarily a defeater for God’snot necessarily a defeater for God’s existenceexistence??
  11. 11. I. Prove the impossibility of God using evil toI. Prove the impossibility of God using evil to bring about the greater good.bring about the greater good. What the atheist must prove?What the atheist must prove?
  12. 12. I. Prove the impossibility of God using evil toI. Prove the impossibility of God using evil to bring about the greater good.bring about the greater good. II. Prove that God could have noII. Prove that God could have no reasonreason forfor allowing suffering.allowing suffering. Inscrutability: Do we have the access to enoughInscrutability: Do we have the access to enough information to make that judgment?information to make that judgment?  Alvin Plantinga, “The theist believes that God has aAlvin Plantinga, “The theist believes that God has a reason for permitting evil; he doesn’t know what thatreason for permitting evil; he doesn’t know what that reason is. But why should that mean that his belief isreason is. But why should that mean that his belief is improper or irrational?”improper or irrational?” Alvin Plantinga,Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil,God, Freedom, and Evil, 11.11. What the atheist must prove?What the atheist must prove?
  13. 13. III. Prove an instance of suffering that is definitively pointless.III. Prove an instance of suffering that is definitively pointless.  Even if you were able toEven if you were able to ““ProveProve”” a situation of pointlessa situation of pointless suffering, it would be outweighed by all the other cases ofsuffering, it would be outweighed by all the other cases of suffering thatsuffering that – 1) Did have a point or1) Did have a point or – 2) Cases that we couldn2) Cases that we couldn’’t rule out not having a point.t rule out not having a point.  If God isnIf God isn’’t in the equation then you cant in the equation then you can’’t argue for hopet argue for hope on any level. Ultimately, all is meaningless.on any level. Ultimately, all is meaningless. – Alvin Plantinga,Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil,God, Freedom, and Evil, 11.11. What the atheist must prove?What the atheist must prove?
  14. 14. Scenario to think on:Scenario to think on: Think about the following scenarioThink about the following scenario…… 1. Fact: I am a good person.1. Fact: I am a good person. 2. Fact: I often inflict pain on little children, voluntarily,2. Fact: I often inflict pain on little children, voluntarily, and people pay me to do this, and they often watchand people pay me to do this, and they often watch me do this.me do this. What would you conclude?What would you conclude? 3. Fact: I am a dentist who does his job.3. Fact: I am a dentist who does his job. Point: Without point 3, we could only conclude that thePoint: Without point 3, we could only conclude that the person is a moral monster who needs to beperson is a moral monster who needs to be imprisoned, or worse.imprisoned, or worse. Greg Welty, ibid, 3.Greg Welty, ibid, 3.
  15. 15. What the atheist mustWhat the atheist must prove?prove?  ““We are not in the position to beWe are not in the position to be able to assess whether God hasable to assess whether God has sufficient moral reasons forsufficient moral reasons for allowing suffering to exist.”allowing suffering to exist.” - William Lane Craig- William Lane Craig ““TThe Problem of Evil,he Problem of Evil,”” ibid.ibid.

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