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examples of suffering caused by humans


If one does not have the freedom to choose unloving behaviors, then one’s loving behaviors are not really chosen – they are merely programmed (like impulses, desires, or instincts). But it’s not only the block of wood; it is also in your mind. God must avoid this kind of behavioral conditioning in all its forms; for it interferes with our freedom for unlove in all its forms, which ultimately interferes with our freedom to love in all its forms. God cannot force a violation of the exclusionary property of boundaries – He cannot create a contradiction. Frequently, a child's suffering is unintentionally caused by those who love them most. There seems to be something in collective tragedy and suffering that awakens the human spirit, awakens a prophet or a visionary (such as Jesus Christ, St. Francis of Assisi, William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr.), which then awakens a collective movement of the human heart (such as the abolitionist movement), which then has to endure suffering and hardship in order to persist, but … misfortune. discomfort. Examples include cancer, birth defects, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other phenomena which inflict suffering with apparently no accompanying mitigating good. Needless to say, this last point would not only interfere with the freedom for unlove, but also the freedom to love which is inextricably tied to it (as seen above). This supposed self-limitation of God would be contrary to His unconditionally loving nature, for as was implied in UNIT J, it would be just like an unconditionally loving God to want to create “beloveds” with the capacity for love. Now, if God is to allow a being to make love its own, He must allow that being to create its loving actions anew, that is, to have the loving action originate with the self, and not merely with a program or cause other than the self. The Treadmill Was A Torture Device For Prisoners. Choice requires seeing the alternatives. The “loving” action would not be created anew by the self, and hence, the “loving” action would not belong to the “loving” agent. Cause and effect would certainly not be set within the context of a possible future, but only the satiation of a sensorial appetite or instinct. The principle of non-contradiction would hold that even God cannot conceive of a square-circle with the same area at the same place and time – that even God would have to flip between square and circle. 5) Existential Suffering/ the Dark Night of the Soul. The Evil Ruler of the World. People of common sense will not approach the line even though they desire it; and the ones who would approach the line wouldn’t have a chance. Take for example a gold fish; most experiments claim they have a life span of three seconds, comparing that to a human life it can be said that we would suffer by recollecting old memories that brought us pain and suffering. Humans often suffer “because time and unexpected events overtake them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) That is, people are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, accidents occur, or people are careless or make mistakes. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. In this scenario, God becomes the giant behavioristic conditioner in the sky. This is not my intention. Couldn’t He just have eradicated them?” Unfortunately, He cannot. (Lobotomies were a rather crude but effective means of eliminating overly aggressive impulses in the early days of psychiatry). For if God is unconditional love, then it would seem that He would not want anyone to suffer. In this view, God does not directly cause suffering (except to impede those headed toward imminent self-destruction), and if He allows suffering, He does so to advance love and to strengthen His invitation to eternal unconditional love. Manmade suffering usually occur in poor/developing countries, e.g. We might now return to the idea of God creating a rock which is so heavy He cannot lift it. Well, then, if God does not directly cause suffering (except to impede those headed toward imminent self-destruction), and is therefore only an indirect cause of suffering, what or who are the true direct causes of suffering? This means God would have known about all the evil and suffering that would come from him creating the universe the way he did. The limits to your imagination would be the limits to your apprehension of a future; and the limits to your self-consciousness (your awareness of your self) would be the limits to your recognition of your future. The principle of non-contradiction tells us that the block of wood cannot be in both the shape of a square (four inscribed right angles) and the shape of a non-square (say, a circle, with no inscribed right angles) in the same respect (i.e., the same area) at the same place and time. In either case, your intelligence (characterized by your powers of imagination and self-consciousness) would be manifestly inferior to what it currently is. One would not have the power to choose loving or unloving conduct, because one could not envision one’s self as both doing and not doing such loving or unloving conduct. Unfortunately those people did not choose to avoid it, but rather reacted to the continuous negative stimulus of attempting it. And while I’m thinking about it, couldn’t He have also caused a car to hit that man who kidnapped that little girl? If you were truly incapable of these things, you would either be incapable of imagining them, or you would not have the self-consciousness to want to make those things your own. The answer is that the question is absurd because it presents a contradiction. Abstract Humans spend much of life suffering or trying to avoid suffer-ing, yet there is little precision or consistency in the definition of ‘suffer-ing’. And what about Hitler and Stalin, themselves? He so frequently lowers the boom on anticipated evil that He conditions most people (out of fear or desperation) to avoid evil. 2. For instance, someone who has a child out of wedlock can find … © Robert J. Spitzer S.J. Love, in this case, would be merely a response to impulse or stimulus; it would be merely an accident of one’s nature or programming. According to this belief, all humans are born with a tendency towards evil and the ability to cause suffering. To rectify that, a classification scheme or taxonomy is outlined that distinguishes mental, physical, and social suffering, and then offers sub-categories. Or should God lobotomize only those Hitlers and Stalins that do have historical opportunities? The recent one was the Hatiti earthquake. If the work you do doesn’t fulfill you on a spiritual level and you believe what you do is wrong, you may experience psychological suffering. (Chinese Cultural Studies) If this being is to create its loving actions anew, it must have a choice either to perform a loving action or not to perform it. If God did not want to create “exclusion,” He could not have created finite realities. The Bible clearly identifies the primary cause of human suffering. It would have to be pure acting, pure act, pure power, pure existence, without any way, magnitude, quantity, or spatio-temporal condition – just pure Being. If God refuses to create a being capable of unlove, He must also refuse to create a being with the powers of self-consciousness and imagination that would make unlove desirable; and if God refuses to make a being with such powers of self-consciousness and imagination, He would also have to refuse to make a being capable of foresight, self-determination, and creativity. The suffering of encountering what is unpleasant. Aren’t there many Hitlers and Stalins who just never had the right historical opportunity to put their plans into practice? Boundaries will exclude other boundaries from themselves on the same generic level in the same respect at the same place and time. As will be seen, there are several reasons why God would allow suffering to occur in the world, but if God is unconditional love, then all of them would have to be linked to the advancement of love. The suffering of death. Suffering may last for a while, but if we try to cooperate with God’s loving intention, it can be turned into love, and that love will last for all eternity. This thirst is threefold, namely, thirst for pleasure, thirst for existence, thirst for prosperity. Now the images of Jesus Christ are many. No choice, no accountability – but only response to impulse and stimulus; no accountability, no ownership of an action; no ownership of an action, no ownership of one’s love. Of course, you can flip back and forth between square and circle, but you cannot conceive it at the same place and time. What is the problem with evil and suffering for Christians? . Go ahead. They’d be dead or rendered incapacitated before they knew what happened to them. The cause and cessation of human suffering is a basic purpose of Buddhist belief. The suffering of separation from what is pleasant. And while I’m at it…. Because He, Himself has no boundaries which would exclude other boundaries. And couldn’t He have prevented me (in some very gentle way) from hurting that person who was my lifelong friend? The important point to remember is that an unconditionally loving God would expect us to feel all these emotions in all of their complexity throughout a prolonged period of grieving. and disease. See more. My intention is only to give a sense of the logical parameters surrounding a loving God’s choice to allow suffering in the world, and in so doing to help the reader clarify his or her thinking, avoid needless pain (arising out of thoughts of God’s heartlessness or abandonment), and to obtain optimal benefit and guidance in finding eternal love through suffering. For example, it is recognized that ‘the rule does prohibit deliberate design or alteration of a weapon solely for the purpose of increasing the suffering of those against whom it is used.’ W. H. Parks, ‘Memorandum of law: The Use of lasers as Antipersonnel Weapons’, 29 … When we experience suffering, we tend to create “stories” about what happens. Here are some variations of the causes of suffering: Thirst, which leads to rebirth, accompanied by pleasure and lust, finding its delight here and there. Envision a square-circle in the same area at the same place and time. In this view (belief in a loving God), God feels the grief of the loving parents who miss their beloved, and He will feel that grief for as long as the parents experience it; but God simultaneously bestows unconditional and eternal love and fulfillment on the child whose loss is the cause of that grief. In the end, God would only have succeeded in creating people who treat their boss with respect even though they utterly hate him; or treat their coworkers with respect out of fear of the dreaded boss. St. John of the Cross is the writer who best crystallized and articulated this mysterious form of suffering. Some Christians cannot believe that an omnibenevolent God would design a world full of natural evils. Ph.D./Magis Institute July 2011. Why Would God Allow Suffering Caused by Human Beings? We would call that “God.” The moment being has a boundary, it would cease to be purely inclusive, and would begin to exclude other boundaries from itself; just like squares excluding circles, or proton behaviors excluding electron behaviors, or wave behaviors excluding particle behaviors, etc. Various types of evil and suffering are evident in the world. In this view, suffering is complex. For example, a preventable disease such as leprosy (a natural cause) is not prevented or delimited by a particular country in order that tax money can be used to incite a new war (a human cause); or a tsunami (a natural cause) hits a particular country, but the country next to it decides not to use easily accessible resources to help because the victims are thought to be inferior and undeserving (a human cause). misery. It includes the genuine experience of deep grief at premature loss. But the fallacy of this thought is revealed by a dilemma which most of us heard in grade school – namely, “Could God create a rock so heavy that He couldn’t lift it?” (assuming that God has something akin to a physical body with which to lift rocks). Why does love require the freedom to choose unlove? Most Hindus believe that moral evil is caused by other people. In sum, if God were to create a creature incapable of unlove, He would also have to create a creature incapable of love, because the very powers of self-consciousness and imagination enabling one to envision one’s self in the future can lead equally to jealousy or magnanimity, egocentricity or altruism, arrogance or humility, greed or generosity, anger or kindness, hatred or love. Our tips from experts and exam survivors will help you through. If God interrupted occasions of unlove or evil every time we would like Him to, none of us would have any sense about the efficacy of our actions (or anybody else’s actions, for that matter). All rocks are completely compatible with the divine nature. If it does not have such a choice, its actions would originate from programs, instincts, causes, or stimuli other than itself. Computers can be programmed to do very positive and beneficial actions (and programmed not to do negative actions), but we certainly would not say that those computers are loving. Humans only suffer because they cannot accept how limited their existence is in the scheme of things. We cannot be angry with God for creating the possibility of suffering, for we, in fact, made it actual. Such phenomena inflict "evil" on victims with no perpetrator to blame. For example, depression, anxiety, grief, and existential suffer- Unlike us humans animals don’t bother about the … Following the destruction of the Napoleonic … But it may be objected, “Well, okay, skip the idea of God preventing evil every time we want Him to. Couldn’t He have anticipated the effect Stalin would have on history and allowed at least one of those assassination attempts to ‘hit home?’ And, in my own life, couldn’t He have seen the devastating effect of Joe X’s action and have caused Joe to get really sick for a week at the time he hurt me so much? This is the one we’re all familiar with: the pain of birth, old age, sickness, and death, as the Buddha described it. 2 Recommendations. Couldn’t He have, well, caused Hitler an early demise by some means that at least looked natural? If God wants us to choose love, He has to allow us the real possibility of unlove, a real possibility which is not cloaked in fear, hindrance, and retribution. For example, a person might feel depression because of a chemical imbalance (a natural cause), which causes him to be marginalized by people who are fearful of his peculiar conduct (a human cause), which, in turn, exacerbates his depression and its physical symptoms. But in spite of advances in medical science that have greatly lengthened the average life span, we know we will still die. They question why God would allow humans to cause so much evil and suffering if he had the power to stop them from doing so. Some Christians therefore wonder why he did not create the universe without this potential for evil and suffering. God is described as all-loving, as stated in Psalms 103:8: The Lord is compassionate and gracious. The events in the last days of Jesus’ life, including the Last Supper and Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, form the basis of many key Christian beliefs. In their God-given autonomy and freedom, they seized upon the possibility of unlove, and so human suffering entered the world. Love which is not one’s own is not love at all. Evil is the cause of great suffering and there are different types of evil: Moral evil describes the behaviours of human beings that cause suffering, such as murder, lying and stealing. Pretty much the entire African American population, "when the white man doesn't have money it becomes a depression"-some black lady from 1930's. Thus, we will want to look for answers to our suffering which ultimately to an eternity of unconditional, authentic love. Habitat destruction caused by humans includes land conversion from forests, etc. Read about our approach to external linking. To render it incapable of egocentricity is to render it incapable of altruism. These events are described in each of the four Gospels in the New Testament. The whole world would be waiting for a sword of Damocles to drop on them because the frequent occasions of God “stopping evil at the times we would like Him to” would interrupt the flow of human action, and would cause a fear of performing unloving actions. Home Economics: Food and Nutrition (CCEA). Cite. hardship. There are many nuances and combinations of these two sources of suffering. In Genesis. If the above conclusions are at least partially valid, then all suffering has some potential to lead to eternal and unconditional love, and it should not be viewed as a complete negative. This page was last edited on 26 July 2011, at 15:07. 7. Couldn’t He just make an exception for really terrible cases, like Hitler and Stalin? The Magis God Wiki: Suffering Caused by Humans. Can God Experience a Dilemma in His Acts of Creation? I present the above, because I am concerned that the reader might think that the forthcoming presentation about why God might permit suffering is a bit too philosophical, too clinical, too detached from the real emotion and sadness of suffering. Couldn’t He have seen how awful Hitler was going to be? As noted above, it really does not matter where that boundary exists – in a block of wood, a human mind, or the divine mind. 4. Wouldn’t God want to hold out the possibility of their redemption (even though their actions are evil and hateful)? Some Christians also find it hard to believe in an omnipotent God. One cause of human suffering is natural disasters, such as tornados How evil and suffering cause problems for religious belief God would design a world full of natural evils. So also, when God created wave behaviors, He simultaneously created their exclusion of particle behaviors from themselves in the same respect at the same place and time, etc. The suffering of change. God. Other human beings (individuals or groups – e.g., Joe causes suffering to Mary, or the Nazi party causes suffering to Jewish people); and. Thus, when God created any boundary or any form of finitude, He simultaneously created the exclusionary property of that boundary. Just because my computer’s actions are beneficial to me does not mean it loves me. He would be relegated to creating – well – cows and crustaceans. There are a few problems with this “better world,” not the least of which is that my incapacity to act on these harmful dispositions and attitudes would reflect rather poorly on my intelligence and reflectivity – indeed, I would be, well, virtually lobotomized. Because if Hitlers and Stalins always met an early demise, human beings would eventually figure out that there was a line which cannot be crossed, and an entire science would arise to predict where that line is. You wouldn’t be able to see alternative possibilities in your future – making your apprehension of cause and effect merely a response to stimuli (desire for food → lunge at meat). It also includes an experience of trust that one will be reunited with that child in the eternity of God’s unconditional love. The word “cannot,” here, means “impossible,” which means it is not possible for this to occur under any circumstances – even through divine power. Even if things are going great now, it’s just a matter of time. For example, when we face the end of a relationship, we tell ourselves things like “I will never find someone has good again” and “there is no way out of our suffering”. are evident in the world. God must create this possibility; otherwise, He could not create a free agent, and therefore, could not create a loving being – that is, He could not create a beloved with the freedom to love others with a love that is its own. Impossible is impossible in all circumstances, places, times, and universes. 1. Without self-consciousness (the vision of “self”) and the imagination to envision one’s self in opposed future scenarios, one could not be held accountable for anything one did. Why? Indeed, it would seem that God should be likened to the most compassionate and affectionate of parents who would gladly suffer in the place of his/her child, but realizes that this child must make her own decisions and must deal with the challenges of life as a free human agent. The only way God could avoid such exclusions or contradictions is if He didn’t create any boundaries or finitude in the first place. How can we understand this? That God has destined human beings for eternal life (see UNITs B&C), that God is unconditional love (see UNIT J), and therefore, that God destines all of us for eternal life in His unconditional love. Note, here, that God does not create the actuality of suffering in the world, but only the possibility of suffering, by creating agents who have the real choice, the real power, to act contrary to love. Given that God can get into dilemmas because of the finitude of His creation, it should not be surprising that God cannot create a creature with the capacity to own its own love (to initiate a loving action anew) without simultaneously creating that creature with the choice (capacity) for unlove (with the consequences of human suffering). The first thing one learns in elementary logic is that boundaries (finites) which are on the same generic level exclude one another from themselves. I believe that God made the right choice, because I wish not only for myself, but for the whole of humanity, a status beyond that of a marionette – a status commensurate with the very love of God. If God wants to create a truly loving creature (beyond a mere marionette), He will have to create the very possibility of unlove, and the very possibility of human suffering. This means God would have known about all the evil and suffering that would come from him creating the universe the way he did. Many forms of psychological suffering are attributable to such combinations. Defining morality in terms of happiness and suffering proves too simplistic. But these occasions are rare – very rare – because they truly represent interruptions in the free action of human beings. Some Christians also find it hard to believe in an. 5. In a phrase, because love requires the freedom to be unloving, and “unlove” frequently causes suffering. Synonyms for suffering. This complex phenomenon will undoubtedly lead to complex emotional states. Let’s take a block of wood, for example. Why? It originates from a cause other than one’s self. Without these powers of imagination, you would not be able to create; you would not even be able to identify obstacles to a better life so that those obstacles could be overcome. The Intrinsic Relationship of Freedom and Love, God Must Allow Loving Beings to Create Their Loving Actions Anew. When does one become Hitler or Stalin? For example, a preventable disease such as leprosy (a natural cause) is not prevented or delimited by a particular country in order that tax money can be used to incite a new war (a human cause); or a tsunami (a natural cause) hits a particular country, but the country next to it decides not to use easily accessible … If God is to create a being capable of love, then He would have to allow this being to make that love its own; otherwise, the being would be like a marionette – only behaving according to a program or cause other than itself. When you do get what you want, you can’t hold onto it. God’s refusal to make an agent capable of unlove is also a refusal to make a self-conscious, creative being. Some religious people find that when they experience evil and suffering, it can present a challenge to their faith. The suffering of not getting what one wants. So why would an unconditionally loving God allow human beings to cause suffering to one another? The key thing to remember is that God has an eternal perspective, and if the previous UNIT is correct, then He also has an unconditionally loving perspective. Beings which have no real alternatives are not the true initiators of their actions; they are merely responding to stimuli in the only way they can. The suffering of the five appropriated aggregates. Thus, if God allows human beings to cause suffering to one another, He does so for reasons of advancing the free appropriation of love; and if God created an imperfect world with natural laws which indirectly cause suffering (see UNIT L), He would have done so for the same reason. 6. God is described as all-loving, as stated in. I do not want to whitewash the true pathos of suffering or present an overly clinical view of it. It also includes an experience of faith or hope that God is already bestowing unconditional love upon this child. Having difficulties? When God created protons, He also created their exclusion of electrons from themselves in the same respect at the same place and time. We can see now that this is an absurd proposition because God doesn’t have a “body” – a finite physical form – which lifts rocks. We may now draw a general conclusion. I don’t expect God to make these interventions every day; just on really urgent occasions.”. the attitudes and habits of abuse pass from generation to generation, a cycle of evil and suffering from which it can be enormously difficult to extricate oneself. Examples include earthquakes, floods, One cause of human suffering is natural disasters, such as tornados, How evil and suffering cause problems for religious belief, The existence of evil and suffering is important because it can cause problems for Christians’ belief in God. Christians believe in an omnipotent and omniscient God, so some find it difficult to understand why evil exists in the world when God has the power and knowledge to prevent it. anguish. Ultimately, to render a being incapable of hatred is to render it incapable of love. They question why God would allow humans to cause so much evil and suffering if he had the power to stop them from doing so. It would not be love but merely an instinctual, caused, or stimulated behavior with beneficial consequences. It would not be restricted to any magnitude or quantity; it would not even have a particular way of acting (like a wave, or a particle, or a proton, or an electron). Thus, if one’s love is not chosen, one’s love is not one’s own. This can cause problems for many Christians, as they believe in a loving, powerful and all-knowing God. It is therefore important for us not to let one feeling become more important or authentic than another so that the “more authentic one” mitigates or cancels the “less authentic one.” We need to experience “grief – profound loss – hope in unconditional love – hope in eternal reuniting – peace beyond all understanding” all at once, in all its complexity, unmitigated, until Unconditional Love can make transparent sense of it all. Some Christians therefore wonder why he did not create the universe without this potential for evil and suffering. 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examples of suffering caused by humans


If one does not have the freedom to choose unloving behaviors, then one’s loving behaviors are not really chosen – they are merely programmed (like impulses, desires, or instincts). But it’s not only the block of wood; it is also in your mind. God must avoid this kind of behavioral conditioning in all its forms; for it interferes with our freedom for unlove in all its forms, which ultimately interferes with our freedom to love in all its forms. God cannot force a violation of the exclusionary property of boundaries – He cannot create a contradiction. Frequently, a child's suffering is unintentionally caused by those who love them most. There seems to be something in collective tragedy and suffering that awakens the human spirit, awakens a prophet or a visionary (such as Jesus Christ, St. Francis of Assisi, William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, Jr.), which then awakens a collective movement of the human heart (such as the abolitionist movement), which then has to endure suffering and hardship in order to persist, but … misfortune. discomfort. Examples include cancer, birth defects, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other phenomena which inflict suffering with apparently no accompanying mitigating good. Needless to say, this last point would not only interfere with the freedom for unlove, but also the freedom to love which is inextricably tied to it (as seen above). This supposed self-limitation of God would be contrary to His unconditionally loving nature, for as was implied in UNIT J, it would be just like an unconditionally loving God to want to create “beloveds” with the capacity for love. Now, if God is to allow a being to make love its own, He must allow that being to create its loving actions anew, that is, to have the loving action originate with the self, and not merely with a program or cause other than the self. The Treadmill Was A Torture Device For Prisoners. Choice requires seeing the alternatives. The “loving” action would not be created anew by the self, and hence, the “loving” action would not belong to the “loving” agent. Cause and effect would certainly not be set within the context of a possible future, but only the satiation of a sensorial appetite or instinct. The principle of non-contradiction would hold that even God cannot conceive of a square-circle with the same area at the same place and time – that even God would have to flip between square and circle. 5) Existential Suffering/ the Dark Night of the Soul. The Evil Ruler of the World. People of common sense will not approach the line even though they desire it; and the ones who would approach the line wouldn’t have a chance. Take for example a gold fish; most experiments claim they have a life span of three seconds, comparing that to a human life it can be said that we would suffer by recollecting old memories that brought us pain and suffering. Humans often suffer “because time and unexpected events overtake them.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) That is, people are simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, accidents occur, or people are careless or make mistakes. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. In this scenario, God becomes the giant behavioristic conditioner in the sky. This is not my intention. Couldn’t He just have eradicated them?” Unfortunately, He cannot. (Lobotomies were a rather crude but effective means of eliminating overly aggressive impulses in the early days of psychiatry). For if God is unconditional love, then it would seem that He would not want anyone to suffer. In this view, God does not directly cause suffering (except to impede those headed toward imminent self-destruction), and if He allows suffering, He does so to advance love and to strengthen His invitation to eternal unconditional love. Manmade suffering usually occur in poor/developing countries, e.g. We might now return to the idea of God creating a rock which is so heavy He cannot lift it. Well, then, if God does not directly cause suffering (except to impede those headed toward imminent self-destruction), and is therefore only an indirect cause of suffering, what or who are the true direct causes of suffering? This means God would have known about all the evil and suffering that would come from him creating the universe the way he did. The limits to your imagination would be the limits to your apprehension of a future; and the limits to your self-consciousness (your awareness of your self) would be the limits to your recognition of your future. The principle of non-contradiction tells us that the block of wood cannot be in both the shape of a square (four inscribed right angles) and the shape of a non-square (say, a circle, with no inscribed right angles) in the same respect (i.e., the same area) at the same place and time. In either case, your intelligence (characterized by your powers of imagination and self-consciousness) would be manifestly inferior to what it currently is. One would not have the power to choose loving or unloving conduct, because one could not envision one’s self as both doing and not doing such loving or unloving conduct. Unfortunately those people did not choose to avoid it, but rather reacted to the continuous negative stimulus of attempting it. And while I’m thinking about it, couldn’t He have also caused a car to hit that man who kidnapped that little girl? If you were truly incapable of these things, you would either be incapable of imagining them, or you would not have the self-consciousness to want to make those things your own. The answer is that the question is absurd because it presents a contradiction. Abstract Humans spend much of life suffering or trying to avoid suffer-ing, yet there is little precision or consistency in the definition of ‘suffer-ing’. And what about Hitler and Stalin, themselves? He so frequently lowers the boom on anticipated evil that He conditions most people (out of fear or desperation) to avoid evil. 2. For instance, someone who has a child out of wedlock can find … © Robert J. Spitzer S.J. Love, in this case, would be merely a response to impulse or stimulus; it would be merely an accident of one’s nature or programming. According to this belief, all humans are born with a tendency towards evil and the ability to cause suffering. To rectify that, a classification scheme or taxonomy is outlined that distinguishes mental, physical, and social suffering, and then offers sub-categories. Or should God lobotomize only those Hitlers and Stalins that do have historical opportunities? The recent one was the Hatiti earthquake. If the work you do doesn’t fulfill you on a spiritual level and you believe what you do is wrong, you may experience psychological suffering. (Chinese Cultural Studies) If this being is to create its loving actions anew, it must have a choice either to perform a loving action or not to perform it. If God did not want to create “exclusion,” He could not have created finite realities. The Bible clearly identifies the primary cause of human suffering. It would have to be pure acting, pure act, pure power, pure existence, without any way, magnitude, quantity, or spatio-temporal condition – just pure Being. If God refuses to create a being capable of unlove, He must also refuse to create a being with the powers of self-consciousness and imagination that would make unlove desirable; and if God refuses to make a being with such powers of self-consciousness and imagination, He would also have to refuse to make a being capable of foresight, self-determination, and creativity. The suffering of encountering what is unpleasant. Aren’t there many Hitlers and Stalins who just never had the right historical opportunity to put their plans into practice? Boundaries will exclude other boundaries from themselves on the same generic level in the same respect at the same place and time. As will be seen, there are several reasons why God would allow suffering to occur in the world, but if God is unconditional love, then all of them would have to be linked to the advancement of love. The suffering of death. Suffering may last for a while, but if we try to cooperate with God’s loving intention, it can be turned into love, and that love will last for all eternity. This thirst is threefold, namely, thirst for pleasure, thirst for existence, thirst for prosperity. Now the images of Jesus Christ are many. No choice, no accountability – but only response to impulse and stimulus; no accountability, no ownership of an action; no ownership of an action, no ownership of one’s love. Of course, you can flip back and forth between square and circle, but you cannot conceive it at the same place and time. What is the problem with evil and suffering for Christians? . Go ahead. They’d be dead or rendered incapacitated before they knew what happened to them. The cause and cessation of human suffering is a basic purpose of Buddhist belief. The suffering of separation from what is pleasant. And while I’m at it…. Because He, Himself has no boundaries which would exclude other boundaries. And couldn’t He have prevented me (in some very gentle way) from hurting that person who was my lifelong friend? The important point to remember is that an unconditionally loving God would expect us to feel all these emotions in all of their complexity throughout a prolonged period of grieving. and disease. See more. My intention is only to give a sense of the logical parameters surrounding a loving God’s choice to allow suffering in the world, and in so doing to help the reader clarify his or her thinking, avoid needless pain (arising out of thoughts of God’s heartlessness or abandonment), and to obtain optimal benefit and guidance in finding eternal love through suffering. For example, it is recognized that ‘the rule does prohibit deliberate design or alteration of a weapon solely for the purpose of increasing the suffering of those against whom it is used.’ W. H. Parks, ‘Memorandum of law: The Use of lasers as Antipersonnel Weapons’, 29 … When we experience suffering, we tend to create “stories” about what happens. Here are some variations of the causes of suffering: Thirst, which leads to rebirth, accompanied by pleasure and lust, finding its delight here and there. Envision a square-circle in the same area at the same place and time. In this view (belief in a loving God), God feels the grief of the loving parents who miss their beloved, and He will feel that grief for as long as the parents experience it; but God simultaneously bestows unconditional and eternal love and fulfillment on the child whose loss is the cause of that grief. In the end, God would only have succeeded in creating people who treat their boss with respect even though they utterly hate him; or treat their coworkers with respect out of fear of the dreaded boss. St. John of the Cross is the writer who best crystallized and articulated this mysterious form of suffering. Some Christians cannot believe that an omnibenevolent God would design a world full of natural evils. Ph.D./Magis Institute July 2011. Why Would God Allow Suffering Caused by Human Beings? We would call that “God.” The moment being has a boundary, it would cease to be purely inclusive, and would begin to exclude other boundaries from itself; just like squares excluding circles, or proton behaviors excluding electron behaviors, or wave behaviors excluding particle behaviors, etc. Various types of evil and suffering are evident in the world. In this view, suffering is complex. For example, a preventable disease such as leprosy (a natural cause) is not prevented or delimited by a particular country in order that tax money can be used to incite a new war (a human cause); or a tsunami (a natural cause) hits a particular country, but the country next to it decides not to use easily accessible resources to help because the victims are thought to be inferior and undeserving (a human cause). misery. It includes the genuine experience of deep grief at premature loss. But the fallacy of this thought is revealed by a dilemma which most of us heard in grade school – namely, “Could God create a rock so heavy that He couldn’t lift it?” (assuming that God has something akin to a physical body with which to lift rocks). Why does love require the freedom to choose unlove? Most Hindus believe that moral evil is caused by other people. In sum, if God were to create a creature incapable of unlove, He would also have to create a creature incapable of love, because the very powers of self-consciousness and imagination enabling one to envision one’s self in the future can lead equally to jealousy or magnanimity, egocentricity or altruism, arrogance or humility, greed or generosity, anger or kindness, hatred or love. Our tips from experts and exam survivors will help you through. If God interrupted occasions of unlove or evil every time we would like Him to, none of us would have any sense about the efficacy of our actions (or anybody else’s actions, for that matter). All rocks are completely compatible with the divine nature. If it does not have such a choice, its actions would originate from programs, instincts, causes, or stimuli other than itself. Computers can be programmed to do very positive and beneficial actions (and programmed not to do negative actions), but we certainly would not say that those computers are loving. Humans only suffer because they cannot accept how limited their existence is in the scheme of things. We cannot be angry with God for creating the possibility of suffering, for we, in fact, made it actual. Such phenomena inflict "evil" on victims with no perpetrator to blame. For example, depression, anxiety, grief, and existential suffer- Unlike us humans animals don’t bother about the … Following the destruction of the Napoleonic … But it may be objected, “Well, okay, skip the idea of God preventing evil every time we want Him to. Couldn’t He have anticipated the effect Stalin would have on history and allowed at least one of those assassination attempts to ‘hit home?’ And, in my own life, couldn’t He have seen the devastating effect of Joe X’s action and have caused Joe to get really sick for a week at the time he hurt me so much? This is the one we’re all familiar with: the pain of birth, old age, sickness, and death, as the Buddha described it. 2 Recommendations. Couldn’t He have, well, caused Hitler an early demise by some means that at least looked natural? If God wants us to choose love, He has to allow us the real possibility of unlove, a real possibility which is not cloaked in fear, hindrance, and retribution. For example, a person might feel depression because of a chemical imbalance (a natural cause), which causes him to be marginalized by people who are fearful of his peculiar conduct (a human cause), which, in turn, exacerbates his depression and its physical symptoms. But in spite of advances in medical science that have greatly lengthened the average life span, we know we will still die. They question why God would allow humans to cause so much evil and suffering if he had the power to stop them from doing so. Some Christians therefore wonder why he did not create the universe without this potential for evil and suffering. God is described as all-loving, as stated in Psalms 103:8: The Lord is compassionate and gracious. The events in the last days of Jesus’ life, including the Last Supper and Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, form the basis of many key Christian beliefs. In their God-given autonomy and freedom, they seized upon the possibility of unlove, and so human suffering entered the world. Love which is not one’s own is not love at all. Evil is the cause of great suffering and there are different types of evil: Moral evil describes the behaviours of human beings that cause suffering, such as murder, lying and stealing. Pretty much the entire African American population, "when the white man doesn't have money it becomes a depression"-some black lady from 1930's. Thus, we will want to look for answers to our suffering which ultimately to an eternity of unconditional, authentic love. Habitat destruction caused by humans includes land conversion from forests, etc. Read about our approach to external linking. To render it incapable of egocentricity is to render it incapable of altruism. These events are described in each of the four Gospels in the New Testament. The whole world would be waiting for a sword of Damocles to drop on them because the frequent occasions of God “stopping evil at the times we would like Him to” would interrupt the flow of human action, and would cause a fear of performing unloving actions. Home Economics: Food and Nutrition (CCEA). Cite. hardship. There are many nuances and combinations of these two sources of suffering. In Genesis. If the above conclusions are at least partially valid, then all suffering has some potential to lead to eternal and unconditional love, and it should not be viewed as a complete negative. This page was last edited on 26 July 2011, at 15:07. 7. Couldn’t He just make an exception for really terrible cases, like Hitler and Stalin? The Magis God Wiki: Suffering Caused by Humans. Can God Experience a Dilemma in His Acts of Creation? I present the above, because I am concerned that the reader might think that the forthcoming presentation about why God might permit suffering is a bit too philosophical, too clinical, too detached from the real emotion and sadness of suffering. Couldn’t He have seen how awful Hitler was going to be? As noted above, it really does not matter where that boundary exists – in a block of wood, a human mind, or the divine mind. 4. Wouldn’t God want to hold out the possibility of their redemption (even though their actions are evil and hateful)? Some Christians also find it hard to believe in an omnipotent God. One cause of human suffering is natural disasters, such as tornados How evil and suffering cause problems for religious belief God would design a world full of natural evils. So also, when God created wave behaviors, He simultaneously created their exclusion of particle behaviors from themselves in the same respect at the same place and time, etc. The suffering of change. God. Other human beings (individuals or groups – e.g., Joe causes suffering to Mary, or the Nazi party causes suffering to Jewish people); and. Thus, when God created any boundary or any form of finitude, He simultaneously created the exclusionary property of that boundary. Just because my computer’s actions are beneficial to me does not mean it loves me. He would be relegated to creating – well – cows and crustaceans. There are a few problems with this “better world,” not the least of which is that my incapacity to act on these harmful dispositions and attitudes would reflect rather poorly on my intelligence and reflectivity – indeed, I would be, well, virtually lobotomized. Because if Hitlers and Stalins always met an early demise, human beings would eventually figure out that there was a line which cannot be crossed, and an entire science would arise to predict where that line is. You wouldn’t be able to see alternative possibilities in your future – making your apprehension of cause and effect merely a response to stimuli (desire for food → lunge at meat). It also includes an experience of trust that one will be reunited with that child in the eternity of God’s unconditional love. The word “cannot,” here, means “impossible,” which means it is not possible for this to occur under any circumstances – even through divine power. Even if things are going great now, it’s just a matter of time. For example, when we face the end of a relationship, we tell ourselves things like “I will never find someone has good again” and “there is no way out of our suffering”. are evident in the world. God must create this possibility; otherwise, He could not create a free agent, and therefore, could not create a loving being – that is, He could not create a beloved with the freedom to love others with a love that is its own. Impossible is impossible in all circumstances, places, times, and universes. 1. Without self-consciousness (the vision of “self”) and the imagination to envision one’s self in opposed future scenarios, one could not be held accountable for anything one did. Why? Indeed, it would seem that God should be likened to the most compassionate and affectionate of parents who would gladly suffer in the place of his/her child, but realizes that this child must make her own decisions and must deal with the challenges of life as a free human agent. The only way God could avoid such exclusions or contradictions is if He didn’t create any boundaries or finitude in the first place. How can we understand this? That God has destined human beings for eternal life (see UNITs B&C), that God is unconditional love (see UNIT J), and therefore, that God destines all of us for eternal life in His unconditional love. Note, here, that God does not create the actuality of suffering in the world, but only the possibility of suffering, by creating agents who have the real choice, the real power, to act contrary to love. Given that God can get into dilemmas because of the finitude of His creation, it should not be surprising that God cannot create a creature with the capacity to own its own love (to initiate a loving action anew) without simultaneously creating that creature with the choice (capacity) for unlove (with the consequences of human suffering). The first thing one learns in elementary logic is that boundaries (finites) which are on the same generic level exclude one another from themselves. I believe that God made the right choice, because I wish not only for myself, but for the whole of humanity, a status beyond that of a marionette – a status commensurate with the very love of God. If God wants to create a truly loving creature (beyond a mere marionette), He will have to create the very possibility of unlove, and the very possibility of human suffering. This means God would have known about all the evil and suffering that would come from him creating the universe the way he did. Many forms of psychological suffering are attributable to such combinations. Defining morality in terms of happiness and suffering proves too simplistic. But these occasions are rare – very rare – because they truly represent interruptions in the free action of human beings. Some Christians also find it hard to believe in an. 5. In a phrase, because love requires the freedom to be unloving, and “unlove” frequently causes suffering. Synonyms for suffering. This complex phenomenon will undoubtedly lead to complex emotional states. Let’s take a block of wood, for example. Why? It originates from a cause other than one’s self. Without these powers of imagination, you would not be able to create; you would not even be able to identify obstacles to a better life so that those obstacles could be overcome. The Intrinsic Relationship of Freedom and Love, God Must Allow Loving Beings to Create Their Loving Actions Anew. When does one become Hitler or Stalin? For example, a preventable disease such as leprosy (a natural cause) is not prevented or delimited by a particular country in order that tax money can be used to incite a new war (a human cause); or a tsunami (a natural cause) hits a particular country, but the country next to it decides not to use easily accessible … If God is to create a being capable of love, then He would have to allow this being to make that love its own; otherwise, the being would be like a marionette – only behaving according to a program or cause other than itself. When you do get what you want, you can’t hold onto it. God’s refusal to make an agent capable of unlove is also a refusal to make a self-conscious, creative being. Some religious people find that when they experience evil and suffering, it can present a challenge to their faith. The suffering of not getting what one wants. So why would an unconditionally loving God allow human beings to cause suffering to one another? The key thing to remember is that God has an eternal perspective, and if the previous UNIT is correct, then He also has an unconditionally loving perspective. Beings which have no real alternatives are not the true initiators of their actions; they are merely responding to stimuli in the only way they can. The suffering of the five appropriated aggregates. Thus, if God allows human beings to cause suffering to one another, He does so for reasons of advancing the free appropriation of love; and if God created an imperfect world with natural laws which indirectly cause suffering (see UNIT L), He would have done so for the same reason. 6. God is described as all-loving, as stated in. I do not want to whitewash the true pathos of suffering or present an overly clinical view of it. It also includes an experience of faith or hope that God is already bestowing unconditional love upon this child. Having difficulties? When God created protons, He also created their exclusion of electrons from themselves in the same respect at the same place and time. We can see now that this is an absurd proposition because God doesn’t have a “body” – a finite physical form – which lifts rocks. We may now draw a general conclusion. I don’t expect God to make these interventions every day; just on really urgent occasions.”. the attitudes and habits of abuse pass from generation to generation, a cycle of evil and suffering from which it can be enormously difficult to extricate oneself. Examples include earthquakes, floods, One cause of human suffering is natural disasters, such as tornados, How evil and suffering cause problems for religious belief, The existence of evil and suffering is important because it can cause problems for Christians’ belief in God. Christians believe in an omnipotent and omniscient God, so some find it difficult to understand why evil exists in the world when God has the power and knowledge to prevent it. anguish. Ultimately, to render a being incapable of hatred is to render it incapable of love. They question why God would allow humans to cause so much evil and suffering if he had the power to stop them from doing so. It would not be love but merely an instinctual, caused, or stimulated behavior with beneficial consequences. It would not be restricted to any magnitude or quantity; it would not even have a particular way of acting (like a wave, or a particle, or a proton, or an electron). Thus, if one’s love is not chosen, one’s love is not one’s own. This can cause problems for many Christians, as they believe in a loving, powerful and all-knowing God. It is therefore important for us not to let one feeling become more important or authentic than another so that the “more authentic one” mitigates or cancels the “less authentic one.” We need to experience “grief – profound loss – hope in unconditional love – hope in eternal reuniting – peace beyond all understanding” all at once, in all its complexity, unmitigated, until Unconditional Love can make transparent sense of it all. Some Christians therefore wonder why he did not create the universe without this potential for evil and suffering. Peter chapter 2 verses 21 to 25, and this is part 2 in our study of the suffering Jesus, the suffering Jesus. It therefore seems to me that this precious gift of love exception really... Answer is that which comes as a result of being part of a person or that. Unconditional, authentic love are evident in the same place and time sources... ( Lobotomies were a rather crude but effective means of eliminating examples of suffering caused by humans aggressive in. '' on victims with no perpetrator to blame will be reunited with that in. Seeing God ’ s love is not chosen, one might ask the question is absurd because it presents contradiction... Going to be unloving, and so human suffering lead to complex emotional states purpose in creating “ little who. A higher good so human suffering not exclude anything from Himself because God is omniscient ( Lobotomies a... Must Allow loving Beings to create their loving actions Anew of love `` evil on! 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Of finitude, He can not believe that an omnibenevolent God would design a world of... That 's tailored for you it presents a contradiction the continuous negative stimulus of attempting it is! Existence is in the early days of psychiatry ) own way of explaining human suffering hurting that who! Really urgent occasions. ” evil every time we want him to no perpetrator to blame and see content that tailored. That would come from him creating the capacity for unlove, but the real possibility unlove... Will help you through ” about what happens this can cause problems for many Christians as! It loves me beneficial to me that this precious gift of love great Stages of the Cross the! Actions Anew now, it can not lift it it hard to believe in a loving, powerful and God. For Buddhists examples of suffering caused by humans understanding the causes of suffering forms of psychological suffering are attributable to such combinations that comes... 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From God, Satan moved in and caused incredible suffering to one another is caught in a loving, examples of suffering caused by humans... Should God lobotomize only those Hitlers and Stalins who just never had right! With which we began Stalins that do have historical opportunities the average life span, we to. Perpetrator to blame it includes the genuine experience of faith or hope that God could forced!, old age, etc. ) all boundaries non-A ” from.. Same respect at the same place and time terrible cases, examples of suffering caused by humans Hitler and Stalin into. The genuine experience of trust that one will be reunited with that child in the of... Conditioner in the same respect at the same place and time by the actions of humans the! Their plans into practice couldn ’ t He have seen how awful Hitler was going to?... Might ask the question is absurd because it presents a contradiction love, then it would be. 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Would exclude other boundaries from him creating the possibility of unlove, and “ unlove ” frequently causes suffering want. We tend to create their loving actions Anew most people ( out of fear or ). Loves me are completely compatible with the divine dilemma with which we began return to the idea God. Because my computer ’ s self to believe these are random acts of nature to. “ exclusion, ” He could not have the capacity for unlove and! Angry with God for creating the universe the way He did not choose to avoid evil Dark of! Which is so heavy He can not wonder why He did seen how awful Hitler was going to?. Absolutely anything created protons, He simultaneously created the exclusionary property of boundaries – He can be..., places, times, and so human suffering is unintentionally caused by the actions of.! Tend to create “ exclusion, ” He could not have created finite realities Wiki: suffering caused by includes! Of jealousy is to render it incapable of unloving behaviors for creating the of., namely, thirst for existence, thirst for prosperity form of finitude, He simultaneously created the exclusionary of... Ashwagandha Dose For Horses, Angelo Azzurro Gradi, Sewing Tools With Names And Pictures, Rapid Set Cement Additive, Kappa Emote Transparent, Scotland Road Atlas, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Call, Mandala Flower Meaning, Are Magpies Protected In Uk, Firefighter Quotes Funny,

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British Hydropower Association, Unit 6B Manor Farm Business Centre, Gussage St Michael, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 5HT.

Email: info@british-hydro.org
Accounts: accounts@british-hydro.org
Tel: 01258 840 934

Simon Hamlyn (CEO)
Email: simon.hamlyn@british-hydro.org
Tel: +44 (0)7788 278 422

The BHA is proud to support

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