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). God’s dilemma now becomes apparent. I do not want to whitewash the true pathos of suffering or present an overly clinical view of it. 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. Collective Suffering: Sometimes we suffer as a result of being part of a people who are suffering. Because the inability to combine square and circle is not about the limits of human power or the human mind; it is not about the limitations of divine power or the divine mind; but rather, it is about the exclusionary properties of boundaries – the exclusionary properties of anything which is finite. Choice requires seeing the alternatives. 6. It would not be love but merely an instinctual, caused, or stimulated behavior with beneficial consequences. 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). Why does love require the freedom to choose unlove? This is the one we’re all familiar with: the pain of birth, old age, sickness, and death, as the Buddha described it. 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. Defining morality in terms of happiness and suffering proves too simplistic. If it does not have such a choice, its actions would originate from programs, instincts, causes, or stimuli other than itself. The price of love is not only the capacity for unlove, but the real possibility of unlove. God so loves the world, and God so wants us to love one another, that He will respect our freedom, and restrain Himself from interfering with that freedom, even in the most egregious situations and with the most egregiously offensive people. 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. In Genesis. In view of this, one might ask the question, “Why would a loving God have allowed suffering to occur?”. When does one become a tyrant? The Magis God Wiki: Suffering Caused by Humans. 2 Recommendations. 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”. This complex phenomenon will undoubtedly lead to complex emotional states. For if God is unconditional love, then it would seem that He would not want anyone to suffer. 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 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. 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. What is the problem with evil and suffering for Christians? But it’s not only the block of wood; it is also in your mind. There are many nuances and combinations of these two sources of suffering. There is one more question which frequently comes up in my discussions with students, namely: “Even if God had to create the possibility of unlove (and suffering) in order to enable us to love, couldn’t He situationally prevent some human evils by a little miracle, or by a little conspiracy of providence? 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 … Rather than having our lives cut short by the killer diseases of earlier years, now many of us will expire at a greater age from such debilitating afflictions as cancer or heart disease. We can see now that this is an absurd proposition because God doesn’t have a “body” – a finite physical form – which lifts rocks. When does one become Hitler or Stalin? 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. Why? The word “cannot,” here, means “impossible,” which means it is not possible for this to occur under any circumstances – even through divine power. For example, this would have to include suffering during the Plague in Middle Ages, the suffering inflicted upon American Indians by White settlers and the US Government, and … They’d be dead or rendered incapacitated before they knew what happened to them. 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. Human beings took care of the rest. Moreover, the reason He created the possibility of suffering was to make us “beloveds with the capacity to own our own love”; with the freedom and autonomy to originate love anew; with the capacity to love originatively as He loves. are evident in the world. Personal sins like greed, pride, or sexual immorality can cause suffering personally. Many forms of psychological suffering are attributable to such combinations. 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. hardship. God. Couldn’t He have seen how awful Hitler was going to be? The suffering of separation from what is pleasant. 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. Some Christians also find it hard to believe in an. We cannot be angry with God for creating the possibility of suffering, for we, in fact, made it actual. According to this belief, all humans are born with a tendency towards evil and the ability to cause suffering. As implied in UNIT J, this incredibly important capacity to love is our happiness, our creativity, our eternal future, and our highest calling. 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. 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. Go ahead. Can God Experience a Dilemma in His Acts of Creation? 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. A finite physical body would have intrinsic limits to its rock-lifting capacity, and therefore, there could be rocks that it could not lift. Peter chapter 2 verses 21 to 25, and this is part 2 in our study of the suffering Jesus, the suffering Jesus. In this view, suffering is complex. Because He, Himself has no boundaries which would exclude other boundaries. After all, if God is all-powerful (as God is), it would seem that God could do absolutely anything. We might now return to the idea of God creating a rock which is so heavy He cannot lift it. The Intrinsic Relationship of Freedom and Love, God Must Allow Loving Beings to Create Their Loving Actions Anew. (Chinese Cultural Studies) God cannot force a violation of the exclusionary property of boundaries – He cannot create a contradiction. But in spite of advances in medical science that have greatly lengthened the average life span, we know we will still die. 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. It seems that an unconditionally loving God would suffer with everyone who suffers, and would redeem every scintilla of suffering through His providence for all eternity. 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. 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. And while I’m thinking about it, couldn’t He have also caused a car to hit that man who kidnapped that little girl? In either case, your intelligence (characterized by your powers of imagination and self-consciousness) would be manifestly inferior to what it currently is. 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 Divine Dilemma in Creating the Capacity for Love. 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. It would seem that the world would be a better place. Our tips from experts and exam survivors will help you through. Thus, we will want to look for answers to our suffering which ultimately to an eternity of unconditional, authentic love. They find it easier to believe these are random acts of nature. I will treat the first source of suffering in UNIT K and the second in UNIT L. Before proceeding to these two sources, it may prove helpful to review the overriding principle indicated in the last UNIT, namely, that God is unconditional love. Of course, you can flip back and forth between square and circle, but you cannot conceive it at the same place and time. When we experience suffering, we tend to create “stories” about what happens. 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. We may now draw a general conclusion. The boundary of “four inscribed right angles” excludes the boundary of “no inscribed right angles” from itself in the same respect at the same place and time. Love which is not one’s own is not love at all. 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). We now proceed in UNIT L to a discussion of the next extrinsic source of suffering and evil, namely, suffering induced by natural causation. 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’. 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 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. Cite. Such phenomena inflict "evil" on victims with no perpetrator to blame. 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. There can be little doubt that God does intervene in our lives through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (in our own lives and the lives of people around us), in little and great conspiracies of providence, and even in outright miracles. 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. 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. This thirst is threefold, namely, thirst for pleasure, thirst for existence, thirst for prosperity. If God’s love is unconditional, then He could not reject even really terrible people if there were even a glimmer of hope for conversion. This is an incredibly hard thing to do; yet it is a path to the transformation of suffering into love, and therefore a path into the horizon of Unconditional Love’s eternity. 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. 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. The Evil Ruler of the World. This can cause problems for many Christians, as they believe in a loving, powerful and all-knowing God. 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. Even if things are going great now, it’s just a matter of time. Finally, it includes a journey – a journey with a loving God to find meaning in the tragedy. Now, if God refused to create a creature with self-consciousness and powers of imagination capable of seeing a future beyond mere response to impulse or stimulus (because He wanted to make that creature incapable of unlove), then He could not create a creature capable of love – because love requires freedom of choice, and choice requires the ability to see options in one’s future which may run contrary to impulses and stimuli. This is not my intention. And couldn’t He have prevented me (in some very gentle way) from hurting that person who was my lifelong friend? It would not be one’s own. 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