The words ‘The Problem of Suffering’ do Not allude to Suffering itself. It is the name given to an Age old question in Philosophy, as to Why Suffering Exists and Persists at all. This question occurs in various forms, the main of them being:
- Does not God …Care Enough to put an End to Suffering?
- Or is God …Not Powerful Enough to put an End to it?
This article is the second in the series on Bible Study.
- On Bible study
- The Problem of Suffering
- My Journey on the Road to Peace
- The Answer to the Problem of Suffering!
- Understanding the Bible
- Ezekiel’s vision of God
- The Bible and History
The last three pertain to Bible Study, per se. The Others deal with the Use and the Advantages of Studying the Bible.
By What Stretch of Justification or even Imagination can the death of these Children be called a Casualty of War? They were not blown up by stray shells. They have been Systematically and Brutally Murdered.
These are images of what are called the Lankan Atrocities. But How many Armies or Governments do Not do this? What about Child Abuse in Homes?
The Problem of Suffering is a Problem for Philosophers. It eats their Minds. I had gone Half Mad over this, and had lost my Peace.
Sufferings have not Ended, and as such, the Problem of Suffering still Exists! But, Having been through that Hell, I found my Peace.
[By God’s Grace, right from my Childhood I lacked for Nothing good. My Father was a Supervisor in the Indian Railways. He had plenty of friends, and had No bad habits. Our Parents Loved us, and knew How to Show that Love, for which Thank God! As such, the question of the Problem of Suffering does not rise from my Family background.
Years ago, when I was a youth and had to run about to get my ‘posting’ for my job, while travelling by train, I had two significant experiences.
Some people brought in A young man whose legs were Palsied. There was a little space on the racks above, and they seated him there by lifting him by his arm pits. And there he sat, with his legs swinging away, and getting annoyed looks from those seated under him as his legs were dangling right in front of their faces, and sometimes even hitting their faces, though he could not help it.
This image shows us People sitting on Luggage racks. Actually, this train is not really so crowded. In crowded ones, You cannot take such pictures!
The other point during those journeys was the fact that the district through which the train was passing was under water due to heavy rains. The people had left their Cattle tied to the high ground near the railway tracks, but for miles and miles, not a single human being could be seen. And just the tops of the roofs of their huts were above the water. When the people returned after the Floods lifted, they would find very little of their possessions in their houses undamaged, if there at all.
Image courtesy: revolutionizingawareness.com …Not a picture of the scene I have described.
[The picture above is a quite recent one, from the Assam situation. This is a Regular affair there. And in this day and age of Helicopters and such, Just a little help will be dropped to these poor people, enough photographs would be taken, and the politician would have gained a few more crores. The Problem of evil persists.]
The questions I raised to God at that point of time were: “Why did You create this Young Man like this – a Helpless man who can’t even control his legs?” I also questioned God over the Floods; I Asked Him who was feeding the Cattle. Where the People were and What they were Eating. Where they were Sleeping. And things like that.
- Why do the INNOCENT Suffer?
- Why do CHILDREN Suffer? If Adults suffer, We could say that it has happened due to their way of life or something. But Children?
- Why do INJUSTICE AND CRIME seem to flourish?
- Why do the evil (people) lead such a Jolly life?
And a Million questions like those constitute the Problem of Suffering.
Some systems propose that what We go through in this life are the result of what We had done in Our Last one. I have Questions on that. To peruse them, please click here (under preparation, please).
At least Some of Us can be affected by the Problem of Suffering to such an extent that We can become Sick, become Absolutely Restless, losing Peace itself. As happened to me.
It is Important to note that I did not achieve this Peace by removing myself from the Situation. My Sannyas consists in Not being Attached to Anything. Christ Incarnated Himself into this our Human Condition, and Acted In and Through it. I received Answers to this Question of the Problem of Suffering, and Very Good ones too; Such that they brought me Tranquillity. I got my Peace by following the Teachings of Christ Jesus, and through the Bible.