If God is Good, Why is there Suffering?

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by Motomom34, Dec 2, 2016.


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  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I was reading an article titled: If God is Good why is the suffering? Just the title makes one question. Actually I have wondered this many times in my life. You see good and innocent suffer while evil or what I think as evil, freely moving about untouched. Chances are high that there have been times that many of us feel like Job. The tale of suffering was his.

    If God Is Good, Why Is There Suffering? | Off The Grid News

    Unsure why I am posting this thread but it is a good question to think on. In relation to survival if and when SHTF, there will be suffering and suffering may visit you and yours. This is when one will need to dig deep and find that strength to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. The saying is, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Sometimes that is not realized until years down the road or ever. I guess it is part of life. Sometimes I believe that suffering just is. Maybe ones suffering is not to strengthen ourselves but to help another when they are in need.

    Our resident Chaplin @Minuteman once told me, "God wants us to be happy." But with happiness, I know that the trails in life come with it. Many only want happiness. A person I know said if SHTF, he wants no part of it, he does not want the struggle. That seems odd to me. I question is that a defeatist attitude? IMO it is but then I also think maybe that is just talk and when it comes down to it, this person may wade through the suffering and trails like Job.

    One of the lessons from Job-
    Seven lessons from the book of Job - Living Church of God: Study Topic
     
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  2. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I believe in his perfect will, God does not want his children to suffer. But, in his permissive will he allows it to happen (as with Job). Sometimes because of things we do, sometimes because of things we fail to do, and sometimes simply because of the laws of nature. If I decided to jump to my death, that is not in God's perfect will for me. However, I die because God allows it to happen. Seldom does God alter the natural laws (in this case gravity). Some level of suffering, for the just and unjust, is built into the universe.
     
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  3. Thunder5Ranch

    Thunder5Ranch Monkey+++

    Been my experience that people write the script for their own play of suffering and then blame God for their own poor choices as the plot unfolds.
     
  4. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    This life is not THE life. Like a good parent, God does not give us what we want, instead He gives us what we need. While in the flesh we are incapable of understanding (among other things) why it seems life is not right or fair, much as in the military some did not like or understand the training that later saved their lives.
     
  5. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    We suffer so Heaven will look like a better deal? At some point we will all get to see who was 'right' - the Believers or those that don't.

    Someone is in for one hellva surprise....
     
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  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    At this point in my life it is sort of like glass half empty, glass half full. Truth is there have been times in my life I could have died and have no clue why I didn't. There were times I denied God and swore at him and dared him to take me. There have been times I cared not whether I lived or died. I have accepted God has some reason(s) for me being here and have asked for his forgiveness. Each day above ground now is a blessing. There are people better off than me, and some not so much. I don't need a lot, and I don't ask for a lot. I am thankful for what I have, and I try to help and guide, and assist others without being bossy or asking for anything in return. I do not easily suffer a fool, a liar, or a thief. No one lives forever. Like the proverbial cat I have used of several of my allotted lives, and could be called to leave this earth at any time, but then so could you. Get your affairs in order. Stay that way. It makes life easier.
     
  7. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Without suffering the spectrum of experience would be incomplete. Good and evil need each other to define each other. Without one the other is pointless. We set things up that way so that reincarnation would be enlightening while we took a little time off from being (and having to be) omnipotent.
     
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  8. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Short/simplistic answer: Because people are stupid. When I have more time later on today, I will elaborate.
     
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  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor Site Supporter+

    Stupid is rather harsh, and not always true. Innocent, naïve, and inexperienced may seem like Stupid, but merely be Ignorance. There is a big difference between Ignorance and Stupidity. There are Stupid People no doubt. I will be interested to see how you elaborate.
     
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  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    My God, gave Man (Me) his (My) agency.... In doing that, he allows us to make choices, that not only effect Our Lives, but the lives of Others... We are allowed to choose, between Good & Evil, with that agency.... God's Plan provides a Savior, that redeems US ALL from the Fall, from which we, as Humans, suffer, thru NO Fault of our Own.... God can Bless us with the things that he sees that we Need, to progress, and learn, in our lives. Some of these may be temporarily Hard, or Painful, for us, but in HIS Wisdom, HE knows these are things that we Need, and in the long Run, are to our benefit. Blessings from My God, come with obedience to His Laws, & Commandments... and We Choose, which of these, we will accept, and which we will reject... It is ALWAYS our Choice... I have had many Trials, and many Stumbling Blocks, to overcome, in my life.... I choose how I deal with these, and am Blessed, when My Choices are in alignment with HIS Will... and when I choose the Wrong Path, I forgo those Blessings, and suffer the consequences of My Choices, and Actions.... However, My God, always gives me another chance, down the Road, to make that choice again, and repent of that wrong Choice, and make the Right Choice, and receive the Blessing, that comes from taking the Right Path....
     
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  11. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    People suffer choosing to be with out God.
    God is my best friend,
    Though troubles come He goes with me , and I am made stronger.
    The more I learn to know His voice and obey , the less suffering occurs.
     
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  12. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd

    To be perfectly blunt, pain and suffering tend to separate those who have faith from those who only think they do.
     
  13. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Some folk will be guilty of identity theft , having chosen to fallow false information .
    I rely wholly on what Jesus taught, NO other man.
     
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  14. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    God gave man free will. As with all things, there is two of everything: God/Satan, good/bad, goodness/evil, Donald/Hitlery, Christianity/Demonrats, joy/sorrow, life/death, a time to laugh/a time to cry. How can you have joy, happiness, life and the good things if we do not also have pain, sorrow and death? We choose to have Life, or we choose to have Death. Remember the song "I never promised you a Rose Garden"? "In to every life a little rain must fall..." How can we grow if we do not have rain to provide a well spring of Life?
     
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  15. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    As said, it is about freedom of choice, random consequence, and chance. Life is a roll of the dice and it is up to every individual to make the decision to do their best with that gift as they proceed through the years.

    Make good choices, make every day count, don't tempt fate, and live a full life. It is not constructive to wallow in adversity, instead; fight through it and attain your goals. Always choose the right path to success no matter how difficult and shun the easy road as it will usually lead to failure.
     
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  16. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Free will. One can choose to do what ever they wish.
    Some people don't care about the consequences while others do.
    We are all a little good and a little bad. It's our choice on which one wins out.
     
  17. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    God does not want brainwashed robots; that's why He gave us all a free will. Pain and suffering does not happen because God allows it. It happens because we sinners allow it.
     
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  18. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman Draw Varmint!

    Someone once said to me, 'If men were good then God wouldn't have to be bad;' and, after spending much of my life thinking about this subject, I'm now convinced that it's true: If men were good then there would be no necessity for evil to exist; but, men aren't good; they're thoroughly evil, instead; and there is a veritable, 'mountain' of biblical evidence to support this assertion.

    One part of this inherent evil is that men feel themselves to be, somehow, justified to criticize God for the problems they encounter as they go through life. However, it needs to be remembered that: 'God is the author of life. He both gives; and He takes away.' God's moral choices for mankind's continued existence are severely limited. Either He allows men to vex and try each other with the consequences of their own mistakes and misdeeds; or else He, figuratively speaking, 'wipes the slate clean' and purges His spoiled creation of all evil.

    It should be remembered that one of the most important allegorical lessons in the Book of Genesis is that MAN, and NOT God, introduced evil into the world. Personally, I operate on the daily principle that, no matter how things might appear, 'GOD IS JUST'; and in His perfect justice nothing is going to happen to me, and nothing is going to happen to you that, somehow, isn't directly related to the pertinent reality (the moral character) that ultimately each of us receives both what he deserves and, sometimes, even more!

    I'll grant that there may very well be a time factor — a delay — in the receipt of God's justice; but, make no mistake, beyond yesterday, beyond today, and beyond tomorrow, the ultimate receipt of God's justice is absolutely inevitable. Jesus said, 'But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.'

    I see this sort of spiritual and intellectual mistake being made ALL OF THE TIME on internet forums! Everybody posts, and posts, and posts, and thinks that, 'words are cheap'. Any sort of fictitious accusation can be made, or any absurd remark put forth; and most respondents think that their words may be spoken without any real consequence to themselves. (Ahh, the anonymity of cyberspace — Right!) However, the Holy Bible emphatically states otherwise!

    What, though, did God reply to Job after His motives and purposes were so strongly doubted? God said, 'Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding!' Here, I would suggest that in order to understand the existence of evil in the world around us it is, first, necessary to understand the existence of evil within our very own souls!

    Why? Because, again, it is written, 'For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not;' and, once more, 'But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.' As for myself? The older I get the less I question either God, Himself, or the, 'Whys' and 'Wherefores' of earthly being. As far as I'm concerned, questioning God and the role which He plays in this world is something that young men are the most wont to do. 'Young' not only in the sense of chronological age, but in: spirit, intellect, and understanding, too.

    Which is NOT to say that older people do not also question God. We, all, know that they do; but, let's stay, '
    real'. Nowhere is it written that a man either can't, or won't, waste his life! In my considered opinion this ongoing and constant wasting of time is exactly what the vast majority of mankind does all day long, day after day, after day; and year after year, after year. Among men, wasting your life is the norm rather than the exception; and, yes indeed, I am also convinced that ultimately there will be severe consequences to pay. Time is precious and is NOT something that should be either wasted, or carelessly squandered away.

    Life is a puzzle — an intellectual and moral dilemma. It's your job and mine to gather unto ourselves, '
    the right answers' as we move along. The correct question is not, 'Why is God bad?' or, 'Why does God allow evil?' Instead, a far more accurate, far more discerning question would be something like, 'Why' if God is just; 'Why' if God is perfect; 'Why' if God is love are bad things, then, continuing to happen to me?'

    Death, by the way, is one of those bad things — OK — but according to Judeo-Christian scripture before any man can die he must, first, be 'sold under death'! Just remember that being 'sold under death' was not and is not God's doing. It is man's!

    Are you beginning to understand?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
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  19. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Well alot of what I was going to elaborate has already been said, see how you people are :p

    People have been screwing up since humanity started. And it won't change until people stop making excuses for themselves and acknowledge (fixing) their own crap is no one else's responsibility.
     
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  20. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    The teachings of the religion I grew up in boiled it down to a few bullet points, most if not all of which have already been addressed. I'm an attention whore though so I'm going to weigh in. :)
    • In all things, there must be opposition. You cannot know good, or know that good is good, without experiencing its opposite, bad. You cannot know joy if you never experience sorrow. This is important in the grand scheme of things as a fullness of knowledge ultimately requires a fullness of experience.
    • God does not want blind obedience. We were taught that we come from a spirit world, referred to as the "pre-existence"*. Before the first man and woman, there was a war in heaven (not unique to this religion) and Satan (Lucifer) was cast out (again not unique). What is unique (to the best of my knowledge) is why he was cast out. The war in heaven centered around two "plans". One being that everyone would be "happy", none would sin, and that not a single soul would be lost...but there would be no agency, no choice, and thus no chance to screw up. Oh, and the glory would go to the one who came up with the plan (Lucifer's plan). The other plan allowed for freedom of choice, free agency, or simply agency. There was the potential that some would choose to sin and others would not...and the glory would go back to God (Christ's plan). Battle ensues, Lucifer loses and is cast out with 1/3 of the host of heaven.
    • While God is omniscient and omnipotent, he does not "meddle". And while being omniscient, it simply means that God has the capacity to see all possible outcomes of every choice and all timelines and not that we are predestined. We have agency, we have the ability to choose good or evil, right or wrong, etc.
    • It is more important to God that we freely choose to do good, or repent of sin and strive to change (and do good) than to have no choice and ultimately learn nothing from our experience in this life.
    • We will be, in some ways and at some times in our life, "victims" of other people's actions. At that point, what matters most is what we make of it and choose to take from the experience. Character counts.
    • Every life, no matter where it starts or where it ends, has the capacity to be "good".** Primarily this centers around what we learn from our experience and how they help us grow.
    I like to think that the majority of that is right. I like to believe that God is loving and not vindictive and not racist and not petty and wants me to be happy and has given me (and everyone else) the freedom to choose. It can be very difficult, however to square the above bullet points (which are basic and could go into much more detail but I won't) with "life". With children born into slavery. With children born with deformities or handicaps. With men, women and children struck down in their prime, fathers and mothers taken from families "too soon". With people victims of senseless violence or otherwise random acts of any kind.

    It is hard, as a mortal, to see the "big picture". It is difficult to hear the words, and fit them into my limited "world" view. I don't have the capacity to understand existence in totality and while it is meant as a salve to the soul to say "they were taken home" or "God needed them", it seems empty when you are holding the child you lost at 28 weeks but had to deliver (twice, and both of them were given names and it hurts to this day almost 17 years later). It seems empty to the mother and wife who has lost her husband to a car accident, widowing her with 3 children under the age of 6.

    The religion of which I speak, the one I was born into and raised in, talks of "stronger spirits" that God knew could take the challenges and make the best of them. I don't know how that works when I see 3rd generation welfare recipients born into poverty (they aren't all getting $75k a year), turn to drugs and gang membership and die at the age of 17. If these spirits were truly strong enough, why did they fail (by our mortal standards)? For every success, there are thousands of failures. As a human, with mortal failings and my limited understanding, I have difficulty seeing how this could be.

    I believe that most of the bullet points above are accurate, or close enough approximations of what God really wants for us and hopes for us. I hope to one day understand the whole "plan" though and see the obviously missing pieces of the puzzle. I can understand that "stuff" happens, and that there needs to be opposition. You can't appreciate the warm summer breeze as much if you haven't frozen your butt off over the winter. I get that. I also get that agency is a double edged sword and that if someone chooses to do evil, there will be repercussions, potentially to and for others. Just like choosing to do good has effects that reach much further than many realize, like ripples in a pond when you throw in a stone.

    God*** desires us to be happy but mostly wants us to be happy because of the good choices we have made. He will not force us to be/do/choose good. And I believe he will mourn when we sin, choose ill or turn away from the principles of good.

    * - Pre-existence - Please, just don't. I get it. How could there be a "pre-existence"? Eternal mystery, move on. People quite quibbling about "pre-history" years ago. For what it's worth, when I asked that question (at the tender age of 9), it took me 3 weeks to get an answer and it came from "three levels up". I was told to think of it as "pre-mortal-existence".

    ** - I'm not going to lie, I have a hard time wrapping my head around this. I mentioned it some above but how can a child born into slavery, for example, with truly no hope of ever not being a slave (think early American history), truly be happy? Or a child born into an abusive family, or, or, or...the list goes on. The thought that they are either stronger spirits or that it's just about making the best of any situation is a tough pill to swallow. That it's all luck would just flat suck.

    *** - I don't subscribe to any one religion or tenet or faith. I believe in a higher power. I believe in a God, if you will, but I have left the faith of my childhood. There are many beautiful things about it, but there are also some very dark things about it and after a time, I found that I no longer believed in some of the basic, underlying teachings and chose to remove myself from the fold. I would like to think that some of it is right, that some of it is true, but I hope that's the case for what is taught by a lot of religions. Ultimately I believe that it's about my personal relationship with my God, at a spiritual level. Not about buildings or converting other people or rituals. I have said time and time again that the worst thing to happen to spirituality is religion, and the worst thing to happen to religion is church. I can no longer believe that any one organization has a lock on truth. I have seen too much in my life (yeah, all 44 whole years of it) to buy that. I don't even believe that any single entity has "more of the truth than any other".
     
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