Problem of Suffering

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I once thought about natural disasters in their relation to the Problem of Suffering. How can a good God allow undeserving people to suffer in this way? The Problem, when a human agent causes pain, it can pretty much be explained by the application of free will, which is a gift from God that people may misuse. That type of evil is not that big a thinker. But then you come to the question of large scale disasters: dozens, hundreds, thousands dead, pretty much at random: the wicked and the just in one mass of slain humanity. How can God be good while earthquakes kill thousands and maim thousands more? For some time, I couldn’t get a handle on it.

Then I was looking around the internet for ideas on the matter, and I found something very interesting, and like many things that make complete sense, I at first sight dismissed it off hand. Then I thought about it. I was approaching the problem incorrectly, which we might do if we base it on things like television newscasts. I was thinking of all the people involved in the great disasters en masse, as a big lump of humanity, when one should be thinking of them one by one, as we all live and love and breathe. Each victim has his or her own story, live or die. He might be taken in an instant, she might be wounded for the rest of her life, another has no more home to go to. If he is no more, it was his time; and other than that, each person is tested in their particular way, in the story that comes as with the flood. In the lives that are turned awry from the calamity that has ensued. For we all share one earth, but have each our stories we write, or that we are written into. Why does anything happen to anybody? Such is the question the storm stirs up.

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