Re: God's indifference to suffering?

From: xllb (
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 14:33:11 MST

The first loosening of the chastity belt that bound my curiosity, I owe
to an encounter with Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, in the 70's, as
I've posted before. Twelve years ago, I began backing away from
Christianity all together. So I am twelve years old, out of the Lord

Nevertheless, it is still easy for me to expect that there is
intelligent, benevolent, occasional intervention in our lives. I find
comfort in expecting a more evolved intelligence to know, and be pleased
with my personal motivations. I enjoy expressing gratitude, mentally
(prayer?) and frequently to anyone who a) might be listening and b)
might have something to do with the inordinate number of lotteries I've
won in this life.

I am bothered by the flip side of thanking "whatever" for my good
fortune. Is that not a) saying thanks for treating me better than the
other guy, implying that whatever has favorites, or b) that perhaps
whatever is not in complete control, or c) I deserve better than the
other guy.

I expect that, if there is intelligent intervention, it is not
omnipotent. I think what we observe is a work in progress. Suffering
is a natural product of our evolution.

2 questions for discussion: If pain and suffering did not exist, might
complacency keep us from creating? Secondly, HOW MUCH pain and
suffering would be the minimum that an intelligent species would need,
to be motivated to create?

Rick Strongitharm

john grigg wrote:
> Damien wrote:
> "Given the total indifference to human suffering displayed by the almighty,
> `playing God' involves twiddling one's thumbs while millions die in extreme
> agony from horrible diseases. All this `putting an end to human
> suffering'is surely the work of the devil."
> (end)
> I have pondered over this many times, myself. As a believer it bothers me
> more then it might an atheist. A Mormon apologist might say that even a
> long lifespan is a blink of an eye to God. We will look back on things in
> the next life and remember our suffering as learning experiences and be even
> more grateful for a glorious and perfected resurrected body to spend
> eternity in.
> Mormons believe that a big part of the test in this life is the simple
> horrendous fact that life is so unfair. It is what we each make of what we
> have and whether we get bitter toward God or have faith and do our best to
> improve our lot and that of others around us, that is the big challenge.
> Religious belief has motivated many people through history to reach out and
> try to help others, sometimes dedicating whole lives to this, even though it
> meant poverty and a shortened life. Could this be God's way of reaching out
> to help ease the suffering?
> So much of what I see in the world enrages me. When I study history I am
> horrified by all the ignorance, poverty, war and disease that devastated
> families and nations. Some of it people knowingly brought upon themselves
> but much of it was out of their control. And right as of this moment in
> time, to a great extent these evils still exist and inflict grievous
> suffering on countless millions.
> The petty things may actually bother me the most. The way life is so unfair
> with a relative few being considered "physically attractive" and getting the
> attention. I go occasionally to church dances where I see the plain looking
> girls being ignored. I dance with them but sometimes feel self-conscious
> about it. And the people who ignore them are supposed to be such fine
> Christ-centered folks. I see evolutionary psychology in action.
> I wish I had all the answers, which I don't. We have brains which allow us
> to learn and master the world around us and we must do it to make this
> planet a better place for human beings to live. I think this is the
> greatest gift we have.
> sincerely,
> John Grigg
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