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Lessons - Monthly Archives: October 2009

Solving the Problem of Evil and Suffering

October 25th, 2009

It may be a never ending defeat, but how do we solve the problem of evil and suffering? Derrick encouraged us to remember three things:
• Evil is real.
• There is practical help through courage and comfort (courage to endure and face evil, comfort in the midst of suffering).
• Hope for an ultimate solution.
Three philosophies have wrestled with the problem of evil and suffering. The first is Pantheism with a focus on Buddhism.
BUDDHIST VIEW
The Four Nobel Truths of Buddhism are:
1. Affliction (Dukka): There is evil and suffering or affliction in the world.
2. Cravings (Samudaya): This is the reason for our suffering, because of our cravings.
3. Containment (Nirodha): The solution for suffering is to contain it. This is how Christianity is different — Buddhists believe when we fully contain, we will achieve Nirvana or oneness with a universal spirit.
We lose self and get absorbed in the spirit so we are separated as a person.
4. Right track (Marga): Detach and get on the right track. The Eightfold Path of Buddhism to get on the right track is through your view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.

The answer to evil and suffering for Buddhism is detachment. At the end of the day, Buddhism offers no hope.

SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF EVIL & SUFFERING

ATHEIST VIEW
An Agnostic’s belief can go either way — there could be a higher being or maybe not. (Some people have described Agnostics as “Atheists kidnapped by doubt.”) The Atheist (or secular humanist) believes that there is no God, there’s only survival of the fittest (Darwinian type view). Their ethical system is based on personal decision of right and wrong.  The answer to the problem of evil and suffering for the secular humanists is engagement — trying to make the world a better place. The irony of Atheism is that they complain about evil and suffering and basically ask “Where’s God?” Atheists have no hope.
BIBLICAL THEISM VIEW
Does the Bible offer a solution to the problem of evil and suffering? Biblical theism must harmonize
three additional truths:
• Evil is evil.
• God is good.
• God is powerful.
We can pretend that evil is not evil, but then what’s the problem? We can pretend that God is not good, but then why worship Him? We can pretend that God is not powerful, but how does faith provide an
answer?  We” don’t solve the problem of evil and suffering. If mankind has to help man in ridding the world of evil and suffering than there is no hope.

(Material is Copyright © 2009 by Derrick G. Jeter. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.)

 

Topic Description Date
Solving the Problem of Evil and Suffering It may be a never ending defeat, but how do we solve the problem of evil and suffering? Derrick encouraged us to remember three things: • Evil is real. • There is practical help through courage and comfort (courage to endure and face evil, comfort in the midst of suffering). • Hope for an ultimate solution. Three philosophies have wrestle ... [more] 10/25/2009
The Purpose of Evil and Suffering Two questions for thought: • “Does God want us to be happy?” • “Does God want us to suffer?” WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF EVIL AND SUFFERING? Goodness is that which meets the standard of God’s own character and fulfills His purpose in creation.  In simple terms, evil is the absence of goodness. There are two forms of evil: • Ethic ... [more] 10/18/2009
Our Experience with Evil and Suffering Hope is the only thing we have to hang onto when evil and suffering crashes in on our life. Eleonore Stump said “Worldwide the earth is soaked with the tears of suffering.” We experience evil and suffering in three ways: 1. Aging: It affects all of us. It comes and there is nothing we can do about it. 2. Decay: At age 45-55 you can’t do wh ... [more] 10/11/2009