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.
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
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.)