The Problem of Suffering

Arguments for God's Existence

Many people fail to believe in God because of the “Problem of evil”, saying: “If God is omnipotent and loving why do evil and suffering still exist?”

The detailed explanation of this topic exceeds the frame of our present paper, but as a starting point we can easily see that in many cases the reason of evil and suffering in our world are the evil decisions of men. In the Christian understanding God never wanted anything bad for the people, he created a good world in which men was provided with volitional freedom. God honours man and his dignity and so he even accepts the bad decisions of man. Man would not be really free if God accepted only partially the deeds of man e.g. his good deeds because they do not cause suffering. In this way God lets evil happen, he does not make it impossible, otherwise man would be degraded to a puppet. The reality is that often man does not use his free will in a good way, people do not think of the others, but of themselves. Many sufferings could be avoided if people helped each other and acted according to the principle: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Many diseases have their cause in the lack of responsibility of people, even if it is not always obvious enough, people influence each other in many ways.

But there are other events like thunderstorms, floods, earthquakes…which are not directly caused by human beings and can lead to a lot of suffering. At this point we should be conscious of the fact that man is endowed with intelligence and many abilities which can help him to prevent himself from many bad consequences of such natural phenomena. Using our knowledge in a reasonable way and not especially for personal profit could protect us in many cases much more than it is usual nowadays. One very simple first step would be that people should not live in dangerous areas.

Nevertheless we have to admit that this question is perhaps one of the most difficult questions in human life for many people. Also, we have to express our compassion towards those who ask this question while experiencing severe suffering. On the other hand, suffering can lead man to a deeper understanding of his life and of the aim of his existence because it challenges man to think about the sense of his life. Often suffering people become easier aware of how unimportant material things are than healthy ones and start to look for a better base for their lives.

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