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Christian Ethics and Suffering

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Introduction

February 2003 RS Christianity Coursework Christian Ethics and Suffering AO1) Hunger and disease are generally caused by poverty and they tend to result in suffering. Christians teach about different causes for suffering, including the beliefs that it is mankind's fault that suffering exists and that it's God testing our faith with suffering, such as in the story of Job where these different causes for suffering are explained in three categories: suffering is a test to see if Job would lose his faith through suffering, suffering is part of God's plan which is beyond human understanding or that suffering is a punishment for sin. The teaching that suffering is due to our sins can be backed up by the creation story in Genesis 3 when God said: "Because of what you have done (eating the forbidden fruit), the ground will be under a curse..". The problem with blaming God for his punishment is that his punishing mankind goes against the Judeo-Christian idea of an omni benevolent God, which is why Christian teachings tend to teach that suffering is humanity's fault and this theory ...read more.

Middle

And Christians believe that this is a plausible explanation for suffering since it takes the blame away from God and it is biblically based since it conserves the beliefs of creation and the fall. So, God isn't to be blamed for hunger and disease since, generally, disease is either caused by hunger and the weakening of the human body or, with STIs and cancer, it can be caused by the irresponsible use of freedom yet again. For example, someone who smokes and is aware of its cancerous consequences only has himself to blame for the illness. "He gives generously to the needy: his kindness lasts forever" (Paul: 2 Corinthians) so it isn't God who doesn't provide us with the resources to survive, it's man's greediness and selfish nature that cause 20,000,000 people to die every year from malnutrition. By following these teachings, we learn that if Christians do not take action upon the misery that other fellow Christians have to go through, we are effectively going against God since the Bible teaches that "what good is it for someone to say that he ...read more.

Conclusion

Corrupt leaders turn away from their people to achieve their own goals and don't give enough to others for them to live a decent life. Sometimes they destroy lives to achieve crazy ideals, like Hitler for example, who wanted to rid Europe of Jews, and managed to systematically kill 6,000,000 of them. When wars are declared, death and destruction are inevitable but freedom of choice allows us to decide and sometimes, this privilege is misused, resulting in post-war economic depression and general hardship. Finally, natural disasters cannot be blamed for suffering since they affect every country, but people's selfishness and greed can result in despair and lives being lost through exploitation, war, mass murder and neglection of the importance of the human body as the temple of the spirit. "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of the money is a root of all kinds of evil." (1Timothy 6:9-10) If mankind managed to follow these teachings and the problems of priority were tended to, the world of equality and Christian love that Jesus taught about might become a possibility. ...read more.

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