'If God Really Loved Humanity We Would Never Have to Suffer'.

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Philippe Souki

‘If God Really Loved Humanity We Would Never Have to Suffer’

This quote summarises one of the main arguments against God’s existence. This refers to the inconsistent triad. If God were omnipotent, benevolent, and omniscient, why would he let us suffer? A critic of theism would argue that the only logical conclusion would be that so-called ‘God’ does not embody one of these qualities, disproving him as the Supreme Being. The most common of these choices being that God is not all-powerful and is ruled by a higher law of morality. An atheist would take this one step further and take the point of view that any God that allows terrible suffering to occur is either not worthy of worship or does not exist at all. It is very hard to deny this view in times of anguish, for example during the holocaust or times of war.

Christianity gets round this problem in many ways. A Christian would argue that suffering benefits people. For example, suppose I had a broken leg and I didn’t feel pain. I would just keep walking and do irreparable damage to my leg. Pain tells you when to rest and let your body regenerate; it is like your bodies alarm. There is also the stress of life. Some doctors put forward the theory that eighty percent of illnesses are caused by stress to our physical or mental state. For example, if I was under a lot of stress at school, my body might automatically cause me to contract the flu. This would force me to rest and withdraw from the situation. Also, suffering can have benefits to your own personality. It is possible that suffering can make you a better person, it could cause you to become less selfish and bring others into consideration more, and in the extreme cases it could cause you to re-think your life entirely.

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Also, Christians would say that Jesus’ suffering solved the problem of sin.  If Jesus is God in human form then his death has particular importance. God is allegedly immortal, so why did Jesus die? One common Christian explanation is that Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan for removing sin. Nobody can live up to God’s standards, so the fair punishment for this would be death. However, Jesus who was the only sinless being who ever lived, has taken the punishment for all people. This shows that God’s forgiveness is available to anyone. In this way, Christians say that ...

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