Is a god who allows suffering worthy of worship? If so, why?
More than an emphatic YES!!!
As to why? Look at the cross. What was more evil than creation killing their Creator? Who suffered more than God lowering Himself to become a human being and accepting that suffering and humiliation? Why would God be humble unless it’s out of pure and perfect Love?
With prayer and hopes of achieving even a portion of the love for my neighbor that God has for me.
That depends on why God (I have no opinions on “a god”) allows suffering. Do you think suffering is an entirely negative thing?
Let me ask you this question. If there were no possibility of suffering, what would humans be like? If no suffering could ever happen to you, and if nothing you did could ever cause anybody else to suffer, how would you act? Think about that for a while. Think about how people would relate to each other if nothing they could possibly do could cause the least amount of discomfort to either themselves or to others.
That question only makes sense in a Christian context. The Hindus worship Kali the goddess of death. The Thugs used to abduct and murder children in her honour. Wiccans believe in the dark side and the necessity of balance. Even the modern liberals, with their victim politics, celebrate suffering. It is considered very radical to complain about your unhappy childhood and failed relationships in liberal circles.
Christians believe that we as humans ought to alleviate suffering. If that seems obvious to you it is only because you have grown up in a Christian society. However we also believe it can have value, and must not be avoided at any price, which is where we part company with modern ethics. We think it is better to be faithful to vows than to leave an unhappy marriage. In practical terms divorce causes far more misery than unhappy marriages ever did, and most divorcees face exactly the same problems when they meet up with someone else later, so we are actually reducing the amount of suffering inj the world. But even if this wasn’t the case, saying that vows don’t matter is not compatible with human dignity.
Most of us who are parents allow our children to suffer to some extent. Not always because they are doing wrong. For instance a son in early adulthood mght have an impractical business idea. Father will counsel against it but eventually have to allow him to proceed, and he will suffer as the business goes bankrupt. There is not necessarily any moral wrongdoing. Later the son will probably establish a successful career, benefitting from the experience, but not necessarily.
Suffering shows us that God, who is love, is also just. Suffering shows us the justice of God in action.
If there is sin in the world, yet no suffering, we would have to wonder if God, who allowes sin to go unpunished, was really just; and if we were to conclude that God was not just, it would mean that he was not perfect; and if not perfect, if would mean that He was not God, and that God, therefore, did not exist.
Okay, how does giving an infant a terminal disease demonstrate God’s justice or his love?
I could see your point if sin was punished in this world but the god you worship makes the sun shine on the just and unjust and the rain fall on both groups as well.
Let’s assume that God suffered more, does that mean he should either make or allow us to suffer at random?
Are you suggesting that infants should be protected from every possible form of suffering until they reach a certain age? Seriously, what are you suggesting?
To put it another way, if you were God and made all the rules, how would this world look? Taking human nature as a given, how would you make a “better” world than the existing one?
I’m not suggesting anything other than I don’t understand why anyone would worship a god who has it in his power to prevent random suffering and chooses not to.
If you want to keep it simple, let’s limit this discussion to infants or very young children.
Thanks for the link, I’ll read it later today.
But I think it’s reasonable to ask you what a world without suffering would look like. The answers will be startling and unexpected.
If you want to keep it simple, let’s limit this discussion to infants or very young children.
I understand your impulse, but you seem to be suggesting that when suffering happens to other than these, they somehow deserve it more. Is this what you believe, and if so, why?
Anyway, the key question you are asking is about the nature of suffering. Do you think that suffering is unmitigated “bad”, and lack of suffering is unmitigated “good”?
What human virtues do you consider as good, or noble, or uplifting, and how do those virtues relate to suffering or lack of suffering?
Christianity seems a mass of paradox to the outside world, but it has an internal consistency that the outside world lacks. This paradox is seen in, among other things, the Christian understanding of, and reaction to, suffering. I don’t expect you to see this now, but you need to submit your own assumptions about good and evil and suffering to examination. It should make a very beneficial discussion, one in which I will enjoy taking part.
God is a God of love and allows us to choose. He has given us the freedom to love or do anything else including things like inflict harm on others. I can go into a prison right now and prevent suffering by putting every prisoner in solitary and drugging them into happy little drones. Would this be the right thing to do? God is love and mercy yet we want to attach him to everything that happens and define him as every evil thing that comes along. The better question would be. Is a world that allows so much suffering worthy of embracing over a God who suffered and died for us?
Well, let’s see. God created the world, a world in which he is in complete control. Not a single molecule can be free from his sovereignty, right?
Yet, he allows how many children to be born with serious birth defects each year?
Why does a birth defect constitute suffering? Only because society looks upon that child as a monster and treats him as such. We, the people, cause the suffering in this world. If God
(and I would ask you to capitalize the word out of respect for us),
if God allows it, it is because our soul benefits from it. It is the great paradox. Our souls benefit from our sufferings. Were we to behave the way God requires, there would be no suffering. Illness is a mystery cloaked in our sinful past, and would be wiped out, if we began to live as we should.
Consider any of these Hollywood offspring and the lack of character, self-control, and virtue as a result of their indulgent,
self-centered parents. Consider the character, self-control and virtue of people who have grown up in hardship. The harder the childhood, in some cases, the greater the character. It may be you have never met anyone like that which would explain a lot.
I have taken care of WWII veterans on my job as a nurse. These people are real men who take suffering in hand as a part of life.
The wimpy, whiny, drug-seeking young people I am forced to put up with (along with their addictions), make me literally shudder for the future. I believe civilization is in deep do-do. And, frankly, I feel for you as well, because you obviously have not experienced much in your life to draw such sophomoric opinions about the things of this world. Your lack of upbringing is a symptom of a world collapsing. Think more, read more, and talk less, that is my advice for you. Why don’t you take a good-will trip to another country such as Africa and help alleviate this man-made suffering? I guarantee, you will at the very least be a better person for having done it.
In the beginning…
God created creatures who were perfect in every way. Then sin entered the world because his creatures chose freely to disobey His command.
After that, came death and bodily ills and defects.
If God had prevented it, if He continually acted to prevent sufferings and birth defects etc… we would be subject to a Paternal Being who looked after us and pampered us, but we would then be more like His playthings than beings who had Free Will.
I see my children make choices that I know will lead to pain and suffering, and even illness in the future (smoking). When they were children I acted with my authority as a parent and prevented them doing what I knew was harmful.
Now they are adults, I can advise them and they can choose to listen to me, or to ignore me. They have the Free Will to do whatever they want. Sometimes the choices they make will adversely affect other people.
Choices made by our ancestors are still affecting us today and will affect our descendants.
God gave us instructions how to live, and how to be happy. But He did not make us His slaves.
The parents chose to have the child, knowing that his end must be death.
We’re still waiting for you to tell us why this is a bad thing. Do not assume it is obvious to us, but explain why a God worthy of worship would not allow such a thing.
It is wrong to worship god. ‘There shall be no strange gods before me’! But if you are talking about God, now that is different.
Instead of asking ‘why does God allow suffering’, I think the question needs to be asked 'why did God allow His incarnate Son to die such an ignomous death for us, in particular a worthless totally unworthy wretch like me!
Yes, He is worthy of worship, because He is God.
Your question is correctly phrased in that it notes God “allows” suffering and does not create it. Although we can get some glimpses into why God allows it, we won’t understand it fully until we are in heaven. That’s why it is often referred to as the “mystery” of suffering.
Because He allows suffering doesn’t alter the fact that He is God and, by virtue of that, deserves worship.