A child born into starvation, never knowing anything else - truly beautiful.....
A couple questions for atheists on Suffering
Who told you that the world should be free from suffering?
As an empathic human being I wish that it were. As an atheist I know that there is no divine plan and that things just happen, the universe is oblivious to it's effects on us. If an asteroid hit the earth tomorrow and wiped out all life it did not do that on purpose we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If I believed in a biblical creator god then that asteroid has to be part of his divine plan and hence the suffering was caused by god.
Do you find any value in suffering?
No, that is not to say that people don't overcome all manner of adversity and emerge stronger. In spite of this it is not something I would inflict on anyone or anything by choice.
Do you think it is possible to experience all the beauty and goodness and pleasure the world offers without also experiencing the bad? Isn't good only good because we know what bad is? If there was only good would it really be "good"?
That is a good question but you really need to define what you mean. Firstly, I would differentiate between the 'bad' that is part of nature and 'bad' that is a result of unnecessary human activity. Could we eliminate human evil and still know what good and bad was? Probably yes, the vast majority of humans do not commit acts of evil, not because of god or hell but because of empathy. Could we stop natural disasters and still know good from bad? Yes, we do it all the time, If you don't live on a hill and are not knee deep in water twice a year it's probably because we have flood prevention engineers mitigating that natural disaster.
If you where God and could eliminate suffering what would the world look like? Or conversely if there was a loving God what should we expect the world to look like?
Much like it does now but without all the natural disasters, starvation and psychopaths and much more empathy for humans. If there were an omnibenevolent god then that would be the only sort of world it could design!
I understand your pov Caedes that there is no divine plan and that things just happen, that the universe is oblivious to its effects. But disagree that things just happen when this is applied to suffering as I feel that suffering is always made and that unless we can appreciate how it is made we won't be able to address it, to lessen it, to understand how power is being used to keep people suffering. And this, little_socrates, imo, is the value of owning and naming suffering and tracing its history and in doing so make it sublime if not beautiful - sublime as horror that needs to be witnessed to be overcome.
So I am disagreeing with you caedes on a very fundamental level in order to to show that there is the possiblity of dismissing suffering and by doing that allowing power that is very exploitive to go unchecked. I note your points that follow and agree but still feel that I need to make the point above because I object strongly for the above reason and for the reason that you are putting God in the picture alongside engineering feats as God is often the vicitms of made (whether natural or man made) sufferings' only hope for change. edit: I think all our political leaders are aware of this so I won't say only Ed Milliband is although I'd like to - at the moment anyway
Cantleave that pic has an interesting history that imo illustrates the point I am trying to make.
the value of owning and naming suffering and tracing its history and in doing so make it sublime if not beautiful - Ruby
Your platitudes remind me of that horrible old hag Mother Teresa.
Suffering, pain really, is the mechanism by which living beings are taught to avoid dangerous situations. It seems a very effective method to learn, and,- if there is a creator, that never intended to constantly interfere, --a method to teach, to reward the successful. One deist's view.
I have been in death-dealing situations, never felt any pain, been In pain in loving situation, did not feel any pain either.
Cofty use platitude in exactly the correct manner.
It seems a very effective method to learn
I didn't realise deists could be just as trite as theists.
absolutely viv - cofty does use platitude in exactly the correct manner