I think that there is suffering in the world because people have sinned and God is punishing them. Yes, people, as do I, believe in Heaven and Hell and some may say well why is God punishing us now and then he is going to punish us again on Judgement Day, I can relate this to being in school. If a child is extremely naughty, they are given sanctions, detentions, purple referrals etc, the child’s teacher will still in a sense complain to the child’s parents about their actions. This can then lead to further punishment given by the child’s parents.
It is just the same as with God but as God can hear and see everything, he plays the role of the parent and the teacher – from the story. Also some religions believe what goes around comes around or in karma. This is when if you do something bad to someone, something bad will happen to you d if you do something good for someone, something good will happen to you. This is also a view shared by many atheists; this could yet be another answer. Another factor to consider is that suffering is included in many of the holiest books in the world.
Take the Quraan for example. It has many answers to this question – Allah has placed a physical law and a moral law in this universe. Allah allows suffering to occur when one or more of these laws are broken. The physical law is based on cause and effect. Sickness comes if one does not take care of one’s health or is exposed to infections. A car accident occurs when one is not alert, or drives in a careless manner, or if the cars are not checked, roads and freeways are not made and kept in right shape, or the traffic laws are not right or not properly enforced. Allah is testing us to see if we stay true to him or are lead astray onto the path of the devil.
This is known by many as either The Story of Ayyub or The Story of Job – this is what it is known as in the Bible, which shows that many religions agree with each other. In this story God and the Devil make a bet as to whether the Devil can make Ayyub/ Job lose his faith in God. God says ‘ ok, do whatever you what but don’t kill him. ‘Ayyub/ Job is tried on numerous occasions and loses everything but because he stays true to God, the Devil gives up and Ayyub/ Job is given everything back.
However I have one question to ask about this story; if Job’s sons are killed and he is given them back, and then does that mean that there was more than one resurrection? Many Buddhists believe that suffering is a disturbance or irritation of the mind stream. It is an obscuration of the mind, or essence of a person, or, if you will, the soul. The opposite of suffering in Buddhist epistemology is not really happiness or even the cessation of suffering, but freedom from the polarizing concept that causes us to be attracted to some things and averse to others.
Suffering is thought to be the result of confused thinking. People think that to be happy, they need to grasp at those things that they think will bring them pleasure. Buddhists are much attached to this idea; that having what we want will bring us happiness. It is actually that grasping, that attachment that causes suffering. From a non religious point of view There is suffering because we allow the suffering to take place. Many things such as war are voluntary and the decisions of a few can lead to the death of thousands.
Some may class debt as suffering but if we look at it on a personal scale we can still see that we take out credit cards but nobody is forcing us but there is still no one to stop us or to help us fully realise what we are doing. Other type of suffering such as kidnap and rape etc are still caused by certain people’s choices. A person still goes and chooses to these things – even if that person is mentally ill, which is why they did something, the reason for their illness may be due to their mother’s choices whilst they were in the womb.
If there mother chose to smoke then this could have led to the mental illness Many atheists share the view that there is so much suffering in the world, such as war, rape etc, wouldn’t God want to help these people rather than making them suffer. So then atheists feel that the reason that there is suffering is because there is no God therefore there is no one to help. A thing such as family being split up or a tragic death can lead to an agnostic person becoming an atheist. So basically they feel that there is suffering because there is no God.