Suffering – a question

October 2, 2009 at 9:06 am (God, morality, philosophy, suffering)

Here’s a question for you all, since I don’t have time to think for myself at the moment (major work challenge going on)…

How do you understand suffering? Is the function of morality that it helps to avert harm and suffering, do you think? If that is the case, why did God put us in a world with natural disasters and other things that cause suffering? Why do we have to get ill and die?

Is suffering redemptive? Does it build character? Does it test us? If so, then why does morality seem to demand that we try to limit the suffering in the world? If not, then why did God put it into the world?

Would an ideal world be a world without suffering? Or not?

OK, that was more than one question 😛

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32 Comments

  1. Jasmine said,

    Suffering for me, is a neccesary part of life. When we see others suffer – we feel empathy and that is good for us: to feel for another, to rbe grateful, to be helpful. Suffering, when we feel is ourselves is good for us to experience, because yes – it does make us better people, it makes us grateful and it makes us turn our lives around.
    Suffering in and of itself is not good, but our reactions towards it, our attitudes and our responses to it: that is where the good is.

    I watched a video recently of the 2005 Tsunami in Thailand. There were Christian, Muslim and Buddhist speakers answering te questoins: “why has this happened to us? Why would God do this?” – we cannot answer why God does this or that: but we can see God in the reaction to things. In the help that comes, in the belief and relief that comes, in the charity that comes – sometimes it is very very hard to see anything good in things that are bad. But they are there: and when the suffering goes, and you look at the whole picture- you can see it.

  2. Stacy said,

    I think that suffering does build morals and empathy for the plight other others. The other thing it does is constantly reminding us that this world can’t possibly be all there is. I think that in a more perfect world people are more inclined to lose belief in God and the world to come. I think its no coincidence that suffering often leads individuals and nations right into the arms of God.

  3. Sara (cairo, lusaka, amsterdam) said,

    I agree with Jasmine – suffering in and of itself is not good but the way we react to and grow from it makes us better people. I know for sure that the hardest lessons I’ve heard were the worst experiences I had to suffer through, and I can’t imagine being the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through those things.

  4. Sarah ELizabeth said,

    I agree with the other comments. I think suffering with the ability for growth is the deepest form of experience, wisdom and humility we can gain.

    Long term suffering, life long poverty, hardship, inability to thrive. Well, that kind of suffering is something I still cannot find any meaning for. The kinds of suffering that makes one question God.

  5. LK said,

    Suffering or “bad things” come partly from having free will. We wouldn’t know what was good unless there was its opposite. We can’t really know when good things are happening if its opposite doesn’t exist. Also how could you choose unless there were options. All good = no options. You can also chock things up to nature. Sometimes things happen and there really isn’t a “reason” for it like illness, an accident etc. Same goes for things like tornados, earthquakes etc. For our world, in a scientific sense, to function things like natural disasters have to occur. And we have to be able to die or life is meaningless. Why would we work so hard to have better lives if we could live forever? Disease and natural disasters are part of the circle of life.

    It is what you do with what happens to you that counts, not WHY it happened. If you can look at things that way it allows God to still be merciful. God can help us in our suffering but ultimately suffering is product of having free will, having the ability to know and appreciate good. Otherwise, everything would be one way, flat, and boring.

    I recommend “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold Kushner. The book is all about this topic.

  6. susanne430 said,

    Lots of great questions. Too bad I am too tired to think right now. Maybe tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed the comments thus far!

  7. Sam said,

    Calamities, suffering, diseases, etc occur for several reasons. Sometimes as punishment for our deviant lifestyles, sometimes as a test to see if we remember and turn to God, and sometimes as a warning to others. Other times it reminds us of death or how close at any moment to death or it makes us more humble.
    Think about when you get very sick and you almost die. You start to examine your life more closely. Many people turn closer to God and become more humble.
    Imagine if there was no suffering or disease in this world. We would go on living sterile lives not concerned about others.
    2:155 Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,
    3:142 Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast?
    2:156 Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”:
    2:286 On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) “Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith.”

  8. Sarah said,

    Thank you all for some interesting comments! I wish I had time to respond in detail, but I am still in a demanding work-related situation! Hopefully later in the week I will find time to follow up on some of your points, inshaAllah.

  9. Cornelius said,

    The answers to your questions depend very much on whether one believes in God to start with. And if one does believe in God, it then depends on how strong is his faith in Him.

    I believe in God, but I don’t believe in religions.

    But I can see that you are all believers with strong faith in your God. I’d like to offer my opinion from a non-believer’s (of religions) point of view, if only as an alternative consideration which, of course, does not have much value in a forum like this.

    I think in any religion at all, the believers will try to justify whatever happens as that of God’s deliberate action(s)—that he planned for it. And since He had intended to inflict sufferings upon us, there is the tendency to believe that He must have had a special reason(s) for it. We then try to understand what that/those special reason(s) is/are.

    And so we say God made us suffer because He wanted us to have a basis of comparison (between good and bad things that we experience); that He wanted us to learn to become better and stronger people; that He wanted us all to be able to “see” Him in the help that He brings in the aftermath of the disasters of the tsunami. In fact, the list can go on and on. Since it’s God’s doing, there must be a good reason for it all.

    Of course there are times when it becomes a bit more difficult to find a convincing reason for the sufferings. When a person is willing to sacrifice his own life to save many others, we may try to come up with something like, “Oh! he died because God loves him; hence he is now in the Kingdom of God.”

    When a newly-born little girl suffers the cold, hunger, and pain of the bare environment because her mother is just too stupid to dump her at a rubbish dumpsite, and dies after several hours, we also say that God loves that baby too much and takes her into the Kingdom of Heaven.

    We always try to come up with explanations—some of which require quite some romantic imagination—why God had deliberately inflicted such punishments upon us minnows. Because the believers have faith in Him; because He knows best; because He can do no wrong.

    And so the net result is that whenever we get a rotten deal, we say it’s God’s way to test us; when we get a good deal, it’s God’s way to reward us for the good things that we’ve done.

    Some people are born in very poor families. They get no education. The have no opportunity to escape from poverty throughout their entire lives. They have to do manual labour day in day out just to put 3 square meals on the table, and some can’t even have that many meals per day. They suffer throughout till the day they die. And all because God wanted him to compare what’s good and bad; to learn to be a stronger and better person; to be able to see God’s goodness for allowing him to wake up to another beautiful day of manual hard labour for several decades.

    IF—I say, IF—we have strong faith, we will always think of something good about sufferings, because that’s what God had intended.

    But since I’m not a strong believer, and I don’t have strong faith in God, I tend to see the little girl who died at the dumpsite as a total loss for nothing.

    • Sarah said,

      Cornelius – thank you for your interesting comment, and I’m sorry it didn’t appear on the page until now – for some reason it got labelled as “spam” and I didn’t notice it until today.

      A lot of these terrible situations you mention, I would blame people for. God “allows” it to happen because that is the nature of free will. Why do we have free will, is a whole other question! But that situation of the girl who died at the dumpsite was a test for the mother, not the girl – and the mother failed the test. That’s how I would look at it anyway.

      Of course not all suffering or hardship is man-made, though. But I think the idea that God has willed for us to struggle is reasonable. It’s interesting that nations where living conditions are harder seem to have stronger faith and less psychological problems. This suggests to me that “a bit” of struggle is good for us.

      My main confusion now is over why we naturally seem to think the ideal is for everyone in the world to have an easy, pain-free life – which is what morality seems to push us to strive for. We cannot eliminate all suffering by being perfectly moral, and it may not be best for us even if we could; and so there seems to be a conflict between what we want (even in our best, moral selves) and what God wants. Or maybe there isn’t… or maybe we simply can’t know what is best for us even if we become perfectly moral.

      • Cornelius said,

        Sarah,

        Imagine that I am a teacher and you are my student. I am such a clever teacher, so clever that I’m able to see the future, even. Now as your teacher, I’m convinced that knowing how to drive a car is good for you, as you will then be able to have more freedom to drive around much faster than walking on foot.

        However, because of my powers, I’m also able to see (into the future) that if I put you to the test (of driving a car), you are bound to mess up and run down a small child who’s minding her own business at the side of the road. Because I am so powerful, I know that you will fail your test! But I put you to the test anyway. And then of course, true enough, you end up killing a child when you lose control of the car.

        In your opinion, Sarah, who is responsible for the child’s death? You obviously wouldn’t have known that it would come to that, because you just don’t have the ability to see into the future.

        But I can see everything, I know everything including the child’s impending death. I could therefore prevent that child’s death if only I did not put you to the test. But it is much simpler for me to blame you—that you have failed your test which resulted in the loss of a life.

        Based on the argument that God knows everything, it follows that He must have seen that the African boy would die of starvation before the age of 3. Maybe it’s because the parents did not work hard enough to feed that boy, I don’t know. Regardless of whose fault, the boy died, and there’s nothing he (that boy) can do about it. It’s not his choice. He just died because God put some people to a test (which they subsequently failed).

        So you see, Sarah, it’s not so straightforward as simply to blame us weak humans who don’t know everything like God does. He can prevent; we can’t.

        • Sarah said,

          Cornelius,
          I suppose the question here is whether we really have free will when God created us and knows how we’re going to behave.
          In your example, you knew I was going to fail to drive the car safely, not on purpose but simply because I lacked the driving skill. So I wouldn’t say I am to blame for that, unless I was knowingly driving carelessly and dangerously.
          What about the person who caused their child to die through neglect and cruelty? Was that on purpose, or was it simply because they lacked the skills or resources or resolve to do things differently? I would have to say there was an element of choice there, because I believe in free will. I believe we all inherently know right actions from wrong actions and ultimately can choose. Unlike when I am learning to drive, where I do not automatically know how to do it correctly.
          I’m not sure if I have a good reason for believing in free will, other than that if I don’t, my world view becomes intolerably fatalistic. It seems to me that believing that our actions matter, that are choices are consequential, helps us to make better choices. Therefore I accept it as true on that basis – that it “works”.
          Why God gave us free will knowing that we would use it to make bad things happen is still a puzzle. I feel that it is a test, and that whether we pass or fail matters in the end, but I don’t know for what purpose.

  10. Sarah said,

    I liked a lot of the points that have been made.

    I agree with Jasmine and others that our response to suffering is where the good can be seen – in that sense it is like a test.

    I like Sarah Elizabeth’s distinction between short term and long term or permanent suffering – and I think most permanent or lifelong suffering is man-made.

    It seems to me there are 3 possible causes of suffering: God, humans, and evil spirits.

    God has set up the world to produce earthquakes, tsunamics, volcanic activity and other “natural disasters”, illness and death. Whether these things occur randomly and without reason, or whether in some way they are related to our actions, I’m not sure. The Quran describes how God caused unrepentant communities to be wiped out in the past by what seems to be natural disasters. A well-known example, which is also in the Bible, is the crossing of the Red Sea by Moses and the Israelites and the subsequent drowning of Pharaoh and his followers. It is implied that the movement of the sea was not just random chance but was intended by God. I don’t think it needs to have been a miracle, I think it could be scientifically “explainable”, but in some strange way it could also be not just a coincidence. Should we view all natural disasters in this way though? Is there a reason for everything? I’m not sure.

    Humans obviously have power to harm each other and themselves due to their free will.

    Evil spirits, I’m not sure about. Can suffering and even death be caused by them? Can they interfere with the natural course of events? If so, what gives them that power? and what limits it?

    I am confused. I think of morality as being about making the world a better place by reducing harm and suffering. But at the same time, an ideal world may not be a world without suffering, as many comments above have pointed out. What is the ideal world then? A world where the only suffering is imposed by God, and we do our best to mitigate it? A world where God starts fires and we try to put them out? Is God like a schoolteacher setting us problems to solve?

  11. Sam said,

    The problem I think with a lot of people in viewing suffering is that we always view it from our Western material perspective. Anything that impedes our development in this world is suffering. Death is viewed negatively. If you get sick and cannot work that is suffering. If your child is stupid, he will not likely prosper economically and suffer. If a flood comes and washes away your house and belongings you suffer. The degree you suffer is dependent on how attached you are to dunya (material world). If your are very attached to dunya you will suffer dearly, for you never will be content and you always will be in a state of paranoia about material loss. You will seek out insurance policies to protect your material wealth and health. Yet you fail to understand that our purpose in this world is to be servants of Allah and propagate goodness. You will view illnesses and calamities as great sufferings because they interfere with your material world. That is why most people are afraid of death because of their attachment to this world. They view death as an evil or bad act.
    I have seen and met many religious figures of great knowledge and humbleness who have little attachment to this world. They are content with their small living space and small collection of belongings. When death occurs to a relative they are not sad for they know he/she will meet Allah and he/she has completed the journey in this temporal world. A true believer should be glad to meet his lord.

    We do suffer in this world and think of it as Allah reminding us that he is the omnipotent and powerful. The suffering should make us think of Allah and come closer to him. It is also a humbling experience for it shows you how weak you really are and if you have any arrogance in you, use the suffering to purge it out of you.

    • Cornelius said,

      Sam,

      “A true believer should be glad to meet his lord.”

      It means that if one is not glad to meet his lord, then he is not a true believer.

      “We do suffer in this world and think of it as Allah reminding us that he is the omnipotent and powerful.”

      And what if one is already a true believer, and is already aware of Allah’s great power? Why must he be reminded again and again when he is already fully aware of and submits to that great power?

      “The suffering should make us think of Allah and come closer to him.”

      How do you explain a true believer who devotes his life to Allah; worships Him and obeys all of His rules according to the Quran; constantly trying to get closer to Allah, but still gets a good dose of the sufferings anyway? Why is there still a need to “remind” people like this of Allah’s power?

      • Sam said,

        Cornelius,

        Well there are different degrees in one’s faith. The less you become attached to this world and the closer you are to Allah and in remembrance of him, the stronger your faith. In turn, a True Believer or one who has a very strong faith would be happy and glad to meet God. One is very weak in faith in general would not be glad or happy to meet God, for they are very attached to the material world or simply deny God despite the proofs surrounding them.

        Even a true believer will suffer for the Quran tells us every soul will be tested and no soul will be tested with what it cannot bear. As humans your faith with fluctuate, at times it is very strong and firm and other times it is weak, even for a true believer, just like your love for wife or husband. At times you have deep passion other times you are distracted and distant and your love is weak.
        God commands all of us to pray 5 times a day whether you are very religious or not. The prayer is one way of being in remembrance of God. But when the true believer suffers, they usually do not panic for they know it is a test from God and it will pass. The one weak in their belief usually panics and is unsure of himself. The true believer views the test and his current life as simply as temporary journey but the final destination, that is, heaven lies ahead.
        A true believer will also view the suffering as a way to become more humble, caring, and compassionate. To a true believer, he is reminded to perfect his character and emulate the prophet (PBUH). That journey in perfecting one’s character never ends until one dies and enter heaven. That is why our prayers or giving alms never ends.
        This is of course from an Islamic point of view. Now why some people are rich or poor, smart or stupid, ugly or beautiful, that is up to God. But people that have power and are wealthy have greater burden than the poor and weak. They will judged more harshly for they have greater responsibility in spreading good around this world, since God has empowered them. Every time you see a poor person suffer and you do nothing even though it was within your means to do something you will asked about it on the day of judgement.

        • Cornelius said,

          Sam,

          Some people are born into this world with, say, cerebral palsy, and spend their entire lives being vegetables. We can of course see that entire-life suffering as temporary with the promise of spending eternity in Heaven when they die.

          How does one tell these people who’re born vegetables that the suffering is only temporary, when that “temporary” means several decades of immobility? That they’re sentenced to imprisonment in their own bodies for life? How do you reckon these people are to be “rehabilitated”?

  12. Sarah said,

    Sam,

    “The degree you suffer is dependent on how attached you are to dunya (material world).”
    I agree with this. But what I want to know is, if you become less attached to dunya, does it also mean you enjoy the good things less? Does it mean you become less appreciative of the good things in life? Do you become neutral, unaffected by anything in life?

    “if you have any arrogance in you, use the suffering to purge it out of you”
    I agree with this for sure. It can go either way – you can become bitter and self-serving, or humble and grateful. It’s a test.

    Cornelius,

    One possibility is that suffering increases a person’s God-consciousness even if they already had some. I don’t think anybody is “fully aware” of God.

    I think suffering does – or can – bring people closer to God. People who turn to religion are often people who have had some sort of hardship in life. If life were plain sailing I don’t think I’d ask the difficult questions and think about life’s purpose and all that. For example, seeing evil things, for me, strengthens my faith because if there is evil, there has to be goodness, too.

    • Sam said,

      Sarah,

      The less you become attached to this dunya, the less significant material things become to you. The material simply come out of desires or whim. In Arabic whims, desires, or caprice come from the word hawa which means caprice or wind. So most of your material desires come and go as the wind comes and go. They are usually fleeting in nature just like the wind. Fasting teaches us to control our desires and distances us from this world.
      One who is not attached to this world, if God bestows with great material wealth is not less appreciative. Quite the opposite, he gives thanks by giving greatly to charity. One who is less appreciative refuses to acknowledge that it is from God and refuses to donate..
      One who is not attached to this world, will not be disappointed if he/she does not get a mansion, the latest car, a higher position in a company, etc. He will be content and still thank God.
      To measure your attachment to this world, if you lost everything say in the Asian tsunami, would your faith be strong, would you say Alhamduallah, and be content with your current status. Or you be terribly depressed, suicidal, panicky, angry, etc.
      Another way of measuring your attachment to this world, are you constantly looking to gather material possessions and competing against others in position or is every action you do you are thinking of ways to help others and humanity.

      A true believer when afflicted by material loss views all rizk or bounty is from Allah and he can bestow or remove it at anytime. If he loses it, he simply moves on indifferently.

      • Sarah said,

        Sam,
        I totally agree about desires and whims being fleeting. I noticed that when I was fasting – desires and whims go away if ignored.
        I suppose if you are less attached to the world, you are more easily satisfied. You don’t need a lot of material things to be happy. You probably don’t love material things as much, but that’s only because you are consumed by a bigger purpose, one that makes you happy and satisfied. I think faith is not about becoming indifferent to everything, but about being less committed to your worldly status and more committed to your status with God.

        I agree with the idea that we shouldn’t be attached to the material things, but I also think that we need to care about other people’s material status – for example, third world poverty, victims of natural disasters, and so on. I don’t quite know how to reconcile the two. Why do we have to help people who are in dire material need, rather than just telling them not to be attached to material things?

  13. Sarah said,

    All,
    Do you think that suffering that God has willed, is good for us, and suffering that people have inflicted on each other by doing wrong, is bad for us? In other words are there two types of suffering, constructive and destructive? Or do you think that we can benefit from the suffering inflicted on us by other people’s wrongdoing?

    • Ellen said,

      Maybe you might find this interesting. A taxi driver somehow ended up giving M and I a lecture on some issues in Islam. One of the things that he talked about was that a lot of people just accept suffering as a trial from God and that they can’t do anything about it. Now this guy was a sufi Muslim but he said something that pretty much represents my opinion: if something wrong is happening in your life, sure, it’s most likely all part of God’s plan for you. Our life has already been decided. BUT that doesn’t mean that when you’re hurting, that God wants you to hurt. You can still be proactive and change the situation: in fact, doing that avoids suffering in the first place. I guess that if we are looking for a meaning to suffering, then maybe that’s it.
      I think in some cases, it can be constructive. Say for example that you have an affair and when you end it, yes you might “suffer”. That suffering is important though, to make you remember what you have done. BUT spending time asking for God’s forgiveness is, to me, much more constructive than spending time wallowing. I don’t know, I sound really harsh here but lol I don’t really think that accepting suffering and even encouraging it (not you, but you know, “that” attitude) is a good thing.
      Also – Sam, if a tsunami came through my house right now and destroyed all my belongings, along with my pet, it would have been written before by God. That doesn’t mean that I’d be happy – my pet would have died and all my “material”, halal things that I do actually enjoy (that alhamdulillah God gave me the means to GET those things) would be gone. I would still call myself a believer, so I don’t really think that that’s the best analogy.

      • Sam said,

        Ellen,
        When a tsunami destroys everything I had I never said I would be happy. I simply said “if you lost everything say in the Asian tsunami, would your faith be strong, would you say Alhamduallah, and be content with your current status. Or you be terribly depressed, suicidal, panicky, angry, etc.” It would be human nature to initially to be angry and worried but a true believer would continue steadfast in their faith and practice and know that it is a trial or punishment from God.

      • Sarah said,

        Ellen – I definitely think some suffering can be mitigated by changing things in your life. Yes!! Nothing annoys me more than people who are clearly suffering because of their own unwise choices and their failure to ask themselves some searching questions about it, and instead blame it on the devil or on a supposed test from God. And of course the suffering doesn’t miraculously go away, no matter how hard they pray, because if it did, they wouldn’t have learnt anything. They have to make it go away themselves. Some people take a long time to realise this.

        I guess I make a distinction between different types of suffering. Not all suffering can be mitigated by changing our ways. We all have to die and there’s nothing we can do to avert that. Some things we just have to come to terms with, and I think faith can help us to accept those things that we need to accept.

  14. Candice said,

    I keep thinking about these questions… I can understand all that has been said, and I guess it’s true… Without the “bad”, it’s hard to see the “good”… It just becomes nothing when there’s nothing else. But I can’t imagine why God needed to make “bad”. Why do we even need to be tested… In the big picture, if God was human, creating something that would go through experiences, we would just do it “for fun”. It makes no sense that this would be God’s “motivation” in creating humans going through life. But why else? Not out of need, or it wouldn’t be God… I’m trying to figure out why God “wants” anything at all… Isn’t this such a human thing to want things?

    • susanne430 said,

      God didn’t make bad.

      31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
      (Genesis 1:31).

      Suffering entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. Sin brought suffering, not God.

      Here is a good brief article from a Christian, biblical viewpoint:

      http://www.gotquestions.org/innocent-suffer.html

      You said: “I’m trying to figure out why God “wants” anything at all… Isn’t this such a human thing to want things?”

      Or maybe wanting things is a quality of God that He gave to His creation. He wanted fellowship with His creation, He wanted to create. God experiences anger, love, joy and other traits that we humans have. Does it not make sense that HE passed those along to us? Rather than thinking “wanting things” is a human trait, think of it as a God trait that He decided to allow His creation to have. He gave us some abilities that He has (ability to experience joy, love, anger and so forth.)

  15. Sarah said,

    Candice – I guess we can’t know why God created us. As for why we go through tests and challenges, I’m not sure either but I’m coming to some ideas, and will post again if I can formulate those ideas.
    The Quran describes God in somewhat anthropomorphic terms, but it also says God is beyond description and beyond comparison. So any descriptions we have are inadequate, which must be borne in mind, but I think God needs to use inadequate human descriptions in order for us to know about Him.

    Susanne – I vaguely remember the idea that suffering including death is a result of sin. Is that a standard Christian doctrine? i.e. if we had never sinned, there wouldn’t be earthquakes, tsunamis, or death. It would be a very different world. We wouldn’t reproduce, presumably, because if we reproduced but didn’t die we would run out of space. How would that work?

    • susanne430 said,

      Yes, it’s a standard Christian doctrine **as far as I know.** But like Muslims, there is oftentimes quite a variety of views amongst “Christians.” Death and suffering entered the world because of sin. God’s creation was “very good.”

      “We wouldn’t reproduce, presumably, because if we reproduced but didn’t die we would run out of space. How would that work?”

      I’m quite sure the Creator can sustain His creation. In a “perfect world” (e.g. no sin, suffering, death) it would be wonderful and God is God — quite capable of giving us all the space we need. Actually our souls live forever. Everyone who has ever lived will be in either heaven or hell for eternity — do you think those places will run out of room? I’m quite sure the One who made all that we can see — consider outer space! — can provide plenty of room to meet your reproduction scenario.

  16. Sarah said,

    Susanne,
    I guess anything is possible, but it would be a very different world. I’m not sure about the idea of a “perfect world” or that the world as it is isn’t perfect (obviously there is wrong in the world, but the world itself as it is might be “perfect” if no-one did any wrong). Do you think God’s will was for humans to remain in the perfect other world they started in? If so, why are we here? Why didn’t He just redeem us then and there and bring us back? What’s this life all about?

  17. fana said,

  18. Sarah said,

    Fana,
    thanks for posting this, it was interesting. I watched the next couple of parts after that too.

    Candice, if you’re reading this, you might find part 11 relevant to one of your questions about what God is like. He actually echoes what Susanne said about us being (or becoming) similar to God. Susanne, you might find it interesting too! Here it is:

  19. Achelois said,

    I don’t know Sarah, I really don’t know. I’m trying to understand it. Maybe I’ll come back to this post when I have something intelligent to share.

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