Over the years, opinions on God have changed. Some people believed that God is terrifying and vengeful while others disagreed saying that He is loving and accepting of all. Jonathan Edwards was a Calvinist, who argued that unless one never sins, he or she is most likely doomed to hell. Edwards believed that humans are powerless in comparison to the power of God. In “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards, the author achieves his purpose of arguing that in order to be saved from an afterlife in hell, one must ask for forgiveness and accept Christ, through the uses of intense imagery, a terrifying tone, and understandable metaphors.
John makes another point when we suffer not only for the sake of suffering, but also for the rewards that come after. Mond says you can have the reward without
Everyone has experienced pain, but we all deal with it differently. Some people try to avoid experiencing pain, for they are scared; while others accept their punishment and agony. Moral people tolerate their pain and trauma by making their traumatic experience meaningful and important. They learn from their punishment and try to provide insight. In the stories of Antigone and Boycott, Letter From Birmingham Jail, righteous people fought for their beliefs without violence and dealt with their suffering without hesitation.
Since 1945, many victims of the Holocaust have documented their horrific experiences. Some recorded their experiences solely to stay sane, but most survivors feared that the world would forget the atrocities of the Second World War. Since the late 1940s, thousands of different Holocaust memoirs have been published. Undoubtedly, what binds most of these authors is the fact that they have all faced severe loss, questioned the existence of God, and felt the desperate need for hope. Their awareness, understanding and judgement were also severely put to the test. According to Canadian philosopher Bernard Lonergan, these three mental abilities define the human spirit. Thus, the Nazis brutally challenged the very humanity of the Holocaust writers.
In Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night the word “sage” is used to contrast between God and mankind. The memoir explains that in contrast to an omnipotent god a human may be forced to form a decision based on a limited knowledge base, as an example while in the camp Akiba Drummer completely loses faith in god’s benevolence; he even claims that “god is no longer with the prisoners.”(77) Because Akiba Drummer based this decision only on his own limited observations he arrived at an inccorect decision that caused him to lose “all incentive to fight;”(77) ultimately leading to his death. The memoir asserts that due to a lack of omnipotence humans often arrive at incorrect conclusions. Additionally in the memoir humanity unlike god is described as being
In the book “Fever 1793” by Laurie Halse Anderson the story suggests that without suffering, we wouldn’t know the good parts of life.
The Cross and the Lynching tree is a recent work from James H. Cone. Currently a Systematic Theology professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he is renowned as a founder of black liberation theology. In this book, he reflects on the most brutal chapter of white racism in the 20th century America where 5,000 innocent blacks were lynched to death by white mobs. And he tells us how blacks were able to survive the unspeakable reality of violence and torture with faith and hope in Christ. As a witness for blacks who were voiceless and ignored, he speaks out against the white church for saying little about slavery and racial justice. His passion for social justice comes from growing up in Arkansas in the Jim Crow era. The memories of his father and lynch mobs never left him. Black church comforted him, but made him wonder. “If the white churches are Christian, how come they segregate us? And if God is God, why is He letting us suffer?” (1) The lifelong quest for answers to these questions shaped his theology
Throughout humanity, the idea of suffering played a major role in human lives, in some cases by ending it. Nevertheless, according to popular religious traditions, the first humans, Adam and Eve, were placed on Earth to suffer for their sins in a life of misery. All humans are a part of this “original sin,” thus there is no such thing as innocent humans suffering in the world. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Popular religious themes are centered on the idea of continual suffering in life, like the Israelites who continued to suffer through the Holocaust. The theme of The Mexican Flyboy is also structured around the idea of suffering. In the story, Simon Vegas is obsessed with people who have suffered throughout history and “saves” those victims out of their misery. Even though Simon liberates the victims out of suffering, the historical events like burning of Jesse Washington continue to take place. The idea of saving the individuals is abstract, as it seems like the bodies suffer, while the souls are saved.
Heavily influenced by Max Weber, Peter Berger was interested in the meaning of social structures. Berger’s concern with the meaning societies give to the world is apparent throughout his book The Sacred Canopy (1967), in which he drew on the sociology of knowledge to explain the sociological roots of religious beliefs. His main goal is to convince readers that religion is a historical product, it is created by us and has the power to govern us.
Emmanuel Levinas was a Jewish philosopher born in Lithuania in 1906. In 1931, he moved to and lived in France for the rest of his life. He was enlisted in the war against Germany, was captured, and became a prisoner of war. At the same time, most of his family who still resided in Eastern Europe were killed in the Holocaust. In his works, Levinas attempts to disprove theodicies (371). In his essay, "Useless Suffering," Emmanuel Levinas argues that evil and suffering are in fact useless, by demonstrating that nothing, including theodicies, bring justice to the lives of the people who suffered in the Holocaust.
“The Problem of Evil” is simply the question, why does God allow evil to happen? God is omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving, and rational, therefore why does evil exist? There is either no God or he is not what we think he is, since evil could be prevented by him with no risk. Atheists and anti-theodicist see a problem with the idea that God could prevent evil. They believe that because God is so powerful and perfect, that he would not allow such immoral actions to be done. On the other hand, theists like Swinburne, believe that evil is necessary for important reasons such as that it helps us grow and improve. In this paper I will argue that the theist is right, because the good of the evil in this specific case on problems beyond one’s control, outweighs the bad that comes from it.
As human beings, we suffer losses of many kinds and sizes in our life time. While some of these losses are small and do not hurt much, some are big and hurt deeply. Those that are accompanied by pains that are difficult to bear include the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, cheating or unfaithfulness in a trusted relationship or loss of good health when a diagnosis of a terminal illness is made. In all these instances of loss, pain and grief are experienced and an emotional wound is created which needs healing.
“Fides ET ratio” which was written in 1998 by Pope St. John Paul the II to all the bishops to demonstrate the relationship between faith and reason. Pope St. John Paul the II wrote the encyclical to support and at the same time help the old Christian philosophy. "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart the desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that by knowing and loving God, men and women can come to the fullness of the truth about themselves" (n. 1) With that sentence Pope St. John Paul the II begins the encyclical, Fides et Ratio. Pope St. John Paul II believed that faith and reason has a lot of interconnection to help