The existence of pain and suffering in a world created by a good and almighty God is a fundamental theological dilemma and may be the most serious objection to the Christian religion. In the book, The Problem Of Pain , author C.S. Lewis addresses the issue of pain as a mere problem that demands a solution; he formulates it and goes about solving it. "If God were good, He would make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy.
The problem of evil is a difficult objection to contend with for theists. Indeed, major crises of faith can occur after observing or experiencing the wide variety and depths of suffering in the world. It also stands that these “evils” of suffering call into question the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The “greater good defense” tries to account for some of the issues presented, but still has flaws of its own. In the excerpt from Philosophy of Religion, John Hicks outlines the problem of evil as such: (a) If God were truly omnibenevolent, he would then wish to eliminate all evil; (b) If God is were truly omnipotent, he would then be capable of eliminating evil; (c) Evil exists in the world.
ansNovember-12-13 6:34 PM Astonishing as it seems, many Christians define the God of the Old Testament as heartless and evil and blatantly disregard his sensitive nature. As confirmed by many casual bible readers, some of the teachings and descriptors of God In the Old Testament may seem harsh and insensible. A more educated bible reader or theologian will plumage into the numerous dimensions of Yahweh's character and discover his very complex personality. After an in-depth look into the Old Testament, one can acknowledge many of Yahweh's interesting and righteous traits. Contrary to what many think, God in the Old Testament is very much a liberator.
(Migliore 128) This view paints God as the punisher to both the wicked and the righteous, and that suffering is the result of one’s own actions. This argument sees the relationship between sin and suffering far too simply. Although, there is some Biblical support for this view in the old testament, it does not mirror the character of God revealed in Jesus Christ. The third argument proclaims suffering as something that turns us to God and helps to cultivate our hope for eternal life. (Migliore 128) This view teaches that Christians are supposed to encounter suffering as an opportunity to glorify God.
It seems impossible to answer these questions by denying that evil and freedom exist. It can be clearly seen and argued that bad things occur in this world, just as every person can understand they have freedom when they act. Classical theism puts an extreme emphasis on God’s omnipotence and seems to make God responsible for the pain and suffering in the world. As a result, God ends up getting the blame for the mistakes found in His creation. It becomes necessary, then, to propose a scheme in which God is not so powerful that He is incapable of relating and in which He also remains God.
Yet today we tell our Christian children to fear God because he punishes the sinners. The reasoning is different but it is fear just the same. One contradiction in the Bible is the question that there is more than one god. In Deuteronomy 6:4 “The Lord our God is one Lord.” While in Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image.” Both of these quotes come from the King James Version of the Bible. Which one should we follow?
His most famous work, Gulliver's Travels, has resulted in attacks on his writing style, and his cruel, invidious assaults on sin have led to cries of egotist, misanthrope and sadist. Every one of these accusations is false. Jonathan Swift's critics are misguided and incorrect in their attacks on his beliefs and writings. Jonathan Swift is falsely accused of heresy for attacking human life. Swift infuriates some critics for criticizing something that they feel must be divine since it is the chief instrument of God.
In another attempt to defile the integrity of scripture, critics have found what they believe to be flaws in the Old Testament. One example of this is a theological flaw. They propose that Christians create an entire idea or philosophy based merely on a singular verse or phrase. A great example of this is that the idea of original sin can only be supported by Psalm 91:5. (Suttile, 2008) This notion proposes that the Bible is not supportive of itself and also leads many to jump to conclusions and make uninformed assumptions.
The Problem of Human Suffering The Christian tradition is haunted by a significant mark: Suffering. The question that arises from this suffering is if God is the omnipitous being that Christians believe Him to be, why would He let His people, whom he loves, suffer great pains and horrible deaths? According to premises derived from theologians and followers of the Bible, God is "all loving". If that is true, then God would not want His people to suffer, but by just looking around us we see that suffering, in fact, is happening. If there is suffering going on that God does not want, then He would be able to stop that suffering since He also believed to be "all powerful", yet suffering still goes on.
Furthermore, Dante’s orthodoxy expresses mockery because the church did not always have a clear interpretation for the placement of a multiple sinner, thus exposing the inconsistent church. Likewise, Dante’s character development shifts in a negative manner due to evil pressures around him and his exposure to the true earthly sins. In summation, Dante uses the Inferno to express his animosity toward the church and the corrupt environment to expound how people that follow the church would be contaminated, just like the pilgrim. Political figures in Hell explicitly depict their strong connection to the Christian values that govern this era. The many popular figures in Hell, especially the Popes, ended up there for their grievous and shocking misconducts.