The problem of suffering

Suffering is caused by people themselves, and not the supernatural unlike what is commonly assumed, says Maulana Wahiuddin Khan.

One of the problems regularly cited to cast doubt upon the existence of God is the problem of evil. This objection to belief in God is the result of the erroneous view that evil in human life is God-made, whereas this is not true.

The actual reason for this misunderstanding is that when people observe human suffering due to evil, they seek an explanation. When, in many cases, this explanation is not immediately observable they allege that either there is no God controlling this world or, that if there is a God, He is unjust. But this attribution is quite wrong. This suffering which is found in human life is caused by people themselves, by others and often by the social system of which they are a part of. Sometimes suffering has an immediate cause, and sometimes, the cause of the suffering can be traced back over several generations.

The reason for these misapprehensions is that people study situations from the wrong angle. That is, they look at a phenomenon as if it is related to God rather than to man. This goes entirely against scientific facts.

For instance, in modern times, there are many diseases known as ‘lifestyle diseases’ which are entirely man-made. Corruption, pollution, adulteration, crime, oppression, greed and such manmade evils have all been responsible for human suffering. Similarly, in the wake of violence, a number of people die or become disabled, all of which is due to human action.

The truth is that attributing entire human suffering to nature is unscientific. The study of all the branches of science tells us that nature is totally devoid of such evils. Laws of nature are so perfect that had it not been so, scientific research would become rudderless and come to an abrupt halt.




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