Why Is Suffering Built into Nature's Designs?
by Raymond Fontaine, Ph.D. - December 2006
E-mail no. 50: The Writer Repeats that Perplexing Question.
Hi Ray. I have a question for you. Why do you think there is suffering built into the design of nature? I just saw a National Geographic program that showed a baby sea turtle being attacked by a crab. I know it's necessary for the predator to live and feed its family, but I wonder why Nature's God designed it that way. My belief of why people suffer is because by and large we chose to do very stupid things. And I think it forces us to learn more about God's design so we can progress and figure out how to cure illnesses. Let me know what you think. Bob.
E-mail no. 51: I Suggest One Rational Reason.
Dear Bob. You are not the first person to ask the question: "Why is there suffering on earth?" It was answered by the author of the Bible's opening chapters three millenniums ago. In the third chapter of the Bible, the writer has God telling Eve "Because you have done this" (namely: eating the forbidden fruit) "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing. In pain you shall bring forth children." To Adam God said, "Because you have eaten of the tree, cursed is the ground because of you. In toil you shall eat of it. It will bring forth thorns and thistles. By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread until you return to the ground. You are dust."
Years later, the authors of the Gospels made it clear that to expiate Adam's sin, God sent his divine son and subjected him to great pain and death on the cross. In the Bible, the purpose of suffering is to counterbalance sin.
Billions of Catholics still believe this teaching of the Church. I don't. As a deist, basing my beliefs on what my reason concludes, I see pain only as nature's alarm system for humans and other creatures. For that service, I am appreciative to Nature's God. Ray
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