God and the Problem of Suffering

One of the most popular arguments against the existence of God is the problem of suffering.  If there truly was something like the Judeo-Christian  concept of God, one would expect that he would prevent suffering.  There are responses to that challenge.  But I would like to make a simple observation.  Most of the people I hear who bring up the problem of suffering are well-educated, affluent men from North America or Western Europe.  To them it is a devastating argument against God’s existence.  But I have a question.  How much suffering have they really experienced?  And why is belief in God extremely strong in the third world and other places where suffering is rampant?  Why is belief in God so strong in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, China and elsewhere?  It seems that suffering becomes a problem for believing in God when it is observed but not when it is experienced.  Something to think about.

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2 thoughts on “God and the Problem of Suffering”

  1. I never thought of it this way before, and it’s a really good point that you’ve made. It’d be interesting to see what someone who raises the issue as an obstacle to faith or belief would say. It seems that sometimes these big issues–science and religion and the problem of suffering–are smokescreens for what really keeps people from considering Christianity. Anyway, good thought!

  2. Thanks Derek. I think you are right on. Unfortunately some atheists portray themselves as the champions of the suffering when in fact the suffering are finding hope in their faith in God.

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