Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Continuation...

I guess my previous post was a bit short, but put it out as a nice teaser. I thought I would get a chance to add something yesterday but didn't get to it. The reason that 'true knowledge of self depends on knowledge of God' struck me is because I was re-thinking the subject of suffering in the world.

While the link might not be particular obvious between the two I will begin to explain my thoughts. Last week I met an old friend who had lost a little baby who was only a few hours old. As anybody can appreciate, hearing it is a very very touching, and devastating, moment. It takes time to digest it.
As such, those moments are not the time and place to come up with philosophical, nor practical arguments for innocent suffering in the world. Even if anyone would have the strength to argue in that situation, I can say that I don't, and I found it very difficult even to say a single word of consolation.

However, it is a real question in our lives, and at sometimes a challenge especially for us who believe in a loving God. This last Sundays Gospel came form John 3:16, a well known passage, which reads that God so loved the world that he gave His only Son...

And I think this points towards something fundamental, that if somebody has faith, in some way there is another perspective. It would be relatively easy to see why 'bad' people would suffer as we could put it down to a 'punishment' for what they did. But it is always difficult to comprehend why a loving God would allow so much suffering of apparent innocent people. However for the believer it is clear that this is part of the world as it is, even if it is just from the fact that Jesus himself went thought it.

There is no need, in my opinion, to say that innocent suffering happens for a reason. It happens because of the corruption in the world, and that as the world as a whole. Through sin evil entered in the world, and it corrupts the world, suffering is a result of that...

But without knowledge of God, or knowledge of those fundamentals of the world, the above just does not make sense. And in a lot of the western world people don't know much about Christianity, and what it teaches. Looking at my own past the extend of my knowledge of God was that there was an all powerful God, and while not knowing much about this God, it seems that if such a God existed the suffering I would see was defiantly not speaking in favor of this God. It is only when we get a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the whole, as for example the role of free will, that this god can once more become a loving God.

I have to run now, but will probably pick up the topic again in the next few days... any thoughts are off course very welcome!

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