RE: Religious Explanations for suffering

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  • RE: Religious Explanations for suffering
    • Christianity
      • Suffering is a result of human freedom to choose actions that cause suffering
        • Some Christians think that suffering is a punishment for sin - it teaches a lesson so that humans can grow spiritually
      • the story of Adam & Eve shows the consequences of freewill as, by disobeying God, Adam & Eve brought evil & suffering into God's perfect garden
        • Some people think that the devil, a fallen angle who tempted Adam & Eve, still tempts people to do wrong today
        • Atheist argument: this still doesn't explain natural suffering, only man-made suffering as people who haven't even sinned still die in natural disasters
      • Jesus broke the power of evil & suffering over people by his innocent suffering & death on the cross - by rising from the dead & returning to his father in Heaven, he proved to others that you have a relationship with God after death
      • Trusting God helps Christians accept & endure personal suffering as part of gods mysterious will - but will try to help others who are suffering
      • 'Love thy neighbour as yourself': Christians should take active steps to help others & should follow the example of Jesus who helped the needy & healed the sick
      • The story of Job: the Devil & God making a bet over someone's faith by putting him through trials of endurance
        • Atheist argument: Why would he succum to peer pressure by the devil if hes all-loving & knowing he's sinning & a hypocrite
    • Buddhism
      • Learning how to overcome suffering is central to Buddhism
      • The four Noble Truths explain why life is unsatisfactory, full of suffering caused by craving or desire
        • People are selfish & are never satisfied - once a desire is fulfilled, another one arises
      • The three 'poisons' of ignorance, greed, & hatred lead to more suffering - The way to stop suffering is to overcome desire by following the Eightfold path
      • Buddha taught that the way to stop suffering is to stop craving - this is by following the Eightfold Path to develop right understanding, right speech, & right action
      • A person needs to get rid of their attachment to material things or they'll alway want more
      • Buddhists try to to develop passion for those who suffer - they practice generosity to show that they're not selfish or attached to their wealth
      • Buddhists believe in the Middle way, a balance between poverty & wealth - people need a certain level of economic prosperity in order to live, but not so much money that greed will arise & they'll be unable to grow spiritually

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