Why saying, “Suffering is for the good” is bullshit

Suffering is good you say? I’d like to call bullshit. I’ve encountered many fallacious ideas in the past regarding why God allows suffering, but this assertion has to be one of the worst.

“That means that horrible as suffering is, it’s end is good.” In context, this quote was used to conclude that evolution requires suffering in order for a life form to make progress. Which simply isn’t true.

It seems that various Christians have taken the idea that God allows suffering, to mean that suffering must somehow be for the greater good. An attempt is made to let suffering fly under the guise of an evolutionarily supportable theory. The proposition that evolution is predicated by suffering is simply nonsensical.

“Suffering is integral to the existence of all living things.”

Let’s take the definition of suffering itself.
“Suffering: pain that is caused by injury, illness, loss, etc. : physical, mental, or emotional pain”-merriam-webster

Given that there are millions of single-celled life forms that exist, die, and evolve without a nervous system or consciousness, we can conclude that life can exist and prosper without suffering.

Evolution is not concerned with experiencing suffering. Evolutions “goal” is concerned with maximizing reproductive success and efficiency.

If human suffering was eliminated we would still seek pleasure. We would not simply abandon all endeavors of progress. To assert that suffering is a necessary experience of the human condition is to commit a logical fallacy of demeaning proportions.

There is no doubt that bad experiences can shape us and make us stronger. But what do they make us stronger for, other than to handle more bad experiences? If suffering was eliminated there would be no need to be “prepared” for future hardships. Suffering is a flaw of the human condition, and is one worth trying to correct.

-AB

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  2 comments for “Why saying, “Suffering is for the good” is bullshit

  1. July 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Free will!

    There. Now that’s out of the way. 🙂

    • July 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Haha. Or at least simply the awareness of suffering.
      However you look at it, whether it be a deterministic or naturalistic stance, it doesn’t seem like a difficult obstacle to navigate around.

      Thanks for the comment GC!

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