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God and Suffering


All good people are appalled by the sufferings
of the innocent. When an innocent person is struck by a painful disease, or tortured or
murdered, we naturally feel sadness, helplessness, and often rage. Many people have claimed that such suffering
is a proof that God does not exist. Their argument goes like this: • God is all good and all powerful.
• Such a God would not permit unnecessary suffering.
• Yet, we constantly observe unjust suffering. • Therefore, at least one of the premises
about God must be false. Either God is not all good or He is not powerful. Or He just
doesn’t exist. What’s wrong with this argument? First, let’s examine what we mean when we
say that God would not permit unjust suffering. There are two categories of suffering: Suffering
caused by human beings, which we call moral evils, and suffering caused by nature, for
instance earthquakes or cancer. Free will explains how God could be good and
allow moral evil. Because God has given people free will, they are free to behave against
God’s will. The fact that they do evil does not prove that God is not good. In addition, if there were no God, there would
be no absolute standard of good. Every judgment presupposes a standard. And that’s true of
our moral judgments, too. What is our standard for judging evil to be evil? The most we could
say about evil — if there were no God — was that we, in our subjective tastes, didn’t like it when people did certain things to other people. We wouldn’t have a basis for saying
an act was ‘bad’, only that we didn’t like it. So the problem of human evil exists only
if God exists. As for natural suffering, that poses what
appears to be a more difficult question. We see an innocent child suffer, say from
an incurable disease. We complain. Understandable. We don’t like it. Understandable. We feel
it is wrong, unfair, and shouldn’t happen. Understandable, but illogical, unless you
believe in God! For, if you do not believe in God, your subjective
feelings are the only basis upon which you can object to natural suffering. OK, you don’t
like it. But how is your not liking something evidence for God not existing? Think about
it. It’s just the opposite. Our judgments of good and evil, natural as well as human, presuppose God as the standard. If there’s no God, there’s neither good nor evil. There’s
just nature doing what it does. If nature is all there is, there is absolutely
no need to explain why one person suffers and another doesn’t. Unjust suffering is a
problem only because we have a sense of what is just and unjust. But where does this sense
come from? Certainly, not from Nature. There’s nothing just about nature. Nature is only
about survival. What, in other words, does it mean for suffering
to be ‘unnecessary or wrong?’ How is that determined? Against what standard? Your private standard means nothing. My private standard means nothing. We can talk meaningfully about
suffering being ‘unnecessary’ or wrong only if we have an underlying belief that a standard
of right and wrong objectively exists. And if that standard really exists, that means
there is a God. Moreover, the believer in God has an incomparably
easier time than the atheist psychologically as well as logically in dealing with the problem
of natural suffering. If you accept that a good God exists, it is
possible to also believe that this God somehow sets things right, if not in this world, then
in the next. For the atheist, on the other hand, no suffering
is ever set right. There is no ultimate justice. The bad win and the good suffer. Earthquakes
and cancer kill. End of story. Literally. If nature is all there is, how can a sensitive
person remain sane in a world in which tsunamis wipe out whole towns, evil men torture and
murder innocent victims, and disease attacks people indiscriminately? The answer is: it’s
not possible. Is that how you want to live? I’m Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy
at Boston College, for Prager University.

Otis Rodgers

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Dragonmaster0118 Posted on May 4, 2019 at 1:51 am

    So if morality is absolute as you claim the people that lied to the Nazis to protect innocent Jewish people were evil.

    Reply
  2. Fred Derf Posted on May 4, 2019 at 3:37 am

    For a proper look at the Problem of Evil, pop over to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_evil don't rely on the twisted version presented in this video.

    Reply
  3. Fred Derf Posted on May 4, 2019 at 3:52 am

    Morality is based on:
    – empathy
    – desire for society
    – enlightened self interest
    There is no god required.

    Reply
  4. Erich Kays Posted on May 4, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Idiotic video, typical of PragerU.

    Reply
  5. EvulDali Posted on May 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Who made the suffering necessary? ANY flaw in us or the universe in general is gods fault. Either that or he is evil or incompetent. You built a strawman there bud.
    PS: Maybe stop using Hitler as an example for evil? He was a very devoted christian you know.

    Reply
  6. Stefan Hohnwald Posted on May 4, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    1:03 If God is all-knowing and omnipotent, as the Bible claims, then he knows the future. Thus, the future is predetermined and free will does not exist. If free will exists, then the future is not predetermined, thus God can't know the future, which means he is not all-knowing and not omnipotent. Either way, free will and an all-knowing omnipotent God can't exist at the same time.
    That means, if free will does not exist and god is sending us to hell, then he punishes us for something we have no control over (because of no free will). In fact, since it is god who supposedly made us, fully knowing what we'll do in the future, he is ultimately responsible for what we are doing. And him sending us, his children, to suffer for all etermity because of a behavior he made us do in the first place and that we had no control over (again, because the Bibles interpretation of god can't exist at the same time as free will) is sadistic and extremely evil.
    So either free will exists and the Bibles claim of Gods characteristics is wrong, or the Bibles claim of Gods characteristics is correct, which however would make him an incredibly evil and sadistic being.

    Reply
  7. Dankstar Memes Posted on May 5, 2019 at 2:54 am

    I find a lot hypocrisy in this. Christans will be quick to criticize Muhammad's pedophillic behavior (The pedophillic behavior was very evil) but will feel free to defend God's choice to not prevent extreme suffering in the form of disease and earthquakes.

    Just as Muhammad could have averted his evil pedophillic behavior, God could have averted his evil decision to crete suffering in the world. It appears, however, that cognitive bias will make Christians not realize this, and instead they will feel free to spot evil where it rightfully is (in other religions) but will back away once it applies to their religion. Instead, they will play mental gymnastics like this video.

    The same is with Muslims. They will defend the evil pedophillic nature of Mohammad. Why? Because their cognitive bias will not allow them to spot the evilness within it just as Christians won't spot evil in their religion.

    This is why religious reasoning is flawed. It's not dependent on what it right or reasonable, but rather how much a person can defend their fallacious belief to the point that their cognitive bias can allow them to.

    Reply
  8. Redstone Ewok Posted on May 5, 2019 at 9:12 am

    If God is all powerful, no suffering can be necessary, as God could just remove those restraints

    Reply
  9. Kay Allen Posted on May 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    You have erred. Furthermore, you have a degree in philosophy and know that "objective" does NOT mean "absolute" so, you are LYING. Or in your language YOU ARE BEARING FALSE WITNESS and therefore are damned to HELL. Congratulations upon proving how your morality does NOT exist. Period.

    Reply
  10. Alex McAllister Posted on May 6, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    The Bible finds glory in transcending suffering of our everyday lives; it's a narrative. But what I don't understand is this: If you live a NARRATIVE, you need the suffering to transcend; the evil to confront; the challenge to beat. Now, I don't mean to take childhood cancer, terrorism or the plague as a "challenge" of anywhere near the sort that is transient life struggles, like being stressed from work and finding motivation, as that would be sick, but for this to make sense, why is the Bible a story and not a simple promise?
    The deeper questions I have are: If goodness is a timeless enterprise, and is to be celebrated, something has to be changed by goodness; if time is organic but malevolence a problem, are we in an arbitrary place in time where goodness is practically finite? That is, is the battle between good and bad a pending eternal resolution, or is it an infinite game? What happens if there is no badness to be good for?
    A contradiction I had realized with the Bible is that it promises a heaven afterwards for those who do good in this evil and problematic world, as though to find glory in God's transcendence, but directs us towards things that make the word less bad, and with a loose connection (bare with me), seems to contradict this need to "wait." It glorifies suffering.

    Reply
  11. MrSamsun 78 Posted on May 7, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Prager U, keep it political. You obviously don't know enough about religion to argument about it

    Reply
  12. Stu Mas Posted on May 7, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    The 'problem' isn't God.
    If anything, the problem is our understanding of God. Here's how I understand it:
    Since Life is a temporary illusion for us to experience individual Free will, the Good and Evil we observe are also illusions and not Real (relatively speaking). Therefore, God isn't actually harming anyone and is not causing any suffering or joy – hence, Free will.

    Reply
  13. Stu Mas Posted on May 7, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    I don't believe in religion, but I think it's impossible for God NOT to exist.
    However, the arguments in this video are very lightweight.

    Reply
  14. Fiddle Pants Posted on May 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Wow Peter Kreeft. Trying to pull the old Appeal to Ignoramce logical fallacy on us, eh? That's surprising, given that you've a PhD in Philosophy. Really wonder where you got it from. Maybe i will go and get my own next week.

    At the end, you pose the question "How can Atheists keep their sanity in an unjust world?" I don't know what to tell you man. But maybe, Atheists are after some greater truth. Remember people… just because you cannot understand a solution does not mean that said solution is false. It is an intellectual capacity issue on your own part.

    Too bad god doesn't exist. The only reason the notion is still around was because you were forced to accept it back in the day when it pervaded public schools. Now watch as the notion of god begins to die off… just like the folk of your own generation Peter Kreeft. Let the party begin.

    Reply
  15. Deeandadams 121 Posted on May 10, 2019 at 4:14 am

    If you ppl want to subject ti this videi, give proper or logical opinion. Statement like ; "this prof is weak" or "this is dumb" etc are for those bitter ppl with no solid argument.

    Reply
  16. Koni Posted on May 13, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    >Professor of Philosophy
    >Beliving god is real

    Choose one.

    Reply
  17. CheapPhilosophy Posted on May 17, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Hi, God of procrastination here.
    Have a life of suffering in the hands of the bad guys and natural causes, while I hold high standards for judgement, eventually. Wait until you hear that bad guys can repent at the last minute! Do not like it? I do not care about private standards, sorry.
    That is my main private standard.
    Blessed are those who remain in ignorance, as I made them.

    Reply
  18. Brian Leonard Posted on May 19, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    What is the difference between a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim? The Christian worships Jesus. http://jesuskingdom.co.uk

    Reply
  19. M Scacco Posted on May 22, 2019 at 3:31 am

    I never learned a damn thing by doing it right, the first time.

    Reply
  20. Simon Navarro Posted on May 28, 2019 at 5:21 am

    My believes are there is a god. I do not follow one certain religion, but I keep the teaching of the chatolic church. how else would u dismissed demonic possessions to commit ilnesses that science can explain now.

    Reply
  21. Doctor Gordon Posted on May 29, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I like this channel but this video isn't very convincing to me.

    Reply
  22. Ward Huckabay Posted on May 30, 2019 at 4:31 am

    I'm not entirely sure how PragerU is able to discern that there is a God, or gods, for that matter. Which God or gods are you taking into account, and how do you know?

    Reply
  23. Matt Holton Posted on May 31, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    A terribly weak and incoherent argument. It even changes terminology and meaning as it goes. Typical of Prager!

    Reply
  24. Kais G Posted on June 2, 2019 at 2:26 am

    A Christian view would be something like this; Sin entered the world, with it suffer & death become part of our world, evil is now in charge, we have refused God light and separated our selfs from God, thus evil have authority on us, a corruption world that everything in it will die, but God send Jesus to save our souls, paid the price so we could live again in a different world away from sin and death.

    1. Simply if you believe you are a Sinner, then this is your answer.

    2. If you believe you are good by your own, then there is nothing to argue about, everything around you is natural, no moral, no God, no life after death, no heaven no hell, you are nothing that came from nothing and gonna go back to nothing.

    Choice what ever suit you,
    It's your life.

    Reply
  25. videakias3000 Posted on June 2, 2019 at 7:45 am

    prageru:we don't have free will
    also prageru:god gave us free will and does not want to violate it.

    Reply
  26. Ejembi Moses Posted on June 4, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Atheists are really fools.they complain about everything whilst denying personal responsibility because they want to blame God for every bad thing whilst claiming he doesn't exist.fools indeed.
    I've always loved Prof Ever since I stumbled on his article "the pillars of unbelief"

    Reply
  27. Sonof Osiris Posted on June 4, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Trying to fit an allpowerful and allloving God in a box together with unnecessary suffering it's just absurd by any stretch of imagination!!!!

    Reply
  28. Pilla Pvsrsubbaro Posted on June 9, 2019 at 11:03 am

    What if god is evil

    Reply
  29. Odds Law Posted on June 9, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I find it pretty remarkable that for an intelligent person (which I assume you to be) you don’t see how full of biases your arguments are.

    You actually assume that a moral objective standard exists. To which i say: let’s have a look at the moral standards 1000 years ago. Or even right now, how split opinions are about gay marriage.
    Not so objective after all

    Reply
  30. Christine Mills Posted on June 9, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    So innocent babies innocent animals raped and murdered and I pray for my family and loved ones? God is supposed to protect us from evil? My standard that god lets millions of completely innocent suffer from evil? And he could stop this and doesn’t how can I have faith in that?

    Reply
  31. ilker290 Posted on June 12, 2019 at 3:25 am

    If the religious arguments had a fraction of the intellectual integrity that the rest of this channel had, I'd say "good point". Man as much as I try to give Prager the benefit of the doubt you guys really can't come up with good points to support religion

    Reply
  32. rusty al mercado Posted on June 13, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Its about the premises i think the incorrect is that Gods not permitted suffering. I think He does sufferrings to many people which are necessary to be suffered for his plan or objective. I think God does it and He has a Good plan out of it

    Reply
  33. Henry Robinson Posted on June 13, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Every judgement implies a standard. Which is why atheistic moral relativism will never be acceptable to aggregate humanity.

    Reply
  34. Midnite St0rm Posted on June 15, 2019 at 7:12 am

    So I’m a deist. I still believe in God but….. dude….. what are you on about?

    Reply
  35. Alfonso Anton Romero Posted on June 16, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Translate to Spanish, please.

    Reply
  36. Hayden Barnes Posted on June 16, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Offer evidence for free will before assuming it

    Reply
  37. Harlacan Posted on June 17, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    When the Truth about who or what God is, then we will have a starting point.

    Reply
  38. IMULSIVE IMPULSE Posted on June 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    God does exist, I tell you that and there is only one truth and the truth is Jesus know that.

    Reply
  39. FunkyTikiGod Posted on June 19, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    PragerU unintentional life hack: Become atheist since without God, evil doesn't exist.

    Reply
  40. ihsan shah Posted on June 20, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    I used to like Prager until watched this video. This philosophy professor could do better.
    If natural suffering is inflicted upon someone in this world and then your JUST GOD rewards that person paradise in life hereafter, it sounds just but what about someone who is rich, lives a good life, worships God, dies at 96 without any serious disease then how'll God ensure balance between these two individuals? Would god put the latter one in hell? To compensate other who died young because of cancer?

    Where we could possibly see JUSTICE?

    Reply
  41. moomoocamus2 Posted on June 22, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    A just god would only create a universe with degrees of relative pleasure. Suffering is entirely unnecessary. Hiroshima and the Holocaust are unnecessary to the concept of justice.

    Reply
  42. Larry Smith Posted on June 25, 2019 at 2:22 am

    God gave Satin the power to rule this world. The bad and evil things that exist are the influence of satin.

    Reply
  43. Michael Kaciuba Posted on June 26, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Pretty weak…

    Reply
  44. Suren Enfiajyan Posted on June 27, 2019 at 10:26 am

    So is it fair to be born in North Korea or to be born with a disability (such as an autism spectrum disorder) that greatly complicates life? And what's the point in eternal suffering in the hell? Perhaps because people were given free will, I guess? What was the motivation of omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient God to create this flawed world? Thank's for making many people even less religious.

    Reply
  45. Preetam Vyawahare Posted on June 29, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Life is a test of God

    Reply
  46. Fly WhiteBird Posted on July 4, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Pls someone tell the anwser to this question : 13 million american kids get bullied at school everyday and you are saying that this is necessary to suffer or nature or you are saying that God is exist or not . Can somebody tell me why should we suffer ?Or Does It make any sense ?

    Reply
  47. Martin Williamson Posted on July 5, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I believe god gave us free will so we sort ourselves out those who do good go to heaven those who do bad go to hell. And the natural disasters are (and because god knows the earth must function in a certain way to support life) tests to see how good or evil one is. Not everyone in these events are being tested but some are. disease is basically a tiny animal attack and cancer is your cells betraying you so what do you do? You cast these cells into the pits of fire (or radiation)

    Reply
  48. Aperstitution Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Simply i think God gave nature free will too. Case closed

    Reply
  49. J T Posted on July 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I grew up in Jakarta, moved and lived in the United States for 6 years. I just recently moved back to Jakarta, well it's been a few months, but it still feel so fresh, and it takes longer for me to adapt than anticipated. It's just really hard for me to process the injustice of the system of this world. There are slums all over Jakarta and I just can't understand why life is so unfair. I decided to move back because I feel called to help and bring light to the people here and help however I can in dealing with all the problems in Jakarta. I try to figure out the root of the problem and it is pointing to compassion. People need more compassion, they need hope, they need to be uplifted and educated to envision the larger scale and the longterm effects of every action. They need to be aware and awake. But it is so hard to change the culture and the mentality of the people that I feel quite hopeless as well. Everybody is complaining about everything. The negativity really got me. I just can't help but think, how unfair is this world. People in the U.S., as long as they want to work, as long as they have a job, although living paycheck to paycheck, they don't live in slums among the garbage and polluted/contaminated river. I could beg and cry out loud for people in America to donate/give so much of their wealth to Indonesia, but then it would be a waste since us, ourselves, would allocate the resources to the wrong things. We can't seem to manage resources ourselves. I'm just in this state of despair, feeling so worthless and useless. I'm at a point where I feel guilty enjoying life, while other people can't even have a proper meal, clean water, decent housing, etc. I liked my life in the U.S., I liked the luxury of going to the mall, and target, the freedom of decorating, cooking food from the grocery store, etc. Sending packages to friends out of state. The list goes on. But all of that dreams just seem so selfish now, and I don't think my soul will rest if I choose a superficial better living conditions for myself. I'm very conflicted and troubled.

    Reply
  50. the amazing skeptic Posted on July 17, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Epicurus comes to mind … I believe he said "… Then why call him god? "

    Reply
  51. the amazing skeptic Posted on July 17, 2019 at 8:34 am

    You can choose if you want cream or sugar without good or evil. Mic drop!

    Reply
  52. DARKSTAR Posted on July 18, 2019 at 1:10 am

    The way I think of it is that we need suffering. Suffering creates character. If there was no bad things, if everything was perfect, what would the point be in existing? Character comes out when there's pain. It has a way of structuring the perspective and attitude. Good happenings, you're just going on with life enjoying yourself. And while it's nice to be happy, you can't always be happy. Bad happenings like illness and death suck, a lot, but in the end it gives us a challenge to push through. And without challenge, what would there be to do. What would the point in living be if you just go through it endlessly happy.

    Reply
  53. Dead eye Jedi Posted on July 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I like how he said without belief in God, hate and our understanding of disgust towards evil is subjective but God physically hasn't influenced mankind in a very very long time and there is no concrete proof of his existence, so therefore our disgust towards hate and suffering has always been subjective

    Reply
  54. Deimos kai Aischylos Posted on July 20, 2019 at 6:50 am

    Many others summed up the flaws with this video very well. To add to it, I, as an individual, do not see suffering, in and of itself, as “unjust.” Why? Because justice—“right and wrong”—would be a construct of thinking, acting agents. Disease, disaster, pain? These are merely byproducts of organic systems, our planetary habitat, et cetera. No disease has a concept of fairness when it infects you. No cancer cackles with delight as it multiples within a child’s bones.

    When I see another human suffer, I feel poorly because I know what it feels like to suffer. Moreover, I have a desire to see all things as safe and happy as is reasonably possible, and that colors my thinking. I want our species to healthily thrive. I see no “ultimate authority” at work. I see nothing objective in your claims. What I see is simply life playing out as life does.

    When a CEO lays off hundreds of employees so that he can give himself a huge bonus, that is what I see as unjust. When a man with a doctorate in philosophy—a subject which I love—uses his knowledge to prey on or indoctrinate others, that is what I see as unjust. All of that is subjective. I find you to be a disgusting shill, but that is no more objective than your hollow claims of knowing absolutes.

    Reply
  55. Knut Der Große Posted on July 24, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Without bad,
    How would you know what is good ?

    Without Death,
    Would you value life ?

    How would you value good times,
    Without having bad times ?

    Reply
  56. Dave Reid Posted on July 26, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    This guy is a tool-bag

    Reply
  57. YJ Posted on July 26, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Wait wait… the problem of evil is not solved yet.

    1. We don't know what is free will yet

    2. The belief that God is evil also can be true.

    Reply
  58. B Simpson Posted on August 2, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Instead of all this twaddle, give me just one irrefutable piece of evidence the god exists.

    Reply
  59. OverlordShamala Posted on August 4, 2019 at 5:42 am

    This is an argument form an old man that concluded God does exist. Therefore he will twist his argument to fit his conclusion. Look what he's inferring, people don't experience suffering if there is no God. But because they do, it's because God. Does the dolt realized he basically argued God is a sadist beast? I doubt it because he's too arrogant to realize it. Or maybe forgiving is not in his nature, he understand the concept but simply is something he cannot do.

    Reply
  60. OverlordShamala Posted on August 4, 2019 at 6:54 am

    How can a sensitive person remain sane if nature is all there is… (followed with a list bad thing). Yes it is possible to remain sane & it has been done.

    Kinda arrogant to presume it cannot be done. It has nothing to do with" wanting" to live that way. It is what it is, where do you go off thinking some one wanting to live that way. Your conclusion just drips with condescending arrogance. You just made a claim its not possible & your evidence for that is nothing.

    It's just how life is. There is no ultimate justice, for example when Moses (Numbers 31:17-18 ordered his soldiers to kill all the males children, all the none virgin women, & keep the little girls for themselves. The mind breaking horror this girls must've experienced watching all they love slaughtered & "tested" for their virginity to be taken as sex-slaves for the rest of their lives. Definitely no justice for them & indeed the bad won. End of story.

    Reply
  61. Warp Biz Posted on August 5, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Hilarious! All he actually said is that when it comes to God and suffering, we simply have to suck up the reality of suffering since what suffering does is that it reveals the truth about God…
    God allows evil. That raises a question of the integrity on the nature of God as we are taught about. Perhaps that’s one true nature of God: that He or She is a god that allows evil and suffering.

    Reply
  62. Leopoldo Fregoli Posted on August 6, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Premise: I consider myself an agnostic 'cultural catholic'…but: "nature is just about survival", agreeable premise. that is why, by an evolutionary point of view (a naturalistic approach) we refuse pain and danger an seek life and safety. once we developed a complex society and language just to keep us and our tribal fellows safe and alive, then some cultural new proprieties tendend to emergence from both the use of language and life in society: these are the search for meaning and trascendence. et voilà.

    Reply
  63. Moin Khan Posted on August 7, 2019 at 9:04 am

    This video heavily undermines "nature" and fail miserably to prove the existence of God. I'd rather believe in the existence of aliens or perhaps time travelers.

    Reply
  64. Mark Okrasa Posted on August 8, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Well that didn’t explain anything

    Reply
  65. Fermin Espinoza Posted on August 10, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    It seems we need to rethink how we measure what is evil in order to answer the first question of standards. I have strong doubts of a God so naturally (pun intended) I'll need to try and understand this world I live in through natural means. In the video, moral evils by humans and suffering by nature are two separate things. I agree but I think they come from a common root. Human beings are a representation of nature. We came from nature. We evolved within nature. Yet in our evolutionary progress we at some point gained the capacity for self awareness and self reflection and at the same time the knowledge that other organisms like ourselves also gained this way of thinking. To survive we've had to compete at times with one another and our brains became more adept at anticipating what our competition was thinking of doing next. The only way to win in competition was to stay one step ahead. Again all this development was within the context of nature. Now, when we observe other living things in nature, say a lion and a zebra, we can see that they too have come out of another strain of evolution within nature. It is within the lion's nature to seek out, hunt, kill and eat the zebra. It is within the Zebra's nature to look out for, run away from or fight against the lion for survival. When we as humans observe this drama unfold between the lion and the zebra our brains have come to recognize suffering at it's most fundamental form (the lion dying of starvation or the zebra getting killed by the lion) but within a human experience lens. If the lion succeeds in killing the zebra our human brains have come to recognize the condition as natural even though it causes the zebra suffering. Because of this view we do not see the act of the lion as evil. Yet as humans we have become very keen and intuitive as to what leads to mental suffering, and especially keen as to the many ways we humans and other living things can suffer. We've gotten so good at this that some of our species from time to time intentionally inflict pain on living things for nothing else but the satisfaction of knowing how to inflict pain in it's many different ways (unlike the lion who inflicts pain but only as a means to eat and survive). We seem to stand out from the rest of the animal kingdom (with the exception of a couple primates like the chimpanzees) of enjoying the nuanced infliction of pain on others simply for the pleasure of it. It is this type of suffering that we as humans with our capacity for language have had to distinguish from the more natural forms of suffering we see in the rest of nature, and eventually gave it a word, which we call evil today in the English language. It seems to me that it is from this very fundamental understanding of suffering and evil as human beings that we bring about some form of an objective standard for evil. Perhaps it's similar to the way we understand other subjective knowledge like color. We may all subjectively experience colors differently but many of us know what we mean when we say a rose is red (with the exemption of those who are color blind, yet even they somehow understand the nuance in human language as an expression of common subjective knowledge). Perhaps it is from this fundamental understanding of evil that we can then try to understand good as it's opposite (similar to the way dark and cold don't really exist but we still understand what they are as intrinsic from our objective understanding of their opposite, light and heat). One last note: videos like this take away the very real credit many humans deserve in being very strong in character and spirit (for lack of a better term). It is likely human beings have been around for tens of thousands of years. Well before we had the brains big enough and language complex enough to try and understand concepts like evil and good, our ancient relatives still had to manage to survive in a world of seemingly meaningless suffering. Perhaps some of them did lose their sanity but it seems on the whole most didn't or else how would we have survived for so long? We are evidence today that they did survive. If we were to find out one day with certainty that god does not exist, I doubt we would all spiral out of control to madness and complete nihilism. Perhaps some of us would, but given our vast complex history, we cannot underestimate the human spirit's will to survive and move forward at times stronger than before.

    Reply
  66. James Wiliams Posted on August 11, 2019 at 2:08 am

    Toward Understanding Suffering

    http://www.pravmir.com/toward-understanding-suffering/

    Reply
  67. Mck Yungeen Posted on August 11, 2019 at 4:08 am

    we are God's creations he can do whatever he wants with us.

    Reply
  68. daniel hindley Posted on August 11, 2019 at 9:38 am

    so when you are at church praying to god and a gunman walks in and shoots the believers where is the all good and all powerful god then or does he not exist .the way I see it everything you give him credit for no longer exists unless he stopped the bullets mid air like neo in the matrix then someone had video evidence of it

    Reply
  69. Alex Darr Posted on August 12, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Let’s not forget that suffering exists to make us appreciate the fragility of our life and keep our pride in check. The suffering of ourselves and others is a powerful motivation. Compared to eternity, suffering in this life is short.

    Reply
  70. steve B Posted on August 15, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Good video, but I totally disagree with the premise….. you cant have it both ways, God isnt the answer to everything , so that means that if a child dies, we just accept it as Gods will… for the ones that dont beleive its gods will we try to correct it, for the ones that do they just accept and go on…. nothing gets solved… its a cop out

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  71. A K Posted on August 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Lol god inflicts more pain and suffering than anyone else ever has.

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  72. Chris Keogh Posted on August 17, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Your like all the rest, playing with Words to confuse people pain is paid it's personal and universal it hurts period.

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  73. Bryan Del Cid Posted on August 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    If you believe in God and His word which is the Bible then it’s also easier to understand why there is evil and natural suffering. The Bible states that through the fall of Adam and Eve death and evil came upon the earth. We live in a fallen world so we are susceptible to this fallen world; that’s just the way it is. Only God can fix it and He will through Jesus Christ. But of course if you don’t believe then it’s hard for you to understand and well you will die without any hope; poor you.

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  74. MrSottobanco Posted on August 18, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Dr. Kreeft is suffering by teaching in boston.

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  75. Erik Seavey Posted on August 19, 2019 at 4:04 am

    Scamming weak minded people should be a crime. The church is criminal. Doesn't even pay taxes. Sleazy.

    Reply
  76. Raniel Pangilinan Posted on August 19, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Humans are part of the alien species, and so as animals.

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  77. Bahman Yaghoobi Posted on August 20, 2019 at 3:01 am

    What a shallow reasoning!

    Reply
  78. Kyle Weintraub Posted on August 20, 2019 at 3:01 am

    The wicked are punished in this world so they can be punished in the world to come. The righteous are punished in this world so they can rejoice in the world to come.

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  79. Alan Parson Posted on August 20, 2019 at 3:44 am

    If your claim is that God exists and you don't need to provide evidence to support this, then my claim is that murder is ethical and I don't need evidence to support that.

    You can only take on the understand of God of your skills for reason and logic can reconcile themselves with that understanding. Otherwise, your "faith" always has priority over your reason.

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  80. perry lc Posted on August 20, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Try reading C.S.Lewis "The Problem With Pain".

    Reply
  81. darkprince56 Posted on August 21, 2019 at 1:34 am

    I'm sorry but it is simply illogical. An eternal, omniscient and omnipotent being came to earth (why us, why not another planet?) took the form as his own mortal son, to sacrifice himself to himself to save us from himself because of the conditions he created in the first place????? Sorry, but that's just bad design and it makes zero sense to me.

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  82. Gaby Hardy Posted on August 21, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    More and more I'm convinced that prageru is trying to promote relgion 👎👎👎👎👎👎

    Reply
  83. Gaby Hardy Posted on August 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Let me give u a pickle
    If you abstained from burning your child just from fear of punishmeny in the hereafter and not from your love for him and common sense than you are a danger to humanity

    Reply
  84. John P Posted on August 22, 2019 at 12:15 am

    He did not even come close to resolving the dilemma of a good all powerful God and suffering for me. His arguments seem to be a dodge, and self referential. Either there is no God, or as I prefer to think, there is something we do not understand about the equation. Maybe God is really really powerful, but his power ends at the maturation of the heart and soul. For God to create and have the children he wants (or needs), we must go through the process of Earthly life with freewill and all the associated suffering and joy.

    Reply
  85. Joe Pro Posted on August 24, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    2 Nephi 2

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/2

    This chapter explains it very well.

    Reply
  86. Brad Schneider Posted on August 25, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    There are consequences for our actions. Did we not learn that Jesus died for others sins. Then don't some of us "pay" for others sins, .the world is round and we are all connected. So live righteously, lest another pay the price

    Reply
  87. Charlene Robertson Posted on August 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    I understand how we could suffer for sin and evil, but I'll never understand how a God could let innocent little children suffer such horrible things. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

    Reply
  88. CrimsonPhantom88 Posted on August 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Really garbage arguments. "How could you remain sane in such a world?" Try and help and set right what you can, and accept that which you can't. Sometimes good people die for bad reasons. What are you gonna do, cry about it? Doesn't fix anything. Some things can't be fixed. I like a lot of Prager U's stuff on the history and basis of Christianity and it's societal implications, but this guy in particular makes particularly weak arguments.

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  89. Ham Sandwich Posted on August 28, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    This is the closest this Prager "university" has come to acknowledging reality. There is no objective "right or wrong, good or bad." The speaker is correct, each of us, subjectively, likes or dislikes things, and wants or doesn't want things. Welcome to reality. In modern society, we willingly come to agreements, most of us, about what is allowable or not, and those form our laws so we can function with some degree of certainty about how things will go down. Still, people are murdered and people are killed by wild animals and floods and other natural events. Of course a person can live with an understanding of life as it actually is…you just grow a pair of testicles, face reality, and appreciate the beauty, wonder, spectacle of being alive as a human on this tiny, insignificant planet. It is only after you accept reality that you are capable of experiencing the tremendous joy of existing here and now!

    Reply
  90. 김동영 Posted on August 30, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    신을 믿는 가치관이 효율적이라는건 알겠다 헌데 이영상은 어째 무신론자들을 매도하는것같다 신을 믿는 가치관만이 선과 악을 구별하는 절대적 기준인가? 어째서? 믿는 사람이 많아서? 피차 주관적인것은 마찬가지 아닌가? 그리고 신이 존재한다는 역설로 무신론자에게 자연적 재앙은 자연 그자체 일뿐이니 따라서 반박할필요가없다고 그러는데 그럼 신은 존재하나 사악하단건가?
    The value of believing in God is also subjective. Is the paradox of God's existence over natural disasters that God exists but is evil?

    Reply
  91. Reverend Liberal Avenger Posted on August 30, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    While Hitler, Stalin, Satan and Trump are conservative, Jesus was a Liberal.

    Reply
  92. I hate logical fallacies Posted on September 1, 2019 at 2:13 am

    A human that helps another human by, say…giving a homeless person a meal…
    Is more moral than a god!
    Gods have allowed untold millions of people die from hunger!
    IF a god exists….it is a repugnant beast, and I wholly reject it!

    Reply
  93. Wenchao Liu Posted on September 3, 2019 at 2:18 am

    The second half of the video is totally unconvincing. It basically just said that people will be not able to withstand suffering if they do not believe in God. Even if we take this as true, it does not prove that God exists, only that we human beings are pathetic.

    Reply
  94. a l Posted on September 4, 2019 at 8:09 am

    so how to stay sane?
    fight back?
    let it trample us?
    …wait for God?

    …..

    Reply
  95. TheLimpbizpark Posted on September 8, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    Honestly the idea of no ultimate juistice seems to horrifying to imagine….Atleast if you suffer here you can get even in the next world. But if God doesn't exist then all hope is lost

    Reply
  96. Lea Woods Posted on September 12, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Well, his argument that suffering proves there is a god is the stupidest thing I've ever heard, but it still doesn't explain why god allows it, because he shouldn't need to prove his existence, we should just have faith that he does. Poof, there goes god, up the chimney in a puff of logic.

    Reply
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