Untimely Observations

Thoughts on Suffering

We were having dinner with friends last night, and got on the topic of suffering. I made some comments and the more disjointed they sounded the more I wanted to make additional comments. All of which suggested some thoughts:

  1. Talking about suffering is like talking about God. Anything you say is going to be inadequate and is probably going to miss the point. The more someone blathers the less he probably knows.
  2. That's not an accident. Both are too real to deal with. They disrupt comfortable patterns of life. We mostly say things about them because we want to make them manageable but the point is that they're not manageable.
  3. The problem of evil is impossible to deal with in a way that satisfies anyone. It seems that the world would be worse for us if there were no evil, since wisdom comes from suffering and we would all become self-satisfied consumers or whatever. The reason it has that effect though is that it really is evil and as such lacks redeeming qualities that would let us tell a nice story about it that gets rid of it as a problem.