Spinoza wrote that we only judge things to be good because we want those things (page 204, The Book of Atheist Spirituality). So because we want comfort for ourselves in the face of suffering and because we want to believe that God supports us we warm ourselves to the suffering of nearly all creation.  We cannot control what we want but only how we act on it.  Thus what is putting the wants in us, if it knows what it is doing, it more to blame for what we do than we are.  To lie to ourselves that it is a God who loves us and then use that lie as a prism to look at suffering, especially suffering you will never comprehend or experience for it is personal to each individual is repellent.  Even if you suffer yourself, you know nothing about what the rest of the universe suffers and has suffered.  Turning the sufferers into some kind of collection loses sight of how each individual matters immensely in their own right.  You lose sight of the face in the crowd.

The suffering of another unless we can and should help is none of our business so it is not our place full stop to make it our business. To be clear, it is our business to help and only if we can and that is all. It is not our suffering so we cannot try to own it in any way. 

And it is not our place for other reasons too. We may try to place it in our ideology or faith in the kindness of God. We cannot do much for the suffering of the world so we help some and then sit back gazing at the rest of it and say there is a reason for it in the sight of God. This is plainly an ad hoc hypothesis. It is just something you do when faced with something that refutes your faith and you come up with far-fetched reasons for why it does not or might not. An ad hoc argument is not an argument at all. It is trying to pour paint over a refutation to make it look like it is not there. It is not about the truth but about protecting an idea you have from the truth. It is itself a doubt and not a belief. It is a doubt pretending to be a belief.

If the believer were this god who they call perfect they are saying they would run things like he does.  That may be hypothetical but it shows what is in the believer. They would condone suffering that does not affect them and they are doing it from a place of privilege. This is not spiritual or loving by any standard. I always try to deal with how the notion of God being right to allow evil in fact is more than a problem of evil but creates evil in us. Taking innocent suffering to slot it into your theology and to say that God permits it for he is right to and also has good plans for it is appalling for it is owning.  No stealing.

Saying your suffering has a plan does not give you the right to say that of somebody else's.  Admit that it might seem to have a purpose but out of respect for others you will not think of their suffering that way or invite them to.


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