How many people want to offer good money to a God who can grant them their desires? In addition, there are man-made evils: injustice, violence, rape, torture, all manner of cruelty, murder, war, genocide. Unlike other positive psychologists, Peterson believes that certain preconditions need to be met before one can live a meaningful life. “Meaning is the Way, the path of life more abundant, the place you live when you are guided by Love and speaking Truth and when nothing you want or could possibly want takes any precedence over precisely that” (p. 201). Spell. Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned in a Soviet labour camp by his own people, the Communist Party, after which he was struck with cancer. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Isaiah 45:7 ESV / 7 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful. The second temptation tests our character. The Solution Of Any Problem : Lama Fera In India - Lama Fera In India is admired by the majority of the population and it is the easiest way to connect with the Divine. I have no question that this recent book will be influential for many years to come. And to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.” — Confucius. The Problem of Evil & Suffering is as old as religion itself, but solutions have been proposed. Christian doctrine teaches that our existence extends past our physical death. Assuming the responsibility to clean up your room is a baby step towards transformation, but it is not enough. So, the reality of evil in the world actually turns out to be evidence for the existence of God—which is amazing really, because the problem of evil is often considered atheists’ strongest argument against God. Retrieved from. This is also the message of Wong’s (2012a) existential positive psychology (EPP) or second-wave positive psychology (PP 2.0). Most of the horrible sufferings in the world come from human-inflicted suffering. The Problem of Evil According to Islam: This very concept is known as the problem of evil. Students are encouraged to consider different forms of evil and to debate whether suffering is gendered. I Christianity, it is believed that evil comes as a result of the devil meddling in human life, and it is, at times, confusing for Christians to believe in God while accepting that suffering is a part of their life. The main consequences of meaning are not personal happiness, wellbeing, or success but the development of a moral character strong enough to endure the storms of life and ennoble humanity in the process. If God would perform a miracle whenever we needed one, it would make “a mockery of independence and courage and destiny and free will and responsibility” (Peterson, 2018, p. 183). The exam will test you on the following aspects of these solutions: BELIEF THAT CREATION IS GOOD (SOUL-DECIDING) Definition of Evil. Wong, P. T. P. (2009a). So even if God wants to prevent evil, he cannot because free will is important. Despite this, he is a sympathetic figure who was striving for answers to life’s greatest questions. The problem of evil as suffering is a problem of what to do with the obstacle facing the believer and also this as a challenge to unbeliever for them to converge because they do not think it harmonising. Faith will survive failed ideas and failed experiments; it will sustain us in our efforts to improve ourselves. … The result: “One man’s decision to change his life instead of cursing fate, shook the whole pathological system of communist tyranny to its core” (Peterson, 2018, p. 155). In another … It begins by asking why people believe in God when there's suffering, the implied problem being how a good God can cause bad suffering. Is there a solution to suffering? Theology [P] Footer Menu - Main. Suffering is an inevitable aspect of living, such as the need to toil, the travail of birth, sickness, accidents, and death. Second, the benefits of meaningful action extend to your future, the people around you, and the broader world. Wow, Peterson’s solution is surprisingly simple! Summary. In Evil and Omnipotence, Mackie argues that the traditional conceived God cannot possibly exist with so much evil and suffering in the world. Meaning involves a moral and spiritual striving towards what is good, self-transcendent, and holy in a corrupt and sinful world. In a bold and unequivocal statement, Peterson declares that sacrificing oneself voluntarily to serve the common good is the necessary and sufficient condition for ultimate existential meaning. However, philosophical theodicies try to make. Trivia Questions Quiz On The Problem Of Evil And Suffering! Some scholars argue that the Buddha's solution to end this cycle was to realize that there is no self, no atman. Therefore, it is self-deceiving that we can truly live a meaningful life by choosing expedience and avoiding the sacrifice of time, effort, and suffering. New York, NY: Gilford Press. Actually, his conception of meaning is much deeper and more complicated that what is commonly described in the literature, whether it is Frankl’s (1985) meaning triangle (creativity, experience, and defiant attitude), Martela and Steger’s (2016) three-factor model (purpose, coherence, and significance) or Wong’s (2012a) four-factor model of purpose, responsibility, understanding, and enjoyment (PURE). At the end, success in exacting revenge is not sweet at all; it will only fill one’s life with emptiness and regret for having wasted one’s life in doing so many bad things against one’s own conscience. I Christianity, it is believed that evil comes as a result of the devil meddling in human life, and it is, at times, confusing for Christians to believe in God while accepting that suffering is a part of their life. ‘The good life’ is not one that is achieved through momentary pleasures or defensive illusions, but through meeting suffering head on and transforming it into opportunities for meaning, wisdom, and growth, with the ultimate objective being the development of the person into a fully functioning mature being. The need to toil, the travail of child-birth, illness, old age, and death are natural consequences of the Fall. How many people have sold their soul and bodies in order to save themselves from hunger? According to this perspective, evil and suffering began with the following: “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” — James 3:16. And he will in that manner bring salvation to the ever-desperate world” (Peterson, 2018, p. 172). Retrieved from, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Meaning Therapy and the Toronto Van Attack, Vancouver Conference to Explore the Power of Meaning to Thrive in Difficult Times. The problem of evil continues to be a supposed ‘safe haven’ for the skeptic. Thus, to properly measure the outcome of meaning, we may need to measure mature happiness (Wong & Bowers, 2018), self-transcendence (Wong, Ivtzan, Lomas, Kjell, & Peacock, 2017), and true grit (Wong, 2014c, 2018a). Evil exists because of the evil god’s influence upon the natural realm. Meaning emerges from the interplay between the possibility of the world and the value structure operating within the world” (Peterson, 2018, p. 199). Download this resource This lesson explores the problems of evil and suffering in a Christian context. Thus, to serve something greater than the self is an empty statement, if it does not demand the sacrifice of expediency and the risk of failures and dangers in serving a higher purpose. Satan seeks to turn God's paradise into a prisoner … The Problem of Evil and Suffering. Viktor Frankl: Prophet of hope for the 21st century. This is his confession: I came to understand through the great George Orwell that much of such thinking found its motivation in hatred of the rich and successful, instead of true regard for the poor. You need to strive to be a better person, to be your best self. This is very similar to Confucius’ teaching on world peace. The reality of suffering is a common argument against the existence of God, or against growing deeper in one’s faith. Practitioners believe that working with the Divine energy and healing people who are suffering is a big blessing from Lord Buddha. This book represents Peterson’s search for answers; maybe that is why it appeals to millions of people. Disturbing examples of all this evil could be recounted indefinitely, to horrifying effect. Meaning is expressed and realized in action. If you want to live a meaningful life, simply ask yourself each day: “How can I use my time to make things better, instead of worse?” This is a question of how to put more value into your life each day. Contact us; Donate; About us; Jobs ; Christian Aid … What is ‘evil’? Emmons, R. A. 1 The problem of evil 2 Solutions to the problem of evil 2.1 ‘Adequate solutions’ 2.2 ‘Fallacious solutions’ 2.2.1 Good cannot exist without evil, since evil is necessary as a counterpart to good 2.2.2 Evil is necessary as a means to bringing about goodness 2.2.3 A universe with some evil is better than a universe with none The question, then, is not how evil and suffering is compatible with an all-good, all-powerful God (it obviously is) but why God allows it. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. If you don’t believe that, the problem of evil remains an intractable problem. Rule 6 enjoins us to bring our lives in order first before we try to change the world. Wong, P. T. P. (2016d). That’s better than the money that will buy bread” (Peterson, 2018, p. 182). This integrative process of individuation according to Jung may take continuous effort over a lifetime (Wong, 2009b). This is similar to Aristotle’s idea of practicing the good habit of pursuing the virtue of excellence in terms of morality and performance (Hursthouse & Pettigrove, 2016). Different from traditional views of meaning, Peterson focuses on both the dynamic, dialectic, and integrative nature and the process of meaning as proposed by Wong’s (2011, 2012a) dual-system process of the good life. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.). For years, I have also been arguing that to understand happiness and wellbeing without considering the dark side of human existence is just as irresponsible as physicians and medical scientists focusing only on physical health without addressing the reality of pathogens and pain (Wong & Bowers, 2018). And he will in that manner bring salvation to the ever-desperate world. God must have a reason for allowing evil and suffering but the reason is beyond human understanding. Besides, the socialists were more intrinsically capitalists than the capitalists. Even this has problems. The temptation took place under the most trying conditions of barrenness, loneliness, and hunger. Overall, Peterson’s approach to meaning may be characterized as existential-spiritual, much like Frankl’s (1985) and my own approach (Wong, 2016b), rather than cognitive-behavioral as in mainstream positive psychology (Seligman, 2011; Smith, 2017). More specifically, meaning can be discovered only if one has the meaning-mindset (Wong, 2012b) and the motivation for self-transcendence (Wong, 2014a; Wong & Reilly, 2017). Solving the problem of evil and suffering (Lesson 3). “I am absolutely convinced that meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain; meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure. That is why people are killing each other to become a drug lord or the tyrant of a state. Take up this quiz and see what you know about the teaching of the bible on it. My main criticism of this chapter is his fantasy or illusional belief that purely by exercising one’s will power and personal responsibility, it would be sufficient to redeem oneself and transform one’s life without the Holy Spirit or God’s help and without the need to trust in the perfect sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb. SKEPTIC: Well, that’s an interesting way to look at it Charlie, but if God exists, He should put an end to the evil and suffering. For evangelical Christians, 1 John 2:15-17 gives the biblical reasons why pride and carnal desires are from the Devil: Do not love the world or anything in the world. First, meaningful action has redemptive value. Take up this quiz and see what you know about the teaching of the bible on it. There will be no meaning in your statements if you tell lies all the time. This precondition is again the same as Frankl’s emphasis on the defiant power of the human spirit and the need for tragic optimism (Frankl, 1985; Wong, 2009a). Even the motive to exact revenge on the world for one’s suffering and unfair treatment via worldly success can destroy one’s own life. Wong, P. T. P. (2016b). Created by. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). His statement that he “had outgrown… shallow Christianity” (p. 196) by his university days might be due to Christianity’s lack of an intellectual response to rational criticism from the cultural elites and atheists as well as the church’s lack of powerful agape in response to the suffering in the world. In sum, seeking the kingdom of this world leads to disillusion; seeking the Kingdom of God leads to meaning and fulfillment. Both Peterson and I agree that if you seek happiness by assuming that life is good and fun, you will only be deceiving yourself and ill-prepared for what will hit you; but if you begin with the assumption that life is hard and full of suffering and fortify your character, you will be prepared for all eventualities and find mature happiness (Wong & Bowers, 2018). Meaning gratifies all impulses, now and forever. Wong, P. T. P. (2018a, May 11). Finally, biblical theism (orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam) affirms all four propositions and … This is the first of four Meetups on “Decoding Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules of Life,” hosted by Dr. Paul Wong for the INPM’s Meaningful Living Project. Here, Peterson also warns against the danger of believing in the lies of totalitarian ideologies, which have ruined millions of lives. Suffering and the Problem of Evil. To guard against these two evil schemes from Satan, we need to maintain a sense of humility that we can never fully fathom the mysteries of nature and the mysteries of the human heart. Existential positive psychology. He carefully reviewed his life and wondered whether he had contributed to his own predicament by blindly supporting the Communist party. Its contradict compatibility, an atheist often suggested that the present of evil entails the absence of God. “It’s payment of the debt you owe for the insane and horrible miracle of your existence… It is how you make amends for the pathology of history” (p. 200). What emerges from the above analysis is a grand symphony of meaning so rich and complex that it dwarfs all the positive psychology books on meaning (e.g., Smith, 2017), which, by comparison, seem so simplistic, mechanistic, and pollyannaish. It follows that the productive way to change society is to bring order and progress to our own life first; when people reverse the order, it will only result in more frustration and chaos. harrywhitaker. The Christian metanarrative provides a compelling account for both the cause and solution of human evil, but Christianity, especially the organized church, is not without problems. Peterson’s prescription of meaning as the antidote to evil and suffering is deceptively simple. Modern naturalism and ancient polytheism both deny proposition 3, that God is all-powerful. The solution to the problem of evil and suffering is voluntary sacrifice in order to alleviate suffering. One version of this problem includes animal suffering from natural evil, such as the violence and fear faced by animals from predators, natural disasters, over the history of evolution. . This sounds something straight from the Bible preached in an evangelistic meeting. It is also related to concept that what is personal is also universal. They had watered down the idea of the imitation of Christ” (Peterson, 2018, p. 189). If we eat merely to stay alive, then our existence would be devoid of any value of meaning. At the end of this chapter, in his section on “Meaning as the Higher Good” (pp. Peterson tackles this fundamental question honestly and optimistically: “Why? In contrast, this point is totally absent in the positive psychology literature, which discounts the need to repair one’s weaknesses in search of meaning and wellbeing. For many people this problem provides … The clashing of civilizations and the self-destruction of humanity might be avoided only if we can find effective solutions. Peterson’s focus on sacrifice is both refreshing and provocative. […] This requires a re-orientation from the horizonal perspective of selfish desires for personal happiness and success to the vertical perspective of spiritual yearnings for meaning and transcendence. Peterson suggests that we can get out of this eternal loop of more suffering by considering an alternative spiritual path as provided by the biblical narrative of Paradise and the Fall. How many people are willing to be slaves to a totalitarian regime in order to eat better? Philosophical theodicies fall into three main types: Nature & Influence of Religious Experience. However, after the Fall, they experienced for the first time what it means to know experientially or be self-conscious of their shame, guilt, fear, and anger due to being alienated from God. He believes that issue gives evidence to support his rebellious attitude toward God.Unfortunately, many evangelicals, by adopting theistic evolution, give credence to the skeptic’s argument, because God would then have created pain and suffering to be inherent in the universe. To condemn and punish the world or others is to set up oneself as God, which is the original root of human evil and suffering. Expedience demands that we need to be adaptive and do whatever it takes to save ourselves from starving to death. This understands that when God said ‘very good’ in Genesis 1:31, it illustrates an idyllic creation. He readily acknowledges that “life is in truth very hard. Match. Evil is the opposite of good. In the face of all this pain and misery, it is obviously a challenge to believe that there is an all goo… Gravity. Peterson’s greatest contribution to the positive psychology of meaning is to define meaning in life as the sacrifice of something of personal value at the present for a better future of greater value for both self and society. Religions are about moral decisions and actions. The winners have to pay a heavy cost to get to the top, and there is nowhere to go except the anxiety of being replaced or a sense of disillusion, “is that all to success?” King Solomon has described the emptiness of worldly pursuit in Ecclesiastes. If there is an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God, how and why is there evil and suffering present in our world today? Once you have decided to make things better as the preferred value, you will pay more attention to your “moral obligations” or duties, such as cleaning up your room, doing your share of household chores, treating people with kindness, and doing your study or work more conscientiously. The third temptation tests our life orientation and worldview. The successful sacrifice has the following attributes: First, it is something most loved or valued but painfully given up to ensure a better future. God’s allowance of evil and suffering does not seem to make sense in the light of human experience and human conceptions of goodness and justice. Download this resource This lesson explores the problems of evil and suffering in a Christian context. To press his point, Peterson points a finger at you: Know that “you’ve failed to make the mark. So when Adam fell, creation underwent a change for the worse. If the preconditions are right, “meaning is something that comes upon you, of its own accord” (p. 200). We don’t have to look far to find the brokenness in our own lives, the lives of others, and the world. Therefore, Christ set an example and “refuse[d] to dispense with His responsibility for the events of His own life” (p. 183). He had every reason to be bitter and curse God, but he chose to respond in a positive manner. You need to aim at the betterment of human life, wanting “to place the alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering at the pinnacle of your hierarchy of value is to work to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth” (p. 198). No one has the complete knowledge or the right to be both judge and executioner. Once again, the key concept of responsibility is introduced as a way to reject expediency in favour of meaning. This will require self-sacrifice and aiming at a self-transcendental goal. The first criticism is that Christianity, with its focus on spiritual redemption, has “failed to sufficiently address the problem of sufferings in the here-and-new” (Peterson, 2018, p. 185). Title: The Problem of Evil and Suffering 1 The Problem of Evil and Suffering. The Problem of Evil and the Problem of the Solutions to the Problem of Evil. by Norman Geisler Making Sense Out of Suffering by Peter Kreeft Evil and the Justice of God (with DVD) by N.T. “The voluntary evil we do one another can be profoundly and permanently damaging, even to the strong” (Peterson, 2018, p. 177). On this formula for happiness, age-old wisdom and modern science are in agreement. Dualism: The approach of Dualism maintains that evil is independent of the good God – there is a “good” god and a “bad” god who may or may not be equal in power. Contributions to the emergence of science. First, he offers to make us wise as God if we disobey God’s moral law regarding our inherent limitation as creatures; as a result, we lose our relationship with God and his paradise for us, resulting in suffering. Students are encouraged to consider different forms of evil and to debate whether suffering is gendered. First, as just observed, we have no way of knowing something is really evil unless there is a God who established the moral law by which we can judge it to be evil. “Meaning is the lotus striving upward through the dark lake depths through the very-clearing water, blooming forth on the very surface, revealing within itself the Golden Buddha, himself perfectly integrated” (p. 201). If God exists, then he is either powerless or unloving. This is simply untrue. Christ’s answer of “Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matt. THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, PAIN, AND SUFFERING by David L. Lipe, Ph.D. God is all Good Wants to Prevent Evil 2. The psychology of ultimate concerns: Motivation and spirituality in personality. You can start small, such as cleaning up your messy room or unorganized desk. For succeeding generations, we have repeated the same offence by wanting to play God and thus have suffered the same consequences. This view is exactly the same as expressed by Frankl (1985, 1986), who has long insisted that meaning is discovered rather than created simply by arbitrary action. The work of of the Gospel and in those following Christ in confronting and overcoming evil can be … In the long run, we will enjoy a more meaningful life if we are unwilling to sell our soul for a piece of bread. The Holocaust demands a reconsideration of the problem and, thus, drastically new solutions . (2003). Meaning is not a subjective feeling or mental state, but a lifestyle, a way of life that leads to flourishing. “The more you sacrifice, the more potential you gain.” — Jordan Peterson, Consistent with second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0), Peterson begins his analysis of meaning in life with the recognition that “pain and suffering define the world” (Peterson, 2018, p. 172). Wong, P. T. P., & Reilly, T. (2017, August 15). Elsewhere, I have made the same argument that all purposes are not the same and the pursuit of meaning and self-transcendence entails developing and giving our best to serve the greater good (Wong, 2016a). Implicit in this principle is the need for “the successful self-sacrifice” (p. 169), because the delay does not mean simply sitting around waiting for something good to happen as in the marshmallow experiment. The Problem Of Evil Cannot Be Solved Philosophy Essay. Adam and Eve exercised their free will and deliberately broke the most basic moral law that there are inherent limits to our status as creatures. For the sake of better understanding of his sweeping panoramic view of meaning, I will break this into several subsections. After 40 days without food, Christ was in the most vulnerable condition. This can cause problems for many Christians, as they believe in a loving, powerful and all-knowing God. Responsible action also means that you will say no to the expedience of short-term gain and selfish pursuit, as exemplified by Jesus’s refusal of the Devil’s offer, and replace it with doing what is meaningful and responsible. You can either respond with anger and vengeance, resulting in more evil and suffering, or with self-examination as to whether you have contributed to your problem and then assume the responsibility for self-improvement. (p. 172). In other words, transcendental truth based on time-tested ancient wisdom can stand alone in its own right without the validation of modern empirical science; the truthfulness of existential/spiritual truth can be experienced by every human being willing to embrace and practice it in their daily living and verified by the good fruit it produces and the resulting transformed life despite adversity. Martela, F., & Steger, M. F. (2016). How many people ask God to show them concrete miracles before they will believe his existence? Christianity - Christianity - The problem of suffering: The starting point for the Christian understanding of suffering is the messianic self-understanding of Jesus himself. The Problem of Evil - Part 2. Problem of Evil: Possible Solutions - Problem of Evil: Possible Solutions James A. Secondly, in the Bible God is the one inflicting physical torture and death 99 percent of the time. Central to Augustine’s idea of goodness (and, consequently, evil) was … 4:1-11), Christ is the archetype of the Good, while Satan is the archetype of Evil. In one way it can be seen as purely a philosophical or academic quandary that could somehow be solved with an appropriate philosophical insight and argument. “Meaning is the mature replacement. The problem of evil then becomes existential, and not just academic. While there are many ways thinkers have gone about answering the question, few do it as well […] How as it that we discovered something worse, much worse the than aristocracy and corrupt religious beliefs, that communism and fascism sought so rationally to supplement? Hursthouse, R., & Pettigrove, Glen. The problem of suffering then is asymmetric: There would be no problem of suffering if there were no God, because there would be no contingent order, conscious beings, or objective moral experiences. Learn. However the Bible teaches that humans are not the only ones who have rebelled against God and one source of suffering comes from the evil one who was the first to turn against God. - Evil causes suffering, so Christians are likely to call poverty, disease and war evil. However, if we eat in order to contribute some value to society, then there is meaning to our existence. Christ, the perfect man, represents the perfect self-sacrifice which is perfectly acceptable to God. The Solution Of Any Problem : Lama Fera In India - Lama Fera In India is admired by the majority of the population and it is the easiest way to connect with the Divine. There have been many proposed solutions to problem of evil, one being the free will defense/argument. Everyone holds this knowledge in their soul. Just watch the problems of the income gap between the rich and powerful ruling class and the powerless underclass in China and Russia. A new solution to the problem of evil? Our choice determines whether we live a productive and happy life, or a life of anger and hatred. The same idea of responsibility and sacrifice for the greater good was also expressed by Meng Tzu: When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent. In fact, this question even goes further by endorsing the Chinese maxim that if we don’t strive to make things better, we will automatically make things worse because “learning is like peddling a boat upstream—it will automatically drift downstream if you don’t continuously strive to move upstream.”. Meaning is the experience of awe and transcendence, the celebration of the triumph of the good with such passion that all the horrors of the past are forgiven “Meaning happens when that dance has become so intense that all the horrors of the past, all the terrible struggle engaged in by all of life and all of humanity to that moment becomes a necessary and worthwhile part of the increasingly successful attempt to build something truly Mighty and Good” (p. 201). I don’t claim to fully understand or represent all his ideas about the potentials of meaning, but I can try to extract the essence of his poetic language and translate it into psychological language from the perspective of existential positive psychology (Wong, 2016d) so that his Jungian view of meaning can be placed in the larger context of the meaning literature. 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