Pain, Suffering, and Purpose
by Luke Nix
The Emotional Problem of Evil
This past weekend the On Guard conference was held in Oklahoma, which gave me the opportunity to go. William Lane Craig was speaking on the problem of evil- both the intellectual version and the emotional version. He did an incredible job demonstrating how the intellectual problem has been overcome and that even atheists recognize that. The emotional problem of evil is where he stated that the problem is still quite persuasive.
In my notes on this talk I wrote down three initials. They represents a powerful and popular resource that I wanted to highlight for the apologetic community. I have been dealing with apologetics for several years now, and I cannot remember seeing this resource come up a single time. It seems to be left untapped, yet I’m not certain why.
Its Not About Humanity
In his answer to the emotional problem of evil, Craig pointed out what should be obvious- that the emotional problem of evil is based in the fact that people believe that this life is about them and the world revolves around them. The pain and suffering that we all experience does not make a single bit of sense if the purpose of our lives is to be comfortable, happy, and pain-free. Even minor inconveniences, like locking keys in the car or our internet connection not working, become quite problematic if this life is all about us.
But if this life is not about us, then that assumes that it IS about someone or something else. But what or who is it? Many people would be tempted to say that since life is not about them, that it is about everyone else- that their life is to make the lives of others comfortable, happy, and pain-free. But that won’t work because pain and suffering is not limited to us alone. Everyone experiences pain and suffering. So, we must recognize that this life can’t be about everyone (or anyone) either…
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