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Why Suffering?

Why Suffering?

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Throughout history people have asked why, if GOD is both good and All-Powerful , He doesn't intercede to prevent pain and suffering in the world. Is there an answer...?
Throughout history people have asked why, if GOD is both good and All-Powerful , He doesn't intercede to prevent pain and suffering in the world. Is there an answer...?

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Published by: FreetosharePublications on Sep 15, 2012
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03/21/2015

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THROUGHOUT HISTORY PEOPLE HAVE ASKED WHY, IFGOD IS BOTH GOOD AND ALL-POWERFUL, HE DOESN’TINTERCEDE TO PREVENT PAIN AND SUFFERING IN THE WORLD. IS THERE AN ANSWER?
 
In the 1920s the streets of his hometown,Dublin, were filled with men who had returned fromthe Great War, shell-shocked, gassed, maimed ordismembered. The confrontation with realityclashed with Beckett’s comfortable upper-middle-class background.By his own admission, another incident in hisstudent days contributed to the rejection of Godand Christianity. Raised as an Anglican, Beckettattended church services with his father one Sundayevening to hear a family friend preach. CanonDobbs spoke about his visits to “the sick, the suffer-ing, the dying and the bereaved.” His way of con-soling people in such straits was to tell them,“[Christ’s] crucifixion was only the beginning. Youmust contribute to the kitty.” Beckett was appalledat the failure to explain undeserved suffering andthe attempted rationale for a growing mountain of pain. To say that suffering somehow prepared onefor a better afterlife made no sense to him either;he considered it an affront to the sufferer.In 1954 Beckett spent three and a half monthswith his brother Frank, who was dying of lungcancer. According to Knowlson, the experience washarrowing, the passage of time endless, the grief acute, the depression profound. Sam’s pain wasmatched only by his feelings following the death of his father in 1933 and his mother in 1950. As he hadwaited for his mother to die from complications of Parkinson’s and a broken femur, “he [had] thoughtwith bitter irony of his own situation, an agnosticwho desperately needed God to blame for theunnecessary nature of his mother’s suffering.”Most of Beckett’s work is dark and pessimistic,centered on the futility and hopelessness of humanlife. His highly influential play,
Waiting for Godot 
(1952), is the tale of two men who wait for the arrivalof someone who never comes and will never come.Thought by many to emphasize that belief in Goddoes nothing but disappoint in an otherwise mean-ingless existence, the play is nevertheless rich inbiblical allusions (the tree of life, Adam, Cain andAbel, the crucifixion, the two thieves, repentance,prayer). Some have also seen parallels between itand the book of Job.Despite his agnosticism, Beckett wrote witha Bible and concordances at hand, as biographerAnthony Cronin notes. But Beckett’s access to theScriptures did not reveal to him its truths about suf-fering in this life. Instead he remarked to writer-director Colin Duckworth, “Christianity is a mythologywith which I am perfectly familiar. So naturally I useit”—often in ironic and sarcastic ways, Cronin adds.According to Mary Bryden, professor at the Univer-sity of Reading and former president of the SamuelBeckett Society, “the hypothesised God who
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM BELIEF IN GOD BECAUSEOF SUFFERING? ONE FOR SURE WASTHE NOBEL PRIZE–WINNING AUTHOROF MANY 20TH-CENTURY WORKS,SAMUEL BECKETT. ACCORDING TOHIS OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHER, JAMESKNOWLSON, “IT WAS ON THE KEY ISSUEOF PAIN, SUFFERING AND DEATH THATBECKETT’S RELIGIOUS FAITH FALTERED AND QUICKLY FOUNDERED.
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