Why innocent children are allowed to suffer? e.g. Hamzah Kham, his siblings and much more thorough the world.

(167 Posts)
Hopemore Sun 06-Oct-13 03:11:51

I just find it so hard to keep my faith strong when I see innocent people suffering so badly.
I try to be good, helpful, generous.
I try to cause no harm, etc
But that is not enough for me, I need to have faith.
But it is hard to keep strong, it really is.
I don't want to be an hypocrite, I really want to have a solid faith but sometimes I think I just can't have it.
Not because of my life, I am grateful for everything I have, but I feel 'angry' for so much suffering in the world.
Sorry if I don't make any sense.

fizzoclock Thu 10-Oct-13 12:24:06

I'm a Christian so I believe in life after death and the promises of the Bible of a new heaven and a new earth.

I think God delays final judgement so that as many people as possible can choose to say yes to God. I think God simply allows us to choose God or to say no thanks. For those who say no thanks I think that's it they choose 'hell' which is everything that is not God. Anyone who wants to can be part of God's life and new creation.

I think sometimes we over complicate the idea. Basically my understanding is that God is love. Anyone who wants to say yes to God's love can but if anyone wants to reject it then it's not really possible for them to participate in God's life life and the restored creation that he promises because they are basically characterised by the rule of self-giving love.

I think purgatory isn't a biblical idea. I think the Catholic church might even have dropped the idea too? Reincarnation is a Hindu belief. I guess both purgatory and reincarnation suggest human beings working for God's favour. I believe God doesn't require us to work for his love he simply loves us as we are his children.

headinhands Thu 10-Oct-13 13:30:07

How can you reject something that you have no evidence is even real? How can god hold you accountable for rejecting him by choosing another god when there is as much proof for all of them?

As for being part of gods new creation. It didn't go so great the last time according to the bible, why trust him again?

headinhands Thu 10-Oct-13 13:39:11

I also think that God has placed a limit on suffering and that he will restore all that human beings manage to destroy.

Sorry but that sort of comment really irritates me. As humans we have managed to ease a lot of suffering through what we have learnt through medicine and so on. God did none of that. He didn't give us vaccines or instructions for effective sanitation or develop drought resistant crops! You have absolutely no evidence that god has a limit on suffering. He doesn't seem to mind being the author of it himself according to the bible. If a parent starved their child to death you would never think 'oh I'm sure there was a good loving reason why they let that happen' so how are you able to suspend those ideas on goodness when judging how a loving god watches dreadful dreadful things happening.

headinhands Thu 10-Oct-13 13:50:12

Faith is a step beyond rationality in the same way that love is. We have good evidence that love might exist from family relationships, perhaps even brain scans, but love isn't able to be pinned down by rational thinking. We believe it exists because we feel it. We believe in God because for believers not only do we see enough evidence for it, but, the final step of faith is that we also 'feel it' we know God and God's love just as we know and trust other intangible things.

I understand love to be just a label that we use for that feeling we have when we think of our children, spouse etc. I don't need to think love is a separate entity somewhere to enjoy that feeling when I am with my husband. I also know that the love I have for him is to do with a mixture of familiarity and brain hormones etc and that it's all in my head. There's nothing supernatural about it. Evolutionary psychology goes some way to explain why early humans that had higher levels of oxytocin would be more likely to reproduce effectively.

I know he gets wheeled out whenever love is mentioned in these threads but this is rather brilliant at explaining it

headinhands Thu 10-Oct-13 16:05:49

Just because we have a feeling in our head that we call love for something, doesn't mean that that something actually exists. If it does then you have to accept that all the other gods that humans have worshipped throughout time exist.

Gingerandcocoa Thu 10-Oct-13 18:58:37

headinhands in regards to your comment: How can you reject something that you have no evidence is even real? How can god hold you accountable for rejecting him by choosing another god when there is as much proof for all of them?

Here is what the Bible says about it:

^Romans 1:20
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.^

I guess Christians choose to believe that creation is in itself evidence of God. We look around and see how amazing the human body is, how every little part works together and we just cannot believe that this was caused by chance. Think about this, imagine a Boeing 747 in a scrapyard, all dismantled. Then a hurricane comes by and by sheer luck, after the hurricane passes the result is a completely assembled, fully functioning plane, ready to fly! Unlikely, isn't it? So that's how we feel about the earth, animals and human beings. Of course, it's theoretically possible that it's all pure chance that we're all here. But it's so very unlikely, that we find it much more reasonable to believe that someone created this.

The other piece of evidence is Jesus. It is widely accepted that Jesus existed, and I don't think even atheists dispute that. Jesus' life, teachings and his resurrection are extremely well documented. There are about 5,500 known manuscripts of the New Testament. If you compare this against manuscripts of classical writers who lived around the same time as Jesus (for example, Aristotle, 5 manuscripts, or Julius Caesar, 9-10 manuscripts), you can see that the evidence is as good as it gets. And the differences between manuscripts of the New Testament are extremely small, there are variations in about 1/1000th of the NT.

So the evidence is there, but of course as fizzoclock has put it there is the element of faith, and that is so important. The main point I wanted to get across is that the Christian faith is by no means blind.

MostlyLovingLurchers Fri 11-Oct-13 10:37:54

The other piece of evidence is Jesus. It is widely accepted that Jesus existed, and I don't think even atheists dispute that.

Rather than have the discussion again here, you may want to take a look at this thread. There is plenty of disagreement as to whether Jesus was a historical figure.

curlew Fri 11-Oct-13 10:40:36

"Think about this, imagine a Boeing 747 in a scrapyard, all dismantled. Then a hurricane comes by and by sheer luck, after the hurricane passes the result is a completely assembled, fully functioning plane, ready to fly! Unlikely, isn't it?"

Yes, well, if that's how evolution by natural selection worked, then I agree, it would be a bit unlikely..........

Hullygully Fri 11-Oct-13 10:56:17

But it's so very unlikely, that we find it much more reasonable to believe that someone created this

Why is it so very unlikely?

Hullygully Fri 11-Oct-13 10:57:07

I agree Jesus existed.

He and plenty of other ordinary mortal men and women have advocated love and kindness.

So what? Doesn't prove the supernatural.

curlew Fri 11-Oct-13 11:09:03

I am prepared to believe that Jesus might have existed. I don't think the evidence is any stronger than that. But that doesn't mean he was the Son of God, or supernatural in any way.

And I don't understand how people can say "this scientific process is so unlikely that it's more reasonable to believe in the supernatural". Surely that makes no sense at all?

fizzoclock Fri 11-Oct-13 14:44:52

I meant a limit on the time of suffering not each event. Christians believe suffering is the result of sin which is the result of free will. So we are back to the earlier points on this thread. I don't think each incident of suffering occurs for a loving reason. I think it is exactly the opposite, suffering is an afront to the plans God has for human beings. I think God can bring good through suffering but that is a side issue. It is definitely not because the suffering is good.

By the love analogy I meant that for Christians we take external evidence, plus the internal evidence of our own experience of God and faith and added together those cement our faith and trust in God. It's similar to love but obviously not exactly the same.

I guess the way you feel about love (a collection of random things we pop a label on) is also the way you feel about God (a handy label for things we don't understand). I don't agree.

Hopemore Fri 11-Oct-13 21:59:55

So, what was Hamzah Kham sin then?

RationalThought Sat 12-Oct-13 00:21:38

Jesus' life, teachings and his resurrection are extremely well documented. There are about 5,500 known manuscripts of the New Testament.

There are many manuscripts, often the earliest ones, that contradict the current biblical account of the divine nature of Jesus, his works and the events after his death. It is accepted by all reputable biblical scholars that none of the gospels, or indeed the other books in the current New Testament, were written earlier than 70 AD.

Similarly, there are numerous ancient manuscripts that document the life of Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha), who predates Jesus by 500+ years.

Christians believe suffering is the result of sin which is the result of free will.

When a baby is killed in an earthquake. Who's sin is responsible for that?

Why would a loving benevolent god have created a world with so many natural disasters that disproportionately impact upon the poor?

I think God delays final judgement so that as many people as possible can choose to say yes to God. I think God simply allows us to choose God or to say no thanks.

Why would a loving benevolent god create a world where the majority of people will never have the chance to learn the "truths" that are vital for their salvation? Billions of people have never had (will never have) the chance to "choose God".

expatinscotland Sat 12-Oct-13 00:24:03

Because there is no such thing as God. Life is much easier to bear when this truth becomes evident.

Either god can't help the starving children or he won't.

Ask yourself if you had the ability to stop them suffering would you do so. Could you bear to not do so? Could you say "I know the little ones are suffering but it's ok because some people in other countries did something wrong" or "it's ok because a percentage of those that die today in agony will end up in heaven eventually"

It's a safe bet that everyone here reading this is a better, kinder and more decent person than that.

sarahtigh Sat 12-Oct-13 15:31:18

70AD is well within time frame for accurate reporting of an event it is a mere 40 years past date of jesus's death; it has been far longer since end of WWII

sarahtigh, 40 years is a long time if it's not written down. We have proper records of WWII not just vague memories of grandad talking about it when we were growing up. Also you can still find remnants of WWII bombs and such. No one seems to be able to find any record of Jesus, the census, the killing of the firstborn, the dead walking about, the blackened sky or anything else that supposedly happened.

More interesting is that there are a number of other gospels not included which contradict wildly the ones Paul's church decided to keep. The ones that were kept also contradict each other of course.

sarahtigh Sun 13-Oct-13 11:02:32

I was not commenting on the stories just that 40 years is not a long time and would not of necessity make the recordings inaccurate

my fathers memories of WWII are not vague he was 20 obviously he would not know all the details of what was happening everywhere but even though he has not written it down his memories of what happened to him and what he saw would be accurate

curlew Sun 13-Oct-13 13:19:34

"his memories of what happened to him and what he saw would be accurate"

But not necessarily factual.

sarahtigh Sun 13-Oct-13 14:51:07

I am not actually discussing scripture or proof of it but as a general statement that real life witnesses of significant events can be generally regarded as an accurate source of information.

most 60-70 year olds remember accurately what happened when they were 20-30 if it was of great significance to them, while there is a possibilty it may not be factual the overwhelming chances are that it is and that they remember accurately of course it may only be one side of the picture but that does not make it untrue or not factual it just means other facts may need to be taken into account.

very very little ancient history as any contemporary records the inscriptions on tombs of pharaohs etc are regarded as good evidence of some things they are known to be self promoting, oral tradition when it is relied on to pass info on can also be accurate

If you think about it the whole christian religion is based on pretty much what 4 anonymous writers said they had heard from people who claimed they had been there.

We don't even know who wrote the gospels and we don't know who they asked about what happened. We don't know how long after the events they lived - though we are sure it was quite a while.

Even now lots of Christians assume they were disciples of jesus. They say to me "but they were there so they should know". To be fair I think I was taught that they were when I was young.

Oh and I agree that lots of history is just as unreliable. However most history is not so critical. It would be nice to know just what happened in the past, but it isn't vital that we do. We don't kill people now for doubting what Alexander did or pass laws that we all have to wear an eyepatch because Nelson did. (actually I'm told that Nelson didn't which just shows how easily the stories change)

fizzoclock Mon 14-Oct-13 11:54:23

Hope- 'Suffering is the result of sin' i.e. Hamzah suffered as a result of his mothers sinful (wrong) behaviour NOT that he suffered because he was sinful.

A Christian view of sin is things which get in the way of a right relationship with God and others. Our bad attitudes, unforgiveness, all the way up to this woman inflicting horrendous cruelty on her own son. We all sin on some level and our sins tend to cause others pain and suffering.

I tend to buy myself things that I sort of need but can live without instead of giving all my spare cash to charity. My selfishness and need/want for new boots = less money to feed starving Syrian refugees. That's a simple example but we all are constantly putting ourselves first and not seeking the good of others which is what sin is.

When suffering like this impacts you I genuinely think the best response is to do something however small which will alleviate the suffering of someone else. Small acts added up = big change.

curlew Mon 14-Oct-13 14:09:23

"Hope- 'Suffering is the result of sin' i.e. Hamzah suffered as a result of his mothers sinful (wrong) behaviour NOT that he suffered because he was sinful."

But God could have stopped that suffering. Why didn't he?

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