$700 000 000

A discussion about whether God is to blame for suffering, or if suffering proves that there is no God, or that whatever there may be out there doesn’t care, got me thinking. The discussion, as usual in this kind of discussion, generally becomes about peripheral issues. We can’t prove or disprove God, intelligent design is a bad argument, probability is in all probability the best argument for. The arguments against are generally based on a lack of proof for, thus a priory reasoning becomes the focus.

Is suffering in the world God’s fault? I think that the person with whom I had the original discussion with will agree with me here, since he is an atheist, no, it isn’t God’s fault. One could look at the Bible and postulate that since God made Lucifer knowing he would rebel, it is His fault. Lucifer was a being who like us, although much more powerful than us, had free choice. This is the key here. Free choice. Adam and Eve had free choice, whether you believe the story is true or not, isn’t really relevant here, the age of the story shows that one of the fundamental flaws in human nature has been known to mankind for millennia. When God asked Adam what he had done, he blamed Eve, with a little blame for God too, “this woman which you gave me.” When Eve was confronted, she blamed the serpent. When Hansie was confronted for match fixing, he blamed the devil, the common cop out, “the devil made me do it.”

What is with people that blame can always be shifted? A funny thing, that springs to mind was a Facebook post I saw, I think it originated on Twitter, involving where the buck stops. “I wish the buck stopped here, I sure could use some about now” is a paraphrase. Lets face it, people who take the responsibility for their actions are always likely to be more successful than those who pass the buck. We find all sorts of things to blame, God; the devil; capitalism; our parents; our circumstances; just about anything we can think of, but never let it be said that it’s our fault.

So what about suffering, I firmly believe that suffering is the cause of democracy, not democracy in the conventional sense, but for my reasoning click on this blue writing. We can all make a difference to suffering in the world, just like we can all make a difference to the climate change issue, if it is simply a matter of reducing carbon emissions. We all wait for someone else to do something, we could all do without certain things in our lives and thus we could all make a difference to somebody else’s. We could all do something about climate change by reducing our carbon footprint, vegetarianism, less electricity use if you are on fossil fuel based power; less driving, walk to the shop sometime, or cycle.

Unfortunately it’s easy to sit back and say, I can’t make much of a difference, there so many people, so many factories. Factories, that we support by buying their products, after all, why should we go without TVs; microwaves and blenders, if someone else is going to buy, and keep the factories open. The problem is this will never change anything, we are all accomplices, we all decide not to react; not to do anything. Instead we sit back, hiding behind, “I can’t make a difference” and casting blame on the society we support by saying, that’s just the way it is.

I could go on, but I don’t think I need to labour this point, we’ve probably all heard it before, we’ll probably all hear it again, but until we are the ones suffering, we’ll keep sitting back and doing nothing. Just think what 10% of the global population could do by donating just one dollar each to the plight of the starving imagine if they did this monthly, then try say, “I can’t make a difference.”

His freedom to choose was probably hindered by ours. | Photo: Kevin Carter 1960 - 1994

His freedom to choose was probably hindered by ours. | Photo: Kevin Carter 1960 – 1994

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