Everything on the Topic of Suffering

2007 April 13

Walter Kaufmann on Suffering

Filed under: Uncategorized — robertdaoust @ 10:25 am

Excerpts from Walter Kaufmann’s The Faith of a Heretic, chapter 6, http://skeptically.org/thinkersonreligion/id16.html:

“[…] for most human beings, the problem of suffering poses no difficult problem at all: one has a world picture in which suffering has its place, a world picture that takes suffering into account.”



“To make the problem of suffering a perplexing problem, one quires very specific presuppositions, and once those are accepted the problem becomes not only puzzling but insoluble.”



“According to Augustine and many of his successors, all men deserve eternal torture, but God in his infinite mercy saves a very few. Nobody is treated worse than he deserves, but a few are treated better than they deserve, salvation being due not to merit but solely to grace. In the face of these beliefs, Augustine and legions after him assert God’s perfect justice, mercy, and goodness.  And to save men from eternal torment, it came to be considered just and merciful to torture heretics, or those suspected of some heresy, for a few days….”



“Man can stand superhuman suffering if only he does not lack the conviction that it serves some purpose. Even less severe pain, on the other hand, may seem unbearable, or simply not worth enduring, if it is not redeemed by any meaning.”

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