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Concepts of Suffering There is no divine purpose to suffering:

There is no divine purpose to suffering: we must look past explanations, and find meaning elsewhere.

Although Charles Darwin began his career studying religion, he later came to doubt the existence of a divine creator and refused to write on the subject of religion, even when asked (Darwin 60-61). He believed that religion was a highly personal matter, and not one to be published by anyone who had not spent a great deal of time in its study (59). In his studies of nature and in developing his theory of natural selection, Darwin could not reconcile what he observed with his own eyes with the idea of a divine creator. He saw no divine creationism in the myriad creatures of nature, and declared, ôWe can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by manö (Darwin 63).

In respect to suffering, too, Darwin again saw nothing divine (Darwin 63). He states that, ô...if all the individuals of any species were habitually to suffer to an extreme degree, they would neglect to propagate their kindö and goes on to add, ôSome other considerations, moreover, lead to the belief that all sentient things have been formed so as to enjoy, as a general rule, happinessö (Darwin 63). Yet in Homer, it is the ômalice of the gods which propels both sides to destruction,ö according to Hedges (29). Indeed, most wars throughout history have been fought in the name of religion, which makes them a form of natural selection - the stronger side winning - yet where can more suffering be seen at one time than on the battlefield? It would seem that to have faith in a divine being, you must be prepared to suffer, and make others suffer, to prove your faith. Does this not mean that suffering is divine, and we should be willing to suffer for our faith?

Galileo was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1633 for daring to propose that the Earth was n...

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