③Have you ever considered the problem of evil before CTWR class? If so, why or in what context?
Before theology, the problem of evil always perplexed my mind. I never understood why there was a need for so much suffering in the world, if there was supposed to be an omnipotent and benevolent being watching over us. In freshman year, we learned about Noah’s Ark and the Israelites being freed from slavery, but all these wonderful occurrences stemmed from evil. Why would God allow his creation to be enslaved by another part of his creation and why would God wipe his creation out with a violent flood? How are we supposed to believe in an individual that kills his or her creation because they were upset? That sounds petty, however it almost seems as though God used his or her power just to use it, not to better the people. However, I know we are supposed to read these Bible stories with religious truth, but it’s concerning that God would want us to know that he can destroy us in a matter of days, minutes, or days.
In addition, I see suffering in my daily life, people live in poverty, there are natural disasters, there is cancer, and people rape, kill, and abuse. All this happens under God’s supervision and I never understood why he would let all these horrific events happen.
②After our readings and discussions this week, why do you think there is suffering in the world?
I think suffering exists because God gives us free will to choose to do good or bad. As a result, humanity’s evil actions derive from wrong choices. You may be wondering why God does not step in to eradicate these wrong choices. The answer is if God intervenes in every bad choice someone makes, then do we have free will? We will not know and use our freedom if this omnipotent being controls and stops anything that can harshly impact others. If God intervenes everything, then we are just his puppets in a show called “No Freedom, Just Control” starring God.
⑤Have you ever seen or experienced pain and suffering that had a greater purpose or led to a greater good?
My sister is the strongest and most confident person I know and she inspires anyone in her presence. In 2013, she had gallbladder disease; as a result she experienced continuous stomach pains that were more severe than childbirth. At this time, my sister was attending college in Boston, Massachusetts and weekly she had to go to the hospital for medical attention regarding her stomach pains. Eventually, she was scheduled for a surgery to remove her gallbladder; subsequently my mother, father and I drove to Boston for the surgery.
As I entered the hospital, adrenaline filled my body, my hatred for hospitals came rushing through my blood. Some of the strongest people I know always suffer in hospitals; I never understood why a building full of people suffering was ever created. Upon entered my sister’s room in the hospital, I noticed she looked completely disheveled and weak, but she kept saying she would be okay and I believed her. My family and I said the twenty-third psalm before my sister entered into surgery and we waited.
After her surgery, I knew my sister would not have to endure anymore suffering, and I was glad. However, I was resentful at the fact that she had to endure this pain in the first place, but at the end of suffering, both my sister and I realized that we need to cherish everyday of our lives because you never know how quickly it can be taken away. If my sister’s gallbladder exploded, she wouldn’t be here today and I am thankful for everyday I spend with her.
Prior to this incident, I barely called my sister at college; I didn’t even know that she changed her major until that point. After the surgery, I made sure that I called my sister at least once a week to check in and see how she was doing. I think it’s important to fully strengthen and cultivate relationships with the people you love so you aren’t resentful that you didn’t tell them you love them enough because they could pass away at any time.