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Posted on August 29th, 2012, by

The problem of suffering and understanding of its meaning has been one of important problems in all principal philosophical theories and views. It can be regarded from different perspectives: from religious view, from humanistic, deterministic or humanistic perspective. As for me, deterministic way of understanding suffering is the one that describes my position regarding suffering best of all.

Let us regard a situation where a person experiences spiritual suffering ”“ when the boyfriend or girlfriend leaves without explanation. Such situation, in different forms, occurs in lives of almost all people, but there are plenty of interpretations of it. In my opinion, the idea of causal determinism: “future events are necessitated by past and present events combined with the laws of nature”¯ (Suppes 243) is the key to understanding and treating this situation. In my opinion, any suffering, and spiritual suffering, like in this case, gives a chance for development, for analysis of events that led to suffering and may result in new thoughts and understanding of the surrounding world. In other words, suffering contributes to personal growth and may be regarded as a chance to become better and cleverer.

Regarding this case from biblical perspective, we can conclude that suffering acts as a means to improve human discipline. “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do”¯ (Jeremiah 9:7b). Indeed, if God created people are creatures able to develop and as creatures that have a freedom of choice, there should exist some system showing people what is good and what is bad. Suffering is reverse action caused by this system. However, in this situation one more biblical view of suffering may be regarded: suffering as compassion. As James 1:27 says: “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world”¯. From this point of view suffering leads a person to Christian compassion and again, contributes to perfection of a person.

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