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#1 of 12 Old 12-19-2009, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So my question for people of any religious, spritual or no religious backround is this. How do you reconcile yourself with the evils in the world? For me I am not talking about when a baby isnt raised in an AP lifestyle or has to CIO from time to time. Because to me that is not suffering. I am talking about children, infants who are born into suffering. I have spent my adult life trying to understand the miseries of the world. Obviously there is no real way to understand evil, or people with bad hearts with bad desires/intentions. But when I think about my God (my interpretation of a higher power) and why a power stronger than me would put children and babies into the hands of evil is so hard for me to grasp. It is devastating to my spirit really. People make bad choices in life and bad consequences happen. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. But I dont believe that people as a whole grow up and lead perfect lives and never do harm (intentional or not) to others. We are imperfect beings. We cut people off in the car, say ugly things sometimes, dont give or help those in need as we should. But to me babies and children are the absolute in pure and innocense. They are born for us to love and care for and only learn bad from those around them. I firmly believe that it is nurture that turns us into who we are (good or bad) not nature. So why does God put babies into the world to be abused, neglected, molested and killed? When so clearly they are the most pure and innocent of things? I doubt sometimes that their can be a higher power when he safely delivers the most precious gift into harms way. I guess it is just all the evil I have heard around me lately, but this is so upsetting because I just cant rationalize why children have to suffer. It is so painful to me and I sometimes doubt and forget the good in others when I see so much bad.

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#2 of 12 Old 12-19-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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I reconcile those things in a couple of ways. Firstly, I believe reincarnation is likely. If so then those that are in what we label as horrific situations for whatever reason chose to experience those things for the growth of the soul.

Secondly, I try to drop labels. It's really hard, nearly impossible in our society to do so. And it makes many people uncomfortable having been so thoroughly indoctrinated into labeling everything. But if you take away that A is good and Z is bad, then it all just is. Equanimity. All things are equal. I struggle with this concept still myself, but the longer I've worked at it, the more comfortable and true it feels for me.
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#3 of 12 Old 12-26-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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Hiya Zippy, I hear ya. Thinking about it can make you go crazy, it's very upsetting and hard to understand.

I'll share with you how I understand these things and they are a Christian perspective.

For years, I asked myself "why". I suffered a lot at the hands of my father, and have had several traumatic experiences in my life. After an abusive childhood, I went to college, thankful that I was finally free from abuse, only to have another traumatic experience - being held hostage in a classroom my freshman year. My mind went on downward spiral and I rejected God, unable to understand how he could allow me to go through all I went through, being a child, not having done anything wrong to deserve these things.

Years later I still questioned life and suffering, and began to understand a lot as I became a Christian. One of the most helpful books was "Disappointment with God" by Philip Yancy.

The way I understand it is, that God has a plan for the entire world. Although he does allow suffering, it is not without his own heart breaking for his children. When his children hurt, he hurts. It is to serve a purpose, and sometimes we don't know what that purpose is for years and years. The key is to have faith in this, in him. In 1 Cor, Paul says "all things work together for good for them that love God". It doesn't seem true when you're in the midst of suffering, but that's where hope and faith come in.

When I look at the world, children suffering, starving, poor, abused, it's hard to fathom "why". I try to remember that God could be working in their lives individually for a purpose.

I also remember that Jesus, being God made flesh, offered himself up to horrible suffering out of love. So, it's not like God is in heaven enjoying being in heaven while we all suffer down here. He knows heartbreak. He's compassionate, loving, and merciful.


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#4 of 12 Old 12-26-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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That's one more reason I'm agnostic. The mental gymnastics that Christianity (I was raised Catholic and have tried a number of Christian denominations) uses to rationalize this sort of thing with a loving God don't work for me.
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#5 of 12 Old 12-26-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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Well, are you sure that suffering is a purely negative thing? Even the suffering of those who have done nothing to deserve it?

Christianity teaches, somewhat shockingly really, that suffering is part of the Divine, in some mysterious and difficult to comprehend way.

More specifically, that it entered the world because creatures were given free will and chose untruth over truth. That choice affected not only the individuals involved, but all of creation - even inanimate matter.

One way of looking at this says that the benefits of this - allowing conscious, freely given love in creation - outweighs the disadvantage - suffering for all. Another way of looking at it - or perhaps another aspect of it - is what I said above. Somehow this suffering is actually made part of the Divine. We can actually meet God in suffering, just as in joy.

Aside from that though, it seems to me you can look at the problem of suffering ijn two ways. If there ijs such thing as good and evil, then suffering has some meaning. If there isn't - then suffering is simply meaningless. You can no longer say - suffering, even of the innocent, is bad. It simply is.

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#6 of 12 Old 12-28-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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"So why does God put babies into the world to be abused, neglected, molested and killed?"

God? People Do That! God gave us the ability to procreate; He does not make that choice for us. I decide if I will get pregnant, so I am not sure what you mean when you ask why God brings babies into the world. We do that, and apparently we do not do it with discrimination. Likewise, it is not God doing the abusing, neglecting, molestation, or killing is it?

It's people, so why blame God? Blaming God is the equivalent of not holding people accountable for their choices, isn't it? Let's just blame God for everything so we don't have to accept responsibility for our irresponsibility.
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#7 of 12 Old 12-28-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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Mrs. Turner and Bluegoat said a lot of what I believe.

Both my mother and my dh suffered as children, in different ways. Although none of us would ever wish suffering on anyone, we are all glad that God created them and put them in this world. Although others made choices that caused my loved ones to suffer in their childhood, both my dh and my mother made choices as well, and they are both a blessing to many people in their adulthood.

More later, maybe
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#8 of 12 Old 12-29-2009, 05:38 AM
 
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I do believe in redemptive suffering. I do believe this life is transient, that we are travelers and this world is not our home. I do believe The Story of the World will be the most beautiful love story ever told, but none of us can see it until we are beyond this life. To think of all the terrible things of this world is almost crushing, but I think God chose those people to allow those situations for something beautiful -- a great gift to all of humanity, or just the salvation of a few souls who needed a person to live their lives in that way to give the greatest gift of eternal life.

There is a metafore about climbing a hill that I'm having trouble wording to make sense.. so I guess the short form is that God can and will give you all that is needed for salvation, but there is something so beautiful about brother helping brother that it is allowed to happen.

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#9 of 12 Old 12-29-2009, 06:42 AM
 
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Among the attributes my religion attributes to god there is a lot of dichotomy ... exalter and abaser, the granter of both honor and dishonor, creator and destroyer, giver of life and death, pardoner and avenger, the preventor of harm but afflictor as well. We don't do a lot of the whole "god is love and light and that's it" thing. While it is given that god is just and there is a certain justice in creation, theologically Islam has not been known to get into a lot of attempts to assert that everything we see before us here in this life is just in some unseen way, or to assert that every injustice we see originates from some source other than god. In short: there are things we just plain don't get, and acknowledging that is built into our theology.

Why was creation made such that people suffer unthinkable things ... such that people are capable of making others suffer unthinkable things? Don't know. Of course it could have been done otherwise. Of course.

Because there's nothing in my religion to say that the fact of people suffering so horribly conflicts with my definition of god it doesn't turn into a question of belief vs. disbelief for me ... but that doesn't really make the question of "why?" any smaller. I have never yet personally heard an explanation that did not have the potential to be so offensive to some victims as to be indefensible, so it's not an area in which I'm even interested in trying to imagine a justification for god. In my own way of being faithful, I feel that all we can do is to, as above, acknowledge not knowing, and to wait.
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#10 of 12 Old 12-30-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahm View Post
"So why does God put babies into the world to be abused, neglected, molested and killed?"

God? People Do That! God gave us the ability to procreate; He does not make that choice for us. I decide if I will get pregnant, so I am not sure what you mean when you ask why God brings babies into the world. We do that, and apparently we do not do it with discrimination. Likewise, it is not God doing the abusing, neglecting, molestation, or killing is it?

It's people, so why blame God? Blaming God is the equivalent of not holding people accountable for their choices, isn't it? Let's just blame God for everything so we don't have to accept responsibility for our irresponsibility.
Most of the religious people I know talk about how just about everything positive that happens is a "blessing" attributed to god. The bad stuff is usually either put down to man's imperfection or sinful nature or "we don't know why but someday when we're in heaven we will."

This makes no sense to me. If you believe in an all powerful god, why does he get credit for everything from good health, winning the lottery or finding your lost car keys, but he gets a complete pass on all the bad stuff.

Lots of bad stuff happens to innocent people that is certainly not the result of anything people do. Natural disasters and deadly illnesses are just a few that come to mind.

If you think that people should stop blaming god for the suffering of innocents, to me it would logically follow that we should stop attributing everything good to god and accept that the good things are just as much as a result of human activity as the bad.
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#11 of 12 Old 12-30-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Hmmm this is an interesting thread and can probably go on for many years...seriously.

So much of what I have come to know in my journey has already been said here.

The original poster asked "why does God out babies here"

Just as I don't believe that we are like helpless puppets on a string here in life waiting for God to make things happen, I also don't believe that we are this way in the before life.
I have come to know through my experience in communicating with the other side that we choose the life we will come into to. We choose our parents, we choose the time period, we are in co-creation with "God" I am not saying that everything that happens is pre-destined and we have knowledge if lets say we are going to be abused. Because in that moment of creation that is all we have is the moment and over there we know that. Here, with the illusion of past, present and future it is a task to stay in the moment but the only place we can create from.

And to the PP I agree we can attribute everything that is so called good to God and everything that is so called bad to humans. The way I see it is that everything that is created is a co creation. Everything!

And we are talking about "God" as if it is some separate entity from us, another illusion. We are not separate. We are not larger than the whole, but we are god.

The nature of this Earth is dualistic. (For those who have been abused or suffered unspeakable hurts I want to say that in what I am about to say is in no way a minimization or your experience) We have good and evil, dark and light, good and bad, day and night, one cannot exist without the other here.

It is through these incredibly difficult experiences that we have the opportunity to grow.
In the 90's I studied with a man who was teaching a healing technique that he developed. In his sessions he took people on past life journeys. Even if you don't believe in past lives, even if these stories were made up he found consistent answers from people about what they were in their life to learn. And in every session I witnessed him do and in all 200 that I did, when asked what the person came into that life to learn it was ALWAYS the opposite of what they experienced. So if someone came into a life and experienced being imprisoned, the lesson they were there to learn was about freedom.

This is a small part of what I have discovered so far,. it is not all of what I have learned and all of what I have learned is not all of the answer. By far! I am sure as I continue on this journey that more of the Great Mystery will be revealed and this is the kind of question that no one here on earth may ever have the entire answer to. It is the type of question that can be pondered for a persons whole life.

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#12 of 12 Old 12-30-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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I don't practice any organized religion but am very spiritual, meaning recognizing that we are all spiritually connected. The situations you describe in the OP are what I categorize as warning signs for humanity to come together & care about each other far, FAR more than we have been.

There is not a *need* in my understanding, for any of these situations to be part of life. Most can be directly tied to one human being (or group, or country, etc) turning their back on another in the name of beliefs or greed (if i share then i won't have enough, that person believes differently than what I think is right, etc etc).

In my mind, it all comes down to our own personal projections of doing the best we can every day to make every sentient being on the planet live happy & free. I love this quote that Dr Christiane Northrup uses... "I expand daily in LOVE, CREATIVITY and PEACE, AND I inspire others to do the same."

Cause and effect are directly involved in the situations you describe. And when people work together to cause goodness in the world, goodness WILL be the effect. Unfortunately, there are those people whose main point of life is to CAUSE suffering... so, suffering may always exist.

(so, there's my opinion on that. nice question, good to contemplate, thx!)

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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