Why Do Humans Suffer?
What Causes Suffering and Environmental Devastation?
An interesting ABC show, called QandA, aired in Australia April 9th, 2012. The panel comprised 2 men. They were the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, and Professor Richard Dawkins, a renowned scientist of evolutionary biology and author of The God Delusion, who holds strong atheist views
This was my kind of show because of my research and scientific background along with my experience of reincarnation and spirituality, which proves that most of religion is based on ancient myths and ignorance of the facts. The questions were along the lines of seeking answers to some very puzzling questions and the lack of sensible responses by the Archbishop led to many derogatory comments by the viewing audience who used Twitter, computers and other things to provide feedback.
One question asked of the panel is why do we suffer and if there is a God why is suffering allowed? Through my research and the spiritual input given to me over the years perhaps I was the only one viewing the show who may have thoughts about the right answer. That's why I decided to do this quiz so I invite the reader to put on your thinking cap and join in.
There are links below to some other of my other lenses to expand on my thinking and willl help you with the quiz and also lenses by squids about some related topics.
The Mystery of God
Every debate about God ends up with the same question; where did God come from? No one can answer this except the Divine but my big question is why do humans think of God as a man? Surely the Great Creator of all things is anything but a man whose failures in life would automatically put him out of the running.
To me this is the big question if one is to get any kind of inkling about where God came from or why humans live on the earth? In my experience the Supreme Being is Spirit, intelligent beyond human understanding, immense beyond human ability to measure and of a place that we could never dream up without Its help.
There is something else that many can never do and that is to put a value on the term ALWAYS. It's like trying to find the beginning and the end of a circle, which has neither beginning nor end but the mind wants everything to start at some point in time. We, likewise, expect also that everything has an end. But this is obviously something that we cannot comprehend. That's how we were made. But we do, however, have enquiring minds that have enabled us to pull everything apart to learn how it works, including life itself.
So man discovered genes and evolution and what has he done with the knowledge? He has abused it as he does everything else. So why should God allow us the privilege of knowing more about the spiritual side of our being? As genes are now being torn apart and bits of them are removed and transplanted to make life forms that man thinks is better than what nature has provided surely this will end in more corruption of nature and the environment..
Now there are already designer creatures living and reproducing along with designer plants that supposedly can resist all kinds of natural disasters. With that in mind would not the same be true of spirit were man ever to get his hands on that one? The Spirit made things terminal for a reason. We are not meant to ward off the natural processes of life but our role is simply to reproduce and move on. It is that reproduction process that man has also capitalised on and turned into power for his own idealism.
Men Can't Solve the Problem of Starvation. - Because they are not God
What is Your Opinion?
Are there too many humans alive now?
Not a fish in sight
A recently aired National Geographic documentary about Easter Island showed a community in crisis. Divers could not find a single fish inhabiting the surrounding reef. There were, likewise, no sharks, no crustaceans and no sea mammals. In fact, there was virtually nothing beneath the surface but the coral itself.
Can you imagine an ocean without sea creatures? No dolphins, whales, turtles or anything else to display life existing within.
A couple of hundred miles away was a protected area set up by the Chilean government where no commercial fishing was allowed. It was thriving with many species of all types of sea creatures. The difference was that the Easter Islanders had allowed commercial fishing to take place in their waters. The boats came with nets, radar and all modern equipment and wiped out the various creatures that used to inhabit there.
The same is happening all over the ocean where fishing trawlers raid the seas and scoop up everything. The operators don't separate out the things they don't want and throw them back to survive and keep the population going. That would be too much effort and cost the fishermen money in lost time and revenue. So it is left on the decks of trawlers to die and then it is tossed back.
The Persian Gulf is another place threatened with the same loss of sea creatures, which is apparently why the fishermen of places around that area have taken to piracy, as one recently jailed has testified. One pirate stated on camera that there were no fish left to catch and they had no way of making a living because big fishing trawlers from Europe were taking everything. The consequences are that the people have few fish to buy from the market places.
Defeating nature on every turn is man. If he has a way of making a living from it he has no respect for what he destroys, as long as he gets paid. Is this the image of the Creative God that we should be worshipping and confusing with man's stupidity?
Play Your Part in Protecting Fish
What do you think is the ideal family size?
Should we limit couples to 2 or even less children?
Did God Create Disease?
Or is it a human invention?
When humans emerged from their primordial ancestors there is little evidence in the archaeological records that they suffered from any form of disease other than things attributable to starvation, poor diet and poor teeth.
Tooth decay is present in many cadavers over the last millennium and was serious enough to take lives. Most skeletal remains demonstrate, however, that death was largely the result of accident or physical injury coupled with a very short life span of around 25 to 40 years maximum. As lifestyles improved this figure rose.
What does show up is human sacrifice on an ever increasing scale and in the late Neolithic the development of sedentary lifestyles emerged with domestication of animals, loss of forests (attributed mainly to burning wood for fuel) and agriculture. It is the latter that caused major problems for the future of the planet as behaviour changed. Cities sprang up from around c9000 years ago and storage facilities for grain and other produce were incorporated. This brought more people to city outskirts where food was plentiful without hunting or gathering for it.
Along with these things came something much worse. The cities had no sewage systems and right through to the time of the destruction of Pompeii after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, in Italy, streets were canals of floating raw sewerage through which inhabitants walked to get from A to B. The habitat for germs and bacteria was perfect to say nothing of vermin and predatory animals. Bush rats became domestic pests and reprodued abundantly as food was plentiful in the walls, sewerage canals and silos where predators are scarce or non existent.
As forests receded so did the skills for gathering while natural medicines found therein to heal wounds, cure minor ailments such as a cold or sore, and the ready availability of food for the average household greatly altered the landscape. But an even worse situation was developing.
Archaeology records prove that humans had a philosophy concerning divine beings and their intervention in their lives. In other words they had religion. In an attempt to understand the will of the gods that repeatedly sent devastating events they imagined all types of dangerous and quite ridiculous anecdotes for natural disasters and the diseases they generated for themselves. The spoken word and magic was employed to deal with these things. If they failed the resultant death was attributable to the person's bad nature, so sin was born.
Here was the separation of powers between good and evil. The twin forces were born. As there is day and night, black and white, and other opposing pairs so it was imagined that the good god had a bad nemesis. With refinement it became the devil and his realm, hell. But the Spirit never created these things because it alone has power over everything and is fully aware of the way man manipulates everything for his own benefit.
When it was discovered that the dead have no living nerves and cannot experience either pain or pleasure the religious forces went all out to silence those who made such claims. The only way any religion can survive is to by keeping its faithful ignorant.
Close living arrangements, contact with sewerage, vermin and the absorption of carcinogenic smoke, among other things, caused many ailments to emerge, such as plague, leprosy, cholera and so on. Living closely with animals and birds (now also forced into close confinement through domestication) brought them into even more danger as many animal diseases are proven to be non-species specific. Contact allowed viruses to spread from animals to humans. While living in the bush or natural environment there was less chance of contact with these things.
But early humans had another philosophy to contend with. In recent anthropology studies it was found that tribesmen ate part or all of the bodies of dead relatives in the belief that they could absorb their spirit. That was before they took to murdering and consuming the bodies of strangers who wandered into range. This behaviour brought more problems as botulism and brain related illnesses, exhibited by some tribes in New Guinea in recent times, emerged.
Until a couple of hundred years ago at least (possibly even more recently) Australian aborigines and native tribes from New Guinea continued the practice of eating at least the brain of dead relatives and carrying their bones in a sack hung around their necks. Australian aborigines were observed (after white settlement) disinterring the bodies of relatives and consuming the much rotted flesh. Cannibalism was rife in New Guinea as recently as sixty years ago when a member of the Rockefeller family disappeared and was thought to have been captured and cannibalised while on a trek in that country.
People may not associate this with religion but what is it when Christians believe they eat the body and drink the blood of their sacrificed Saviour in some religious services? Where did this stem from if not from the same ideology? The magic employed in this case is to use bread and wine and simply say words over it to transform them into those body parts.
Water Supplied in Slums
Hidden From View Germs Are Killers
Ignorance about germs and diseases in societies
In recent years scientists have unearthed the secrets of germs; be they bacteria, viruses or something else. With this type of understanding they have used their knowledge for both good and bad.
Louis Pasteur invented the first vaccine against rabies and then taught the benefits of pasteurised milk, which bears his name. But behind the science there is money to be made and here is where the whole concept of a better world falls apart.
By preventing the onset of disease the immune system, designed to be a defence system against them, is weakened. Some vaccines may cause side effects and there is suspicion in some quarters that conditions like ADHD and allergies to certain foods, as examples, may be attributed to them. This, of course, has not been proven. There are also communities that forbid vaccines or any form of medical intervention to stop what they consider is the will of God.
Where there is money to be made there is crime and some medications produced by back yard factories are virtually useless in preventing or curing anything. Sold at a lower price than the genuine ones many fall for them. A surgeon who operated on a little girl's heart in an African country told of how he injected what he thought was a stimulant to restart it but discovered later that the substance correctly labelled was only water. The child died as a result.
Cash strapped hospitals and medical practices in third world countries buy these lower priced easily accessible goods, bearing labels of the genuine stuff, for their patients. The surgeon in the case of the little girl was a visiting doctor from Australia who gave his time freely to help such people.
In many cases crooked substitute antibiotics contain small quantities of what they pretend to be and that allows the disease to overcome it. The result is that debilitating illnesses like polio, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, leprosy, and even smallpox are making a comeback. These include variants or new strains of the original that are stronger and, therefore, resistant to antibiotics that once would have wiped them out.
Recently aired on television in Australia was a documentary on how scientists used an island off the coast from Lime, USA, to develop a germ for use in war. That piece of skull dudgery now carries the name of Lime Disease, which escaped from the island and is causing havoc for anyone bitten by a tick that carries it. The world frowned on Hitler whose scientists worked on germ warfare and then Hussein and others but the USA and its allies have done likewise.
These are things done by man, not God, so who do you think is responsible for human suffering now? Do you still believe that man is made in the image of God when he can do so much damage to the world and to the life forms dependent on it?
From Stone Tools to Nuclear Bombs
Man is a vicious, uncaring and non thinking animal. He set his sights on a path that led to his being trapped and shackled to an environment that is of his own making. A way of life in which he ultimately cannot survive because it feeds on a 'take without give' philosophy and the only place he can readily take from is the natural world.
When stone tools were invented they served as knives, adzes, axes and grinding tools. They were then added to long sticks to make spears and to shorter ones to make arrows. These were initially used to kill game and make the job of skinning prey animals prior to eating. At some stage along the pathway to contemporary humans he learned to aim those weapons at other men and to kill for power and wealth.
By the time the first metals were produced some 4-6000 years ago the tools had become far more sophisticated and enormous buildings were constructed in recognition that kings had arrived. Some of these structures are still awe inspiring, among them the pyramids of Egypt, the pyramids and temples of the Americas and, of course, Stonehenge. With the kings came a more urgent need for power and control.
At around the same time trade flourished as tools, animals and things like jewellery and clothing were exchanged, To give them more power kings went to war against neighbours and stole people for slavery, weapons for more strength, and country to expand their empire. Thus began a new surge in domination and warfare. Swords became the weapon of the Mother God and to be blooded by her was an honour. To die by the sword was considered a sacred act.
The term S-word means 'light's word' and as the sun was Mother God then the metal sword shaped like a cross, a sun symbol, was her weapon. In effect, it was not the one wielding the sword who did the killing but the divine being acting through it.
That's when the stories of the after-life became better than ever as kings promised men who fought for them that when they became rulers in the eternal city in the sky, that is take up their position as consorts of the Mother God, they would be in a position to greatly reward their followers when dead. They could only keep that promise if they were greater kings than any other king, so their men set out to prove it by dying for them, They also willingly built great monoliths and temples to prove to the world that the king they served was the greatest.
To that end temples and the worship of dead kings began. Their hiers carried the divine seal of approval and were expected to know exactly what their fathers had in mind. They issued decrees on the basis that they were carrying out the instuctions handed down to them from above, from the father god, so no one dared question their motivation or authority.
What is Your Opinion
Is War from God?
Corrupting the Environment
One of the facts about disease is that humans can build an immunity to it if exposed in small doses over a period. In other words if the body is subjected to exposure to a particular disease and recovers from it the immune system is able to ward off future attacks. That is the principle behind vaccinations and inoculations. A small amount of a bacteria or germ is injected and the immune system goes to work to fight it off.
If one is exposed to the full force of a disease then it is up to the body to fight it off or perhaps die. Those who survive are stronger and will rarely suffer from it again. Over human evolution the survivors of such exposure built up high resistance in the population and outbreaks of a particular disease was then unlikely. But that changed with migration.
As people move into new areas they carry diseases with them that will affect anyone not previously exposed to it. Animals do the same. Once this was realised germs became a useful tool to eradicate unwanted enemies or indigenous people during the time of European expansion. Blankets used by smallpox victims were given to some American Indians, as an example, to decimate the population, who would then offer less resistance to invasive force,s who, in turn, stole their land and gold.end took it back to Europe for the Catholic church to use in its iconography and churches.
World Wars 1 and 11 were notoriously bad for experimentation with germs. It really was science gone mad. During WWI The Imperial German government employed biological sabotage using anthrax and glanders. During the Sino Japanese War and World War 11 (1937-1845) the Imperial Japanese government used thousands, mainly Chinese, to spread plague and cholera with some 580,000 recorded victims as a result.
Fearing that biological warfare was being initiated by Germany during WWII the USA, UK and Canada started their own programs using anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins. These programs continued during the Cold War era and into the Korean and Vietnam periods but apparently they were never employed against anyone. It is probably as part of this that Lime disease, carried by ticks, was also experimented on.
Gasses have been used effectively against various populations once the properties of them were discovered. Mustard gas is possibly the worst one to be used and Saddam Hussein's regime used it to wipe out thousands of Kurds prior to his demise.
There is no way that God has provoked the wars, the hatred and the mean streak in humans that allows members of our group to kill in the manner in which they do. This is something we have inside as mysterious to fathom as the instinct that drives us to eat, sleep and reproduce. But behaviour of the murderous kind is learned, enforced and entrenched through brainwashing, early exposure either through parents or religion, and social commitment. It is once again man's struggle to be greater and more influential than the Creative Spirit.
Tricks to Get People Involved
Empires are built on the deaths of citizens when men seize power and influence others to do the dirty work for them. Bullies in the form of dictators, presidents and governments are guilty of driving the population of many countries into a killing frenzy. They deny citizens knowledge of the outside world and continue to ensure they are brainwashed into believing their leaders are better than anyone else.
The figures are staggering when one realises that there are some 40 odd wars being fiought right now and the casualties are in the thousands. Recently it would be hard to escape knowing about some of them, such as the war in Afghanistan and Assyria. These have followed the Iraq war, the fight to free Libya and the ongoing wars in Africa, such as that in the Sudan. The less publicised ones include those in Ghana, Zimbabwe, the Congo, and so on, to say nothing of the wars against drugs, illegal migration and terrorism.
These are men against men while guns, tanks, machetes and other weapons used in such battles are causing injuries, suffering, famine and death to innocent children and civilians whose only crime is to be part of the community that someone wants to annihilate. These are largely those communities where they all run off to the Mosque or churches and pray to the same god(s) before returning with weapons to kill each other, and others.
North Korea is a case in point where most of the population is starving while huge sums of money are used for massive military displays. Millions of dollars were recently spent on a rocket which fizzled out and dropped into the China Sea. The television and radio channels were silenced so no one reported this to the people. The propaganda machines are a useful tool to ensure the leader's popularity remains intact.
How much are the people who live within the reach of these regimes suffering and is that pain from God or man? Who is starving the people, God or man?
Philosophy and Religious Ideaologies
There can be little doubt that religious adherence to ideals set by elders (or philosophy if you prefer) is to blame for a lot of mankind's suffering. Pictured is one of the ovens in the Auswich Concentration camp where thousands of Jews died because of their religious ideals. Many of the men who carried out these war crimes were aided by the Catholic Church to escape Europe and thus their punishment.
From the earliest time there was a movement towards pleasing one or more divine creatures. First it was the sun, then the earth and the many moods and disasters it supposedly brings about. Without understanding why inanimate things acquired power and became other gods. Thus, there was the god of the ocean, of the mountains, of the volcano, of the rocks, of light and anything else that early man considered.
Each had to be worshipped and ways put in place to prevent upsetting them. If an earthquake happened someone was to blame. This could lead to human sacrifice or punishment. Holy days were set aside to honour these gods and food was given to them through their statues and imagery. This survived in so called 'feast days' maintained by religions.
Because these gods were responsible for whatever happened it was prohibited to upset them by man presuming to take steps to heal someone or to prevent disasters from happening. This deeply entrenched behaviour is still with us and many religious groups refuse to allow things like vaccinations or lifesaving surgery to take place.
According to Church rules it was wrong during the Renaissance years for scientists to look into the heavens to discover that the earth is not the centre of the universe, or for them to examine the human body to discover its secrets. It was equally wrong for Charles Darwin to record his observations and produce his thesis on evolution. The Church condemned scientists for any attempt to understand nature outside of what is written in the bible and interpreted, or misinterpreted, by the hierarchy.
We still are witnessing groups who take their faith so far as to never ride in a moving vehicle while others still insist on women being covered from head to toe least they get pregnant. Of course there are modern interpretations on why these things were enforced but the reasoning is the same.
Religious cohorts have used the antiquated laws of pre scientific days to kill in the name of their mythical gods, and this is the basis for much of the terrorism and wars to this day. Humans need leaders and they are reluctant to question their thinking but fall into line no matter how much they get hurt. That is the failing we inherit from our forebears and as we fear the althernative (ostracism, exile or death) most will just go along with it.
The goal of religion is to hide the power of the Spirit and to make it seem that man, by his conduct, prayers and rules, serves the only divine power he recognises. That is the gods of his invention. With these forces he has turned money into a god. He uses drugs and other things, such as kidnapping, pornography, slavery and war, to grow rich and to increase his power and control.
These things are causing hardship and pain and having wide reaching effects on communities. The greatest wealth, however, is gained by unearthing the earth's waste and turning it into fuel that, in turn, is polluting the atmosphere and causing major and environmental health problems.
Caught in his own web of deceit man cannot escape from the world he has polluted, ruined and sent on the path to major destruction. The food needed for humans to survive is fast disappearing. Overpopulation is rife and the overcrowding is having a major effect on our future.
Religious fundamentalists insist on more births and refuse to allow family planning, contraceptive or even sensible steps to reverse this situation. Governments are also guilty of encouraging overpopulation by not controlling or advising people against large families.
Religion is not from God but from man and from his imagination and the philosophy that he has cunjured up to allow him dominion over the earth. To say it is allright to pollute the environment, to take whatever you need and not to worry about preserving it is an example of man's folly..
In tribal groups where only primitive religions were practiced the respect for nature was paramount is another example of amn's folly They had no wealth ambitions, no money and no desires to take more than they could use for their own purposes. This is the world of the Spirit's making but that changed with so-called progress.
Man is wrong in assuming that he is made in the image of God because the Spirit has no image. He is also wrong in his assessment of the basic principles of life and of the steps taken to improve his lot at the expense of everything else he has created, which resulted in his own pain and suffering. That is why humans suffer. Whether it be pain from wars, stavation, disease, loss or terrorism they have driven the real God out and substituted it with their dreams and fancies.
Unless and until the religious spell, from whatever source, is broken there is no future for the earth or any life dependent on it.
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© 2012 norma-holt