The problem of suffering is: why is there the suffering we know?
The first function of a book review should be, I believe, to give some idea of the contents and character of the book.
Job’s forthright indictment of the injustice of this world is surely right. The ways of the world are weird and much more unpredictable than either scientists or theologians generally make things look.
The only theism worthy of our respect believes in God not because of the way the world is made but in spite of that. The only theism that is no less profound than the Buddha’s atheism is that represented in the Bible by Job and Jeremiah.
The great artist is the man who most obviously succeeds in turning his pains to advantage, in letting suffering deepens his understanding and sensibility, in growing through his pains.
In all three cases, and for most human beings, the problem of suffering poses no difficult problem at all: one has a world picture in which suffering has its place, a world picture that takes suffering into account.
The doctrine of original sin claims that all men sinned in Adam; but whether they did or whether it is merely a fact that all men sin does not basically affect the problem of suffering.
Life ceases to be so oppressive: we are free to give our own lives meaning and purpose, free to redeem our suffering by making something of it.
It is widely assumed, contrary to fact, that theism necessarily involves the two assumptions which cannot be squared with the existence of so much suffering, and that therefore, per impossibile, they simply have to be squared with the existence of all this suffering, somehow.
Those who believe in God because their experience of life and the facts of nature prove his existence must have led sheltered lives and closed their hearts to the voice of their brothers’ blood.