Originally posted by twhitehead
Firstly, I would like for you to answer if possible, not just from a Biblical or afterlife perspective, but also from the perspective of such things happening here on earth during our life time. ie if you loose your memory of an instance of suffering in the past, is that suffering no longer a bad thing?
Given your answer so far, since all people die ev ...[text shortened]... ad or evil when it comes to suffering? Does it not really matter if I decide to torture someone?
Let me try to put in my two cents worth, and please do not think that i am being frivolous or minimising the problem of suffering.
Firstly, I don't recall anywhere in the Bible it being stated that suffering will be "undone". There is the well-known verse that "he will wipe away all tears from their eyes", and "suffering, death and dying will be no more." But, as I see it, that deals only with the elimination of FUTURE suffering. I fully agree with the statement that past suffering cannot really be "undone", since pain felt cannot be "unfelt" no matter what compensation is paid. (On an aside, I have always thought that it was rather heartless to think that Job could have felt compensated by getting new wealth and new children, after having had to bury all his previous children. Did that really wash away his pain ?)
But Secondly, and more importantly, we must realise that suffering is not always bad. Without trivialising the issue, and with full acknowledgement that some suffering is horrendous and seemingly without purpose and merit, there are numerous cases where victims of serious calamity (whether personal, financial, spiritual) have later said that this was the "best thing that happened to them" and how it "changed their life for the better). Many sages say that suffering is the only path to spiritual growth, if you are willing to see it that way.
Thirdly, all suffering is relative. If you live in an affluent suburb, you may think that you are "suffering" because your car is five years older than your neighbour's. If you are living in a slum, you also compare yourself with your neighbours. All that changes is the subject and the scale.
In a way, ALL of us are suffering in one way or another, because we do not get everything in the way that we want. The key to successful living (surely you have heard this before) is not getting what we want, but wanting what we got. In other words, play the hand that you got dealt, whether it is a Downs Syndrome child or a young wife that died of cancer.
Don't wait to be compensated for your suffering in the hereafter - life is for living now.