How can there be a loving God if there is so much meaningless suffering in the world?
Well, a loving God would not be the source of suffering. So, the source must be from us.
Then what do we do that causes suffering?
Everyone suffers. Some unjustly. All suffering is a consequence of sin.
In what is called original sin, humanity lost sanctifying grace. It is not committed, it is a condition transmitted like a disease through the whole human race. At the same time, humanity became internally divided: excessive physical “good” does spiritual harm, and what is good for the spirit comes through a physical suffering.
Other sin causes suffering due to moral wrongdoing. This affects both the person who commits the act and others who are affected as a consequence of the action. The objective morality that holds the truth, holds the code by which humanity functions well. A machine cannot work to its full potential if the owner ignores the instructions of proper use and care. A human cannot live well, if they do not follow rules. Some are obvious, like “wash your hands”, “eat a reasonable amount of balanced food types”, “exercise regularly”, or even “don’t do drugs.” We don’t always do these things, but we don’t object to them as a code to live by. Similarly, our spiritual life has a code to live by as well. But at this point, some people illogically want to only “believe” in only what they can see, experiment on, and so forth. Experimentation is a good process to find knowledge about what can be experimented on. It sheds no light on the possibilities that cannot be experimented on. Through history, religion has created spiritual codes to live by. Many codes. So what is the objective truth?
Depends on what is important. If we are part spirit, and spirit cannot die, then determining what happens to us then is most important, as that will be taking up the most time of our lives: we can get through suffering now because we know it is only temporary. It is important to make sure it is only temporary.
Well, how do we know which religion has the truth?
Because God told us. What religion has roots that stretch back to the beginning of humanity? What religion has lasted? What religion collects prophecy that comes true? What religion has been so irrefutable? What religion puts up people from history, who have followed the moral code, as examples of success? Think about the number of saints. Think about how many scientifically and humanly unexplainable events have taken place as a testament to sainthood.
Suffering. It’s the mirror image of “there is no right or wrong.” I think people feel like victims or feel compassion for victims when they claim a suffering world is a Godless world. But they forget that suffering has a cause. Maybe they are that cause, maybe someone unknown. Not only are we all victims of suffering, but we all cause suffering in the world as well. We live in a perfect-human-less world. God doesn't necessarily like it, but He will permit it, so that we can become like Him. Yes, God can do everything, knows everything, and sees all time, but no where have I found anything that says God makes people give Him what He wants. Jesus suffered. Imagine the suffering that comes from, not only knowing that people are misusing the gift of free will, but that God also supplied them with the life and breath and energy, that people go and do evil with.
All I’ve said means nothing without God. God set the moral code to be like our “operating manual” but we rejected God and God’s ideas of how we should work. We tried to take into our hands determining good and evil. And every time we try, it fails. Every human who attempts to make themselves God fails, and suffering is the result.
I feel I must say I'm only still learning, and will probably look back on this post as needing editing and clarification. But I've procrastinated posting it at least in its current state long enough.
Originally intended to be posted Wednesday January 5 2011