Pain and Suffering. Why?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by meddlehaze, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. #1 meddlehaze, Nov 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2011
    I want to know why you believe pain and suffering exist in the world. What is the reason(s) for their existence, if any?

    When I have completed my research on answers given by spiritual guru's, major religions (both eastern and western), and even some leading atheist apologists, I will compare and contrast them all. I will post my findings in another thread, but I don't plan on being completely done with that for another week or longer.

    In the meantime, I would like to know how the people of the City view this question.

    Why do pain and suffering exist?
    For the sake of discussion and time I will define what I mean when I say pain and suffering.

    Pain - poena - condition one feels when hurt, opposite of pleasure (Old French- punishment, penalty)
    Suffering - sufferre - to undergo (distress, pain, death, punishment, judgment, grief)

    Examples of each:
    Pain - when a loved one has betrayed you, when a loved one has cheated on you with another partner (sexually and/or emotionally), when someone punches you in the nose, etc.
    Suffering - to undergo torment or torture, rape, the anguish of losing a child, starvation, etc.

    ***EDIT: Please provide your world-view (whether that be in spirituality, religion, non-religion, thought, etc.) with your answer :)
  2. Do you subscribe to any form of beliefs or dogma?
  3. Why does everything have to have a reason?
  4. Everything?
    I'm talking about two specific things.
  5. I was speaking euphemistically.

    Pain is an electric reaction that allows us to prosper as biological organisms. Without it we'd manage to kill ourselves before our first birthday.

    Emotional suffering doesn't help us as a species at all, so I'd say there's no reason for it to exist.
  6. I know.

    I also understand the neurons (substance P) associated with physical pain that is why I defined the way I am using that word in the OP.

    Do you have any form of beliefs on spirituality and cosmology? Atheism, Islam, etc?
  7. Pain, as stated earlier, is a biological response. It's essential for survival.

    Suffering is a human condition. I think you could blame suffering on our brains. The ability to reason what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' leads to us to grasp what 'suffering' is. The examples you used for suffering are things I, and I imagine most people, would consider wrong/bad.
  8. You need the contrast.
  9. Did you read my definition and examples of pain? I am not primarily concerned with physical pain. I understand the neurological process of experiencing physical pain, as I took a class on physiology last year. If that will render a more concise response from you in regards to pain.

    That is the context in which I intend to seek for answers. Thank you.
  10. I don't see that as pain, that's probably something I'd lump in with suffering. (your examples)
  11. From the definitions I read online it seemed as though suffering was the ongoing experience of pain.
  12. Alright, I can see what you're saying. I'll roll with it.

    Mental pain is another survival mechanism.
  13. To make sure I read your posts correctly, you believe both are survival mechanisms?
  14. Could you please elaborate?
    And include your spiritual beliefs or lack of belief, if any?
  15. Mental and physical pain? Yes. I'd definitely be happy to see examples where we could debate whether or not it's useful for survival, but nothing is really popping into my head right now.
  16. My intent is not to debate with anyone in this thread. I'm honestly just looking for answers from different world-views.

    If I can think of any, would you mind carrying this over to a private message debate? If not, it's cool
  17. Yeah, definitely. Shoot me a message.
  18. If/when my mind comes up with some objections ;)

  19. No, I don't believe, I think.

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