Why Bad Things Happen

How different religions view the reasons for undeserved human suffering.

For centuries people have been asking, "Why, God, why?" when disaster strikes. And for centuries, religion has been trying to answer the question of how a loving or just God could allow humans to endure such suffering. While Western traditions strive to teach that God's power and goodness are, indeed, compatible with the suffering of innocents, many Eastern faiths view undeserved suffering as a result of a cosmic law of moral cause and effect.



Read on to see what each of the five major world faiths has to say about why bad things happen to good people.



BUDDHISM CHRISTIANITY HINDUISM ISLAM JUDAISM

Buddhism

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According to the

first two Noble Truths of Buddhism

all of life is suffering and suffering is caused by attachments to worldly things. This attachment, which can take the form of greed, hatred, and ignorance in this life and past lives, can, unless mitigated, return as more suffering (karma). According to the Dhammapada, "By oneself the evil is done, and it is oneself who suffers: by oneself the evil is not done, and by one's Self one becomes pure." Suffering

is not necessarily punishment from a divine being, but rather something that must be transcended by not clinging to material objects or relationships.

According to Lama Surya Das
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