Reply to two other students’ proposals in the above Proposal forum. (Only reply to those students who don’t already have two replies.) Your comments should focus on two points: 1) what you think is good about the proposal, and 2) how the student can narrow their thesis even further.
Proposals to reply to:
Student name: Akshar
Thesis: People are divided on their religion and culture, but I believe religion teaches us to unite and see everyone equally rather than dividing and grouping them.
Week 2 “Stanger in Strangers land” has enlightened me on that topic, where we need know that before anything, we are just humans and should show humanity without worrying about religion that person belongs. Thus, I think it is important to get ourselves out of religiously predisposed system and give importance to humans and develop humanity. To support the argument, I am going to use Martin Luther king Jr. Letters, Book of Genesis and other religious sources and materials.
I believe that it’s time for us to understand that religion bind us it teaches us the way to get closer to God. But if we even don’t get closer to each other we can never get closer to God. Even if people follow different religion it’s important to understand that religion always teach us to have humanity. It’s only a key element in us that makes us unique, and religion play key role in it. But we never understood that meaning and divided mankind in religion itself. Religion should never be used to describe a person without knowing anything about him. People are generally been classed by their religion and their practices which generally create a rift between them. I believe that no more destruction should be done to mankind on the name of religion.
Student name: Julia
Thesis: While some Theologians have struggled with the idea of why God would allow human suffering, I believe that human suffering is inevitable and not something that God inflicts on us. During these difficult times, we must remain faithful to our Lord in order to be rewarded with eternal life.
Post Summary: In my post on Human Suffering during Week 6, I write about how God was persuaded to let Satan inflict pain on Job to see if he was a loyal servant of the Lord. Although Satan took away all of Jobs possessions, wealth and cursed him with sores all over his body, Job’s faith in God never faltered. God then blessed him with an abundance of animals, a big family, and a long life. I note that an important quote that resonated with me was when Job said “should we only accept good things from God and not evil?” (Job 2:10). I’ve always wondered why an all-powerful God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Why people die so young, why young kids get sick, why some people are in pain each and every-day. As mentioned in the video, the Rabbi specifically states, that us humans, have created the misconception that God is powerful and pre-determines everything that happens in our lives “God is not all powerful… and not in control of everything (28:49), “Where did we ever get the idea that power is the most admirable attribute we could assign to God?” (29:14). With that being said, the concept of God gives people strength during difficult times and something to believe in (25:05). Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that God does not purposely inflict pain onto others and correspond evil with evil, good with good. But expects us to remain faithful during times of inevitable suffering, to be rewarded in the afterlife.
Other Scholarly Articles:
Robert Vitillo in The Furrow explains, that “’In [our] eyes, suffering can have a meaning only as a punishment for sin, therefore only on the level of God’s justice, who repays good with good and evil with evil” (Vitillo 93). But in the book of Job, Job has not been punished and there was no reason for inflicting a punishment on him, the Lord consented to test Job with suffering “to demonstrate the latter’s righteousness” (Vitillo 93-94). As well as, he explains that if anyone should know about human suffering, it is the man who ended his life for our sins, Jesus Christ. God promised eternal life in return for Jesus’ suffering which is why he rose from the Dead 3 days later. “Christ drew close above all to the world of human suffering through the fact of having taken this suffering upon his very self … precisely, by means of his Cross, he must strike at the roots of evil, planted in the history of man and in human souls” (Vitillo 94). He also mentions, “Christ has, in a sense, opened his own redemptive suffering to all human suffering. Insofar as man becomes a sharer in Christ’s sufferings – in any part of the world, and at any time in history – to the extent he, in his own way, completes the suffering through which Christ accomplished the redemption of the world (Vitillo 94-95).
Vitillo, Robert J. “Human Suffering.” The Furrow, vol. 66, no. 2, 2015, pp. 91–98., www.jstor.org/stable/24636071. Accessed 29 July 2020.
This will further my argument on how suffering is inevitable, not God purposefully inflicting pain on us, and how if we keep our faith during difficult times of human suffering, we will be granted everlasting life.
Walter Kaufmann and Stanley Corngold write in the text Suffering and the Bible, “If there was a human being who had never done any wrong at all and who was ‘ice to the blind and feet to the lamb’, there would not be any reason at all to suppose that he would be less likely than others to come down with some dreadful disease or to suffer unspeakable torments… Indeed, that is the point of the Lords great speech [in the book of Job]. Far from insisting that there is some hidden justice in the world after all, or from claiming that everything is really rational if only we look at it intelligently, God goes out of his way to point out how utterly weird ever so many things are (Kaufmann & Corngold 153). He also explains, “God created man with free will, which was part of God’s goodness since a creature with free will is better than one without. Man then misused his free will, disobeyed God, as God knew he would do, and ate of the fruit of the one tree in Paradise who’s fruit he was not supposed to eat. This made suffering in inevitable” (Kaufmann & Corngold 156-57). On page 162, he notes “God did not make the eternal verities; he did not decide that things should be subject to certain unalterable rules; he could not help evil. Evil is not something positive but a lack, a privation, a deficiency, and aspect of infinitude. But forces are necessarily finite, in a world without evil would be a world without forces-and hence nothing at all, which would be the greatest of evils. Our world, on the contrary, is the best of all possible worlds” (Kaufmann & Corngold 162). (Thus, further explaining evil/suffering is inevitable and not something that God has specifically created, suffering is a form of discipline). Lastly on page 165, he explains, “that is the real meaning of incarceration and crucifixion: God did not remain a being apart from the world. This is, after all, “the best possible world”: if God could do any better, there would not be any suffering. (After all it hurts him as much as, if not more then, you.) “We ourselves exist as fragments of the absolute life,” and whatever any man suffers anywhere is part of God’s sufferings (Kaufmann & Corngold 165).
“Suffering and the Bible.” The Faith of a Heretic, by WALTER KAUFMANN and STANLEY CORNGOLD, REV – Revised ed., Princeton University Press, PRINCETON; OXFORD, 2015, pp. 137–169. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1d2dm8v.10. Accessed 29 July 2020.
This article will help me explain that even though we must endure suffering on this Earth, it creates a type of suffering God must endure as well. However, that is the meaning of the afterlife (incarceration, and crucifixion). We must keep our faith during these difficult times and not look at it as something God is putting us through, but something God is enduring with us, and we will be rewarded in the afterlife for remaining faithful.
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