What on Earth Are We Doing Here?: Exploring the Case for Human Suffering
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By establishing a program to promote agriculture and especially that of cotton, Soviet government led by Khrouchtchev in the s deliberately deprived the Aral Sea of its two main sources of water income, which almost immediately led to less water arriving to the sea.
The water level in the Aral Sea started drastically decreasing from the s onward. In normal conditions, the Aral Sea gets approximately one fifth of its water supply through rainfall, while the rest is delivered to it by the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. Evaporation causes the water level to decrease by the same amount that flows into the Sea, making it sustainable as long as inflow is equal to evaporation on average.
Therefore the diversion of rivers is at the origin of the imbalance that caused the sea to slowly desiccate over the last 4 decades. Salinity of the rivers varies with place and time, as well as through the seasons. When going through the desert, rivers often collect some salt compounds residues in the ground that result in higher salinity, but may well be lowered again after going through irrigated lands.
Meaning of life - Wikipedia
Dams also affect salinity, notably by reducing its variability with the seasons. Smaller lakes within the Aral Sea that have stopped being fed by river flows tend to have higher salinity due to evaporation, causing some or all fishes that either survived or had been reintroduced in the s to die. Even re-watering those lakes does not compensate for the increased salinity over the years. They took me out — blood everywhere — and even though my mom was reaching out for me and screaming for me, the doctors immediately rushed me away from her.
What would the aliens think of the doctors? If all the aliens saw were the first few moments of life, they might think that the doctors were utterly evil. Only from a fuller perspective would they be able to see that the doctors actually cared for my mother extremely well, and in fact saved my life. On the Christian understanding of reality, what we currently see is only the first few moments of life — literally just the birthing process of human history!
We will always come up short if we attempt to find the full explanation for suffering in this life alone. This life is only the smallest fraction of our lives. We are going to live forever. When things get worse before they get better, God is with us. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this? Three weeks ago, I shared these words with the father of my oldest friend. I grew up right next door to them.
Joe had always been strong and capable. He had a voice so deep that no matter what he was speaking about, it resounded with confidence and authority, leaving little room for vulnerability. I told Chris I wanted to talk to you. If they do, something wonderful awaits. And as Joe reflected back over his life, he recognized that if that was the case, then he — like the rest of us — had reason to fear.
I was never so incredibly thankful to be sitting before someone as a Christian. Other ways of seeing the world would have had nothing to say. As an atheist, I would have had to say there is no hope at all beyond the grave. If I adhered to almost any other religion, I would have had to tell Joe that he was basically right, and had every reason to fear what is next. Only as a Christian could I explain to Joe for the first time that while Christianity does say that God wants us to do good, that is not what makes us right with God.
I was able to share with him that the message of Christianity is that what makes us right with God has nothing to do with anything we do or ever could do, but rather with what Jesus has already done—once, and in full, and for all. I explained that if we trust in Jesus Christ, we no longer need to fear judgment, because on the cross Jesus has already taken the judgment for everything we have ever or will ever do wrong. I thought Christianity was one thing, but it was something else entirely.
Joe asked me if my wife Jo knows this great truth about Christianity as well. Life after death, on its own, does not bring hope. Only grace brings hope. I know of no grace as extravagant as the grace of Jesus Christ. And as grace upon grace — because Jesus has already done everything necessary for us to be right with God — this greatest of all hopes can be received with a simple heartfelt prayer.
I have suggested that the rationality of Christian faith is not undermined by the existence of evil and suffering. But the challenge suffering poses to belief in God is not the only problem of suffering.
Some think the problem of suffering should push us away from God. Each one of us is going to deal with significant suffering in our lives. And, one day, each of us is going to have to deal with the reality of death. When suffering comes, when death comes, who will bear it with us? Who will see us through it? Jesus will, if we ask Him. But if we invite Him, then we will never be alone in our suffering, and we can trust that we will spend eternity in a place where suffering will be no more.
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