Suffering is usually either natural or moral. This means that it is either caused by nature or it is caused by humanity.
Natural suffering is not caused by humanity; it is just the way the world works. However, humanity still has to step in after a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, to try and help and reduce the suffering. It could be argued that by not stepping in we are causing moral suffering.
Some may argue that since God created the world He created everything, and this includes natural suffering. However, a religious believer might argue back that nature is not God’s fault, He only created the world, He does not control it now.
Moral suffering is linked to human actions or inaction and usually falls under two categories.
- Commission is when humans intentionally harm somebody else, such as murder. It was planned and intended to hurt another individual.
- Omission is the inaction of a human being to prevent suffering. So witnessing a murder and not attempting to prevent it is an omission as you have not tried to help the one who is suffering. It can also be a moral action that was unintentional;
an act that you did not mean to hurt someone.
Some argue that since human beings have free will, God cannot be held accountable for the existence of moral suffering.