Philosophy 10 (38):154 - 167 (1935)

Abstract
The problem of suffering is essentially a problem in philosophical theology. For many philosophical systems the phenomena of suffering set no special problem at all. The most influential philosophies of the present age, for example, have almost nothing to say on the subject—and there is no reason why, on their metaphysical; principles, they should say anything. The problem is a relevant one only for those philosophies which claim to be in at least general accord with the “religious interpretation of the universe.” But for them it is crucial. Given a Weltanschauung like that of Absolute Idealism, for which the ultimate principle from which all things derive their being is an Infinite and Perfect Spirit, and it becomes at once a clear obligation to offer some explanation of how we are to reconcile the Goodness of God with the existence in the world of so much suffering which is prima facie just bad. As we all know, the problem is an extraordinarily hard one to solve. But, inasmuch as the religious interpretation of the universe demands its solution as a condition of its own possibility, its importance is proportionate to its difficulty
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100018441
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