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2 Are We to Blame for Our Own Suffering?

2 Are We to Blame for Our Own Suffering?

Why It Matters

If the answer is yes, then it may be in our power to reduce suffering.

To Think About

To what extent are humans responsible for the following causes of suffering?

  • Abuse.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 out of 4 adults suffered physical abuse at some point during childhood and that 1 out of 3 women experience physical or sexual assault (or both) at some point in their life.

  • Bereavement.

    “An estimated 477,000 murders occurred globally in 2016,” states the World Health Statistics 2018, published by WHO. This is in addition to the 180,000 people thought to have been killed in wars and conflicts that year.

  • Health Problems.

    In an article published in the National Geographic magazine, writer Fran Smith notes: “More than a billion people smoke, and tobacco is implicated in the top five causes of death: heart disease, stroke, respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.”

  • Social Inequality.

    “Poverty, relative inequality, being subject to racism, sexism, displacement and a competitive culture all increase the likelihood of mental suffering,” comments psychologist Jay Watts.

    LEARN MORE

    Watch the video Why Did God Create the Earth? on jw.org.

What the Bible Says

Humans bear a heavy responsibility for suffering.

Much of it has been caused by oppressive governments that have made life hard for the very people they claim to serve.

“Man has dominated man to his harm.”​ECCLESIASTES 8:9.

Suffering can be reduced.

Bible principles promote better health and peaceful relationships with others.

“A calm heart gives life to the body, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”​PROVERBS 14:30.

“Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious.”​EPHESIANS 4:31.