Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Jack: Why do bad things happen to good people? People who learn and do chesed should be healthy, wealthy, with wonderful things. Why do some suffer?

Jill: Your premise is wrong. Where does it say anywhere that people who do chesed will be rich? And who says being rich is a reward?  Being rich can frequently lead you to sin, or cause you to suffer. 

Moreover, no one every promised that good people would be rich. According to our sages, the reward of a mitzvah is a mitzvah, not money. 

Another thing: Most human suffering is caused by natural forces. Natural forces don't single out evil people. I mean does it say anywhere that gravity stops working for people who do chesed? If a righteous person and a sinner jump out of a 10th story window they get the same result. Natural forces are impartial and treat righteous and evil people identically These forces - including things that make you sick, like chemical reactions and biological processes - do not differentiate between the righteous and evil people.

Jack: It's a common human desire for evil to be punished. While free will plays a role, people yearn for Hashem to dispense justice in this world. It's a somewhat human desire, even if it isn't explicitly supported by religious texts.

Jill: People are morons. It's never ever worked like that. People are always saying, "I don't get it. Why isn't that nice person rich?" Maybe people should finally catch on and realize their whole premise is faulty. They mistakenly believe that performing mitzvos should yield material rewards and valuable prizes. However, that notion is fundamentally flawed. Mitzvos shape your character and enable you to perceive the adversities of the world in one of three ways A) impartial, i.e., something caused by natural forces that aren't singling you out, B) caused by men exercising their free will, or C) something you caused yourself via your own bad choices.

No comments: