TED Conversations

Devin Tarr

Master's Student, California State University Chico

This conversation is closed.

What are your thoughts on the three great dilemma's of life, Human Evil, Suffering and Death, that Billy Graham spoke about?

I recently watched Billy Graham's TED talk and he spoke about three problems that everyone must face: human evil, human suffering, and death. As much we'd like to, these are 3 things we can't avoid.

Mr. Graham noted that no amount of technology and achievement has ever been able to address these three problems. If we honestly reflect on them, what are we to do? Should we look up for help, or should we continue on our present course? Lets not dismiss this with trite answers, but really think about it.

Warmly,
Devin

Share:
  • thumb

    Zack K

    • +1
    Mar 10 2012: To me personally the "dilemma" of death is inevitable and shouldn't be overcome, because it will result in unbalance, after all things like death are a part of life. I also think that this is the same for evil, sadly there may never be a answer to solve the problem of evil, because as hundreds of years of thought and experience shows when evil is destroyed another evil takes its place. These two things are vital for life, a life without death wouldn't be precious, and a world without evil would have no good. The existence of bad gives me the desire to do good, and evil -as bad as it is- has its purpose.

    However the one dilemma that I believe can be solved is suffering, at least to the point were the world has as little suffering as possible (as a result of evil), but to me, that is what will come with time. We as a people have a long way to go to become united.
    • Mar 13 2012: I tend to agree with you Zack K. I see death as a relief. Imagine if we couldn't die. Feeling pain from accidents and ailments all your life. A natural part of the experience is to die. Having said that, death as we have been taught to understand it may not necessarily be that way. Why would a man be born, to die forever? After all, we have the gift of 'LIFE', that is significant. Whatever befalls us we will always LIVE. And so when my time expires in this experience, I shall be moving on without dilemna.....
      As for evil, it's like darkness and light. There really isn't a thing such as darkness, it's really an absence of light. An absence of good is perceived as evil. Just as there are degrees of light, likewise there are levels to which humans will distance themselves from what is natural and good. If you were in opposition to God, what would your works be?
      Human suffering is another Social Disease. We go to great lengths in our quest for progress. So much so that in our insatiable desire to fit into this fake world that we have created, loads of people get brushed aside. Our policies domestic and exported affect people unknown to us, our demand for things 'new' create deserts and lay waste forests, our current lifestyle trends are anti-existence, even ours. We are all suffering.
  • Mar 10 2012: Devin, we all have a choice about what to focus on. Suppose he had talked about Human Goodness, Enjoyment and Life?
    I think we have been brainwashed to have too much respect for authority figures......especially those connected to religion.
    Think for yourself. Believe what YOU believe. You do not need people external to yourself to manipulate and control your behavior. Live according to your own highest awareness of what is right. Stick with truth as you know it. Express your own true thoughts and feelings. People can tell you what they believe, but they cannot tell you what you believe. You tell people what YOU believe. Respect yourself. Trust yourself. Best wishes for living in truth, love, joy and all other positive ways. Don't accept traditional brainwashing. This is YOUR LIFE! Live it according to your values and beliefs which I am confident are positive.
    • W T 100+

      • 0
      Mar 10 2012: Your comment made me remember an article I read recently. The article quoted a Canadian minister who said "Why do we need a 'revolutionary' voice from two millennia ago to guide us? We have fabulous ideas of our own, that are constantly weakened by having to tie them back to Jesus and Scripture".

      The scope of the article dealt with identifying the marks of true christianity......one such mark is remaining in God's word........in other words, making a concerted effort to use it's principles.

      Today, many have their own private ideas about God....few turn to scripture for help.
      • Mar 10 2012: Mary, Glad you are one of my contemporaries who thinks for herself. Let's live according to our own good principles, beliefs, understandings, feelings, intuitions et cetera. That is how we can continuously improve our lives and the well-being of other people. Power to the positive. Religious authority figures make people feel less wonderful than they are and they are no closer to God than others. Just because people pose as "authorities" does not make them superior. We need to see through the poses. We should elevate people and elevate their self-concepts, if we can. Many religions try to make people feel as though they are "sinners" or "evil." That does harm to the individuals and to society. Power to the positive.
  • thumb
    Mar 11 2012: Hello Devin,

    Death is the result of evolution. If life didn't die, we wouldn't be here. We are the product of life and death cycles, so live your life the best you can, and look forward to what we shall become.

    Human evil is the product of survival in a competitive world. As a social animal, we strive for the position of "top male" often at the expense of our competitors. That was the role of Eastern philosophy, to address the animal within and rise to higher levels of consciousness. Many choose to rise to higher levels of consciousness without addressing the animal within. That is why we have drug cartels, human traffickers, organized crime, political corruption, etc. They are using creative ability to further survival of the fittest and satisfy sensual pleasures instead of seeking ways to build a paradise.

    As for human suffering, every day countless accidents occur that could have been prevented. All the rules in the industrial age were written in blood and tears. It's what happens when we get ahead of ourselves. Learn to follow the rules, and tragedies can be avoided. That was the lessen in the Garden of Eden. Don't go against the rules of nature and all will be well. But we like to break the rules. So nature breaks bones to enforce the rules.

    I believe in pantheism. Everything is a part of God, and the rules (of nature) are what they are. That is what God told Moses at Mount Horeb; I am what I am. Religion took God out of reality and put "him" on a pedestal. Now we only see God in what can't be explained. The ancient ones saw God in everything, including us. That is why Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within you. Find it and do your best to make a better world with it.
  • thumb
    Mar 10 2012: My answer to the dilemma's of which you speak: Awful Things Happen in a Beautiful World

    Of the three great dilemmas, death is the only one that has the potiential to be beautiful, i.e., when it comes with sleep to an aged person who has lived a good life.
  • thumb
    Mar 10 2012: Expect some time in the future our descendants will solve the issue of aging and be able to live indefinitely.
    Not sure our minds are ready for eternity.
  • W T 100+

    • 0
    Mar 10 2012: There are probably more than just three dilemmas. Seems like there are a gazillion.

    Sadly there is nothing we can do about other's actions. Death is inevitable. Suffering, well, there is a quote that says "Life is hard, suffering is optional".

    I think that individuals who have some sort of spirituality are able to endure life's great dilemma's because they have their eyes fixed on something greater.....a prize.

    There is a scriptural text that says: Count it all joy my brothers when you meet with various trials, knowing that this tested quality of your faith builds endurance.

    Still, I can't help but admire the sheer will some have to survive life's most challenging trials. We humans are resilient.

    I will share something a TED speaker (Clifford Stoll) once wrote:

    Information is not knowledge
    Knowledge is not understanding
    Understanding is not wisdom.

    In this day and age of an abundance of knowledge, it is important that we realize the difference between knowledge of suffering and dilemmas and understanding it. Everyone is aware of suffering. Understanding the why we suffer, takes time. Once we ourselves come to understand the why, then, using words we have chosen wisely, we can help others reach this level of understanding, and perhaps improve their life if possible.

    Wonderful question.
  • thumb
    Mar 9 2012: I think the mods wiped out your other discussion.
    • thumb
      Mar 10 2012: They did :/ When I checked my email this morning I saw that 13 people had responded in the last 24 hours, but the mods said the topic "had already been addressed" and so was removed. I replied that it's a topic that deserves to be considered when new evidence comes to light, but they haven't seemed to agree. Anyhow, it's ok.