A global pandemic that has killed millions and also disrupted lives and also livelihoods around the world. A changing climate that has actually been linked with powerful hurricanes and also raging wildfires. And also countless people coping with other struggles large and small, personal and societal. These occasions have carried renewed relevance to an age-old question: Why is there so lot suffering and evil in the world? This question have the right to be particularly confounding because that those who think in a good and all-powerful God, together is often explained in the Abrahamic religious traditions the Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Because that centuries, philosophers and theologians have actually grappled through this “problem of evil.”

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Now, Pew Research center has asked everyday Americans for their thoughts. The survey asked a country representative sample the 6,485 people: “In your very own words, why carry out you think terrible things take place to people through no evident fault of your own?” In response, 5,280 offered written responses, short and also long, basic and complex. Us then sorted the responses right into several categories.

Among U.S. Adults, 35% see experiencing as random and virtually inescapable; many wrote the life (or another four-letter word) just “happens.” much more than one-in-ten attributed human being misfortune to God’s will. Smaller sized shares touch on the themes of complimentary will, sin and evil, Satan, fate, or people and also social systems. Tho others witnessed a silver- lining come hardship, relenten it together an possibility for growth and also perspective. And also some responses handle multiple themes. We’ve compiled a small selection of this responses below.

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About Pew research study Center Pew Research center is a nonpartisan reality tank that educates the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts publicly opinion polling, demography research, media content evaluation and other empirical social science research. Pew Research center does not take policy positions. That is a subsidiary the The Pew charity Trusts.