Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Does Suffering Lead To Ennoblement of the Soul?

A long-term claim with vast influence on the civilization has been that suffering leads to ennoblement of the soul. This is a testable claim, and it is easy to prove wrong.

Stalin had been through a lot of suffering, especially as a child; but his soul did not become ennobled. The Interahamwe and ISIS likewise had been though a lot of suffering; but their souls did not become ennobled either.

Important is not the experience but what one does with it. There are some people in whom suffering awakens compassion for others. There are others in whom it has the opposite effect and breeds contempt and cruelty. A person who's suffered significantly may have contempt for the person who hasn't. And he may want to inflict cruel acts on the other person in order to bring him to his level.

Does suffering lead to ennoblement of the soul? No; rightful choice does. It may be necessary for the person to go through hardship in order to be able to relate to the people who suffer; but by itself suffering does not improve anything.

The belief that suffering leads to ennoblement of the soul is obviously wrong. Much more effective toward that effect is going out of one's way to do good things. This, becomes a positive rather than negative way toward self-improvement; and the results are positive both for the person and for the people around him whom his positive actions reach.


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