The Study of Man:
The All-Powerful "I"
To the perennial problem of evil and suffering, there are two perennial answers. According to one, evil and suffering have their origin in the deficiencies of nature. One cannot, then, overcome evil without transcending nature. This is the super-naturalist answer which most religions give to the problem of good and evil: perfect good is a supernatural concept; evil is inherent in nature.
The other answer, which is far more congenial to modern man, locates all essential goodness within nature and traces evil and suffering to deviations from the natural. According to the naturalist view, evil is essentially the frustration of natural needs, while good consists in their gratification. Evil thus can have no natural origin: only extra-natural forces working within society can be responsible for it. It is society which makes man unhappy, by depriving him of the means for satisfying his natural needs.
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