God had a reason.
His ways our higher than our ways.
His ways are mysterious.
He works all things together for good.
And I finally realized what absolute bullshit this is.
We downplay suffering with the explanation that there is a world "after death" where there is no suffering... so that we don't have to work hard here on earth to try and minimize people's suffering!
We downplay suffering because we have absolutely no explanation for it. If there really is a loving God like we're taught, then the level of suffering everywhere makes no sense.
But we don't want people to disbelieve in "God" so we come up with ever more elaborate explanations for the suffering.
It seems hilarious (but not) that the final, unarguable explanation is that eventually we'll die and go to "heaven" and not have to suffer. It's like people were sitting around trying to figure out how to keep the masses in line, how to keep everyone from all this inconvenient questioning that was going on.
I know! Let's make up an imaginary world, call it "heaven," and tell everyone they're going there when they die! So when they ask "Why do bad things happen to good people?" we won't have to admit we have no idea. We can just tell them, don't worry about it, everything will be fine after you die.
It's so ridiculous I could just laugh, if I hadn't spent my entire life trying to believe this shit.