I want to continue looking at the Bad Catholic’s post at Patheos because there’s a lot of interesting stuff there. Like this introduction:
Any philosophy that claims that there exists nothing supernatural cannot grant purpose to suffering.
If some natural, secular purpose could be granted to the man suffering, then his pain would cease to be suffering and begin to be useful pain.
He goes on to compare the young athlete’s muscular aches and pains, endured for the sake of fitness, with the inescapable aches and pains of old age, as an example of useful pain versus pointless suffering. In order to be suffering, he says, suffering “requires the lack of a natural, secular answer.” And by “answer” he means “a good reason”—some overriding benefit good enough to justify the means used to achieve it.