Regarding Peter Singer’s May 19 article, “If there is a god, then why is there suffering?“: There aren’t any easy answers to this age-old question. But outside the Christian faith, there are answers that are more acceptable to thinking minds than such dogmas as Original Sin and Eve’s willful eating of the fruit of knowledge. That particularly distasteful idea is an insult to a supposedly all-powerful God, who might be expected to quite easily withstand any human mental challenges.

The only theory that remotely answers the question of so much suffering and apparent injustice is the idea of Reincarnation. In daily life, if we are observant, we may have noted that when one passes judgment or acts badly, we are quite often thrust into a similar situation where we have to experience firsthand what we have done. It would seem that Reincarnation would be the best way to learn what I feel is the ultimate lesson — empathy.

Empathy goes so much further than the facile pasting of the word “love” onto everything. Empathy doesn’t require any personal involvement per se. It requires a pure and absolutely unselfish response. It requires us to move into the mind and heart of another. Life becomes a lesson — the goal being empathy — and as we understand and feel each other, we become part of the world soul. Perhaps that is God?

nikki ty-tomkins