Suffering Isn’t Moral

Suffering doesn’t make people better. It makes them worse. It saps energy, it makes people bitter and jaded.

Solzhenitsyn tells in The Gulag Archipelago that he believed he would find better people in the camps. That suffering would cleanse them and make them kinder, give them an understanding of what really mattered. What he found was the opposite. Except for the profoundly religious people who were bearing the suffering with dignity, everybody else was made a lot worse by it.

This is why it bugs me when politicians run on the strength of their sob stories. Everybody has a cross to bear. Some are heavier than others. That’s the nature of human existence. But the weight of each individual cross tells us nothing about the person bearing it. All pedophiles are victims of childhood sexual abuse. There’s nothing moral in theirs or anybody else’s suffering.

2 thoughts on “Suffering Isn’t Moral

  1. Any prison guard would say the same.

    Out of curiosity did Solzhenitsyn say anything about how the gulags changed the guards as well? Prison officers often don’t fare much better than prisoners.


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