PREAMBLE: I'm processing (thinking about) all the comments and will try to update the question shortly. Thanks.
A few weeks ago I was having a debate with born-again Christians (they were trying to convert me -- I'm not Jewish and am an atheist) and I put a question to them which I've often used in other similar situations and is one that is of genuine interest to me: why did G-d (for those who think he/she exists) design the current Universe the way he did -- given that there is so much suffering in the world?
The example I often use is one that is very disturbing to me: when the Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele was conducting experiments on human children by boiling them alive -- why didn't G-d immediately intervene? If I understand the faculties ascribed to G-d according to most religions, he/she has infinite power, wisdom, transcends time. Why did he not design a universe that for example had protection systems for the weak. Like in science fiction movies a force field would protect the weak from the tormentor. I'm using this phrasing to conduct a though experiment -- an alternate design could have been where there was no human suffering.
So the question: does Judaism address this question of human suffering? Would appreciate it if I could get some insights that can be understood by a layman like me.
- I realize that this may be related to the question on why G-d allows evil to exist like the one asked here -- but here is how mu question is different. One can suffer even in the absence of evil -- like say being burned in a car crash. On the the other hand a universe with safety mechanisms would prevent suffering even if evil existed.
- Regarding the note that: it's really G-d's choice how he/she wishes to design the universe -- I would again assume that G-d, one who has compassion and love would not choose a Universe with suffering -- I mean I'm a mere defective mortal and given the choice, even I would not choose a Universe with suffering
- On the note that it is irrelevant to those who suffer regarding what type of a universe they would prefer to live in (since they are not G-d) -- my submission would be that ethically (at least according to human ethics) the affectee, especially someone who is the lesser power-wise should have a say, especially since the suffer never really asked to be created or was given a choice in that matter and he/she has a frail existence vis-a-vis someone like G-d. So IMHO, yes they should have a say in the design of the Universe if they are going to be at the receiving end of suffering