Why does suffering exist in the universe?
Sure enough, we live in a universe that does not care. What else can explain the carnage and diseases, starvation and other myriad forms of abhorrent deeds mankind has invented?
Let's examine a scenario where suffering does not exist. In our hypothetical universe, inhumane, abject, vile, cruel deeds do not exist. No one can harm anyone else. No one can go hungry. Now, let's work our way backwards and derive at the kind of universe and organisms required for this rather utopic quest that we are pursuing.
Let's construct a science fiction universe where organisms cannot inflict suffering. Needless to say, these organisms will lack the chemistry to endure suffering. Exploring further the labyrinthe of a suffering free universe, let's examine what causes suffering, or precisely, why have humans gone off the deep end and why have they led the torch of suffering since the dawn of mankind. This brings us to the core of what it means to be human, what is our most innate trait. Our race has come wired with the need to compete, outdo and outlast, and this is our most truest nature. This is what drives us and this is why we are where we are today - creatures sitting at the top of the food chain.
So, why have we come inbuilt with the need to survive and surpass at all cost? The answer seems to be simple - law of evolution. The strongest, the most cunning, the most deceitful, the relatively selfish will win in a battle of survival against the loving, the honest and the magnanimous. But why did nature craft such a stark and harsh law? We are the product of billions of years of evolution that our universe put into play. Why couldn't the universe use some other method that was relatively harmless and that created benign, tamed beings that were incapable of producing suffering. After all, the universe has many resources like hydrogen atoms, the vast emptiness, the curved space-time continuum, stars, blackholes. So, why not build organisms that could survive on what was abundant and available freely. Why have a system where different kinds of organisms compete for resources and survival and then after establishing supremacy, the resources are exploited to the point of near depletion. This implies that at some point, the species that dominates today will become extinct soon enough which in universe's dictionary means few billions of years.
So, the main question is why has the universe created and perfected a system of predators, scarce resources, a fight for survival, exponential growth, and the eventual annihilation, chaos and extinction. One way to look at it is: this might be the grim tale of our universe. But as per the multiverse theory, there could be very many universes out there with very different kind of realities. If that is indeed the case, then there might be a universe where organisms live in harmony and pain is non-existent. It then means we maxed out on our luck and the law of probability condemned us to a universe such as the one we live in - where suffering shall never cease until we live and breathe.
Back to our premise of a suffering free universe, what kind of place would that be. Suffering produces strength and hones the ability to endure. Suffering shows us what we are capable of in the most despicable and wretched of the situations. Let's say, an organism has to endure physical pain everyday to survive. Does it mean that the offspring of such an organism will have competitive and evolutionary advantage over an organism that has not known pain and suffering? Now, let's talk psychology. Humans are a complex phenomena. They have a tendency to languish and fade away in the face of pleasure and an existence without struggle. They become smug and even bigger slaves to their egos. When life is relatively easy, they still find issues and problems that drive them mad. For humans, nothing ever is enough. So, a suffering free universe does not guarantee a grateful, ecstatic, and a kind human race. Also, we would be more likely to lose our edge and our place in the universe. And soon, enough we might be forced into extinction by the emergence of a new species that can swallow the pill of suffering without any remorse and contemplation.