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The Problem Of Pointless Suffering

Sculpture of a man in agony
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In a new book, the philosopher Scott Samuelson offers seven ways of looking at suffering. He pulls wisdom from the lessons of ancient Greek myth, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the beautiful pain of blues music. (Rebroadcast)

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Why do we suffer? Why do people die young? Is there any point to our physical and emotional pain? In a new book, philosopher Scott Samuelson offers seven ways to think about suffering. He pulls wisdom from the lessons of ancient Greek myth, the horrors of the Holocaust, and the beautiful pain of blues music. Ultimately, he says, we have little choice but to find a balance between facing pointless suffering and trying to fix it. Samuelson joins us Thursday to discuss the difficult mystery of suffering. (Rebroadcast)

Scott Samuelson teaches philosophy at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, and Lapham's Quarterly. His new book is called Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering: What Philosophy Can Tell Us About the Hardest Mystery of All [Indie bookstores|Amazon].

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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