ust for background: I was raised in an evangelical family and went to a Christian liberal arts college. About half way through college, I completely lost my faith, and became an atheist.

One of the few things I miss about religion is having something that felt meaningful to say when tragedy hit a loved one. Being able to say to a loved one that God has a plan or that you will see the departed again felt like it was a comfort to the one grieving.

Does it? I know for me, such platitudes would make me angry. An extended family member is suffering through end stage cancer. His family is all very religious. I know the things that will be said: God is calling him home, he is in a better place, etc. Obviously if that makes people feel better, great. I just don’t comprehend it.

This is probably a convoluted way to ask the old question, whey does God allow suffering, but I am more interested in whether or how religion causes comfort when suffering occurs.