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Suffering is the temporary or permanent possession of a crappy life. It is a commodity monopolized by poor people, those with diseases, and maybe the mentally retarded It is only attainable by humans; though all animals are thought to have a crappy life, they are not thought to suffer as their brains are too small to know that their life sucks.
All cultures and religions have unique views on suffering. Hinduism teaches enlightenment as a way to end suffering, though studies show that the more you know the more you suffer. Western society believes suffering must be dealt with by making everyone else around you suffer as much as possible. This is especially true in that creating massive wars can help end economic depressions. Sadists believe suffering is fun to watch, whereas masochists believe suffering is just fun to do. The Irish believe the opposite of suffering is drinking. Socrates believed the cure to suffering was to drink his hemlock like a good condemned man. My ex-wife is notable for her ability to make people suffer.
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