Jumping the gun a bit there, because the quote I'm thinking of come just before that line: "There, I've run rings 'round you logically!" And the chop-logic of that comic sketch ("Lions don't molt!" "Penguins do!") is the subject of this long and edifying quote via TC:
People thought for a long time that the course of the history of suffering could be changed, in the modern process of emancipation, by man's assuming responsibility for his own fate. Self-redeeming, self-emancipating man was to take the place of the redeeming God; man instead of God was to direct the course of history. But, as we have seen, it is more questionable than ever today whether scientific-technological evolution or even political-social revolution could of themselves bring about a decisive turn in mankind's history of suffering. Certainly the suffering have changed but they have not thereby become less. And, instead of God, it is now man who is charged with being a perpetrator of misdeeds and thus compelled to justify himself; instead of a theo-dicy there has to be an anthropo-dicy. But, compelled to justify himself, emancipated man attempts to exonerate himself, to find an alibi and to shift the blame with the aid of a variety of excuse mechanisms. He practices the art of showing "that it was not him." As if he were responsible only for the successes and not for the failures of technological evolution. As if all blame, and all failure could be laid on the transcendental ego (Idealism) or on the reactionary, counterrevolutionary class enemy (Marxism). As if there were no one responsible for the suffering of history, but only man's environment or his genetic pre-programming, or his instinctive urges, or quite generally individual, social, linguistic structures.
But should not emancipated man, in view of the equivocal results of emancipation, face the question of his guilt and thus also the question of his real redemption - and not merely his emancipation? Redemption and emancipation both mean liberation. But emancipation means liberation of man by man, it means man's self-liberation. And redemption means liberation of man by God, not any self-redemption on man's part. As the word "redemption" was for a long time overtaxed and emotionally overburdened, so too is the word "emancipation' today.
Since the most common use of the "question of evil, pain, suffering" is to use the dissatisfying lack of an answer that is satisfying, an answer that answers the question and relives pain against the assertions of the Christian, Jewish and other religion I think it's fair and even mandatory to ask if the results of posing those questions under alternative farmings are at all satisfying in the way demanded of religion. If the answer does not do what is demanded an answer that might be given by religion also fails to do, the framing that delivered as little or less than the answers made on behalf of religion can't, then be held to have yielded a success. If those answers deliver less or far less or nothing, then they have certainly been demonstrated to be less successful than religion has.
He practices the art of showing "that it was not him." As if he were responsible only for the successes and not for the failures of technological evolution. As if all blame, and all failure could be laid on the transcendental ego (Idealism) or on the reactionary, counterrevolutionary class enemy (Marxism). As if there were no one responsible for the suffering of history, but only man's environment or his genetic pre-programming, or his instinctive urges, or quite generally individual, social, linguistic structures.I know it sounds like Donald Trump, especially in those first two sentences; but it is part of the human condition that I am always treated unfairly, and you just were unlucky and who wants to hear you whine anyway? The question is never "Why is there suffering in the world?" but "Why am I suffering in the world?" The implicit basis there is "I don't deserve it!", and no, you probably don't. No one deserves cancer or the death of a child; but these are the conditions that prevail. If you want to preach the gospel of Joel Osteen, that God is going to reward you if you just permit it, then the flip side is you must not have permitted it, because look where you are now. Can you really divorce your actions from their consequences and lay the blame on that catalog Kung ends the quote above with? If people are suffering, are you doing anything to alleviate their suffering? Do you bear the burden with them? Do you comfort them, visit them, care for them? Or do you complain about how unfair it is, which is to say, how unfair it is to you?
Of course we never ask about the suffering that has always been in our power to eliminate: poverty and want and need. We've been told since the time of Moses how to deal with that; but we don't want to. That suffering we're perfectly fine with, and we tell those below us on the ladder, be the rungs economic ones or class ones or whatever ladder and rungs we devise, we tell them to mind their place and accept their lot because God wants them there (Great Chain of Being, also a product of the era of Leibniz) or because they deserve to be there (lazy poor!), or we just ignore that they are there, and keep our windows rolled up when we're stopped near overpasses. Their suffering is earned! Our suffering is a crime against us. If we worked on that suffering, instead of worrying about the next thing that's going to make us suffer (we just know it will! It's so unfair! I pay my taxes!), maybe we'd worry less about questions of theodicy, and a bit more about questions of justice.
But what fun would that be, right? It might even put a burden on us. That's so unfair!