In Eruvin, 13b, the Gemara concludes that it would have been better for man to not have been created. How can this be, given that Hash-m created us for our good?
TOSFOS (DH No'ach Lo) answers your question. Tosfos says that this statement of the Gemara does not apply to Tzadikim. For Tzadikim, it is indeed better that they were created than had they not been created. It is for those Tzadikim that Hash-m created the world, and for them it is for their good. The statement of the Gemara applies to those who have not conquered their Yetzer Hara. (As for why they were created, see Insights to Berachos 6:3.)
The question only gets started if we translate the Gemara as "It would have been better for man..."
I heard in the name of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, shlit"a that the Gemara's expression here "No-ach lo l'adam..." is different than "Mutav lo l'adam...". The Gemara is not expressing a value judgement (what would have been BETTER), rather it is making a statement "It would have been EASIER for man if he were never created...."
When the Gemara says in Berachos (43a), "No'ach Lo l'Adam... It is No'ach for a person to throw himself into a furnace and not to embarrass his fellow man in public," it does not seem to mean that it is easier for a person to throw himself into a furnace, but that it is better to do so. Similarly, in Kidushin (40a) when it says, "It is No'ach for a person to transgress in private and not to desecrate the name of Heaven in public," it does not seem to mean that it is easier.
I phoned Rav Lichtenstein, shlita, and I asked him about his explanation, and he answered that the word "No'ach" has both connotations, and which connotation is used depends on the context in which the word appears, so that here, "No'ach" means "easier," while elsewhere it may mean "better."
Perhaps, according to Rav Lichtenstein's explanation of the Gemara here, since the subject of the word "No'ach" is not really the person but the person's Neshamah (since the Gemara is referring to the state before the person was created), it could be that in those other places "No'ach" also means easier, but it is referring to the person's Neshamah. Thus, it is easier for a person's Neshamah to be thrown into a furnace and not to sin by embarrassing someone in public, and it is easier for his Neshamah to sin privately and not to desecrate the name of Heaven in public.
>> In Eruvin, 13b, the Gemara concludes that it would have been better for man
to not have been created. How can this be, given that Hashem created us
for our good?<<
>> The Kollel replied: ... For Tzadikim, it is indeed better that they were created than had they not been created. It is those Tzadikim whom Hashem created for their good. The statement of the Gemara applies to those who abuse the opportunity of having been created by sinning....<<
In regard to your answer, isn't it obvious that someone who didn't conquer their Yetzer Hara would have been better off not having been created? Why would the Gemara need to debate this point?
"To conquer" the Yetzer ha'Ra means that one no longer has to fight against it anymore. "To not conquer" the Yetzer ha'Ra means that every time the opportunity to sin comes to a person, he has to fight with his Yetzer. That is the characteristic of the "Beinonim" (as opposed to the Tzadikim, and as opposed to the Resha'im; see Sefer ha'Tanya).
This is the basis for the argument whether it would have been better for man not to have been created: was it better that man was created, giving him the potential to conquer his Yetzer, or would it have been better had man not been created, because the risk (the potential loss) overrides the potential gain.
However, Harav Yehudah Landy (Telzstone) pointed out to me that the Vilna Gaon actually relates to your question, of why Hashem created man if the tests are so hard to pass (Even Sheleimah). He answers with an entirely new interpretation of the Gemara. The Gemara is referring to a soul that lives and sins and is sent back to earth after death to live another life (Gilgul). It is debating whether it is worthwhile to get, and take, another chance, or it is better to just stay in heaven and bear the punishment. The Gemara concludes that it is better not to come back as a Gilgul, but if one does he should "feel his deeds." This means that he should determine which bad deed he sinned with the first time around -- which caused his return -- by trying to feel out which sins he finds particularly "attractive" and hard to resist. Then he should conquer his Yetzer Hara for those sins, in order to rectify them.