views on God -and- the tsunami|
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Where was God during the tsunami disaster?
December 30, 2004
- - Excerpt - - -
horrific photos on the front page of the Cape Argus
over the past few days showing the horrors of the tsunami
must make any thinking person ask the question: Where
disasters like this reveal the ultimate weakness
of nearly all religions and in particular those of Christianity,
Islam and Judaism, which postulate the idea of an all-
- - end excerpt - - -
in an all-powerful God does, for many believers,
inevitably lead to the attribution of God being involved
in mass death. The perception of "ultimate weakness"
is by those who view faith in a God who is involved in
mass death as mythical, anti-human, and indefensible
on moral grounds.
- - Another Excerpt - - -
God is indeed all-powerful and has control over every
aspect of this world, including the destiny of every indivi-
dual, then how can one explain such a God allowing tens
of thousands to perish?"
- - end excerpt - - -
are the types of questions that many believers
ponder, especially when tragedy besets them or some-
one they know or a vast number of innocents as oc-
curred in the tsunami.
logically, how can one be just in worshipping and
praying to and holding in esteem a supposedly all-power-
ful loving God as an icon of moral authority -if- said God
creates a world with inherent death-dealing design flaws
-or- is asserted, by believers, to be directly causal in
events of mass death?
question applies whether a believer is trying to de-
fend the multiple mass death-dealing events of God and
his agents as presented in the Bible -or- if a believer is
trying to defend and promote a God who supposedly
sentences disbelievers to oblivion, damnation, or eternal
question applies if a believer is asserting, as some
have done, that God is responsible for the acts of mass
death -and- the saving of whomever was not killed, but
could've been, during the tsunami.
are some views on God and the tsunami as ex-
pressed by some, in news articles, recently, with ques-
tions applicable in response to the God assertions ...
Most government agencies in Indonesia, where the
death toll on New Year's Eve stood at 80,246, can-
celled fireworks and urged people to pray. President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said: "Let's welcome
the new year without a party because now we are
filled with concern and sadness. We are still mourn-
ing. Let's pray together and hopefully God will not
give us another disaster."
Questions: So, is Susilo saying God gave us (or
them) this disaster? If so, why does Susilo think God
gave us (or them) this disaster?
Rev. Gary Edmonds, the head of the World Evangelical
Alliance (WEA), the world's largest fellowship of evangel-
ical denominations, churches and organizations, says,
among other things, "Pray specifically for: ... the compas-
sion and splendor of God to be revealed in the midst of
such devastation ..."
Questions: Wouldn't it have been better for such
a supposedly compassionate and splendorous and all-
powerful God to have kept the disaster from occurring
in the first place? With over 135,000 dead, 1/3rd of
them children, with families destroyed, where is the
compassion and splendor in that?
"We are praying today that there will be no more terrible
tragedies," said Muhammad Rafiq Ruslan, a clerk who
arrived early for midday prayers at Kuala Lumpur's Na-
tional Mosque. "We pray that God will help all the surviv-
ing victims and those who lost their families."
Questions: If God can prevent terrible tragedies,
why did it allow this tragedy to occur? If God cannot pre-
vent terrible tragedies, aren't the attributes all-powerful,
loving, kind, giving, benevolent, and existent unworthy?
Since the help for victims is inherently a human endeavor,
isn't the best investment one placed in the benevolence
of humankind, rather than in a supposedly all-powerful
being who would supposedly allow (or, per some be-
lievers, cause) this tragedy to occur?
Yesterday Ravindra's mother, Niru Ratman, a Hindu, said
his dramatic escape at Hikkaduwa was his second brush
with death after a car accident in 1998, which left him seri-
ously injured with a scar on his face. "I feel he's very lucky
and God still wants him to live . I believe that God has
saved him," she said.
Questions: Which God saved him? If God saved him,
why him and not the over 135,000 that died? If you credit
God for saving him, do you blame God for killing over
135,000 others? If you don't blame God for killing over
135,000 others, who or what do you blame for that? If you
blame nature and physics for that, wouldn't it logically fol-
low that nature and physics is the causality of Ravindra's
Nimal Premasiri first closed the window to avoid being
splashed by the unusually high waters, but the next waves
that struck the Queen of the Sea train were as big as ele-
phants, recalled a survivor of a tsunami onslaught that
claimed more than 800 lives in a single blow.
daughter told him not to worry when she saw
the rushing wall of water - she could swim.
never saw her again.
train was chugging slowly up the sandy, palm-fringed
coast and was nearly reaching its destination - the historic
port city of Galle - when the waves struck.
looks God did not want to take me,'' Premasiri said
Friday, fighting tears as dozens of neighbors and family
gathered to mourn at his home in this suburb of the capital,
first saw the waves that they were higher than usual,
and fearing that I will get drenched I closed the window on
my side,'' said Premasiri, recounting the tragedy that took
the lives of his daughter, Taranga, 18 and wife, Mallika, 51.
I saw waves as big as elephants coming toward us,''
he said. "My daughter told me not to worry, she was a good
swimmer and will help us. ... Those were the last words I
heard from her.''
Questions, only sadness and sorrow.