The Pastor of my Old Church Tried to Re-Convert Me Yesterday
I enjoyed reading this Cofty, thanks for sharing.
We were in a shopping center right before the holidays and there was a billboard for a charity raising money for Africa, and my 7 yr old son asked 'why doesn't god give the kids in Africa enough food?' Me and my husband just looked at eachother like 'wow'. Even a 7 yr old is wondering the same thing.
Issues for explaining the existence of god/s:
The problem of evil.
The problem of myths, like the bible.
The exponential growth of knowledge about the natural world/the universe, confining god/s to gaps.
The fact that we don't need them for morality and meaning.
I found it interesting to read about the psychological impact on parents and children after that Tsunami. The main faith groups of the Indian Ocean basin are Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.
Of these groups the impact was worse amongst the Muslims, who found such a tragedy, incompatible with the actions of an all loving "god". The next group, most traumatised, were the Christians. These, Cofty, struggled with explanations as you so admirably put to text.
However, those who seemed to come to terms with the tragedy and loss the most... were the Buddhism. It was "mummy and daddy's" time to rejoin the Universe. Their "spirits" lived in the trees and they would accept that it would be their time one day to rejoin the rest of the Universe. The hurt prevailed, but it was not attributed to an all wise and loving Creator. Simply, that we are part of a "whole" Universal cycle. Our destiny is influenced greatly by our Genes and our Circumstances.
When we can, we move away from danger... we don''t build hospitals on the San Andreas fault line, for example!)... and do our best to string out our existence.
Of course, if You are a dyed in wool Atheist... you don't have the luxury of any such reasoning. Maybe that is why Atheists have the lowest retention rate of their Young ( and you guessed it, the JW kids are not far behind!).
All the best to all, for the New Year
And while happily blaming God for the hundreds of thousands that have died in the tsunami disaster we need to remind ourselves of the hundreds of
millions that have died over the last century not from natural causes, but from man’s inhumanity to one another (40 million alone died in the Soviet Union during WW2 )
Christians explain natural disasters like the Tsunami like scientist, the tectonic plates get stuck and pressure builds until it suddenly gets unjar causing earthquakes and Tsunami.
Do we want God selectively to control us and protect us from harmful things yet otherwise have absolute freedom ?
Is not simple cause and effect taking place in "natural disaster "?
Wouldn't it be wise, to think more deeply and to see events like these in a larger context. ?
caliber And while happily blaming God for the hundreds of thousands that have died...
I get what you’re saying. It’s not fair to blame a god for natural disasters or failing to save humans.
Personally, I don’t blame a god. I don’t believe in gods, fairies, pixies, elf’s, goblins, Santa clause, demons, mystical dragons, unicorns, or any of the other figments of the imagination that bring both comfort and horror to the human mind.
We live in a cruel world, and some humans are the cruellest creatures alive. If a man is cruel, I blame the man because he is aware of what he is doing. If a lion savagely kills and eats a Zebra there is no blame. That is nature and the survival of the fittest at work. If every meat eating animal became a vegetarian the balance of nature would collapse; not enough grassland and too many animals due to no natural predators.
Nature worked very well for millions of years until humans became too abundant. So, god is off the hook. Natural disasters are simply a part of living in a hostile planet; part of the lottery of life.
Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat
Fortune favours the brave
* Well done Cofty - the forum’s voice of reason.
if You are a dyed in wool Atheist... you don't have the luxury of any such reasoning. - Podobear
What reasoning exactly are you referring to? Buddhist reincarnation bullshit?
Are you also saying that 250 000 men, women and children only have themselves to blame for standing too near the ocean?
Do we want God selectively to control us and protect us from harmful things yet otherwise have absolute freedom ? - Caliber
Earthquakes and tsunamis are inevitable because of the way the earth is made. It would have been trivially easy for a creator to design plate boundaries that glided over each other without causing earthquakes. Apparently he didn't think of that.
You only make god sound foolish as well as cruel.
As you said " Wouldn't it be wise, to think more deeply "
or maybe the whole issue went over his head, now god is sitting in a corner crying his eyes out. maybe that's why catholics started praying to maria instead, mama always knows better.
cofty~ Sometimes, do you feel like you're surrounded by idiots? (please don't answer that)
I'll add to the accolades, to say that you are gifted with an agile mind and use it to express yourself in a very clear and insightful way. Thanks for sharing your ideas~
maybe the whole issue went over his head, now god is sitting in a corner crying his eyes out
So again it always turns into a moral issue... where we presume to know what is best for the long term outcome for things
Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, windstorms, tsunamis show us our powerlessness. Man has to accept his limits.
"The tragic consequences of the great catastrophes should also make us think of other disasters like abortion which is a daily tragedy. On average, natural catastrophes occuring across the globe cause the death of around 100,000 people each year. On the other hand, approximately 43,800,000 children have to die each year through abortions worldwide; that means 120,000 per day"...
Who will shed a tear for these ones ?
Should not morality apply to us humans too ?
Red herring, caliber. What is being done to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place? The socially conservative states have the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the US. These same states declare abortion to be reprehensible. I have a pretty good idea why the teen pregnancy and abortion rates are so high. It has to do with hope. Hopeful countries/states have lower teen birth rates and consequently lower abortion rates even if they have a liberal abortion policy.
9/1000 in Finland (2011), as compared to 19/1000 in Texas (2008).
I am less interested in the argument, "Why, God, why?" as in the temerity of this pastor who thought cofty was fair game.
The "Why God?" arguments all assume we are working with an all-powerful, all-knowing God with the power to intervene.