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January 14, 2010


chris corwin

in these types of disasters, and perhaps you don't need me to point out, but it seems to stare us in the face that, if the god of the bible exists, he could have prevented this.

surely the standard christian thinking that it is a fallen world, full of sin, and these disasters are a consequence of that don't really seem good enough.

they never did to me --- it always seemed like a cop out.

a loving all-powerful god *ought not* let these kinds of things happen.

this is the old problem of evil, of course.

but just because it's something humans have been wrestling with for 20,000 years or more doesn't mean it's not a valid problem:

an omnipotent, omnicient god who would allow 45,000 people to be killed in one violent act of nature is, by definition, not loving.

indifferent, or even mean, but not loving.

surely it's easier in the end to simply accept that such a god is actually not there than it is to think the bible is wrong about him being loving?


It seems that you are assuming that having life taken from you is not loving. In many circumstances it is not, but is that true for all circumstances? Those who support euthanasia would say the opposite. Furthermore, one could argue, if they were inclined to, that for many people living in such impoverished conditions, death is merciful. I don't know that I believe that; I'm still thinking on it. But, for example, my friend Jeanne whom I presume is dead (and who had dedicated the remaining years of her life to helping the poor in Haiti) was a committed Christian. As painful as her absence might be to the rest of us, as a Christian she actually wins in the end. Does the taking of her life in what you seem to be calling an "act of God" mean that God is somehow unloving toward her or her husband, Jack? Just something to ponder...



Equating impoverished living to the kind of suffering that some use to justify euthanasia is obscene. I don't think you really mean that, as it isn't in the usual spirit of your postings.

We could use the same logic to say God prolongs the life and enhances the prosperity of wealthy, well-fed people simply because they're not physically suffering.

Grand-scale disasters like this don't operate on a per-person basis. They take life indiscriminately based on where the person was located rather than how they lived their lives. Plenty of relatively affluent people died, including missionaries, international aid workers and UN officials.

When the 2005 tsunami struck Thailand, an American teacher at a Christian International School in my hometown told his students God was punishing Thailand because of its tolerance toward homosexuals. The scary thing is that he had no trouble finding biblical support for this.

While your comment is extremely benign compared to his, I still think it's treading on dangerous ground. I realize it was a hypothetical in response the previous post, but it sort of broke my heart when I read it.

Regardless of how or whether we consider the possibility of a deity, let's not even suggest that that Being is using terrible disasters to euthanise entire communities or to dole out indiscriminate judgment because they treat homosexuals like the humans they are.

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