Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The God of Earthquakes and Tsunamis?

The other week on the morning after Pink Punters I watched a little morning TV before leaving the hotel.

There was a question and answer type of program on.

The main question ran something like: does the earthquake in Haiti prove that there is no God?

I think that the discussion is worthwhile, even though the answer is patently: no it doesn’t.

There have been other, more severe earthquakes. And there will be more.

And yet still people believe that God exists.

And now … with apologies … but this tickled me … did you hear about the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac? He laid awake all night wondering if there really was a dog.

There have been people that have attributed the earthquake to God … as an act of vengeance. Pat Robertson, a Christian leader, has been quoted as saying this. Other Christians have denounced the idea.

Last week there was another program about the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. A clip of a sermon being given in a mosque … the preacher explaining that the tsunami was a punishment. I expect that there are Muslims that denounce this idea also.

There are difficulties in trying to hold together a theology that maintains ideas that a God that:

  • knows everything … including the future
  • can do anything
  • loves

There are ways of making some kind of sense of it … but it’s only some kind of sense. No one that I’ve heard of can explain it fully. I suspect that anyone that claims to be able to explain it must be deluded.

One of my weaknesses is that I have a need to understand things. Things need to make sense.

It makes it difficult for me to believe in God.

Earthquakes and tsunamis are not the only problems.

Either way … the concept that earthquakes and tsunamis are mechanisms by which God punishes the wicked seems to me to be absurd.The apparently innocent seem to be punished just as badly.

If God is there … I hope that (s)he is not a God of earthquakes and tsunamis … at least as a mechanism of punishment and control.


Pretty Sissy Dani said...

Personally, my own belief is that--while God could certainly control the natural forces of our world such that disasters only affect the wicked--he chooses not to. Why? Because his overwhelming desire is for the human race to advance in knowledge and achievement...and if he "plays around" with what we know of the workings of our world, we can never do that.

Andrea said...

Thanks for that Dani.

In the days that I was a believer I had similar thoughts ... it seems one of the few ways to make any sense out of it.