Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hypocritical Oaf

It's an often asked question: Is God responsible for tragedies, or if not could He have prevented them?

I'm not going to go into the existence of God here, however I will get into how much influence He has on the movements of the Earth. I find it silly that people would claim God has any control over natural disasters, in the same way I find it silly that fundamentalist Christians deny the theory of evolution.

If I was God, hypothetical of course, I wouldn't bother creating a universe that I had to monitor every single moment and control every single aspect. If I'm busy creating universes I'm probably a bit smarter than that. I'd do it more like someone might program a computer game. I'd come up with the concept, draw up some designs, then work on creating a number of algorithms that will allow the universe to go about it's thing. Of course I'd want to be able to alter things from time to time, no one wants to play a computer that has no user input. Hence, I would create physics to allow things to interact without causing too many errors, I'd install evolution to allow things to adapt to their environment and finally some jerks to make it interesting. Then I'd sit back and watch, occasionally collapsing governments or creating new mountain ranges if I was bored.

Now, what irritates me about the question is that people can't seem to decide whether or not He is directly responsible when disaster strikes. The answer to the question is largely based on the outcome of the disaster, particularly in relation to the loss of human life. Here's an example from Roman Catholic Bishop of Christchurch Barry Jones:

5th September 2010: 'Roman Catholic Bishop of Christchurch Barry Jones said in the wake of the earthquake many people were finding comfort in the church. "We just have to give thanks to God that there's no-one dead."'

24th February 2011: 'Bishop Jones reminded everyone that bad things happening was not God punishing people, despite the "tragedy that has unfolded in our city over the past 24 hours". "Such thinking is a mistake ... it's not about vengeance," he said.'

We should thank God that people were not killed in September, but can't blame Him when they were in February? You can't have it both ways Mr. Jones. Passive God or vengeful God. At least if it's one of those we know what we're dealing with. Unpredictable, erratic God? How is that any different to having no God at all? Oh, right...

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