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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Tsunami And God

Let me start by saying that none of the following discussion means a thing compared to what happened to those people who were unfortunate enough to be caught in the path of the tsunami. It's all too easy to forget individual lives that were destroyed by that huge wall of water. My thoughts and prayers go out to each and everyone effected by this disaster.

[For anyone wanting to help out, go to The Command Post and do what you can.]

That being said, I am going to add my two cents.

As with any natural disaster, there has been plenty of discussion of the theological implications of last week's Tsunami. As usual, David does a good job taking on the Biblical implications here. However...

All of this seems to take for granted the idea that God takes a very active and interested role in the world and in our existence in particular. While I suppose this is the view of most major religions, isn't it also possible that God set natural laws at the beginning of Time that would lead to natural disasters in the future and that he didn't really care when (and yes, I would say the same for the existence of Earth and humans as well)? It also seems possible that God knew, at the very beginning of Time exactly when all natural disasters (and everything else for that matter) would happen (although that might pose some problems with Free Will).

Either way, why does everyone seem so intent on finding immediate causes, reasons and purposes for everything? Could it be that God's purpose takes a somewhat larger view than any particular event? Perhaps disasters, violence and Evil are simply the means by which God tests us. It seems reasonable to me to think that the end (testing us) is more important than the means (disasters, Evil, etc.).

Suffering on Earth is often assumed to be Bad and therefore Evil. Why? I’m far from a Biblical scholar, but my impression has always been that God’s ultimate goal is to see us all live life well and in doing so earn admission to Heaven when we die. Heaven is eternal, so why should temporary suffering on Earth matter to God? I think that it only matters in the context of how we deal with it. Specifically:

If I am suffering, do I do so with dignity? If others are suffering, do I ease their pain?

I suppose that I take this view because I find it both intellectually satisfying and, perhaps more importantly, comforting. I have a hard time accepting a vengeful God who would visit suffering on Man collectively due to individual transgressions. I have a harder time accepting a whimsical God who would actively cause suffering for no other reason than to remind us that He is in charge. I would much rather place my faith in a God who does not care whether we suffer or enjoy a lifetime of comfort but who is only interested in how well we live our lives.


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