Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Natural Disasters: A Believer’s Dilemma

I posed this question to a devout believer and Creationist: “If God created the Earth, and God is a loving God, why does he kill his innocent loving creations, many of whom are devout believers, with tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes?”

He replies: "God does not cause or control tornados, hurricanes, or earthquakes. They are a natural result of climate and the movement of tectonic plates."

"I see." I replied. "So basically one of two things are in play here:

A) either God erred by creating a defective planet that He did not foresee would continuously kill His innocent creations time and time again, and now can’t fix it -- thus He is neither omniscient or omnipotent but is a flawed and imperfect designer / creator; OR

B) God intentionally created these conditions, or permits these defects to continue to exist, because he is a blood thirsty psychopathic thing that enjoys seeing mass death and destruction. "

Presented with this dilemma the good Christian was cornered. But in typical theist style he reaches down deep and comes up with this gem:

"God is a loving God who created a loving world for his creations."

Insert my blank stare here.

A believer who recognizes that the planet’s natural disasters are the result of climatic and geologic events is a good thing, a step toward reality. But he couples it with crediting a Supreme Being with creating the planet and all its workings. Thus, when faced with the conflicting dilemma of naturalism and supernaturalism he opts out, abandoning all reason and discourse to a disconnected off point hackneyed platitude.

But, what else could he do? When we use logic and their defective fables against them in debate, they have nothing but faith and foolishness in defense. Well, at least he didn’t invoke "Free Will!!" or cry ”Context!”


Anonymous said...

Hump - You did leave out what a theist is more likely to say:

"God's Creation works perfectly. "Natural Disasters" are needed processes to maintain the order of his perfect system in the same way that death is necessary to life" or some such thing.

They also often say the Universe we live in is "perfect" in that no other thing exists which is more perfect.

Alternatively, it is perfect and though there are things about it you do not like, you unlike God are not able to fathom it's perfection and certainly not able to create a more perfect Universe yourself. (A non-existent God can't create a Universe either but I digress)

At any rate these are the comments that I have encountered. How would you reply?

DromedaryHump said...


Thaks for your input.

I haven't encountered that first apologetic. But at face, is fallacious.

The question becmes: how is their God's purging 100's of thousands of men women and children from the face of the earth via a tsunami necessary to "maintain the order"; and what makes mass extermination via an intentional act of a supreme being qualify him as a "loving" God?

Since man is "created in God's image" (image=character according to christian apologists), God's actions toward his creations would parallel/emulate man's actions toward his fellow man (or vice versa). What in our experience justifies acts of mass extermination as wholly good and loving? The "its beyond our ability to know", etc., is simply a dodge, a platitude that covers a lack of a coherent justification.

As far as the universe we live in being perfect...its nonsense. The concept of perfection as it applies to the universe is a nonsensical theological construct. Perfect how? Black holes, quasars, gamma rays, asteroids, intense radiation, are perfectly...what? Perfectly chaotic? Perfectly random? Perfectly deadly to life forms?

If by universe they mean our biosphere; how would they know whether or not there exists another biosphere outside our solar system that does NOT experience the same geological/climactic disturbances, and thus is more perfect than Earth? They don't. The Bible is mute on extra terresitial life.

It's an absurd statement that only people who attribute perfection to their unseeable, unknowable, untestable, nonexistant God could invent for the vastness of the universe which we have just begun to explore. Its fractally wrong thinking.

The final alternative religionist retort you mention is an example of argumentum ad ignorantiam (Argument from Ignorance.) That is to say: that since the person proffering it declares his god is unknowable & unfathomable, the assumption is that in the absense of knowing &understanding it defaults to perfection inspite of the prima facia evidence of imperfection.

Naturally, all this logic will be lost on them. Logic does not compute to the religiously afflicted.


DromedaryHump said...

One more thought you might like to try out:

if god requires killing multitudes of people via "his" cataclysmic events is necessary to maintain the order of the system, then that means that god at face can't be perfect, else he would have created a universe where the deaths of his beloved creations would not have been necessary.

Thus he
A} erred, and requires those deaths to keep things on an even keel, and is unable to correct his defect. This would indicate he is neither omnipotent or perfect.
B) He intentionally created a world that requires mass deaths because he prefers killing creations to a world that would not have other wise required it. Thus, he is not loving, omin-benevolent, nor perfect...unless by perfect we mean perfectly evil.

Try that one on them.


Angel said...

Answer: because the one who made this planet is flawed. He wants us to overlook His flaws and cry "Faith" at every opportunity, thus drowning out the dialogue which would see Him as idiotic as He really is.

See, it works for Him. He looks marvelous and all the non-believers look like heretical jackasses.

... but who's really the jackass? The one going "la la la la la FAITH!" at the top of their lungs or the one who is standing beside him, scratching his head and wearing the "I'm not with idiot" shirt with an arrow pointing toward his shouting neighbor?

A perfect being would not bring a flawed creation into existence. It does not make sense.

Dromedary Hump said...

I'm going to have to do more study on gnosticism. You make way too much sense for me not to delve deeper into it.
Can you give me a link that will help me understand it better?


Angel said...

Oh my dear Hump. You are in for a headache. You want- I deliver. (<--- Try not to run away screaming at the word "catechism." It isn't contagious. I know it's a frightful word. It implies all sorts of nasty and evil things. Skip down to about a quarter of the way from the top of that page to Lesson 1. This gives the broad set of beliefs in gnosticism. Bear in mind that there have been a multitude of sects of gnosticism throughout the ages. What you are reading on that page is a BROAD sense of the philosophy.

And then there's this little list I've started to put together. It's more of a layman's list for absolute beginners who are confused. This may help to smooth out all the mayhem going on in the brain:

This next link is a short list I just posted this evening. It was on my mind. I saw an episode of Hoarders and eugh. Just read. You'll see what I mean:

My advice? Don't get bogged down in our supposed similarities with "Christians" you regularly spar with. We're not literalists who you see around every day touting their die-hard belief that the dinosaurs lived among humans. We're polar opposites. We can call ourselves Christians but only with a slightly rancid taste in our mouth because of what that term has come to be equated with.

A lot of gnostic "christians" don't believe in Jesus-in-the-flesh. Some believe he was an apparition who lingered for a few decades and others think he was written about as a kind of play-character that the more poetically inclined gnostics began using and then some literalist rejects took it for fact that he actually lived and.... then they started writing about Jesus as if he lived thus royally fucking up what the original gnostic writers intended. Who knows, really. Anything's possible.

We're an open minded bunch.

Dromedary Hump said...

thanks for those links...I shall educate myself.

that you are an open minded bunch is very obvious, assuming they are all anything like you.

thks again.