This article is based on the Free Will argument, which says that God only allows
evil in the world (like tornadoes killing children) because God has to allow
evil in order to allow us to have free will. It's a
nice-sounding idea, but let's face it, the free will argument is nothing
more than a thought-experiment made by a mathematician sitting in an armchair
(Leibniz). The free will argument lives in the company of all the other ideas
that sound good but which have no supporting evidence. For an idea to "sound
good" is not enough. After all, ideas like the inferiority of women, the
inferiority of blacks, women determining the sex of a child, etc. all
"sounded" great in their day, because these ideas flattered their
adherents.Ideas need evidence in order to be taken seriously. The
more emotionally appealing an idea is, the more evidence is required.The free will argument is an idea with no supporting evidence, based entirely
on supposition about the nature of God (and how can we make suppositions about
something that is supposed to be unknowable anyway?) and which is emotionally
appealing (it says God is all-powerful).
This article is about healing and helping. I don't believe the intention of
this article was to open a theological discussion. Of course, you are entitled
to your opinion and have the right to express it.Great article,
Jason. I agree; tragedies do seem to soften and open our hearts more, but we
should always be that way. Frankly, there are tragedies of this scale going on
everyday somewhere in the world. We need to care for our fellow man in this
broken-hearted way every single day.Like you said, the tears we
shed, the caring that we feel, is also God's work. And sometimes
that's all we can offer. And it's enough.
Thanks to Google News i can read what's printed in the Deseret News all the
way over here in Syracuse, NY, and like it or not you can read my assertion that
this editorial is nothing but namby-pamby, feel-better,
life-goes-on-so-long-as-we-believe in God nonsense. Not once - not once - does
the word "Climate" occur in this piece. For your information, a recent
poll of scientists who study climate change found that 97 percent - 97 percent
- believe that climate change is real and that humans are responsible for it.
Let's leave God out of just for a moment, shall we, and see what we, as
human beings, can take responsibility for? Climate change is real, people, and
we're responsible. Free will? How about we free our will from the corporate
interests that would have us believe that there's nothing humans can do
about climate change, and take some responsibility for our actions, instead of
cajoling our spirits with nicey-nice words and meaningless acts of kindness
after the harm is done.
Acts of kindness are never meaningless. Loving those around us better is never
wasted energy. This earth experienced tornados long before carbon footprints
were an issue. People who believe in God feel grateful to be able to help in
what they believe to be his work. I don't understand the need
to blame the victims for their suffering or poke a finger in a comforting,
ennobling belief that cannot be disproven.
Having read my comment again I think my point would have been better made if I
had simply said that, in my opinion, not mentioning climate change in this
editorial was a major omission. Of course the hurt and the wounded need to be
cared for - people died, including children - i think people of all religions,
or no religion at all, can all have compassion for their suffering. My main
point is this editorial reinforces climate change denial by never mentioning it
at all in reference to this tragedy. Sure, there have been hurricanes in
hurricane alley throughout history, but an objective look at the facts confirms
that their number and severity is increasing. Acknowledging the true cause (not
ascribing it to God) will do more to prevent future suffering than all our
hand-wringing and acts of kindness following every new tragedy.
Do what you can when you can. That's all you can do. Expectations,
It's all you can expect. I wouldn't expect strangers to rummage
through my destroyed house. But somebody will. I pray that They can find peace
and hope for the future. I feel for them and their loss.
It striks me that the tornado is God's work. It's man's job to
deal with it.
I see. So your god, creator of everything—including the tornado that
killed or injured hundreds of men, women and children and left their lives of in
ruins—then sends forth his "angels" to help clean up the mess that
same god created. Your god certainly does move in mysterious ways.
"It striks (sic) me that the tornado is God's work. It's
man's job to deal with it."So... God created a monster
tornado that killed dozens of people, including many children? Why would I
_ever_ feel compelled to worship such a heartless sadist?Can't
we just acknowledge the simple reality that tornadoes are naturally occurring
forces of nature and that when disaster strikes we affirm our commitment to our
mutual well-being by volunteering time and money to help those in need?Make a donation to the Red Cross. Leave religious blather out of this.
oklahoma ripped /torn up by a tornado /my heart breaks for it
jeanie from orem, UT wrote:"I don't understand the need
to...poke a finger in a comforting, ennobling belief that cannot be
disproven."Yes! Please stop criticizing Santa Clause, and the
Easter Bunny! And quit bashing on Big Foot and UFOs, and pixies and fairies and
leprechauns!We are entitled to our warm and fuzzy delusions!
This is the problem of evil in a nutshell. Ascribing a killer tornado to God is
hardly a way to ask for good deeds in the name of that God. What kind of God
that would kill and maim children in the name of ANYTHING, including free will,
be impressed that you helped the victims? Would any human being who is less than
a monster create a situation like this in order to prove the decency of
humanity? You might as well ascribe godlike qualities to the terrorists and
psychopaths of this world: They act, so that we may prove how good we are.
Problem of evil is insurmountable, and pathetic attempts like this article
simply underline that. Help the victims because you have human
empathy which, according to this article, your God lacks. Forget God.
The work that needs to be done is to assure there are safe places in homes and
public buildings and schools in places at risk for tornados. Sadly the deaths
were preventable. The same was true in the recent explosion in
Texas where half the town was destroyed and 14 people lost their lives. It
could have been prevented or mitigated with commonsense zoning and safety
requirements. Deregulation/no regulation has it's costs.
Where is the outrage?
JamesInSeattle, I think your views are onpoint. It is a well written article and
as the woman mentioned, it is about healing and not theology. My reflex
reaction was much like yours, however, after familiarizing myself with the
publication I can see that the writer is speaking to his audience - fellow
Mormons and like believers. Just as conservative and liberal writers
speak to their audiences, he is merely sharing his views, whether or not we
"believe". I think that if he is writing to reach a broader audience,
he should perhaps elininate the overstated religious references; if this is
merely for a local audience, and it helps them through the healing process, then
he's done his job.I wish for nothing but the best for this community.
(Fizsm in WI - excellent argument!)
"God's work" is to build tornado shelters in all of the schools
(especially elementary schools) in Tornado Alley.
If this article isn't about theology, why does the author invoke God at
all? Isn't grieving, caring, and helping others normal human behavior in
times of difficulty? Invoking God just encourages some people to believe that
only religious people are capable of altruistic behavior.
The question that Christians can't or won't answer is "If God
cares about humans then why does he have tornadoes and hurricanes at all. When
they do happen, then the answer is "I'ts own fault. The real answer is
that god does not exist and therefore has no influence over nature. The
opportunity is for several really good people to do good things, and mostly do
them with out trumpeting their actions. Also, there is the opportunity for some
narcissistic Christians to do things that look like good thing, but that are
really done for the publicity and to make the doer feel good about themselves.
@Blue: "So... God created a monster tornado that killed dozens of people,
including many children? Why would I _ever_ feel compelled to worship such a
heartless sadist?"Your nature/atheist/universe god has put into
your mind the idea that life should be comfortable and long and healthy and
without suffering. But then your nature/atheist/universe god permits this
monster tornado to kill dozens of people. Why? How does this establish the
good that your god has told you should prevail?
Instead of coming on this article and complaining about the author's choice
to insert God and religion into "his" topic, why don't all of you
"Compassionate Humanist Atheists" do what the rest of us "Godly"
folk are doing: roll up your sleeves and help the good folks of Moore and
Shawnee.If you would prefer to just sit around and complain and make
fun of the beliefs of the victims of this terrible tragedy, then get out the
way, we God-fearin' Oklahomans have some real work to do!
Every new disaster that afflicts mankind has to become fodder for atheist
propaganda against theism-- along with the presumptive nonsense that only
unbelievers can act altruistically because all believers are motivated only by
greed for rewards and getting a good feeling. It's brazenly arrogant.And that's the key difference between a Christian and an
unbeliever-- a willingness to wait and trust. Trust that God has good reasons
for what he permits, trust that he will in the end make things perfectly right,
and patience to wait until it happens.The atheist benevolently
offers an idealized 70 year life purged of tornadoes, instead of a cruel 7 year
life with tornadoes. But get this: in an atheist world those children that died
don't care what happened either way right now; they don't exist. And
one day no human will care. It ultimately makes no difference."For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth
comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18)"Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust
their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good." (1 Peter 4:19)
@NiceEnoughButStubbornThe IPCC report notes there is no established
link or trend with tornadoes as a result of global warming. Bringing up climate
change would not be logical here based on the current state of climate science
seems to me that "god's work" is what people in oklahoma have been
digging themselves out of for the past three days.
A Scientist - yes we are entitled to our own beliefs. I am sorry mine are
troublesome to you. I also understand the anger at God or at people
who believe in a loving God when things like this happen. Humans are not
stupid. We see suffering and we say it's not god's fault or it is his
fault because he turned his back and let this happen or there is no god or that
God is letting life unfold as it will and we are given opportunities to be his
hands. We each have our way of framing the visisitudes of life. It doesn't
make for a kind society to mock each other. A wise scientist
recognizes that human knowledge is in a constantly developing state and all
possibilities are on the table until they are proven incorrect. Enough reputable
scientists believe in God to keep that card on the table.
Actually, long before Leibniz there were men who believed in free will. You
should read the Book of Mormon. It explains this concept in depth and makes
perfect sense. It's all part of the Plan of Salvation which, again, makes
100% sense. Of course you can call me ignorant and stupid, that's fine. But
understand that our knowledge does not come from worldly philosophers but from
the Holy Ghost, which no one can understand unless they have felt his influence.
Truly, you cannot understand it without experiencing it. These things DO
actually make sense, and I promise I am not weak-minded. We may be simple, but
we are not ignorant, simple-minded folk like everyone tries to make us out to