Praising God in the Storm

Due to the massive influx of tornadoes in the south over the past day, the above image keeps popping into my feed on facebook and it just makes me shake my head in disbelief (no pun intended).

I’ve heard the free will defense more times than I can count in regards to the evils of people, but what about natural disasters? Or famine? Is the free will of inanimate objects held in higher regard than victims of such tragedies? Is god unable to control the weather?

To send thanks to your god because it didn’t kill you that time, but killed dozens of others, is not only morally repugnant, but also narcissistic and completely fails to recognize the reality of the world we live in.

I’m reminded of the analogy of a small boy that gets beat up by his father and then asks this same man to take him to the hospital to treat a rather severe head wound. “Thanks for not killing me this time, dad!” Am I the only one that sees a problem with thinking like this? It’s Stockholm Syndrome, but with a captor that’s impossible to perceive.

With everyone claiming that god is good and his ways and plans are perfect is there anything that would convince a believer as god just not caring? Think on that for a bit. What terrible scenario in your life couldn’t be wiped away by saying that god’s ways are perfect? God’s plans are higher than mine! God has it in control! God is with me! God works in mysterious ways!

You can’t quantify such statements and there’s nothing that would invalidate them. Lose your entire family in a fire? God is there with you in the fire. Lose a spouse in a car accident? God has a plan to use her testimony for the good of his glory. There’s no platitude that can’t be invented to make it look like god cares. Shockingly, this exists even when we have all of life and history to show he doesn’t.

Not too far back I read a funny tweet by a fictional comedy character named Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian. The tweet really hit the nail on the head as it read, “Thanking God for sparing you in a natural disaster is like sending a thank-you note to a serial killer for stabbing the family next door.”

I get it. I do. It’s very comforting thinking that there’s something bigger than all of us out there that’s got it in control. It cares and does look out for us. We’re special!

Even if I believed that there were a god, which I don’t, there’s nothing that could make me believe it cared about any of us. It’s just weather patterns beyond it’s control and tectonic plates that it can’t keep from moving around.

So, can god make a burrito so hot he can’t eat it? Yes, the burrito’s free will to burn his lip can’t be taken away from the burrito.

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11 thoughts on “Praising God in the Storm

  1. All life on Earth is the result of suffering.

    Suffering in fact, is what powers evolution.

    Without suffering no life on Earth would exist.

    One of the great lessons of the Bible is that God’s will works through the good times and the bad.

    And when Jesus suffered and died, all suffering was blessed.

    When atheists try to wish away God by blaming him for suffering, they are actually conjuring an alternative universe.

    Alternative universes are not a rational response to mankind’s problem with suffering.

    • Man, that makes total sense, but I’m a little stunned that you’d limit my Vishnu to not have power enough to make a life on Earth without suffering possible. Isn’t heaven without suffering? What makes heaven so special?

      Coming up with ways to wash your deities’ hands of inaction is not a rational response to anything. Just a way to save your way of thinking.

      You’ve demonstrated nothing, explained nothing and illustrated my points well.

      Thank you.

      • Nate,

        Science proves that suffering is integral to all life.

        I included in my comment Christian doctrine on suffering to demonstrate that Christianity is consistent with science.

        Your comment starts out with Vishnu which has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

        Consequently, you proved my point about atheists having to irrationally conjure up alternate universes in the face of reason.

      • Silence,

        Vishnu has much to do with this dialogue because that’s the real god that made everything. Not the God of Abraham.

        My point is that your god claims are no different than others. Have you disproven the existence of Almighty Vishnu? Please enlighten me if you have.

        Also, I feel somewhat at a disadvantage, I’ve no clarity on which version of Christianity you are. There’s so many and all with their own spins on any number of topics.

        Your problem is that there’s no reason to invoke a god to explain suffering. You feel compelled to justify suffering in the face of a god that supposedly cares but gives no reason to think he does, or even exists.

        Looks like we’ll just keep proving each other right!

        Thanks for the feedback,

        Nate

  2. It is easier for me to accept suffering when I know that it just…is. No being is responsible for creating it and no being is responsible for mitigating it. I’m not blaming God for suffering because I don’t believe he exists. Nor do I praise God when good things happen for the very same reason.

    Thanks for the post. It’s very poignant.

      • I would submit not much differently than you did when you believed there was a God. Did you think that God was going to fix it? How would he do that? With your help? Without your help?

        It’s still the same. Those towns will rebuild one way or another. Those people will rebuild their lives one way or another. Whether we step in to help or not. But it certainly won’t be because a deity fixed it right up. It will take time and resources and manpower.

  3. Hi ya Nate, I’m here by way of Matt and Janelle.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about Moore, Oklahoma. I was glad to see someone come out as an atheist through that whole ordeal. I believe people needed to see her surface after all of that devastation. I can’t begin to imagine what the adults and children experienced at the school, watching those around them drown in the basement. Think about the nightmares they’ll experience for the rest of their lives after witnessing such a horrific event. I’d rather believe that there is no god than a sadistic one who idly sits back and allows humankind to suffer in such extreme circumstances.

    Thank you for a great post.

    • Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. Looks like we see eye to eye on this stuff.

      Lots of people try to wave away the Problem of Evil with the whole free will stuff, but storms have no free will. I guess it’s impossible for an all powerful god to create a world that doesn’t have such horrific naturally occurring atrocities.

      Thanks again!

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