Jeremiah Smith wrote:
Awesome, it's the "there just HAS to be free will" defense combined with the "God was really only punishing evildoers, collateral damage is totally okay" defense. I should really check back on these forums more often, there's just all kinds of stupid arguments getting tossed around again!
First, what's stupid about evildoers being punished? It's not like it never
happens. Second, I never said only
. Otherwise, not a single non-Jihadist would have lost anything.
Keep in mind, the first three of the ten plagues in Exodus affected both Israelite and Egyptian camps equally.
Also, what would "playing God" mean if it didn't mean having absolute authority to decide that someone's time has simply come? What promise do we have that we will all be perfectly safe from every possible disaster—None!
Protection of the soul and guranteed safety in hereafter does not equate absolute physical protection in this cursed world of cursed cause-and-effect.
Instead of demanding an explanation for why the tsunami had to be what it had to be, the better question should be:
"Why have I been allowed to live so long?"
If you wanted to get technical, as Shakesphere did in The Merchant of Venice
, perfection in divine law could find any number of justifications to obliterate each one of us before we even take our next breath.
Why then, does God allow us
to still breathe?
Perhaps one way to put this in perspective lies with fans of The Sims: Why do you allow some of them to live and kill off others without a second thought? And what right have they to an explanation behind your motives?
I can think of a number of times in my life that I should've been dead, but somehow survived. My thought was not: "Why'd you put me in danger?" My thought was: "Why did you allow me to live, when it would have been all too easy to finish me off?"
Regardless of whether or not you can accept my neo-Boethian arguments, it is still easy to see that what we have at the core here is something that goes even deeper than that:
The attitudes to which we subscribe are radically different. We look for something in what we see, and use that as a lens through which we both interpret the same event in radically different ways.
You ask God: "Why did you let some of them die?"
I ask God: "Why did you let anyone live? Why go through all the trouble of guardian angels and all that to spare anyone, when you could have been done with the whole miserable lot in one swipe and come back for the rest of us?"
So, in closing on this argument, I believe we should instead be thankful that we don't see more tsunamis happening all at once and wiping out major cities. Technically speaking, every human civilization deserves it.
Also, the "only wiping out evildoers" thing is misleading.
Q: Why did he protect Israel so much when they were such a pester to him?
A: Because, he wanted Jesus to be born and, do his thing. He was dead-fixed on keeping his promise to Adam. Anything or anyone who dared to threaten the ability of that promise to be kept had to be eliminated immediately, lest every single one of us have to be thrown out as refuse as compensation.
Therefore, when the birth, death, etc. was finished, the new mission became "spread the word as much as possible." So there are a few reasons someone could be a victim and God would allow it.
I'll demonstrate these with male pronouns, but these apply equally to women.
1. The victim is a believer, but is on his last legs. He needs to be "called home" before he is lost forever.
2. The victim is an outsider, and has little or no interest in changing his ways. The victim has voluntarily placed himself outside the umbrella of protection. Therefore, the Devil can do whatever he wants with this individual, including arrange things in the Web of Fate (a.k.a. Wheel of Fortune, Karma, etc.) so that this man meets an untimely demise.
3. The victim is a victim of his own stupidity. (Darwin Award Winner)
4. The victim was a victim of a murder, whose death played a key role in bringing justice to the killer, especially if the killer is a serial killer.
5. The victim is a believer and a martyr, and his death radically alters the attitudes and beliefs of those who killed him or of witnesses.
6. The victim is a devout enemy of God whose sole existence depended on being an obstacle to the salvation of others, and on frustrating God's ability to keep his promises.
7. The victim was a poor steward on the Earth and faced the logical consequences for poor self-management. (E.g., bad health, poor diet, etc.)
8. The victim died of a horrible disease inflicted without the victim being at fault. This is to test both his faith and the faith of other believers. If they cannot trust what they cannot fully understand, then they have no true faith.
9. The victim died of a horrible disease brought on by their own device (e.g., STDs), and must face the logical consequences. (Fits in with 3 and 7.)
So, in closing: The question should never be: "Why are some allowed to die in horrible tragedies?" The real questions should be:
1. Why haven't I died yet?
2. Why was he willing to assume a body and let himself die in a horrible travesty?
3. Why did he seem so convinced that I was worth saving, especially when I know I desire things he despises?