Monday, January 03, 2005

If God Will Send His Angels

The tsunami has thrown up the age-old debate about God and why, if He exists, He allows the devastation we have seen in South East Asia to happen. Maybe I'm naive but my understanding of Science and the way the world works (in this instance plate tectonics) does not affect my ultimate belief in a Creator or Supreme Being. Obviously I have my doubts about the existence of God but "natural disasters" are never part of my internal debate. It is ludicrous to blame a God for the death of humans following a natural event.

The world is divided into 12 or 13 plates. The movement of these plates over billions of years is how the world, as we now know it, was formed. If the plates move apart we get volcanoes and if they push together we get earthquakes. If the earthquakes are submarine they generate tsunamis. All very violent, but all perfectly natural. Plate tectonics are as integral to the Earth's existence as its rotation around the sun. Now that the energy of the Burmese plate collision has dissipated there is little likelihood of an earthquake in that region for years.

But why did so many people have to die? And Is it God's fault? Well, what would have lowered the death toll? Half decent buildings for the people to live in for a start, an early warning system coupled with good communications, educating people how to react to natural disasters, government departments concentrating on disaster reaction (like mobile health services and the delivery of aid). If the countries of the region were in any way prepared then the death toll would have been much less. But the people of these countries are kept poor by rotten government and western exploitation and now they have been made to suffer. When humans die on a large scale because of natural events it is the human race's own fault and blaming a Deity does not change that.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Irish Blogs