She's Where She Needs To Be (Cont'd)
The paradox for Believers continues with people debating whether or not the hand of God was in the Asian Tsunami. (I'd provide a link to the Star Ledger story about it today on page 7, but there isn't one.)
It's an interesting commentary on just how deeply humanist values of the Enlightenment have so deeply penetrated even the staunchest believing communities. Simply put, these people simply cannot believe that God would be the cause of something so destructive. But yet, this implies that they are holding onto to some belief system that exists separate and apart from God. That being a more humanist philosophy that it is wrong (terribly wrong) to wantonly kill. And thus, the notion that God would cause or at least condone such an act, cannot be properly reconciled.
But this means they have assumed several things that border on heresy. Most important, that there is an ethical standard that exists separate from God. They are, in fact, judging God morally. Which is ridiculous because anyhting that God does is right. No discussion.
The answer, du jour, for theologians seems to be that natural disasters are not caused by God - they just are.
But that's patently false, if you believe in the concept of an omnipresent and omnipotent God. In this vision, God is the force behind all things. This can be seen in the modern monotheistic religion least tainted by the Enlightenment - Islam. In Islam, everything that happens in the world happens because of the will of God. If I drop a ball on the ground, God has taken an affirmitive action in willing the ball to the ground. It will not drop by itself. And I am only the tool that creates a point where God's will is then brought to bear.
Certainly even if God did not create the tsunami, it was completely within his power to prevent it. That's the definition of omnipotent. But, he chose not to.
The proper answer is - it's a mystery.
The universe is too big and God too complex for you to understand. The point is you are supposed to have faith. Faith in the fact that God is working for the good of the universe and that somehow, these 150,000 deaths were necessary to that end.
But because the Enlightenment has essentially tainted modern Christianity & Judaism with both reason and humanism, it becomes difficult for people to continue accept on faith that all of God's works are good. And therefore, they skirt perilously close to heresy.