Friday, 18 March 2011

God and Disaster

by A C Grayling on Richard

One thinks with sorrow of the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been horrendously lost or affected by the great Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which will put a black mark against this year 2011 in the annals, coming so soon after the earthquake that hit Christchurch in New Zealand. The events are almost certainly linked tectonically, reminding us of the vast forces of nature that are normal for the planet itself but inimical to human life, especially when lived dangerously close to the jigsaw cracks of the earth’s surface.

Someone told me that there were to be special prayers in their local church for the people of Japan. This well-intentioned and fundamentally kindly proceeding nevertheless shows how absurd, in the literal sense of this term, are religious belief and practice. When I saw the television footage of people going to church in Christchurch after the tragic quake there, the following thoughts pressed.

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