‘On 26 December 2004, ‘Tsunami’ replaced ‘Sushi’ as the best-known Japanese word in the world. Since that tragic day, there have appeared a number of articles and letters in newspapers all over the world questioning the credibility of faith in God in the light of such a terrible event. This is not a new experience. In 1755 when an earthquake flattened the city of Lisbon, the cynic Voltaire asked whether the vices of that city were so much greater than those of London or Paris to merit such indiscriminate judgement from God. Some Christians add fuel to the cynic’s fire by making naive statements about ‘God’s will’, ‘God’s judgement’, ‘God’s end-times’, and so on. Even well-meaning expressions of gratitude to God for rescue and safety lead us to wonder what purpose is served by saving some but leaving so many thousands to die. As for stories about the ‘miraculous’ survival of religious icons and buildings, these only confirm the atheist’s conviction that all religious beliefs stem from superstition and ignorance. What kind of deity cares more for things than people?’
- Available as a PDF: Tsunami tragedy: Where was God?
Featured image: Tsunami 06 | Phuket, by Zalzadore – CC-BY-NC 2.0