Debate:Natural Disaster versus Act of God

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   Luke 13 tells the story of a disaster. Jesus was asked, "And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem?" 
   Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. For those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." 
   I can imagine Jesus saying the same thing about Hurricane Katrina, Virginia Tech, 9/11, (In which two towers fell, killing a lot more than 18 people) or any other tragedy. Of course, in the Old Testament God would sometimes smite people. But after Jesus died for our sins, God didn't need to do things like that anymore. Jesus took the hit instead. So to Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and all the others who claim God's wrath against all the victims of disasters, I would recommend they read John 13 very carefully.   

This is about language and it's proper usage. I created an article about Natural Disasters saying:

'Natural disaster is an atheist term for an Act of God. The term describes Acts of God as something that happens 'naturally' not by the will of our creator and thereby denies the influence of our own behavior.'

It was instantly replaced by this stuff:

'A natural disaster is a disaster caused by natural forces, as in, a volcano, or a hurricane. Some simply call a "natural disaster" an Act of God [1].'

I think there is still to much of a liberal bias in here.--Sherman 11:57, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

A bias against logical errors is not a liberal bias. It's a factual bias as you can see[1].
So where is the 'logical error'? And by the way: it's good form to sign your post.--Sherman 12:12, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So your saying that when a sunami hits and kills hundreds of thousands of people, it's because your " creator" caused it, an " Act of God ". I guess that would make your creator the biggest mass and serial murder in history, given all the acts of god that have killed millions of people.
Dear 'Anonymus': That's what you make of it. The flood happened and god had no doubts whether people were 'good' od 'bad'. Why is it so hard to understand?--Sherman 12:40, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

so what your saying everyone killed was killed because they were " bad" ? What a warped concept.

Welcome to ChristianityRebiu 15:35, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

Welcome to the real world: "Cursed is the ground because of you;" Genesis 3:17 (The Fall of Man). Which is Judeo-Christianity to those willingly ignorant of the historic record of mankind. The result of the sin nature, the natural man who has departed the Garden of Eden and continues to reject the will of his Creator. In short, it is why natural disasters happen. i.e. The Flood, tidal waves, volcanic activity... etc. That is how nature is affected because of mankinds rejection of his Creator. The fallacy of an act of god(or gods) is a construct of Greek mythology and not Judeo Christianity.--Roopilots6 11:46, 2 December 2007 (EST)

From the Natural Disaster Talk Page

WOW. Um, I know we got a bias an all, but I think this is a bit much. I don't think God slings tornadoes around when he gets peeved.--Elamdri 11:26, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Not sure how you could know that, but okay. If everything is from God, how can it be a "Natural" disaster. As a young Christian, taking the language back is very important to me. Flippin 11:29, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Glad that you agree. Christian language is important.--Sherman 11:31, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Christian language is important, but understanding actual scientific causation is probably more important to your ultimate educational goals :-/ -AmesG 11:32, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Your version of the article is a disgrace. It's not 'simply called' act of god. That's the ver nature of 'natural disasters'.--Sherman 11:36, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

If God exists, wouldn't it be God's work that defines natural? Wouldn't everything God does be natural? What

I just don't think that God is such an immanent being that everything that happens can be attributed to him. I really doubt that God himself is personally responsible for every natural disaster that occurs and they are all conscious decisions that he makes. Rather, I believe they are a part of the mechanics that control how the world in which God made functions.--Elamdri 11:33, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Truly our God is an awesome God. If HE chooses to hurl tornadoes, HE surely can. When we look past HIS works, like Hurricane Katrina and that monsoon in Sri Lanka, we don't learn from HIM. Calling something a "Natural Disaster" takes away the force of GOD's perfect love.Flippin 11:34, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
God created systems that do the work for him, if you believe in him. Saying he does everything directly is like saying the President makes your plumbing work.-AmesG 11:35, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

the president does make my plumbing work, everytime he gives one of his smirky speeches I'm off to the bathroom to throw up.

God's perfect love is to kill thousands of people with a super storm? I'm sorry but I don't subscribe to that belief.--Elamdri 11:38, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
By that logic, GOD is a so-called natural disaster. I don't think you should say that. Youm could be banned.Flippin 11:37, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So you also don't 'buy' Noah? I thought it's a general agreement here to take the bible literally? Or am I mistaken?--Sherman 11:43, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
What the...!? Flesh that out so it makes sense. Aaaaand go! Also don't threaten me.-AmesG 11:38, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Wasn't threatening, or didn't mean for it to be interpreted that way. But if everything comes from GOD, then it must be evidence of HIS perfect love. I know in my heart that even the soldiers who die in Iraq, fighting the muslims, are part of HIS ultimate plan. A natural disaster must be an act of GOD--a hurricane, a tornado, dinosaurs, wars and blessings. It is all part of the plan. Saying anything is natural is like going into a parking lot full of shopping carts and saying they must have gotten there by chance. Yes, at that particular second they are, but they were created by people, and thus by GOD so their placement is part of GOD's perfect will. We Christians must retalliate when so-called atheists and others try to steal the language from us. Flippin 11:45, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

First of all, the US is fighting the Iraqi insurgents. NOT the Muslims. There's a biiiiiig difference. You should look up the distinction somewhere else, perhaps on [|Wikipedia]? Second of all, again, the distinction is between the original cause and the ultimate cause. God, to you, is the original cause, but he is not the ultimate cause, even if disasters are in his plan. Again, it's like saying the President makes your water run.-AmesG 11:47, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Never mind that your interpretation of "God's Will" basically absolves anyone of taking repsonsibility for their actions. "Sure I punched that guy in the face and took his car. But it's all part of God's plan." --Dave3172 11:50, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Would GOD allow it otherwise? Flippin 11:51, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So if you do poorly on your homework, not your fault. Good point, Dave.-AmesG 11:52, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

The only problem is your beliefs rely on God to be an immanent being. What if I believe God to be a transcendent being?--Elamdri 11:53, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

This is the best example I can think of right now. Lets say I design a computer program to create and manage a society of people, ala simcity. In the background of this program, I have it set to roll a set of ten dice every second. Each time the program rolls ten dice of the same number, the program randomly selects 2 coordinates on the map. At one coordinate, the computer creates a tornado, which follows a straight path to the other coordinate, at which point, it disappears. Now, I have created the system in question. However, the individual tornado itself is not direct action on my part, but rather a natural phenomenon of the system that I created. If I were to die while the computer system was running, it would still have tornadoes, despite my not being alive anymore. Thats basically how I think the world functions. God made it, then sat back and watched.--Elamdri 12:01, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Why should he just sit back and watch? While your scenario is possible (technically) it's not convincing.--Sherman 12:04, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Why else? Too see what they create?--Elamdri 12:06, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
"And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows." (Mark 13:5-8)
People are misbehaving and God is punishing them. It is happening now.
JC 12:19, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Please Stop the Ridicule

I did not come here to debate and be ridiculed for my belief. Please do not ridicule Christians with stronger faith than some others. Flippin 11:54, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

I can't help debating you. It's all part of God's Will...--Dave3172 12:17, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Showing you logical fallacies is no insulting you. It's a common problem that even the admins of this site don't understand.-AmesG 11:55, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Claiming 'stronger faith than some others' could itself be considered attacking the belief of those others. Tsumetai 11:57, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So claiming a strong faith attacks others, or threatens them? I thought Conservapedia was a place for Christians to come and be welcomed, not derided for their faith. I don't have time to create logical enthymemes for you, but GOD is the reason for everything, noy just what some people want HIM to promote. Some people use GOD like a slogan to be hayled out hen they see fit. I think GOD has a place in everyting around us. Flippin 12:00, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
You didn't just claim a strong faith, you claimed that it was stronger than others. The obvious implication was that those others are those Christians who happen to disagree with you on this point. Tsumetai 12:07, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Still: God caused the great flood, why shouldn't he cause a hurrican?--Sherman 12:00, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

I am unconvinced by angry tirades. Only logic works well.-AmesG 12:03, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I wasn't the one threatening you. Concerning logic: What about the flood? You never answered that one.--Sherman 12:07, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
The "tirade" thing was directed at Flippin, not you, Sherm, sorry for the confusion. But, I would say that he didn't cause the flood, but that's because I'm not a biblical literalist, and I don't think that Noah actually saved all life on Earth. But, if you believe in God, certainly some acts are acts of God. But it goes too far to say that everything happening in the world is an act of God. Certainly they're in accord with his plan, but not directly caused.-AmesG 12:15, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Flippin, please note that AmesG tends to have "a chip on his shoulder" and is ready to argue (on ALL points). And AmesG, Gee, give us all a break, dude. (Though I did like the analogy of the President being my plumber, [turn on the light switch to get the hot water on], though I'd rather him do the gardening.) ANYWAY...
"Stuff happens," to paraphrase the vulgar bumper-sticker: We don't know if there even is a "why" when stuff happens; we can know what leads up to stuff happening, we can see inside tornadoes and project with a fair degree of accuracy where they're going to go next but the philosophical reasons why tornadoes happen will be argued until the end of time.
I believe it error to conclude that just because we can know what happens to create a tornado we can dispense with God and any plan He might have with regard to that tornado.
MOO --Crackertalk 12:18, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

HAHA! Thanks, Cracker? I'll give it a break when I get a break though ;-). But note that I concede that a divine plan naturally follows, but ultimate causation does not. Hey, I need something to do in Admin.-AmesG 12:20, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Interesting, simcity works as a perfect way to illustrate this. In the game, by default, disasters occur at random. However, the game allows you to turn disasters off or you can make disasters happen at will. Maybe thats how God is.--Elamdri 12:23, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

God <3 Arcologies.-AmesG 12:24, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Free Will

My problem is this. If God is immanent like Flip believes him to be, then he has a hand in everything we do. Thus, we do not have free will, because everything we do is an Act of God. If we don't have free will, then what is the point of our existence? Why did God create us if not to see what would happen if you gave a creation free will?--Elamdri 12:05, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

This means solve the problems of hundreds of years of philosophy. We have proof in the bible that god interfers with life on earth. The question here is how far his influence reaches.--Sherman 12:10, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
ABSOLUTELY! Thank you sherm Flippin 12:12, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
If there's a legitimate question on that point, then it's hardly an atheist term, is it? Tsumetai 12:13, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
I can understand God interfering to guide the course of humanity. I can also see him interfering to correct grave injustices. But I can't seem him interfering in the everyday lives of humanity. Also, if you subscribe to Judaism, they believe that after the second destruction of the Temple, God left the earth and became a transcendent being, rather than an immanent one.--Elamdri 12:14, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
If there is no free will how can we sin?-AmesG 12:15, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
My point exactly, which in my opinion refutes, to an extent, God's immanence. God cannot be immanent to the point where he controls humans' individual actions, or thus we cannot sin(unless of course God willing a human being to do something that is sinful still counts as a sin, which is I guess possible, but highly unfair and illogical)--Elamdri 12:19, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Exactly. By assigning everything to the Will of God, personal responsibility is removed. Consequences are removed. All choices, no matter how wrong or how damaging to others, are acceptable since they are the Will of God. Thanks, but no thanks. I like my world to be able to look at a guy like Ted Bundy or the 9/11 bombers and know that they are NOT part of what God wants from us.--Dave3172 12:21, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Who called this a 'legitimate' question? It's like you are saying: There is free will and because of that god has no way to act? The opposite is true: Because humans have a free will they tend to sin and because of that god needs to act like he did with the flood.--Sherman 12:28, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
You misunderstand, we're not saying God has no way to act because of free will, we're saying that because of free will, God must be limited in his ability to act, otherwise humans will be incapable of sin, when in reality we obviously are.--Elamdri 12:32, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
So you acknowledge limits to Gods' control and we just differ on where to draw the line.--AmesG 12:29, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Where do I say that??? I believe in gods ultimate power. --Sherman 12:33, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Someone else take this one.-AmesG 12:34, 21 March 2007 (EDT)
Can we all agree that this should be a debate topic again and not an article?-AmesG 12:36, 21 March 2007 (EDT)

Free Will?

How can a "free will" exist? Even to ask the question implies that one has the necessary capability to understand their life apart from GOD. In reality, the world the LORD lives in, there is no life without HIM. I am not saying this because I want people to accept JESUS CHRIST as their personal SAVIOUR, but because, like smoking (where everybody eventually quits) everybody eventually accepts the LORD. To even think that we meager simpletons can make a decision without HIM is patently false. This applies to this idea of so-called "natural disasters." If the LORD didn't want us to experience grief, HE wouldn't have created it. Like a child who needs a spanking, sometimes the LORD must punish us. The Noachian Flood is a perfect example of this. The LORD chose to destroy most of the world so it could be re-born. Hurricane Katrina is the same thing. Those who became wikcked--through act or deed--were smited and punished for their sins. How could it be any other way? And to say the LORD made the program and sat back to watch it work is like saying I have a child I put him in the yard to see if he lives. No, my friends, there is no "free will." There is only a choice for those who want to spend eternity with the ONE TRUE GOD, and those who don't. Flippin 09:23, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

Let me suggest a "free will" experment. And then you be the judge of whether you have free will or not, okay? Take a large hammer and hit yourself about as hard as you can on the head. Repeat until you don't want to anymore. Whose will caused you to cease hitting yourself with the hammer ? Terryeo 16:19, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

Uhm, wait a second. That means the only free decision in my whole life is to believe in "the LORD" or not to believe in him? If I choose to believe I don't need a free will anymore because "the LORD" takes over my mind or something like that? That's too simple, isn't it? I don't believe in God but even if I did, I wouldn't want to make him responsible for my actions. . By the way - who can explain the correlation between "smoking" and "accepting the Lord" to me? I just don't get it. --NukNuk 10:28, 22 March 2007 (EDT)

I think that the correlation is quite weak, because not all smokers do quit, and in fact quite a large number continue until it kills them. However with atheism, it does no harm to you, and quite a lot of good. I say this from personal experience, and to suggest that there is no such thing as free will makes a mockery of life in general. I quite liked Terryoe's simple experiment to prove that there is such a thing as free will. However i do sympathise with Flippin as he obviously feels threatened by the arguements put forward by some of the atheist/agnostics here and perhaps he does not have the same training in logic to successfully rebut these claims. This is not an insult to Flippin, it is very common for people to misunderstand logic. But i think that to claim that free will does not exist is simply very unintelligent. Bolly Ottihw]] 21:32, 19 April 2007

Evidence vs. Belief

So there are naturalistic explanations for natural disasters so to show that a natural disaster is an act of god I guess the burden of proof would fall on those believing it was god that influenced the event. My challenge is how do you prove that the disaster was caused by god and not by a naturalistic means? Are lightning strikes caused by god? If so then why waste energy to cast the bolts randomly across the earth and in between the clouds? Does god only take the reigns of a natural disaster when humans are involved? If this is the case then how do you prove this?--TimS 15:42, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

Creation vs. Creator

Evidence and facts are experianced by created things, a.k.a. the natural world. I can see the disconnect many are having between the Creator and His creation. Jesus is telling them because of mankinds' sin nature, death is unavoidable. The creation is cursed and violently is reacting to sin. Everyone will die a physical death but Jesus answer was to 'repent' to avoid the second more critical death which is the spiritual death. Sin is merely the rejection of the Creators will for mankind and results in physical and then spiritual death. Repentence is merely returning to the Creators will for you to live. The bible, the Word of God outlines all of this, except when you take singular verses out of context. If you don't believe you have a spirit with your natural body then it shows how much you relish in this delusion of the creature versus its Creator. In the end then who do you think will prevail?--Roopilots6 11:27, 2 December 2007 (EST)

True, true! ScorpionVote for Pedro 21:20, 6 December 2007 (EST)