God & Haiti

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 07:  Conservative evange...

Pat Robertson recently claimed, in effect, that God has struck Haiti with an earthquake because of the practice of Voodoo. This is, of course, based on the 1st Commandment that folks are not to have any gods before God.

As a hypothesis, this seems rather implausible. After all, if God was in the practice of smiting people who violate His rules, then there would certainly be much more smiting going on. God’s rules are routinely violated, yet God does nothing. It seems rather odd that if God enforced His rules, He would just elect to strike Haiti and ignore so many other violations.Or perhaps God works in arbitrary ways, punishing violations of His rules randomly or just when He feels like it. While this is a possibility (and seems to match the Old Testament in some ways) such behavior seems to be inconsistent with a God who is rational and good.

Also, if God is good then He would presumably strike only those who deserve to be struck. Yet, the earthquake has harmed young children and infants, who surely have committed no offense against God. Since God is supposed to be all powerful, He surely could smite with greater precision. After all, we have precise weapons in our arsenals, so the supreme being should be able to at least match our capabilities. Or perhaps God only has weapons of mass destruction on hand and hence has to slaughter the innocent in order to smite those who have earned His wrath.

As such, it seems rather unreasonable to claim that God has struck Haiti as punishment. The most plausible hypothesis is that the earthquake was a purely natural phenomenon and, having no will or purpose, struck everyone impartially.

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13 Comments.

  1. You know what else is improbable? God. But what are you gonna do?

  2. Someone said that God is on the side of the strongest batallions, and let’s face it, Haiti is weak, poor, with atrocious building standards, since the same earthquake in a developed nation would have killed, perhaps, several hundred people, not almost a hundred thousand people. So the problem wasn’t that Haiti was particularly sinful, but that it was weak.
    Haiti may have been sinful too. The Reverend Robertson, being beloved of our Lord, probably lives in an anti-nuclear, anti-earthquake bunker. Praise the Lord.

  3. Philosophy News | Tech News - pingback on January 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm
  4. God is good but that does not mean he would strike only those who deserve to be struck. There are several instances in the Bible to back it up

  5. Mike,
    Is your argument with Pat Robertson or with God? A refutation of Robertson is not any great accomplishment in the eyes of a panu andros.

  6. The more obvious question is what have we done to be “struck” with Pat Robertson the last 50+ years? Or perhaps more in line with taking PR seriously and feeding his ego trip, perhaps he has a point. After all, God has not struck him down for all the stupid things he said and done in the last 50 years or so. But on the other hand, Haiti hasn’t had an earthquake since about 10 years before PR began his religious vomiting. From what Wiki can tell me, major earthquakes in Haiti have occurred in 1751, 1770, 1842, 1946, and now in 2010. That’s an average of 64 years between ‘quakes. Perhaps it takes God that long to get angry enough at Haitians to smite them. Perhaps it takes God that long to get angry enough at PR to smite him. Perhaps we should beat God to the punch and stop paying any more attention to PR than we pay to any randomly selected crazy lady on a Manhattan sidewalk.

  7. Everyone will die so please prepare.
    Al Quran
    99:1 (Asad) WHEN THE EARTH quakes with her [last] mighty quaking, –
    99:2 (Asad) and [when] the earth yields up her burdens, [1] –
    99:3 (Asad) and man cries out, “What has happened to her?” –
    99:4 (Asad) on that Day will she recount all her tidings, –
    99:5 (Asad) as thy Sustainer will have inspired her to do! [2] –
    99:6 (Asad) On that Day will all men come forward, cut off from one another, [3] to be shown their [past] deeds. –
    99:7 (Asad) And so, he who shall have done an atom’s weight of good, shall behold it; –
    99:8 (Asad) and he who shall have done an atom’s weight of evil, shall behold it. -

  8. God? Which one? The god of Seismology? If yes then yes – it was responsible. This article reads like a church sermon for the converted. You are starting with a fallacy and arguring about an aspect of it. Makes no sense.

  9. God – who is almighty, all-knowing, present everywhere – sent a message to Haitians who are a real black people. Things like houses, schools, churches, universities, hospitals, architectural monuments, etc.- are not for them. These things are reserved for the whites of this world – including all the honorific whites, terrorists or not. God – who is all-loving – wants Haitians to run naked and live in thatch-roof houses with mud walls.

  10. God hit haiti because the end times are near. The Great Monarch and last Holy Pontiff are coming and this is a sign and so also is the Chile Earthquake and Italian landslide.

  11. You guys are a little crazy with your crazy talking. Haiti is were it all started with Columbus coming to the Island on Dec.5 I believe and now Haiti has payed the price for all your sins. They will be great from this day forward. They are the bride, for the last will be the first. How do you like my crazy talk, oh and there house will be GREATHOUSES

  12. Oh and I got to wonder about how so many have made an Idol out of Christ worshiping the image of Christ instead of loving all men and women as your self. Pick up the cross and follow dingle barries

  13. Some of the biggest misconceptions Islam have to do with the word “Allah.” For various reasons, many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. This is totally false, since “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God” – and there is only One God. Let there be no doubt – Muslims worship the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus – peace be upon them all. However, it is certainly true that Jews, Christians and Muslims all have different concepts of Almighty God. For example, Muslims – like Jews – reject the Christian beliefs of the Trinity and the Divine Incarnation. This, however, does not mean that each of these three religions worships a different God – because, as we have already said, there is only One True God. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim to be “Abrahamic Faiths”, and all of them are also classified as “monotheistic.” However, Islam teaches that other religions have, in one way or another, distorted and nullified a pure and proper belief in Almighty God by neglecting His true teachings and mixing them with man-made ideas.

    First of all, it is important to note that “Allah” is the same word that Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use for God. If you pick up an Arabic Bible, you will see the word “Allah” being used where “God” is used in English. This is because “Allah” is a word in the Arabic language equivalent to the English word “God” with a capital “G”. Additionally, the word “Allah” cannot be made plural, a fact which goes hand-in-hand with the Islamic concept of God.

    It is interesting to note that the Aramaic word “El”, which is the word for God in the language that Jesus spoke, is certainly more similar in sound to the word “Allah” than the English word “God.” This also holds true for the various Hebrew words for God, which are “El” and “Elah”, and the plural or glorified form “Elohim.” The reason for these similarities is that Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic are all Semitic languages with common origins. It should also be noted that in translating the Bible into English, the Hebrew word “El” is translated variously as “God”, “god” and “angel”! This imprecise language allows different translators, based on their preconceived notions, to translate the word to fit their own views. The Arabic word “Allah” presents no such difficulty or ambiguity, since it is only used for Almighty God alone. Additionally, in English, the only difference between “god”, meaning a false god, and “God”, meaning the One True God, is the capital “G”. Due to the above mentioned facts, a more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One -and-Only God” or “The One True God.”

    More importantly, it should also be noted that the Arabic word “Allah” contains a deep religious message due to its root meaning and origin. This is because it stems from the Arabic verb ta’allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshipped.” Thus in Arabic, the word “Allah” means “The One who deserves all worship.” This, in a nutshell, is the Pure Monotheistic message of Islam.

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