Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
After all of the posts on here recently about the religious explanations for the tsunami disaster, I thought it was about time that I gave my personal opinion on the matter. Not wanting to use my usual non-elequant writing style, though, I turned to classical poetry, and Voltaire, who’s opinions roughly match my own.
Some choice quotes (from the English translation, you’ll be glad to hear):
Behold these shreds and cinders of your race,
This child and mother heaped in common wreck,
These scattered limbs beneath the marble shafts—
A hundred thousand whom the earth devours,
Who, torn and bloody, palpitating yet,
Entombed beneath their hospitable roofs,
In racking torment end their stricken lives.
To those expiring murmurs of distress,
To that appalling spectacle of woe,
Will ye reply: “You do but illustrate
The iron laws that chain the will of God”?
Say ye, o’er that yet quivering mass of flesh:
“God is avenged: the wage of sin is death”?
What crime, what sin, had those young hearts conceived
That lie, bleeding and torn, on mother’s breast?
Did fallen Lisbon deeper drink of vice
Than London, Paris, or sunlit Madrid?
God holds the chain: is not himself enchained;
By his indulgent choice is all arranged;
Implacable he’s not, but free and just.
Why suffer we, then, under one so just?
There is the knot your thinkers should undo.
But how conceive a God supremely good,
Who heaps his favours on the sons he loves,
Yet scatters evil with as large a hand?
And, since it’s 2005 and not 1756, here’s the Reduced Shakespeare Company with their similar take on things:
Why does God allow bad things to happen
To good people?
Praise the Lord for the good he can do,
But he should take the wrap for the bad crap too…
If He can’t take the heat,
He oughta get out of heaven!
Well over two hundred years of poetry in a single blog entry, all painfully relevant to modern world events. What other blog gives you more? 😉