. . . do we need for people to abandon belief in God ? When are American politicians and journalists going to stop mouthing the emptiest phrase on earth : “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families” ? (the British P.M., thank God (!), omits the “prayers”).
Forget it ! It will take more than a succession of 300 km/hr hurricanes, 15-feet sea surges and an 8.1 earthquake to get folks to admit that “God” could not care less. You recognize the phrase from the recent post, “The Problem of Evil” (August 31, 2017). I’ve said it all before, and we all know why the atheist message is falling on deaf ears. “You are asking too much”, believers tell me. “If prayer is pointless, what hope do we have ?”
When we look at and listen to the terrified future victims and later the distraught survivors on our screens, in real time, with no water, no food, no shelter and no future, is it not cruel to deprive them of the illusion that “God” will help them ? Can they find the will to live, without hoping “God” will help them at least to find the courage to soldier on ? The answer is : “YES !” Survival, at any cost, will continue to motivate the race and avert, or at least delay, its extinction. Some will achieve individual survival by whatever means they have at their disposal, including criminal selfishness (men, disguised as women, managed to board the Titanic’s life-boats . . .). Others will discover the nobility of altruism, mutual cooperation and the refusal to despair. Disasters, we know, bring out the best and the worst in us, and separate the realists from the dreamers. We can only hope that solidarity, generosity and courage prevail – as we learn to accept that it makes sense to give help to one another rather than expect it from a figment of human imagination.