By now SJT is running out of steam. There's not a lot of bible verses left she wants to throw at me. The next response is actually shorter than my objection. This is on the distribution of suffering caused by natural disasters. The burden of this falls on poor communities the most.
Most theists handle this poorly by taking on the existence of suffering instead. That's wrong. I've already given religion a 'free pass' on the existence of suffering. The dilemma is to explain the unjust distribution of suffering- caused by natural disasters. Assuming the Christian god sees suffering as necessary, than a just probability distribution would fall on all uniformly. A strong bias needs explaining.
- A peculiar dislike of poor black people
My original: One appreciates that life on this planet is a little chaotic. That means natural disasters happen. I’m not quite sure how a loving deity allows people to die in natural disasters, as the freewill argument seems moot in these cases. The deaths and suffering are not caused by human agency.
Nonetheless, the real point is how unjust these disasters are. They impact the poorest and most vulnerable communities the most. In 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. The death toll was somewhere between 100,000-300,000 people. The same year a 7.1 earthquake hit Christchurch in NZ. One person died of a heart-attack, that might have been caused by it. The effects are not equal.
If we’re going to propose any kind of argument that humans have to put up with natural disasters, at the very least, these should not be so manifestly unjust. Having a system that harms those communities least able to cope contradicts the alleged characters of the Christian deity.
S.J. Thomason responds:
SJT: As I live relatively close to Haiti, I am well aware of the many difficulties, natural or otherwise, that the country has faced in my lifetime.My objection wasn't about Haiti. It was the distribution of the burden of suffering from natural disasters. Haiti is just one example where the poorest and most vulnerable communities suffer the highest burden.
Killing people is ok if the church benefits
SJT: I recall a good number of earthquakes and hurricanes that have devastated the country. I also recall and have witnessed the way such disasters serve to unite the church community through mission trips and outreach.God kills poor black people more often than wealthy people because their deaths motivate the church? Don't you think people should have a greater purpose than being canon-fodder for the spread of religion?
And why does Haiti need missionaries where it is over 80% Christian, whereas NZ does not when it has less than 50%? Do you have a better predictor than where natural disatsers occur, other than your god has an intense dislike of poor black people?
Poor black people must die for a better society
SJT: Taken in the context of fulfilling our spiritual purposes and developing a stronger relationship with God, such events can serve as catalysts for the betterment of society as they fuel empathy, compassion, love, and a passion for humanity.I can't tell if this is the most evil, or the most stupid thing you've written. God worries you're getting a bit low on empathy, so he kills thousands and thousands of kids and adults. Because you're important, and obviously they're not. And besides which, they're getting in the way of bettering society. They must die. In horrible, horrible ways. Because that's how he improves his relationship with privileged people in the developed world.