Saturday, 16 January 2010
The snow's all gone here. The grass is green; roofs brown and grey; the cars have lost their white cushions... Last week my friend Jerry commented on Facebook, 'Watching news coverage of the Haitian disaster - Puts our own snow woes into perspective eh? - Those people have it hard enough as it is without this disaster.' I watched the DEC appeal yesterday and found some of hoary old 'Charity begins at home' excuses for doing nothing trotted out on a radio phone-in hard to bear. I heard an interview with a Haitian woman who said she was praying a lot. So she was asked whether the disaster hadn't shaken her faith, 'Not at all,' she said. 'The Bible told us these things would happen.'
There's been a bit of discussion on the radio trying to understand the implications for belief in God of the earthquake. Giles Fraser on Thursday's Thought for the Day talked about Leibniz's 'theodicy' and Voltaire's scathing caricature of Dr Pangloss who justifies God at any cost, after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Mr Fraser declined to get involved in a debate, preferring just to pray.
I came across an article 'Where was God in the earthquake?' by Craig Ulfman, which included this: