God or Shit Happens?November 8, 2010 at 2:05 am | Posted in gak jelas | 5 Comments
Tags: disasters, Indonesia, merapi, theodicy, yogyakarta
It is as if the erratic God of Israel who smote the Egyptians for enslaving the Jews had found a new playground, and apparently were feeling quite nostalgic to reenact the biblical events that made Him a God billions of people across the globe have been fearing of and worshiping today. Indonesia is no Sodom and Gomorrah. But this country of about 230 million people [mostly Muslims] has been hit a string of disasters I surmise far more devastating than what the irritable, anti-gay Yahweh did to the two cities of homosexuals a few millennia ago. If the measure of a disaster is determined by how corrupt and sinful you are, I cannot imagine what kind of unforgivable sins we have committed that God decided to send us earthquakes, tsunamis, great floods, landslides and volcanic eruptions almost regularly! The God of Indonesia must be crazier than Yahweh. But ah, yes, is God’s wrath really to blame for the searing heat of ash clouds that recently killed dozens of superstitious people living on the slopes of Merapi? In a godless universe of science and technology, there is no other explanation to disasters beyond the philosophy of “shit happens”. It just happens that we are living on a meeting place of two unstable tectonic plates and are surrounded by many, many, many volcanoes that could erupt anytime. It just happens that people in Yogyakarta think that life is good on the fertile slopes of Merapi. It just happens that this year the Mountain of Fire has to erupt, because, I don’t know, scientists say that time is ripe for it to erupt now, and there is no way we could prevent it from erupting. It’s coming, and it’s inevitable. In short, the rising Merapi death toll is caused by chance, and ignorance. Yes. Chance. A kind of cosmic coincidence. This worldview is hard to believe, though. Not because it is considered as logically unsound, for it actually makes far more sense than pointing our fingers to an absent and vague divinity, but because it does not give us an answer we like to hear. People want to die in a decent, if not noble, way; to die for and due to something they could accept, or maybe proud of. Chance is not one of them. Chance is not even an answer. Yes, kamerad, people are ridiculous, and they’re fine with it.
So, God or chance? Many would say God is behind of all these mishaps; though many will frown at the belief that calamities are punishments from God, who they believe always “works in a mysterious way”. Others would just accept the grim fact that Indonesia is prone to disasters; though, well, they could not hold themselves from blaming something or somebody. Pak SBY, for instance. I couldn’t decide. I find the idea of a God messing with people’s lives for the sake of unleashing His wrath ridiculous, but I also hate randomness and think that it is such an absurd idea; you know, that whatever happens to us happens for no reason; that bad luck is nothing but an an event triggered by an infinite chain of past events. And for this confusion and indecision, I feel numb. What TVone and MetroTV have been broadcasting in the past few days is mere repetition to me. Btw, there is something amiss about the way Indonesia deals with disaster. But I don’t know what it is. 😕