God or Shit Happens?

November 8, 2010 at 2:05 am | Posted in gak jelas | 5 Comments
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Merapi, Sir, Screw You!

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. 😕


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  1. Eastern Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan are equally prone to natural disaster, frequently struck by earthquake, tsunami and typhoon. Wondering if Amaterasu or whoever they worship is very cruel, and that the people grieve similarly, blaming their sins and making calls for national repentance. 😕
    Anyway, as a God-believer, indeed I believe that God is behind everything. But I rather “believe” in the earth turmoil which causes the disaster. IMO if you can fully understand, which no science can do at this time, it’s not randomness anymore. It’s the law of physics which plays. 😛 (CMIIW though)

    Btw, there is something amiss about the way Indonesia deals with disaster. But I don’t know what it is. 😕


  2. @lambrtz
    I think they just accept the fact their Gods are cruel. If bad things happen they just give them more offerings?
    On randomness. I don’t know what what you mean with “the law of physics which plays”. Quantum physics? *soktau

  3. “We are talking far too much about God these day and what we say is often facile. Surely everybody knows what God is, the Supreme Being, a divine Personality, who created the world and everyting in it,” Karen Amstrong said.
    And, i want to say that sometimes God is not familiar, not friendly, and He will always leaves the question.
    Anyway, i think this is not only about God, but about morality, humanity and tolerance. And i believe that our country will never end because disaster. 🙂

  4. Actually, Sodom was destroyed not out of its homosexuality, but because its pride and abandonment of those in need. Gomorrah, IDK. 😛

    So it’s quite actually consistent with God’s tantrum rules, and refutes the “Hollywood doesn’t have quakes” objection.

  5. @dewi kayangan
    Duh, Mbak Dewi Kayangan sounds like Ibu Karen beneran.
    Oh, really?

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