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God and natural disasters

fractal

Eye see what you did ther
I don't understand this "Pray for Japan". You realise that implies praying to the same God that allowed this disaster to happen?

God is expected to be omnipotent and all loving. One of the two statements has to be false, unless natural disasters are a way of showing his love. Even if you follow the utilitarian theory of choosing the greater good, it would still show lack of omnipotence and the forsaking of certain people for the other. That would mean imply we are not all equal before God's eyes.

Can someone find flaws in my argument, or provide a scenario where all the beliefs hold at the same time?
 

Pugz

Ms. Malone
V.I.P.
I could be wrong, but isn't there a story (somewhere) about where God and Satan had a bet where God proved a person still kept faith even though he had taken everything from that person?

It's bull either way, but whatever.

I think when people say 'pray for Japan' it's either praying to whatever God that person believes in, or just sending out some good vibes for Japan if they're non-believers.
 

fractal

Eye see what you did ther
I could be wrong, but isn't there a story (somewhere) about where God and Satan had a bet where God proved a person still kept faith even though he had taken everything from that person?
But what relevance does that story have when we are discussing if God can be both omnipotent and all loving?
or just sending out some good vibes for Japan if they're non-believers.
Yes, that's what I would mean if I said that. But I'm sure theists would really pray since it's the least they could do.

But the question I'm interested in is how God can be omnipotent and all (every person) loving at the same time.
 

Raos

Registered Member
From a Jwwish point of view, you don't pray for G-d to do something or not do something. It is not up to us to understand the will of G-d. There very well could be reasons things happen that our puny minds cant comprehend in relation to G-d. What Jews would be praying for are things like hoping the Japanese people have the strength to deal with the horrible things they are now facing.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
It implies no such thing. What that means is that you are praying to God for the people of Japan to find the strength to recover from this horrible situation.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
From an atheist point of view I've always found it strange why people pray for people in trouble at all. Does it really help? What if it's a jewish person praying for a Buddhist, then is it still effective? Either way I suppose it's nice to be in someone's thoughts but you would think there are more effective ways to help someone in this situation. Like get out of a church and start donating money to relief or something like that.
 

Raos

Registered Member
but you would think there are more effective ways to help someone in this situation. Like get out of a church and start donating money to relief or something like that.
Praying for someone does not preclude you from doing other things. It is not an either or situation.
 

qweerblue

Registered Member
This is a subject that I have had a passing interest in for as long as I can remember--probably because I was raised in a Southern Baptist home. I remember being young, in grade school, and learning about the Civil War, and it hit me that no matter what side of the battle one was on, there were prayers being made on nearly every soldiers' behalf. I had already rejected Christianity at that point, but I still found it all endlessly fascinating.

Anyway, here are some links to stories about the "power of prayer":

The Healing Power Of Prayer?

Investigating the Power of Prayer - TIME
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
From an atheist point of view I've always found it strange why people pray for people in trouble at all. Does it really help? What if it's a jewish person praying for a Buddhist, then is it still effective? Either way I suppose it's nice to be in someone's thoughts but you would think there are more effective ways to help someone in this situation. Like get out of a church and start donating money to relief or something like that.
That depends on what you consider "really help" from my perspective it does. And how do you know many who pray haven't helped monitarily already?
 

fractal

Eye see what you did ther
Raos made his point, and I assumed many people would say that as well. That is basically utilitarian, and hence trading some people for others i.e. not omnipotent.

I was only referring to the intent of the prayers. I know that the post havoc prayers are for strength etc. It's just that the one you're praying to is the one who had the strength to prevent it if he cared, or one who cared but was not strong enough.
 
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