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Patriarch Blames Crime and Drugs for Haitian Quake
News, Culture, Society
Written by holmegm   
Saturday, 30 January 2010 08:37

From The Moscow Times:

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said crime, drugs and corruption caused last week's massive earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people in Haiti.

Kirill, speaking during a weekend visit to Kazakhstan, said the Haitian people bore responsibility for the calamity because they had turned away from God, the news agency reported late Monday.


laika  - Cigar?   |2010-01-30 21:53:27
one gets the impression that an earthquake is never just an earthquake.
MaxSupernova   |2010-02-01 12:02:16
If you are Christian and bad things happen to you, you are being tested.

If you are not Christian and bad things happen to you, you're being punished.

If you are Christian and good things happen to you, you're being rewarded.

If you are not Christian and good things happen to you, you're lucky but you'll get yours soon.
emperorbma   |2010-02-01 13:09:22
It's certainly seems to be how a lot of Christians see things these days even though the Bible itself actually decries that sort of simplistic perspective:

MaxSupernova wrote:
If you are Christian and bad things happen to you, you are being tested.

A little of both, since "the Lord [also] disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son," (Hebrews 12:6) and "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8)

MaxSupernova wrote:
If you are not Christian and bad things happen to you, you're being punished.

"...or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:4-5)

MaxSupernova wrote:
If you are Christian and good things happen to you, you're being rewarded.

Sometimes. Certainly it says "Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous," (Proverbs 13:21) but it also says "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12)

MaxSupernova wrote:
If you are not Christian and good things happen to you, you're lucky but you'll get yours soon.

Likewise, "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45)
MaxSupernova   |2010-02-01 22:38:51
Yep. I know all of those. I would have pulled similar ones to deal with each point too.

But when I step back, it seems like one great big tautology. It's so vague that it's true no matter what happens.

I'm much happier with Matthew 5:45, because at least it acknowledges the arbitrariness and complete impossibility of trying to understand what's going on.
emperorbma   |2010-02-02 01:02:28
MaxSupernova wrote:
I'm much happier with Matthew 5:45, because at least it acknowledges the arbitrariness and complete impossibility of trying to understand what's going on.

Fair enough. I probably went a bit further than I needed to to demonstrate my point here. What can I say? I felt like tracing the references in Scripture a bit more thoroughly.

MaxSupernova wrote:
But when I step back, it seems like one great big tautology. It's so vague that it's true no matter what happens.

Ah, but what doesn't? If we deconstruct anything thoroughly enough we will find that it boils down to the tautology claim that "it just is."

For example, facts of science:
Why does an apple fall?
It is acted upon by the gravity of a larger object.
Why does gravity act?
[Insert unified quantum gravitation or whatever theory you accept]
But, why does it work that way?
It just does.
* -> The benefit of science is its ability to test, analyze and create useful models that describe nature, not its claims of truth or falsity.

Let's try claims of ethics:
Why shouldn't people drive fast in cars?
Well, if you drive fast then you risk causing harm or death.
But why is being alive any "better" than being dead?
If one is alive, one can [insert "meaning of life argument"]
Still, why is it "better" to [insert "meaning of life argument"] than to not do so?
Again, the argument boils down to "it just is."
* -> The benefit of ethics is its ability to provide useful standards of behavior that avoid unnecessary destruction, not its claims of right or wrong.

Simply because it seems like a tautology doesn't make something meaningless. It shouldn't be surprising that religion is among these, especially Christianity which claims that God is the "Is that He Is." The basic premise of religion is that it provides a meaningful spiritual framework through which to view matters of life and death and one's relationship with the Creator of reality.  Likewise, for religion, the "right and wrong of it" are the side-effect of the faith not a presupposition.

It may seem appalling, but there is not really any way of dodging that every standpoint somehow boils down to saying "it is the way it is." Tautology is not a claim that something is false ("true is true" cannot be false, logically), only a claim that analyzing it past that level doesn't give any further benefits. H. P. Lovecraft wrote, "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."  Similarly, a man of science, Dr. Werner Heisenberg, said "It is not accurate to say that there is horror in the universe. The universe is horror."
emperorbma  - equus mortus   |2010-02-02 10:50:26
emperorbma wrote:
Dr. Werner Heisenberg, said "It is not accurate to say that there is horror in the universe. The universe is horror."

... or, at least, it was attributed to him since I can't find a source other than this (or sites quoting it). Not sure it really matters since the microscope experiment actually was real and had basically the same implications.  Lovecraft's quote, OTOH, is quite verifiably real.
laika  - Arnold meets Lovecraft   |2010-02-03 00:28:25
We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.


Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
emperorbma   |2010-02-03 13:43:04
Ah, Dover Beach, it ties well into the theme of this thread...
holmegm   |2010-02-01 12:23:01
That's it?

He doesn't get the full Pat Robertson treatment? ;)
metallurge   |2010-02-02 05:37:17
One gets the sense with Pat Robertson that his history of such pronouncements has "come home to roost", as it were.

One also gets the sense that Patriarch Kirill's opinions on such matters as the Haiti earthquake are less well known, particularly in the west.

I do very much hope that God's good name is not further tarnished by those who claim to speak with His authority.
emperorbma   |2010-02-02 09:11:24
As it was in Jesus's day:
Luke 9:54-56
When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"  But Jesus turned and rebuked them, [Some manuscripts have here 'And he said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."'] and they went to another village.
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