Looking at the horrible catastrophe in Haiti, one might find oneself attracted to the argument from evil.
That argument can be casually put like this: There is evil in the world that an all-good, all-powerful God would not permit; so there cannot be such a God.
The argument is vulnerable to a number of objections. One of them is that it is humans who bring evil to the creation. Thus some human cause great harm, pain and suffering to others. God permits this because it is better, the counterargument goes, to have a world with human free choice than one with no evil at all.
This defense of theism, however problematic it might be, does not seem to address the evil resulting from natural catastrophies, ones that are not the result of human choice.
Still, we shouldn’t be too surprised that someone might try to argue that some natural catastrophies are also due to human choice. So we might point out the ways in which natural catastrophies in various religious texts seems to constitute an evaluation of human actions.
It’s another step to take a present catastrophe and blame it on the people because of their ancestors’ actions. But Pat Robertson has descended to the occasion. To his shame:
Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.Officials fear more than 100,000 people have died as a result of Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti.
Robertson, the host of the “700 Club,” blamed the tragedy on something that “happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.”
The Haitians “were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever,” Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. “And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’ “
Meanwhile, apparently Rush Limbaugh is saying that Obama’s public response to Haiti shows he is trying to curry favor with people of color.
And some of us thought that we had actually reached the lowest points in political discourse earlier. Just shows that there are depts one cannot readily imagine.