Saturday, January 23, 2010

Haiti's Earthquake: one of "All Things Dull and Ugly"

According to Richard Dawkins and Wikipedia, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" was the inspiration for "All Things Dull and Ugly":

The words:

All things dull and ugly
All creatures short and squat
All things rude and nasty
The Lord God made the lot

Each little snake that poisons
Each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom
He made their horrid wings

All things sick and cancerous
All evil great and small
All things foul and dangerous
The Lord God made them all

Each nasty little hornet
Each beastly little squid
Who made the spikey urchin
Who made the sharks? He did!

All things scabbed and ulcerous
All pox both great and small
Putrid, foul and gangrenous
The Lord God made them all


And so it is with the Haiti earthquake...or, uh, you know what I mean: the problem of why there are nasty things in the world isn't a problem of "theodicy" (why a "deity" "allows" "evil" in the world) or a simplistic "karmic" "their previous lives made them ask for it" or some such nonsense.

We know full well why the Haiti earthquake happened and why there was tremendous loss of life, and for all of that we should act out of great compassion. True, purposeful action and dumb luck saved and killed many, but the only thing karma's got to do with this is the inevitability of birth and death. So we don't need a "conversation about religion" in this matter, we need to make sure Haiti is healed.

And Ms. Jennifer Butler: I realize it is a strong stance you take to side with a good deity rather than an evil deity, and I applaud you for that.

But consider the possibility that your non-coreligionists might also "intervene" in the same way as the "faithful," and you'll be well on your way to being a more moral person.

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