16 January 2006

Nothing Comes From Nothing, Nothing Ever Could

Some people are so ingrained in their religious worldview that they are convinced that nothing can come of nothing, that God offers vengence and reward for one's moral conduct in every twist and turn of life. While folks like Pat Robertson (also more directly to the point here) are famous for promoting this idiotic approach to life, he isn't alone. People like the Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans also feels that Hurricane Katrine was divine retribution saying at Martin Luther King Day festivities:

Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country. . . . Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves. . . . It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans.

There is a place for looking at the causes of our afflictions in life. But, our moral failings, to the extent that they are relevant at all to a natural disaster, have far more to do with our failure to prepare for the inevitable and with our failiure to react well, than with the coming the the disaster itself. Life is not fair and shit happens. But, moral guilt should be reserved for harms we've really caused, rather than lashing out to find scapegoats for events with no moral purpose at all.

No comments: