Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Failures of god

I was watching a TV show with my wife yesterday about people who survive horrific events. One of the authors interviewed was Ben Sherwood, for his book "Survivors Club."
I was fine with most of the show, until it got to the part about having faith. Even then, I could understand that having a belief that you can survive something can have a positive impact. However, Mr Sherwood immediately took the position that it was having the creator of the universe on your side that made the difference.
The case in discussion at this point was the story of Anne Hjelle. She was attacked by a mountain lion while biking with a friend. The lion grabbed her by the face, and later by the throat. Her friend held onto her, and kept the lion from dragging her away. Eventually, the friend's screams alerted two other riders who helped drive the cat away. Anne survived. Anne and her friend credit god with protecting them.
I wonder why god didn't care so much for Mark Reynolds. It turns out that the mountain lion had made a successful attack earlier in the day. This man was not so fortunate to have been riding with a friend, or to have had passing riders come to his aid. He died at the teeth and claws of that same lion, which fed upon him and buried his body.
Now, I obviously don't think that a god was watching over either victim. The story is perfectly explicable without that unfounded assumption. What made me angry was the fact that no one asked why god would watch out for Anne and not for Mark.

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