Superstition and natural disasters like the Haiti Earthquake
Posted: 16 January 2010 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I think the issue of assigning superstitious explanations to natural disasters is more general than Pat Robertson.

A Headline in the paper edition of USA Today this week {could not find the corresponding online article} was “Haiti needs Help and Prayers”.  I absolutely support CFI’s effort to send them 100% help.

[ In Today’sNY TImes Gail Collins leads off her column by discussing Mr. Robertson]:

A spokesman, Chris Roslan explained that all Mr. Robertson was saying is that Haiti is cursed. I hope that clears everything up.

But on Wednesday when the NY Times first reported the story (on page A12 rather than A1!) the online story leads off with


[A fierce earthquake struck Haiti late Tuesday afternoon, causing a crowded hospital to collapse, leveling countless shantytown dwellings and bringing even more suffering to a nation that was already the hemisphere’s poorest and most disaster-prone.]
The paper edition actually starts

A fierce earthquake struck the star-crossed country of Haiti late Tuesday afternoon, causing a crowded hospital to collapse…

The “star-crossed”  (which was edited out in on-line edition) is [ according to Wikipedia] astrological in origin {best known for a line in Shakespeare’s Romeo&Juliet;} and totally inappropriate in objectively reporting an earthquake.

I was struck by this term at the time, and was surprised when it didn’t appear in the online version…

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Posted: 16 January 2010 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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People with the personality and mentality to actually believe that humanity and the universe was created, and is being monitored and controlled, by a supernatural alien entity doesn’t have far to go to believe that everything that happens in the world is happening ‘for a reason’.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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what he said, is said all over the world, every day, by people of many religions.  If you’ve spent any time around Muslims you’ve heard them blame Jews for everything under the sun.  For Christians, it tends to be the non-existent “devil”.

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Posted: 21 January 2010 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi.

The earthquake in Haiti was terrible, and I agree with everybody supplying help in whatever way. - The idea that the earthquake had anything to do with “God” is the dumbest thing people can can up with.

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Posted: 24 January 2010 01:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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MikeD - 21 January 2010 07:13 PM

“In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides.” (Heinrich Heine)


Very nicely put

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Posted: 24 January 2010 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Well, it is the NY Times.  The reporter probably felt compelled to appear well-read, or distinguished.

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Posted: 24 January 2010 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ciceronianus - 24 January 2010 06:43 AM

Well, it is the NY Times.  The reporter probably felt compelled to appear well-read, or distinguished.

heard Danny Glover has said that what happened in Haiti was a result of Copenhagan (sp?)...

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2010/01/16/actor-danny-glover-blames-global-warming-earthquake-haiti

What were all the earthquakes BEFORE man was around then? What or who caused them?  LOL

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Posted: 24 January 2010 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 24 January 2010 02:35 PM

.....
What were all the earthquakes BEFORE man was around then? What or who caused them?  LOL

There is a really good short article by James Wood in NY Times today
[ Between God and a Hard Place]
discussing the history of attributing earthquakes to God etc., and also discussing the difference between Obama’s God and Pat Robertson’s God.

People have been attributing earthquakes to God(s) for a long time.

Wood does not make the point that in the 21st century “luck” has very little to do with an earthquake if you live along a fault, anymore than “luck” has something to do with floods if you build in a floodplain…

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Posted: 24 January 2010 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Jackson - 24 January 2010 05:08 PM
UlsterScots432 - 24 January 2010 02:35 PM

.....
What were all the earthquakes BEFORE man was around then? What or who caused them?  LOL

There is a really good short article by James Wood in NY Times today
[ Between God and a Hard Place]
discussing the history of attributing earthquakes to God etc., and also discussing the difference between Obama’s God and Pat Robertson’s God.

People have been attributing earthquakes to God(s) for a long time.

Wood does not make the point that in the 21st century “luck” has very little to do with an earthquake if you live along a fault, anymore than “luck” has something to do with floods if you build in a floodplain…

I keep wondering what’s going to happen when a big one, like 7.0 or higher hits central LA.  Hopefully we will have enough to go around for ourselves if that actually happens.  Have some nervous family members out that way.

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Democrat):

“It’s a free country; I wish it weren’t, but it’s a free country.” when speaking of a rally on the Capitol.

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Posted: 11 March 2010 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I have always been curious to know at which point theists determine when “God works in mysterious ways” becomes “the work of the Devil”. Is there a moral judgement that can be applied in any kind of theistic sense? Is god punishing Haiti or is the devil torturing Haiti?

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Posted: 12 March 2010 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 24 January 2010 05:23 PM

I keep wondering what’s going to happen when a big one, like 7.0 or higher hits central LA. 

Well, take a look at what happened after the Great San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906.

The timing couldn’t have been better… god sent even
for W.J. Seymour and the fundamentalist train that has followed him.


(WIKI) “The Azusa Street Revival was an historic Pentecostal revival meeting that took place in Los Angeles, California, and was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher. It began with a meeting on April 14, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915.
The revival was characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences accompanied by speaking in tongues, dramatic worship services, and inter-racial mingling. The participants received criticism from secular media and Christian theologians for behaviors considered to be outrageous and unorthodox, especially at the time. Today, the revival is considered by historians to be the primary catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century.”

ps. a whole bunch of SF EQ refuges fled to southern California.  Think of how this totally unprecedented disaster rattled people.  Plus there were lots of pictures for the first time, to keep the memory fresh.

[ Edited: 12 March 2010 11:10 PM by citizenschallenge ]
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Posted: 12 March 2010 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Write4U - 11 March 2010 01:28 AM

I have always been curious to know at which point theists determine when “God works in mysterious ways” becomes “the work of the Devil”.

Well, that depends on which group you are going to collect money from after the sermon.

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