Monday, April 16, 2007

What a terrible day

I really can't say much about what happened in Virginia Tech other than wonder at how such tragic things can happen.

However, there is one quick point I want to make. If anyone here remembers Sam Harris, the prominent atheist, he discussed the hypocricy of believers in his book The End of Faith:

"Somewhere in the world a man has abducted a little girl. Soon he will rape, torture and kill her. If an atrocity of this kind is not occurring at precisely this moment, it will happen in a few hours, or days at most. Such is the confidence we can draw from the statistical laws that govern the lives of 6 billion human beings. The same statistics also suggest that this girl s parents believe at this very moment that an all-powerful and all-loving God is watching over them and their family. Are they right to believe this? Is it good that they believe this?
No."

"Only the atheist recognizes the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved. Only the atheist realizes how morally objectionable it is for survivors of a catastrophe to believe themselves spared by a loving God, while this same God drowned infants in their cribs."

"If God exists, either He can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or He does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil.If He exists, the God of Abraham is not merely unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man."

Tough quotes for a tough time. I don't want to come across as taking advantage of a tragedy to further my own agenda. However, listen to a quote from one of the students:

http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070416/UPDATES01/70416020/1002

“I really have been thanking God that I didn’t go to class today,” she said. “I do think he was watching out for me today. I feel really blessed and thankful, but so sad and speechless about all the other people in the building and all the victims.”

Now, does this girl honestly believe that she was some saint? That God specifically chose her to live and the others to die? I don't think so. But, when people are in shock, the religious chemicals kick in to calm the soul and prevent suicide. And that's why people thank God rather than asking why it happened in the first place.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Violence is what people resort to when they are angry, isolated, and ostracized by society. There is no other group more openly ostracized than Asian males, and it's surprising that these rampages don't happen more often.

Byrdeye said...

Cho indicated in his letter that the end was near and that there was a deed to be done, the official said. He also expressed disappointment in his own religion, and made several references to Christianity, the official said.

TabooTruth said...

There are alot of disturbing issues surrounding the tragedy. One is the marginalization of Asian Americans, a topic that we will most likely not hear about in the media.

I wonder how his disappointment with Christianity will play into things. Religion always plays a strange role in tragedy. After all, half of the debate is dominated by playing blame games to figure out what went wrong, while the other half is spent praying to God and hoping that the souls are being taken care of.

But, after all, if it was God's will that this happened, then aren't policy debates pointless?

Or...we're supposed to try to help ourselves, but ultimately, God's mysterious actions are beyond our control? That doesn't seem like good consolation to a parent, knowing that a security lockdown on the entire campus, a logical move, after the first two killed would have prevented the other 30 from bring killed.

TabooTruth said...

There are alot of disturbing issues surrounding the tragedy. One is the marginalization of Asian Americans, a topic that we will most likely not hear about in the media.

I wonder how his disappointment with Christianity will play into things. Religion always plays a strange role in tragedy. After all, half of the debate is dominated by playing blame games to figure out what went wrong, while the other half is spent praying to God and hoping that the souls are being taken care of.

But, after all, if it was God's will that this happened, then aren't policy debates pointless?

Or...we're supposed to try to help ourselves, but ultimately, God's mysterious actions are beyond our control? That doesn't seem like good consolation to a parent, knowing that a security lockdown on the entire campus, a logical move, after the first two killed would have prevented the other 30 from bring killed.