Why does God allow natural disasters?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:33 pm

meindzai wrote: God (or the gods) can screw with anybody, anywhere, at any time, for whatever reason he/she seems fit, regardless of one's actions or even beliefs. Kamma is directly related to action.

-M


Meindzai, then wouldn't the kammic response be for you, that your belief, Buddhism, will get trashed by others in vulgar language?

"Kamma is directly related to action.."

Cheers,

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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Annapurna » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:37 pm

Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby meindzai » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:51 pm

Annabel wrote:Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?


No reason to trash it, but it is incompatible and incomparable with Buddhism. Sorry if that notion offends you.

-M
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby meindzai » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:51 pm

Annabel wrote:
meindzai wrote: God (or the gods) can screw with anybody, anywhere, at any time, for whatever reason he/she seems fit, regardless of one's actions or even beliefs. Kamma is directly related to action.

-M


Meindzai, then wouldn't the kammic response be for you, that your belief, Buddhism, will get trashed by others in vulgar language?

"Kamma is directly related to action.."

Cheers,

Annabel


I haven't trashed anything. My description is accurate.

-M
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Calahand » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:55 pm

I don't want to trash any religion here but yes the "problem of evil" is indeed a valid problem when it comes to theistic religions.

How can you reconciliate the existence of evil in the world with an all compassionate and all powerful God? If the world has been "created" by a divine entity , then that entity could have omitted "evil" and can have created paradise. Instead, he leaves evil in the world and for what? freedom of choice? I don't think that is likely , what is more likely is that God isn't there in the first place. This God :quote: , is only a mental construct for the common folk to feel like there is someone looking out for them in order to comfort themselves.
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby seanpdx » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:14 pm

Annabel wrote:Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?


Yes, yes it is. It gives buddhists the opportunity to feel superior. Because they know the truth. Not like those... "common folk" who believe in god.


p.s., there is no problem of evil. Have a nice day.
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby bodom » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:17 pm

Here we go again.....round and round like the wheel of samsara....



:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:51 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:What should we do?
Show compassion, obviously, not just sit around talking about religion.
'Scuse me ... where's that Red Cross donor site ...?
Already done. (And mind you, I almost certainly would not have donated before, so score another point for the efficacy of the practice!) On another note, I'd not heard of (or noticed) Buddhist Global Relief and will be investigating them shortly.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Calahand » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:16 am

seanpdx wrote:
Annabel wrote:Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?


Yes, yes it is. It gives buddhists the opportunity to feel superior. Because they know the truth. Not like those... "common folk" who believe in god.


p.s., there is no problem of evil. Have a nice day.


I don't feel superior to anyone, but I do feel like I woke up to reality when I gave up the concept of God. I don't know what to say, if you believe in a God, then by all means, there is nothing wrong in taking comfort in God when you are going through some tough times, or showing gratitude when you are enjoying the good life. I meant no offense to your beliefs, if it was offensive , I apologize, I was simply stating my views.

much metta,
:namaste:
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby meindzai » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:40 pm

There is no reason to get emotional or offended over this topic. Let's be clear. Buddhism is about liberation from Samsara. The theistic religions are about something else. They can lead to higher rebirths, but they do not teach liberation. Any god, gods, beings, etc. are part of Samsara - thus any realm they inhabit will contain suffering. There can be no liberation in union or worship with a god or gods. It is by nature binding oneself to samsara. As long as there is birth, death, etc. there will be suffering.

-M
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:44 pm

meindzai wrote:
Annabel wrote:
meindzai wrote: God (or the gods) can screw with anybody, anywhere, at any time, for whatever reason he/she seems fit, regardless of one's actions or even beliefs. Kamma is directly related to action.

-M


Meindzai, then wouldn't the kammic response be for you, that your belief, Buddhism, will get trashed by others in vulgar language?

"Kamma is directly related to action.."

Cheers,

Annabel


I haven't trashed anything. My description is accurate.

-M


Meindzai, I think saying that a God will "screw" somebody anytime he wants to is street language and is missing important other aspects.

If you take Islam for instance, then Allah has 99 most beautiful names, and the overwhelming majority of those names are positive, like:

The Most Merciful One

The Most Compassionate One

The Preserver

The Patient

The Forgiving.



Only a small percentage of those names describe Allah's less pleasant attributes

"The Judge"

The Truth

The Afflictor" asf.


One has to do a religion justice, I feel, by showing both sides.

According to the Abrahamic traditions, for all those who think that a God is screwing them when they don't get it their way, you have others who praise.

I think that belongs into a balanced view.

And before people misunderstand me and think i am trying to preach to them, far from.

I just want to see a balanced representation of another belief.

If somebody misrepresents Buddhism, I will do the same for Buddhism.

(Sorry, I got a thing with justice.) ;)

And it's certainly not pointed against you. :hug:
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:39 pm

Edicts of Emperor Asoka (tr. Ven. S Dhammika)
Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good.[24] One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby d_ignat » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:01 pm

Some time ago I read a very good article on this theme. It was a three parts article on the Shravasti Dhammika's blog. Here there are the links:
Part I: http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2008/05/kamma-and-natural-disasters-i.html
Part II: http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2008/06/recent-tsunami-greatest-natural.html
Part III: http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2008/06/kamma-and-natural-disasters-iii.html
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:21 pm

Annabel wrote:
One has to do a religion justice, I feel, by showing both sides.
Sure, but does that really address why there is suffering in the creation work of the god in question, which is the point of the OP?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:25 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Edicts of Emperor Asoka (tr. Ven. S Dhammika)
Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good.[24] One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.


Thank you, Bikkhu Pesala.

I read the link. I enjoyed learning some more.

:anjali:

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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:29 pm

Annabel wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Edicts of Emperor Asoka (tr. Ven. S Dhammika)
Whoever praises his own religion, due to excessive devotion, and condemns others with the thought "Let me glorify my own religion," only harms his own religion. Therefore contact (between religions) is good.[24] One should listen to and respect the doctrines professed by others. Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all should be well-learned in the good doctrines of other religions.


Thank you, Bikkhu Pesala.

I read the link. I enjoyed learning some more.

Annabel
But let us not also forget the Buddha was quite willing to be critical of those religious ideas that he saw a problem, and the idea of a singular omniscient, permanent, independent, unique cause of the cosmos was one of them. One can be critical of a position without the motivation of praising one's own religion at the expense of another.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:36 pm

Annabel wrote:Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?

And this is hardly a fair characterization of anyone posting in this thread; quite the contrary. To suggest that it is is rather quite offensive.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Annabel wrote:
One has to do a religion justice, I feel, by showing both sides.


Sure, but does that really address why there is suffering in the creation work of the god in question, which is the point of the OP?


Hi, Tilt,

I addressed it in my first post:

that it is a misunderstanding of the Abrahamic doctrines to assume that earth is a place like paradise, where nothing evil will happen:

No catastrophes, no suffering, no death.

This misunderstanding causes yet others to arise:

That God failed us through cruelty, absence or weakness.

Earth, according to the Abrahamic dogma is the place for the expelled, to suffer.

If that is clear, questions like the topic question will not arise.

As Bikkhu Pesala's article shows, the wise King realized this:

Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, does not value gifts and honors as much as he values this -- that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions.[23] Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one's own religion, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor other religions for this reason. By so doing, one's own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's own religion and the religions of others.


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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:44 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Annabel wrote:Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?

And this is hardly a fair characterization of anyone posting in this thread; quite the contrary. To suggest that it is is rather quite offensive.


I asked a question.

If the shoe doesn't fit, a "No" is sufficient. :buddha1:
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Re: Why does God allow natural disasters?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:48 pm

Annabel wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Annabel wrote:Another question:

Is this one of the popular "let's trash Christianity " threads, with old bones to pick, venom to squirt, with basically no courage necessary, since none of them is around?

And this is hardly a fair characterization of anyone posting in this thread; quite the contrary. To suggest that it is is rather quite offensive.


I asked a question.

If the shoe doesn't fit, a "No" is sufficient.

Obviously, no.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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