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Opening Arguments

The indifferent universe

I don't believe in miracles, but, damn::

SUFFOLK, Va. - It was a scene of haphazard destruction that stretched for 25 miles: Row upon row of homes reduced to sprays of splintered lumber, shopping centers stripped to bare metal, parking lots turned into junk yards.

And yet no one died.

"The only thing I can say is we were watched over and blessed," Fire Chief Mark Outlaw said.

Sometimes, things just happen, and we wonder why. You're in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it happens to you instead of someone else. Sometimes, things just don't happen, and maybe we should ask why in those cases, too. Why did we leave the restaurant in Michigan City exactly when we did on that Saturday in 1983? If we'd left 5 seconds sooner, we would have been through the U.S. 30 intersection before the car that hit us got there, and I wouldn't have been in the hospital for five weeks. If we'd left 5 seconds later, we'd have had less time to brake, and I'd be dead.

And the universe doesn't care either way. Thornton Wilder tackled that question, and the best he could come up with was, "Well dunno. I think there's a pattern there somewhere, but I can't prove it."

Remember or read about the Palm Sunday tornadoes? I was in Indiana then, just in the right place at the right time.


Wed, 04/30/2008 - 10:05am

Well, the thing is, by praising an omniscient, omnipotent God for his grace in sparing lives on such an occasion; by implication, you have to condemn him for: a) causing or allowing the destruction in the first place; and b) for every other horrific tragedy that happens to the people of earth.

Leo Morris
Wed, 04/30/2008 - 10:42am

Well, I didn't, actually. I started with "I don't believe in miracles.' I'm with Wilder: Dunno

Harl Delos
Wed, 04/30/2008 - 12:13pm

Unlike Leo, I do believe in miracles. Many of them happen in maternity wards.

You consider it a tragedy when some deserving person goes to Heaven? You consider it a tragedy when some deserving person goes to Hell? God appears to disagree with both notions.

If you find this world to be unsatisfactory, Doug, you aren't being forced to stay here; you can check out any time you like.