“During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world...”Albert Einstein (Science Philosophy and Religion: A Symposium).
The world has become a global village as a result the effect of whatever happens in any part of the globe transcends national, regional and religious boundaries. In spite of all that man is doing to make the world a safe place, man's abilities and capabilities are insignificant in the eyes of the Omnipotent, Omnipresent God whose existence is beyond question for the good majority of religions. It is because of the care, love, mercy and a whole lot of other good traits that our God possesses that we all worship and adore Him.
However, the magnitude of the suffering being wrecked on the world by natural disasters sends chilling feelings down the spines of many a man and to make even the most religious being question the existence and the caring character of our God. Millions of people have been killed by wars and natural disasters all under the watch of the Ultimate Reality who permeates every aspect of our lives. Is God not seeing what is going on?
Though I am religious, my little mind tells me that we seem to be living in a dream-world where everything seems to be real- a world where we are overwhelmed by its sheer size and infinite nature of it that we have decided to entrust our fate and life in the hands of a spiritual being who none have set his or her eyes on. And anytime disaster strikes, instead of us questioning the actions or inactions of our caretaker, we tend to blame our own selves attributing these troubles to our failing moral values.
I am not an agnostic, neither am I an atheist but I sincerely think our God must be asked why He decides to allow His own children to suffer. The memories of the Tsunami are still fresh to us but it looks as if nature is so mad at us that she would not allow us to wipe our tears from the sorrows of the tsunami and console ourselves- she has struck another blow at us, this time she sent a cyclone.
If the effects of the Tsunami were not enough for us to ask questions of our creator, the cyclone that has hit Myanmar (Burma) to me demands an answer. To add more salt to our wounds, another 20,000 or even more people have had their lives cut short by an earthquake in China. Why would a God who cares so much about His children send this havoc on them?
As if the cyclone was not enough, God has virtually been 'sitting' down for a few rogues who call themselves military rulers of this impoverished land called Burma to aggravate the suffering of their own people by refusing to allow the much-needed aid to get to the millions who have been affected by this disaster. Their refusal of foreign aid is even less surprising than their stubborn refusal to postpone the fake referendum being carried out in the country as a sign of reverence for the thousands dead. All this under the watch of our caretaker! These authoritarian monsters are the very people who beat up hundreds of harmless priests (monks) for having the guts to question and demonstrate against their authority less than a year ago.
The refusal of God to punish these military rulers, who are nothing but agents of suffering, seems to be consistent with His principle of refusing to punish people of like minds in other parts of the world, especially Africa. Some of these people whose actions have led to the maiming and killings of millions in the African bushes and elsewhere need not to die before being punished because to the ordinary man, Armageddon is so far away in time and it is infinite that it sounds like a cosy myth.
It is quite interesting that a renowned personality like the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the head of the 70 million strong Anglican Church, gathered the confidence to question the existence of God after the Asian Tsunami, but his comments surely attracted insults and threats from the religious fanatics whose thinking abilities have been blinded by their refusal to see.
A renowned Ghanaian poet once questioned the existence of God in his poem when he asked “who is God? An old-bearded bogey sitting far up in the skies watching and not caring?'' The poet to me, is only expressing the genuine concern of the billions of people who entrust their lives in God but get to be denied the real happiness that one is supposed to gain from this communion.
This world is not a place for man. Man cannot live in a world where suffering and tears fill every day of his existence. But if God is really watching and waiting for a time to make his glory known, then we implore him to hasten to save us.