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Where was God in the Philippines?
A flood survivor is surrounded by debris on the Philippine island of Leyte.
November 11th, 2013
11:16 AM ET

Where was God in the Philippines?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

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(CNN) - The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country. Meanwhile, many people are asking: How should we make sense of such senseless death and destruction? Was God in the whirlwind itself, as the Bible hints, or present only in the aftermath, as people mobilize to provide food, water and shelter?

These questions may not be new, but we keep asking them, perhaps because the answers remain so elusive.

For many Americans, a paradox sits at the heart of their thinking about natural disasters. According to a survey taken after 2011's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most Americans (56%) believe that God is control of everything.

But more Americans blame hurricanes, earthquakes and other storms on global warming (58%) than on an angry and punishing deity (38%), according to a 2011 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

“These kind of questions about God being in control and there simultaneously being suffering are the kind of things that keep seminarians up at night," institute CEO Robert P. Jones said in 2011.

"They’re thorny theological issues."

READ: Typhoon Haiyan: Survivors in Philippines face grim struggle as death toll rises

The Bible's Psalm 107 says that “For (God) commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof. ... He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground."

But, as the poll shows, most Americans have moved past the idea that God causes natural disasters, wrote Stephen Prothero, a frequent CNN contributor, in a 2011 column.

"When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists," Prothero said as he rode out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. "Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates."

For atheists, storms like Haiyan are proof that God doesn't exist, author and activist Sam Harris said.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary," Harris said after Japan's tsunami. "Take your pick, and choose wisely."

God may or may not be in withering storms, but many religious leaders say they sense a divine presence in the aftermath, as people across the world mobilize to lend a hand.

Rabbi Harold Kushner is one of the most famous names in the realm of theodicy, a branch of theology that tries to explain the unexplainable: why a good God would allow bad things to happen.

After Japan's tsunami, Kushner called nature "an equal-opportunity destroyer," making no distinctions between sinners and saints.

But Kushner, author of the bestselling book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," said he sees God's hand in the resilience of people whose lives have been destroyed and in the "goodness and generosity" of strangers who donate and pray for the survivors.

READ: How to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan 

That still leaves a tricky question, though: Why do humans suffer, sometimes terribly, in the first place?

There's no good answer, says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and best-selling author.

"Each person has to come to grips with that," Martin said. "It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful."

Muslims, on the other hand, see stormy trials as tests from God, said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances.

"Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need," Syeed said.

Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose native country remains in Haiyan's path, said such storms remind us that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment.

"This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them," Hanh said.

Stephen Prothero, Jessica Ravitz and Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Asia • Atheism • Belief • Bible • Buddhism • Christianity • Death • Ethics • Faith • God • Islam • Judaism • natural disasters • Philippines • Prayer

soundoff (3,827 Responses)
  1. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    devin, you words fro your post.

    "Take a look around you. The entire universe, not to mention the complexity of life on both the micro and macro level on this earth, SCREAMS out for the existence of God."

    So the entire universe is evidence. That is everything right? Would you like to enlighten us and explain something that is NOT evidence for your god? Because apparently everthing in the universe IS evidence.

    You need to think about what you have already typed.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • lol??

      The naturalist position is visible nature screams out for evolution.

      The Christian position is 180 out of phase with this.

      "Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

      November 12, 2013 at 1:54 am |
  2. devin

    Observer,

    Don't put words in my mouth. You are placing your current, contemporary definition of "intelligent design" on my thoughts. Two different animals.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • Observer

      Intelligent design has a far greater chance of explaining things than the Bible. It doesn't depend on all the laws of science being optional.

      10,000 people (probably more) were about to die and God said "let 'er rip".

      November 12, 2013 at 1:14 am |
      • ohwow

        Oh wow such tragedy, 10.000 people oh wow so much so atrocious oh God why. Let's talk about humans killing humans : http://todayilearned.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/which-dictator-killed-the-most-people.jpg it's over 200 milions and we don't count everything just the big guys.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:06 am |
        • Observer

          The Bible says that when God got done watching people torturously die at another time, there were only EIGHT people left on the face of the earth.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:10 am |
      • ohwow

        The people received advertisment and they do what ? They stay to die. Then blame God and stuff.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:09 am |
        • Observer

          ohwow,

          There were many MILLIONS of people and THOUSANDS of islands.

          Why not do some research next time?

          November 12, 2013 at 3:11 am |
  3. lol??

    The A&A's understanding of myths must be a myth.

    BBbbbbwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha

    November 12, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  4. whatsamatta_u

    The hard truth is, the God & Angels you believe will magically save you from tragedy does not exist. Nor does the Satan you crafted to pin the blame on for tragedies. They happen. People suffer & die without meaning or justice. Grown-up bullies perpetrate unthinkable cruelties on people and live on in luxury while people starve and perpetrate even more cruelties, unscathed by Heavenly Fury. Children suffer from them too. You'd think children deserve Angels to rescue them. Although miracles occasionally happen, they're always the human intervention kind. Not Angels with fiery swords.

    But I also learned that Faith, no matter how fragile, gives comfort and the means to move on and rebuild. Faith, however irrational, is a Survival trait. If you've lost your entire family to the Typhoon, Faith is superior to harsh reality. When a Father, or Mother, or child have lost their entire family, their home, and any measure of security to the Typhoon, Hope is all that remains. And it's hard to have Hope without some form of Faith.

    I just have Faith in Humanity rather than Deity.

    November 12, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • lol??

      Killlin' by humanity is off the charts.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • lol??

      That is an antichrist position.

      Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  5. devin

    He is where He always is and where He always will be. The rantings of His created beings who deny His existence are unequivocally irrelevant and meaningless.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Observer

      devin,

      Yes. He watched as 10,000 people horribly died.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
      • devin

        Of course he watched, just as He watched when He destroyed all living things apart from Noah, his family and the animals on the ark.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • devin

          However, from my perspective, I have significantly more evidence than you do for His non-existence.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:10 am |
        • devin

          Oops, that was directed to HotAIR

          November 12, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • Observer

          Devin,

          Yep. You can't get anymore HEARTLESS and BLOOD-THIRSTY than that.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          You are just assigning emotions and motives to God that are based on your human understanding of justice. Do you remember that little blurb in the biblical account in Genesis that stated that the thoughts of all men were continually evil?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • HotAirAce

          devin, I don't believe you or any other believer has a single bit of actual evidence for any god. I predict you will reply with a lot of mumbo jumbo but not a single bit of objective, independent, factual, verifiable or repeatable evidence. Nothing, nada, zip, but go ahead – be the first.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • devin

          Hot Air

          I would concur. I will not reply with a " single bit of evidence" that would pacify yourself. You seek evidence only under the construct of what is quantifiable, tangible and observable. I simply reject the notion that those are the only guidelines for determining truth or reality. While I fully embrace the scientific method, I do not bow my knee and worship at its altar

          November 12, 2013 at 12:26 am |
        • HotAirAce

          So as expected, lots of words but no actual evidence. You did not disappoint.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:29 am |
        • devin

          And why would I be interested in displaying what I consider evidence to someone who is unable to consider "evidence" apart from their narrow definition?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:34 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          Any excuse, no matter how pitiful and desperate.

          lol.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:38 am |
        • HotAirAce

          As long as you refuse to present your evidence for myself or others to evaluate, you really don't know how broad my definition might be. But not presenting evidence does let you dance around the probability that you don't have any.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:39 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Is it a fact that your God exists, devin?

          November 12, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You might possibly be correct, except that you don't have any actual evidence for your god.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
      • lol??

        Gives us some hot air on how a couple of the man made gods would comfort the wurld after a typhoon. Y'all keep cryin' myth myth myth. Got any FACTS??

        November 12, 2013 at 12:11 am |
        • HotAirAce

          How could I possibly have facts about something that hasn't been shown to exist in over 2,000 years other than the fact there is no actual evidence?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:15 am |
        • lol??

          !,000's of man made gods and you can't say what one of them sayz?? Where have all the myth men gone?? Gone to graveyards, everyone. When will they ever learn??

          November 12, 2013 at 12:35 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Sorry, you want to know what a man-made god might say. Pick anything you think is appropriate in The Babble.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      4 options

      God exists but does not have the power to stop typhoons and is therefore impotent in the matter.

      God exists but refuses to intervene to stop suffering and is therefore complicit in the matter.

      God exists and made the typhoon do exactly what it did and is therefore a jerk.

      God does not exist..

      November 12, 2013 at 12:10 am |
      • lol??

        Give us some doctrines from the man made gods. Can't find any FACTS??

        November 12, 2013 at 12:13 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          They are all man made.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:17 am |
        • lol??

          So how did they comfort??

          November 12, 2013 at 12:36 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          They didn't.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:01 am |
      • devin

        Option # 5: Gods existence is not defined by your arbitrarily trite 4 options.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:13 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          So give ONE example.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:18 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Those are not "definitions"....they are "attributes".

          I you have another possible attribute that I missed feel free to add it.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:21 am |
        • devin

          Chesse,

          I didn't state they were definitions, I stated they were "options" by which you were defining God's existence. There is a vast difference between reading and reading with comprehension, work on the latter.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:31 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          How about working on answering questions?

          Waiting for a valid Option # 5

          November 12, 2013 at 12:41 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          Take a look around you. The entire universe, not to mention the complexity of life on both the micro and macro level on this earth, SCREAMS out for the existence of God. Now granted, exactly which or what God is another story, but to deny that this created universe is the result from anything less than a being ( God) with intelligence infinitely greater than our own is pure naivete.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:41 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          There is a vast difference between supplying an actual thought and and contributing to a discussion and superficious contradiction. Try the former.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:42 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          Nope. Support for an intelligent design does NOT in any way prove the existence of God. It could have been created by a committee of zombies for all we know. Don't be so naive.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:44 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Given that there is absolutely no evidence for any god, "we don't know" is a way better answer than "some (unproven) god did it."

          November 12, 2013 at 12:44 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          Option #5: God exists, allowed the typhoon, had the power to prevent it, He didn't, He is not obligated nor accountable to explain His actions to the beings He has created.

          Hope that helps.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:47 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          If EVERYTHING around us screams of design, how would you know? The way we can tell what IS designed by an intelligent mind is to compare it to what IS NOT designed by an intelligent mind. But in your arguement everything is designed...and that makes the very concept meaningless.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:47 am |
        • HotAirAce

          The attribute in Option #5 then is "vindictive prick.". Sounds about right for a man-made god.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:49 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          And don't be so silly, " A committee of zombies". I would of thought better from you.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:50 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          That is not #5, that is #2.

          "God exists but refuses to intervene to stop suffering and is therefore complicit in the matter."

          I didn't say he had to explain himself, but I don't have to accept his inaction as ethical or moral either.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:52 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          Nope. You just repeated Option # 2

          November 12, 2013 at 12:53 am |
        • devin

          Chesse,

          In its simplest terms, this whole matter boils down to one of common sense. The evidence for a creator, admittedly not your kind of evidence, is rampant around us. This is why 98% of the worlds population concurs with me on this issue, while the other 2% are, well, on your side.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:59 am |
        • Observer

          kevin,

          Intelligent design says there could have been a source or group of sources. Nothing proving "God".

          November 12, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          My option has absolutely nothing to do with Option # 2. God is not "complicit" in anything. Your failure to realize this lies at the heart of your inability to grasp my option.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:03 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          The "inability" here is you inability to understand that by not stopping it when he had the chance means that God agreed with the disaster and let it happen.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:06 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          Well of course in your argument the evidence is all around us....EVERYTHING IS EVIDENCE....there is literally nothing that is NOT evidence. And as I pointed out that is an inane position...which you did not even attempt to refute other than to resort to a fallacious argument from popularity.

          I can see why you were slow to offer anything but contradiction.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:07 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Complicit

          'choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having complicity.'

          I would say that sums it up rather well.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:10 am |
        • tallulah13

          Devin is simply trying to use his apparent scientific ignorance as proof of god. It's a common christian mistake.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:16 am |
        • devin

          " Everything is evidence... there is literally nothing that is not evidence." Again, back to the comprehension issue. I don't know if you are confusing my thoughts with another post or just simply misrepresenting what I've stated. Either way, while you may not agree with my conclusions there was nothing contradictory in my statements. Words have meaning, think before you type.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:17 am |
        • Over It

          devin,
          " 98% of the worlds population concurs with me on this issue,"

          Where are you getting that figure?

          Here's another that is nowhere near that amount (and it's even from a Christian source):

          "A new survey shows that 51 percent of people in the world believe in God. Only 18 percent don’t and 17 percent are undecided."

          http://www.christianpost.com/news/global-poll-most-believe-in-god-afterlife-49994/

          November 12, 2013 at 1:20 am |
        • Observer

          devin

          "Observer, And don't be so silly, " A committee of zombies". I would of thought better from you."

          There is as much EVIDENCE that the world was created by a committe of zombies as that it was created by God. There are an infinite number of possibilites. Just like God, that is ONLY ONE.

          You have ZERO PROOF that it wasn't a committee of zombies, so why look foolish and trash it?

          November 12, 2013 at 1:22 am |
        • redzoa

          "Take a look around you. The entire universe, not to mention the complexity of life on both the micro and macro level on this earth, SCREAMS out for the existence of God. Now granted, exactly which or what God is another story, but to deny that this created universe is the result from anything less than a being ( God) with intelligence infinitely greater than our own is pure naivete."

          We can readily observe purely natural mechanisms giving rise to novel functional complexity at both the micro and macro scales (e.g. Lenski's E. coli, the Pod Mrcaru lizards). Despite all that "screaming," even the the top minds of the ID movement concede they cannot distinguish between "actual" design v. "apparent" design via purely natural mechanisms. This is because their alleged mechanism is effectively magic; conveniently beyond any objective verification. Naivete, in this context, might be embracing apophenia as a substantive argument absent any empirical supporting evidence.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:23 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin, you words fro your post.

          "Take a look around you. The entire universe, not to mention the complexity of life on both the micro and macro level on this earth, SCREAMS out for the existence of God."

          So the entire universe is evidence. That is everything right? Would you like to enlighten us and explain something that is NOT evidence for your god? Because apparently everthing in the universe IS evidence.

          You need to think about what you have already typed.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:29 am |
        • devin

          Observer.

          We have reached an impasse. If you honestly, rationally believe that zombie concept , there is nothing else to say.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          We have reached an impasse if you keep refusing to comprehend that I have repeated said that there are an INFINITE number of possible explanation and, like God, that is ONLY ONE.

          If you are looking for an excuse to bail out while behind, that's as good as any.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:34 am |
        • devin

          Red

          I simplify it for you, just take it all back to "first cause".

          November 12, 2013 at 1:35 am |
        • lol??

          redzoa, are you usin' the corrupted version of apophenia??

          wiki,
          ".............In short, "apophenia" is a misnomer that has taken on a bas*tar*dized meaning never intended by Conrad when he coined the neologism "apophany"....................."

          I catch hell all the time for my neologisms.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:37 am |
        • devin

          Observer

          It always fascinates me how you et al always resort to the " trying to bail out " mantra when you realize that your position is lacking.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:39 am |
        • redzoa

          @devin – Your simplification is an oversimplification in that it's premised on both a "first" and a "cause." To my knowledge, there is no definite "first," just an expansion of something that was present "before." Similarly, there may have been a "cause"; however, there is no evidence that said "cause" was a conscious supernatural agency. I will take your simplification as a concession that natural processes can and do create biological complexity at both the micro and macro scales without need to invoke undetectable supernatural mechanism.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:41 am |
        • Observer

          devin

          "It always fascinates me how you et al always resort to the " trying to bail out "

          lol. It's almost always the Christians who run away when the questions get tough.

          So far: you've failed to come up with a valid Option # 5 and failed to comprehend a statement I made 2 or 3 times. So that makes my position "lacking"? You've supplied ZERO PROOF for anything so far. Try again.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:43 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          First cause is nothing short of Special Pleading.

          So we have "Intelligent design", "argument from popularity", "special pleading" ...keep going I almost have Bingo.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:50 am |
        • redzoa

          @lol?? – With all due respect to Klaus, I'd say both his original intent (i.e. a "process of repet-itively and monotonously experiencing abnormal meanings in the entire surrounding experiential field") and the various bas*tar*dized versions (e.g. Type I false positives in statistics) are equally applicable to ID arguments. Regardless of my correct or incorrect application, I nonetheless wish you well in your own neologistic endeavors 🙂

          November 12, 2013 at 1:53 am |
        • devin

          Red,

          I will just disagree with your statement of "oversimplification". The notion that anything has ever come into existence spontaneously, apart from any causal relationship, is simply not valid. As for macro evolution, I do not find the evidence overwhelming. Having said that, I do not discount the idea that God's creative work may have be done by creating all matter in an infinitely small, dense area, allowing it to expand and develop through "natural" processes.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:55 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          1. You fail to differentiate between option # 5 being valid and that of your simple disagreement with it.
          2. I fully comprehended your "statement" the first time, I just found it to be invalid.
          3. There is no "PROOF" whether you are attempting to prove God's existence or non existence. There's evidence, but you choose to deny it. C'est la vie.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:08 am |
        • redzoa

          "The notion that anything has ever come into existence spontaneously, apart from any causal relationship, is simply not valid."

          Of course, that's why I specifically indicated that there was a something before the expansion; not an ex nihilo event as you seem to suggest.

          "As for macro evolution, I do not find the evidence overwhelming."

          You are certainly ent-itled to your position; however, there comes a point at which rejection of the concordant evidence stemming from every relevant scientific discipline becomes an exercise in unreasonable doubt. The progressive order of the fossil record, replete with intermediate and transitional forms; phylogenetic analyses of extant and extinct forms mirroring the fossil record; presence of "molecular fossils" within our genomes (e.g. the defunct gene you possess for egg yolk protein); etc, etc. Evolution is simply what the evidence indicates, lest one chooses an Omphalo's Hypothesis to escape these empirical observations.

          That said, in light of your admitting the possibility of a front-loaded creation progressing without further direct intervention, I would concede that by tracing the creative act to a "first cause" (whatever that may be) this form of theistic evolution is at least a defensible philosophical position.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:10 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          "The notion that anything has ever come into existence spontaneously, apart from any causal relationship, is simply not valid."

          Good. So now tell us who created God and who created them.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:10 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          "He is not obligated nor accountable to explain His actions to the beings He has created."

          That has ZERO to do with the original option 2 which said that his approval made him complicit. The issue NEVER was whether he explained it or not. Please READ before answering.

          You seem to have a reading comprehension difficulty.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:17 am |
        • devin

          Red,

          You are confusing the ex nihilo event of Gen. 1:1 with the self existence of God. Two entirely different matters.

          In some ways I actually find it more spectacular if it turns out that God did his created work via macro evolution. I will still disagree that the evidence is as pronounced as you seem to think it is.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:21 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          It comes down to this: no gods are evident. Your God, if it does exist, either does not act in our world or does not leave traces of its actions in our world. No one can point to anything in our world and say that it can only have been done by God.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:23 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          It's basic Christian theology 101: God is the self- existent one, He is eternal without beginning or end.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:23 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          Yep. Basic Christian Hypocrisy 101:

          (1) Atheists are wrong because for anything to exist, something must have created it
          (2) God exists.
          (3) Nothing created God

          November 12, 2013 at 2:26 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "It's basic Christian special pleading 101: God is the self- existent one, He is eternal without beginning or end."

          ***fixed***

          devin,

          Still waiting for one thing that is not evidence for god. C'mon, you stated that I misrepresented your design argument, if I did you should be able to find one to prove me wrong.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:32 am |
        • devin

          Observer,

          You seem to have a penchant for confusing issues. The fact that I believe atheists are wrong, that God exists and that He was not created has nothing to do with hypocrisy. These are my beliefs, and while you obviously disagree with these beliefs , there is nothing hypocritical about them. Please attempt to think through your thoughts logically before posting them.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:53 am |
        • devin

          Cheese,

          Jelly beans.

          November 12, 2013 at 2:54 am |
        • Observer

          devin,

          Yep. Basic Christian Hypocrisy 101:

          (1) Atheists are wrong because for anything to exist, something must have created it
          (2) God exists.
          (3) Nothing created God

          Speaking of not thinking things through logically, which statements do you disagree with?

          November 12, 2013 at 2:57 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          devin,

          Jelly Beans? Really? Because as I understand your argument Jelly Beans were "caused" by humans. All of the ingredients were also "caused" to come into existence and that all can be traced back to your "first cause" special pleading argument. Therefore Jelly Beans are evidence for god. You are really not very good at this.

          November 12, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Science Works

        The first cause sounds like chad devin too funny.

        November 12, 2013 at 4:34 am |
    • tallulah13

      God is where he always was and always will be: In the human imagination. Thousands of gods have been worshiped throughout history and there is not a single irrefutable shred of evidence to support the existence of any of them. Not even the christian god.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:09 am |
      • lol??

        Give us some of their doctrines that would be applicable to the phillippine crisis.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:18 am |
      • lol??

        The A&A position is previous generations of man were stupid and they're not, no matter they have mutated further in time. Science sayz so. A grand theory with no factual basis.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:23 am |
  6. dillonb1950

    Unless the good thief's repentence is an edifying allegory conceived of by the fertile imagination of Luke, jesus' answer to the thief: "Verily i say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise," was another bald lie. It is clear that the promise was not kept, because jesus himself, according to legend, waited three days to ascend into heaven. "

    November 11, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • guyFromVA

      You, sir, are mistaken. Jesus was referring to paradise or Abraham's bosom, not heaven, and he did keep that promise.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
      • tallulah13

        So why is Abraham's bosom considered to be paradise? Frankly, I'm not that thrilled by moobs.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:17 am |
        • lol??

          It's a family thing. Neo-corruption of the family is antichrist.

          "Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"

          November 12, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • David

      The passage should be read with this emphasis...

      And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee To day, shalt thou be with me in paradise."

      Please note where I put the second comma, that will clear things up. Jesus was TELLING HIM on THAT DAY that he would be with Him in paradise (no time given on when).

      November 12, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  7. lol??

    Why does the father in washington have mythological college grades?? Comfort and love??

    November 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  8. lol??

    It appears the fake lyin' A&A experts on mythical theology have NO answers on how the man made gods deal with such events. They must need better mob leadership.

    Myth myth myth is their hollow cry and they don't have any substance to back it up.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  9. Reality # 2

    When are we going to learn. No one should be allowed to live within twenty miles of a beach in typhoon/hurricane prone areas.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Sara

      Hard when your industries are tourism, fishing and shipping.

      November 12, 2013 at 6:43 am |
      • Reality # 2

        Not when you make said areas national parks with daily visitations only and fishing off-limits during periods of storms.

        November 12, 2013 at 8:18 am |
        • Sara

          You can do so in some specific spots, but you cab't block off the whole coast of a place like the Phillipines as natinal park. For starters that would make many islandss uninhabitable. Hotels and other coastal industries would require a twenty mile commute to get to work. I agree a few heavy flooding areas could be converted, but the majoriyt of areas would nou be.

          November 12, 2013 at 8:56 am |
        • Reality # 2

          There are no hotels or coastal industries in national parks. Disney World does quite well without a ocean beach.

          November 12, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  10. Realist

    ******************************

    Where was GOD ???? ha ha ha ha ha!

    ******************************

    ... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

    ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

    ... http://www.EVILbible.com ...

    ******************************

    November 11, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      How stupid. Show some of your supposed superior morality, that is if you really have one.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
      • dillonb1950

        That was really NOT a rebuke but more advise on how he could do better in his style of delivery. Seems you don't like Mr. dawkins...lol

        November 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • guyFromVA

      you are deluded, sir.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  11. andrew

    Last year, an Iranian mullah blamed a series of devastating earthquakes on women wearing short skirts; remember? I'm positive of two things: Mullah man's been chewing too many poppy plants and he missed too many science classes.
    Who has the word? Who claims to know it all? Who is the know-it-all guru of all gurus whose got all the big answers about this kind of crap?
    Nobody, that's who – at least nobody down here with the rest of us picking up the dead bodies in the meantime.
    Everyone thinks they know everything; yea, yea, yea. In fact, they don't know jack-crap, they just like to hear themselves talk – like a bunch of cackling chicken might.

    November 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      And some Christian leaders in the U.S. blamed Hurricane Katrina and the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on America's sins.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And there was a chorus of American voices saying that school shootings happened because we don't have mandatory prayer in schools (besides the pledge of allegiance).

      November 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  12. Realist

    ******************************

    Where was GOD ???? ha ha ha ha ha!

    ******************************

    ... http://www.GODisIMARINARY.com ...

    ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

    ... http://www.EVILbibe.com ...

    ******************************

    November 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Dippy's Aide

      IMARINARY? bibe? moch?

      November 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • Realist

        -------

        Thank you for correcting my spelling. I am typing without reading glasses tonight.

        ******************************

        Where was GOD ???? ha ha ha ha ha!

        ******************************

        ... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

        ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

        ... http://www.EVILbible.com ...

        ******************************

        November 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          Most of the rest of us can see pretty well - so there is no need for you to spam the site with this. It makes you look like a nut.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • dillonb1950

          Thanks for spamming the site REALIST. I find this information helpful when making a point to disillusional people.....cheers!

          November 11, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  13. bostontola

    Are we going to get this same story after every disaster? Disasters are not evidence for or against any god. All the errors in the bible are all the evidence you need against a Christian god.

    November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      True, and Christians would know this if they ever took the time to study and compare their Bible to those of centuries past.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • guyFromVA

      There are no errors in the Bible. It is the infallible, inerrant word of God.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:01 am |
      • HotAirAce

        Just after you prove your god exists, you can get busy on proving its book is inerrant. But, no god, no inerrant book.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:04 am |
  14. Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

    Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, whose native country remains in Haiyan's path, said such storms remind us that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment.

    "This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them," Hanh said.

    As much as I like Hanh's teachings on mindfulness, and agree with his thought that our lives are impermanent and the importance of treasuring each moment, we cannot be those people who are lost through tragedies. We must mourn their loss, keep their memories with us, but continue moving forward with who we each are.

    November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  15. Realist

    ******************************

    Is it too moch to ask for a "Non-Belief" option?

    ******************************

    ... http://www.GODisIMARINARY.com ...

    ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

    ... http://www.EVILbibe.com ...

    ******************************

    November 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  16. steve

    Please, first, you are not going find God or anything related to God in CNN. I don't know if CNN believes in God.

    By the way which god are you talking about here CNN?

    November 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
  17. Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

    "When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, our authorities are geologists and meteorologists," Prothero said as he rode out Hurricane Irene on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. "Most of us interpret these events not through the rumblings of the biblical prophet Jeremiah or the poetry of the Book of Revelation but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates."

    And this is progress. It will take centuries to exorcise religion and its harm from most Americans, but for the rest of the world it may take millennia.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  18. Steve

    It might be useful to consider the story of Job. Job was a righteous man but God allowed him to face horrible trials. His friends kept saying he must've sinned to bring this on but he (and we thanks to the narration) knew this wasn't true. Instead, by demonstrating Job's unwavering devotion to God through his trials, God brought glory onto The only thing of real consequence, Himself. Imagine for a moment that the God we discuss really exists. He'd be the author and we'd merely be characters in his novel. Why might He write this tragedy into the story? I don't know. Perhaps because He endowed us with free will and so needed a way to shock us out of our mundane self-centered lives.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

      You are deluding yourself with rationalizations such as this. I feel sorry for you.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • Steve

        Just suggesting an answer to the original question. Many suggest suffering disproves God. But only if you first reduce the idea of God to human size. The point of the author metaphor is to suggest we have no idea about such a being. So I believe its equally foolish to believe or disbelieve. I simply choose to be a fool that believes. But I respect your choice as well.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson rebukes Richard Dawkins

          I can only pity you in your choice. Willful ignorance reaps its own unique punishment.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
        • Steve

          YouTube,
          Ignorance of what? I see no better explanation for existing biological diversity than evolution. I believe there were dinosaurs. I understand the Earth to be in the neighborhood of 5 billion years old. I believe people are responsible for global warming. I'm educated. And I'm a Christian. There's no contradiction. Now, lets be at peace.
          Steve

          November 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Why was Job's God such a mean-spirited old cuss to him?

      November 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Steve,

      The story of Job shows just how HEARTLESS and VAIN God can be. What a disgraceful story! It should embarass every DECENT Christian.

      To prove to Satan how loyal Job was to him, God told Satan to do what he wanted to anything that belonged to Job. God watched while: 3,000 camels and 500 oxen and 500 donkeys were stolen; 7,000 sheep were burned to death; all but one of Job’s many servants were killed and his 7 sons and 3 daughters were crushed to death.

      So 10 children and many servants were KILLED so God could win a bet. PATHETIC.

      What better example of how thoroughly IMMORAL God can be.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • guyFromVA

        who are you to tell God what he can or can't do? How arrogant!

        "But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?" Romans 9:20

        November 12, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The story of Job, where God and Satan make a bet and Job is allowed to suffer horribly so God can say "I told you so"...what a swell god.

      Words I would use to describe such a being,

      "a monster", "psycopath", "narcissistic", "a mob boss", "sadomasochistic", hateful".

      Words I would not use,

      "loving", "caring", "giving".... "nice"

      November 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • Observer

        Amen.

        And to think that Christians are proud of this story and Job is the hero. Pathetic and brainless. Job let 10 kids die for him.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Same thing with the story of Abraham and Issac. It is held up as a beautiful story of loyalty when in actuality it is about blind obedience to an immoral dictator.

          If someone asks you to kill your own child to prove your "love" that person is a controlling, self centered a-h0le. And any other answer than "no" is the wrong one.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
        • guyFromVA

          God has every right to allow sinners to die.
          "the wages of sin is death." Romans 3

          November 12, 2013 at 12:21 am |
        • Observer

          guyFromVA,

          So what sins did the 10 children commit? How about all the servants? How about the THOUSANDS of animals?

          We want the EXACT sins named in the Bible. Good luck.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:22 am |
      • guyFromVA

        be careful, the God you despise and insult holds you in the palm of his hand and could drop you into hell at any moment. If he doesn't do that and allows you to live, it is to give you time to repent of your rebellion and folly, and to accept of his offer of mercy through Jesus Christ and escape punishment in hell.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Bullsh!t.

          November 12, 2013 at 12:30 am |
        • sam stone

          nothing more scary than proxy threats, unless it's anonymous proxy threats

          guyfromva: your god is an impotent pr1ck

          November 12, 2013 at 3:30 am |
        • Susan StoHelit

          Obey, because he's a bully? I don't do that.

          November 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • dillonb1950

      You are another christian who really hasn't read your bible...read it...ALL of it then get back to us.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
      • guyFromVA

        I've read the bible cover to cover and I agree with steve.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:14 am |
        • Observer

          guyFromVA

          "I've read the bible cover to cover and I agree with steve."

          So do you think that the story of Job makes God or Job look good?

          November 12, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Why does god gain "glory" by satan's approval? Glory from who? What do you tell your kids when they do stupid stuff to impress other people?

      November 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  19. Steve Miller

    People have a funny view of God, they don't thank Him for years of unmerited grace and stable weather, but they are quick to blame Him for all Natural Disasters. If you are talking about the Christian God the Bible teaches us we live in a fallen world marred by sin. Sin means all of Creation is askew, things are not as they were originally designed to be before the fall; sinful man would be foolish to look at calamities and say it is God's fault. Still simple sound theological answers are not enough, the Bible also says God's people should be quick to lend a helping hand to those in need as proof Jesus has made an impact on their lives. Christians are called to care for and suffer with those hurting, this is why the answer to "Where is God?" is always the same: God inhabits His people and He motivates them to take helpful action rather than sit back and assign blame.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Observer

      Steve Miller

      "Where is God?"

      The answer from Christians is "just watching 10,000 people horribly die".

      November 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • Alias

        Tragedy does not disprove god.
        I am an atheist, and there are a LOT of good reasons to think the bible is fiction.
        However, natural disasters do not prove anything. If the god of the bible does/did/could exist, then no amount of pain or suffering in this life really matters. What difference does a few decades of joy or pain matter compared to a freakin eternity of bliss or torture?
        yes Observer, I know trying to get through to you is as pointless as trying to have an honest discussion with Topher, but others are reading this too.

        November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • Observer

          Alias,

          So do Christians think God exists and watched 10,000 people die just as I said? Yes or no?

          November 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      100% pure bullsh!t unless you can prove your god exists. Go ahead – be the first.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Your god's inaction is indistinguishable from your god does not exist.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      God should have protected his creation and not allowed it to get marred by sin. And yes, god's inaction is indistinguishable from his nonexistence. He is invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If god made everything and is responsible for all of the universe and you give him credit for the good things then he is also responsible for the bad. Cuts both ways.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      So if we all just would stop sinning we'd have nice weather? An absurd notion.

      And we needed a pantomime of divine suicide by legionnaires to save us? From what? God's wrath at the way he created us?

      If all creation is of God, including the "angels of the fall" and the "gift of free will" then evil is the creation of God and so are natural disasters. Not because we are "sinful".

      The only metaphysical systems that have any coherence are the eastern traditions where the principle is "suffering exists, so deal with it".

      November 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • dillonb1950

      Stevie...thou are full of crappola to put it mildly. Not really a thinker are you?

      November 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  20. Anon

    No where besides the collective imagination of the delusional.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.