Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mysterious Ways

The Prolog
I prefer life over death, I want people to live longer not shorter.  I'm upset when people die needlessly, especially if it in the pursuit of something fantastical and unlikely that is believed for the most part only our of sheer circumstance [of birth].

This week in Religion
They say the placement of a lightening conductor on top of a Christian Church is clear evidence that /the faithful/ actively set limits on the power of their own God to keep believers and their property safe.

But this week in Islam. Well.....

This week, in Islam, an all knowing and powerful God allowed the death of 717 pilgrims to the Hajj as well as the injury of at least 863 people.

Here are some articles that you can read

700 Killed at Hajj pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia orders probe

Hajj Stampede multiple links

A Restatement

In the secular i.e. religion free world view, there is no covenant between a human and their God(s).  But for a religious person, you perform certain actions, and there is a reward.  Not only limited to, but normally including: 

01. Heaven / Afterlife  - Usually a place where you will spend an eternity with loved ones (or rebirth)

02. Protection - You God improves your life chances, perhaps by better health, longer life, and certainly from protecting you in general.

So it is clear to me that in this model God has the power to improve your daily life.  And so in the ultimate, if you die what seems a horrible and painful death, God at the very least had the power to prevent this happening but chose not to.  

Back to the deaths of the Pilgrims

What can we make of this situation?   Here are some opinions that some people have put forward:

- We can't begin to understand God,  the fact that God has allowed Pilgrims to die or to be seriously injured, is part of a plan that mere humans cannot understand and should not try to rationalise.

Submit to the will, that is all

- The Pilgrims died as they had just or were about to, perform a violent action of throwing stones. This is a sign that the [followers of Islam] must renounce violence.

- God only provides benefits to this world, and so by definition these actions must have been the work of the Devil or another, non Islamic God.

- Clearly the Islamic god does not exist

- Clearly no Gods exists including the Islamic God

- The Islamic God is surely false,  but my God is much more credible

- I think therefore I am, and therefore I am not Religious any more

- Religion is Mental

And Some Other Notes

- Every Muslim with the means to do so must travel to Mecca at least once during their lifetime. Although Muslims are welcome to travel to the Saudi city of Mecca at any time during the year, the official pilgrimage, or Hajj, occurs over a five-day period from the 9-13th of the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar

- Muslim doctrine has it that bodies must be buried before the sunset or at worst in less than 24 hours. This dogma has led to dead pilgrim bodies being bulldozed away in this instance.

- Should a man die there are restrictions put upon his wife, not limited to:
Only men can attend a Muslim burial
The wife is forbidden to re-marry for usually 4 months after husband death  (Iddah )

A follower of Islam or not, what do you feel that this tragedy says about Islam and the Islamic God?

Is the Hajj mandatory?
Hajj on Wikipedia

Fate: Our choice or Allahs?
Islam: Are we predestined?
The Tremendous Rewards of Hajj 
Can a Women attend a Burial?
Hajj Stampede multiple links