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MIRACLE(?) ON THE HUDSON?

By James C --

Highest Duty: My Search for What Really MattersThe other evening a TV show-biz show mentioned the January 2009 ditching of a US Airways jet with 155 people on board after experiencing a double engine failure due to bird strikes just after takeoff. Thanks to the pilot's (Sully Sullenberger) calm demeanor and piloting skill, all survived the ditching in the Hudson river. Which it seems almost all the media call a "miracle", something those of us with active skepticism would question in a couple of ways.

Miracle? Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful and loving God choose to subject all those aboard with the fear of dieing, the misery of surviving in a cold river in New York in January, and a couple of broken bones when all He/She would have to have done was adjust the flight paths of the innocent birds that caused the problem (and died for doing so... making one question Jesus' comments about sparrows).

And further on.... there are a few places where miracles are badly needed but seldom provided. A check of the World Health Organization web sites finds that annually some 800,000 people die from malaria, another 30,000 from yellow fever plus over a million from tuberculosis. and you can add to those two million plus unfortunates another 120,000 new babies each year born in America with birth defects! So what's the merciful and all-powerful dude doing while all that is going on?

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” The only thing that comes close to being an explanation is the quote often credited to Epicurus.... “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

And the frustrating thing about all that is that these thoughts were expressed almost 2,300 years ago and yet today, we still find a huge number of people totally believing in miracles and refusing to look at them logically.


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