God and Turkey
The image is ugly because it is posted by an atheist; it’s not about the subject matter as such, the image itself is ugly. You might object that it’s a photograph (I thought it was a painting at first); however, a photograph is not “reality”—although people mistake it for such (“The camera never lies”). The image is one of dozens captured at the time; and there was a decision to select this image and put it forward as “reality”—the reality of the Turkey earthquake; except if you were on the scene the moment would have changed in a quarter second—and that is reality, not this image.
So someone has taken this image as representative of “the Turkey earthquake” and it’s a sentimental image. The image selected is at the moment when the baby’s emotional expression will influence us the most—make us feel pity the most. It’s an exploitative image, a “puppy-dog eyes” image—it’s not objective, it’s an attempt to manipulate you. This is why the atheist selected it; since the image is not objective, since it is manipulative, it’s as atheists prefer—manipulative, just like a woman…or Satan.
To suffer is to attain wisdom. Hence the baby has received extreme suffering and, in return, commenced the journey to wisdom in a powerful way—so I see no reason to infer from the image “there is no God”. Would not God want us to be wise? And can we not only attain wisdom through suffering? And is there not joy in suffering? Are not the things that are worst to suffer the best to remember? Perhaps the baby’s parents both lie dead beneath the rubble—nevertheless, the adult will look back and say, “I survived the great earthquake of 2023,” and it will give them a warm glow.
It is only a sentimentalist who thinks that God wants us to live in a pure pleasure dome. He wants us to imagine the baby when it grows to be a toddler and walks down a long Turkish corridor filled with strong shadows on a hot day—the toddler says, “Where mama? Where mama?” A stout woman, a foster mother, says, “Your mother isn’t here anymore.” Please, stop, it’s too much—there is no God (not a dry eye in the house). That’s the manipulation, you see—it’s not objective. “All alone in a world I never made,” and without even your parents—the random and pointless suffering of a godless universe.
Yet there are gifts that can’t be given without pain—one such gift is wisdom; and the joy that comes when you experience suffering. It is the greatest joy, it is integral to the growth that makes life possible. Why would God want you to miss out on the greatest gift? And why do you think you are so wonderful as to deserve to live in a world where nobody suffers? And do you really care about this baby—so used for a quick politico-religious point and then forgotten? I never saw a religion that said the world wasn’t fallen and that we weren’t working our way back to God through pain—so where is the great contradiction for this atheist? Is he not just a big sentimental child or woman himself who wants to live with illusions, with lies, that deny reality’s true nature—which is beautiful because it includes pain, being integral.
“No pain, no love”
God splits Himself to recover Himself—to know Himself; he’s like Mercury, the quicksilver draws itself in a circle to recover itself—to form a circle. God works His way back to Himself and He works His way back through us—the suffering and evil constitute the grit that make the system go, it’s only with suffering that we gain traction to return to the whole. It’s just how it works, it’s not about right or wrong—it’s how God understands Himself. Hence all error is in the final analysis a means to return to the whole—nothing is wasted.
I advocate that people do not lie but if such a state were achieved it would have to split again to function—there would have to be a little grit, a little lie, so that we knew what the truth was. At the moment, we are buried in grit—so that is not our problem; but if we arrived at perfect truth then in order to attain truth we would have to “salt the stew” again, just to offset the dish. No evil, no God.
A collateral point with regard to this “disaster atheism” is the assertion “there’s no such thing as a natural disaster”. This is popular with academics and journalists—so it’s a lie. It is said because, as with the Protestants, from whence they descend, it is their goal to extirpate God from the world—there is just the natural world and man; and man dominates the natural world—there are no miracles. Hence if there’s an earthquake it’s not “a sign”, “a punishment”, or “a portent”—it’s because Turkish builders don’t follow the government code closely enough.
It’s tied into ideas like “climate change”—there’s no such thing as a “natural disaster”, so it has to be attributed to man’s action on the environment and our “irrationalism”. “If only people didn’t build a city here, it’s irrational,” and yet this assumes that you can “rationally” plan and decide where to build a city—you can’t, rationally planned cities are very ugly, like Milton Keynes (named after two arseholes, Milton the poet and Keynes the economist). Cities have to emerge organically and in accord with nature—which itself involves interaction with “the will of God”. You don’t need more building codes to help the Turks survive earthquakes—you need to be closer to nature (it’s the Western buildings that fall down in Japan, because they’re unnatural—same deal in Turkey).
Man is not “in control” in this world—there are natural disasters, there are acts of God. Selah.