"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"

Greta Christina

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Haiti: A human tragedy

When disaster strikes as devastatingly as it has done this week in Haiti it takes your breath away. This tiny nation has suffered a history of floods, hurricanes and eathquakes for most of its existence and is all the less able to cope due to extreme poverty and poor governance.
Aid agencies,religious, governmental and secular are mobilising to assist with the rescue efforts and the best most of us can do is make sure we donate as much as we can to enable them to do their work. I am suggesting Partners in Health a U.S organisation already established in Haiti that also has the advantage of being secular as far as I can see (hat tip: Joanna at Daylight Atheism ).

Reluctant as I am to make atheist capital out of this tragedy, when natural disaster strikes it is hard not to wonder whether the religious see the hand of their oh so loving God at work. What level of cognitive dissonance would it take to resolve that thought?

U.S evangelist Pat Robertson has found a good reason though. Apparently the Haitians once made a pact with the devil to escape slavery from the French and the earthquake is divine retribution.

His organisation elaborated on the comment later in the day.
"Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God's wrath," the statement went on. It added that "Dr. Robertson's compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them."

"called for prayer"? that's really the best he can offer?

1 comment:

  1. update: I checked with Partners in Health and they are indeed an entirel secular organisation. So go donate!