Why does a god allow/cause earthquakes

As an atheist it’s pretty easy for me to say that earthquakes happen because of some movement of big bits of rock beneath the sea (or whatever the actual scientific details are). There’s no-one responsible - it’s a morally neutral event which happens at random (well, depending how close you live to a fault line).

If you believe in some sort of god though, how do you explain earthquakes. Does your god decide to kill 50,000 people? Why? Or did he just create an earth that was prone to random movements and let them happen. If so, why? Why create so much death and destruction?

Was there some moral failing on the part of the people who died? Were they more to blame than those who survived? Is there any plausible religious explanation of earthquakes?

I’m not posing this question to wind anyone up - my religious friends seem speechless. Any helpers?


Hey mickd,

I’m not sure if this is theologicaly correct but, i think sin causes suffering, and suffering of the innocent might be a greater atonement than suffering of the guilty. Thus the need for natural disasters. But go ahead and send your relief packages anyway (which I expect you will since you seem to care more than a god about these people) – willing atonement is probably more pleasing than unwilling. (Hence, i have heard, suffering willingly here on earth is more efficacious than atonement in purgatory.)

Or I could just say, “Their number was up”.

the reason why i ever said the word omnisoul is because i had the idea that god wants to train us to be selfless, instead of actually creating souls from scratch and hoping their circumstances teach them to behave in a way that gets them into the nice guy club in the sky forever.

if he wants each of us to get into heaven, then he would simply give everybody my life, full of priveleges and no suffering. he could be cycling us all through reincarnation around all the different kinds of lives and we keep some kind of memory going. or there could be no heaven at all, and we simply should be acting for the good of humanity for some other meta-reason, not the nice guy club membership, but something we dont understand.

if god wants us merely to be selfless then he certainly expects more from me than from a bum who was molested from crack-birth and had more than a few unlucky hands dealt to him. there are only two reasons why god would allow such a separation between me and a bum. either i will go into the life of that bum and learn something i cant today, or the bum exists merely to be a recipient of my selflessness. if he didnt exist, if earthquake victims didnt exist, there would be nobody to be selfless towards. (and of course the poor guy will reincarnate into me someday, probably)

you could respond to this by saying that there is enough caused by man to require my selfless donations, and earthquakes are superfluous, but i dont think there would be evil for long if everybody saw that the only badness in existence came from humans. when people see hurricanes and they are stalin, they can say that bad stuff happens, so who cares. its gods way or it is required in order for the survivors to live as perfectly as possible. it allows them to have an excuse of any kind.

if we all lived in a perfect harmonious jungle with no evil whatsoever, and we never ran out of resources, nobody would ever have been selfish, there would have been no reason, the idea could never have entered somebodys head.

earthquakes happen because the universe was created in order to train souls to act harmoniously. they are only a contradiction of god if god’s system is described as ‘giving an equal chance for all to get into the same nice guy club’. i think its pretty ridiculous to say this last thing about god, and therefore pretty silly to be a self-righteous faith-now, work-later christian. not silly to believe in a god who has no qualms about tricking you into being an atheist. he still wants you to be selfless, even if his dust pile isnt so friendly and you dont believe in him because of it.

Some answers …

If there is a chair that is broken and you no longer need it and it is now stacked somewhere in the garage, would it be wrong to take it out, chop it up, and use it as firewood for a fire for warmth in winter? Would you be doing anything bad to the chair? None at all, but rather it is more good to burn the chair than to leave it to gather dust.

Since there is no one who is good on earth, is God unjust and cruel to cause their deaths? All man will die anyway, only sooner or later, forseen or unforseen. And yes, God caused all deaths, just as he caused all lives.

The death of a righteous person is good to him, for he is spared from evil.

In any case death is a temporary thing, if there is indeed God. If all the dead will be resurrected, death is merely like medicine - unpleasant but therapeutic, not for the dead, but for the yet living.

It is only when there is no God, is such a tragedy meaningless and senseless. For then all the hard work and effort and planning to be happy, to pursue a dream, suddenly are all reduced to futility.

How does an atheist explains this? To the atheist you can’t blame God, for there is none to be blamed. But if you believe God you can least cry, “Why?” to him, inexplicable as such a tragedy may appear to you.

And the broken shattered lives of the living are now swept into new directions and with the international aid, we never know what the outcomes of their lives would be, and it is not necessarily worst.

answer to the original question. God simply doesnt, now if he existed then he would.

I’m assuming that you posted this thread due to the recent events where a 9.0 hit the northern tip of Indonesia and caused massive tsunamis up to 30-feet high to devastate the surrounding coastlines of SE Asia, yes?

If so, you must first ask yourself how this can apply to religion. Anotherwords, what is it that the SE Asians have done recently to incur the wrath of god? If this question cannot be fulfilled by an adequate answer, then you must turn to ask yourself how this came to pass. Perhaps something has disrupted the tectonic plates? Perhaps the years of punishment incurred upon the Earth over the last century have led to a natural revolt against the will of man?

The last such earthquake in that area was in 1900, it can be noted that perhaps the Earth had its muscles too tight for too long and decided to stretch them?

when you talk about death as though it is a peaceful elevator ride, then yes god doesnt look like such a jerk. but what about all unfairness divinely dictated by his imperfect machine? how would he explain muscular distrophy or some kind of mental illness that results in nothing but suffering?

why would he create a person who doesnt do anything but suffer? was he hitler last lifetime? not if youre christian. so why create lifelong sufferers? how could a god expect them to behave the same as me? one thing is sure: he totally does NOT expect them to behave the same as me. mainstream christians: do you believe that he does? no you dont.

As a strong Agnostic, I also have to wonder the same thing. Why would an alleged loving and benevolent being create an earth full of damaging tectonic plate movements? Why would it allow for so much suffering and pain to occur. When I look at the recent events that occured in Southeastern Asia such as the tidal waves and the loss of innocent life, I have to wonder? If there is a being that created us, and we happen to finally find some concrete evidence of a being that created the universe, is this being really all-good and benevolent? Or this being same random energy source? Could this being be neutral? It really does make me wonder. I argue that if god is really omnipotent and benevolent, why couldn’t of he created a world perfectly molded into having good things? One may say that it is not possible. Well, then this god would not be omnipotent since he/she/it would be bound by the laws of nature such as earthquakes and tidal waves?

We are talking about 44,000 people-most of which were most probably having a good time with their families and friends and hundreds more that were tourists. If the story of adam and eve were real and “sin” is responsible for this, then I guess we would have to suffer endlessly and eternally. Allegedly, this god created us knowing we have imperfections.

imperfections=supposedly equals=sin
sin=suffering=impossible to stop sin=since we are imperfect

We have to wonder. If such world were created for us to see purpose and meaning into it, why are people calling these events MEANINGLESS? There is nothing MEANINGFUL about tidal waves coming in at 500 mph and washing away life…

Isaiah 29:16 NLT How stupid can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you. You are only the jars he makes! Should the thing that was created say to the one who made it, “He didn’t make us”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

Romans 9:21 NLT When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?
Isaiah 45:9 NLT "Destruction is certain for those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot ever argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you are doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be!’
“Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the potter, I am the clay! Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.”

Sounds like I am overdue a few tragedies then.

Hi Mickd,

Great q. Many religious people have no answer neither and are also scared to ask what you ask.

But the answer is clear.

Let’s just assume a hypothesis:
That there is a God
who is Love and loves himself as all words and so love all words as himself
and so who loves himself as all the names and words everything is,
and so in Love made Himself into us and everything
and so in Love made us and everything out of himself
for the sole purpose of
getting us to love ourselves as everything
so we wd and cd love him as everything and everything as him and as us.

Based on that premise or moral,
the first misthinking or failure in my morality wd be more me to hate any word.

For to hate any word wd mean that i wd hate me as that word and hate God and everyone else and everything else as that word.
Hatred of any word is the immorality that confers immorality on any event we hate as that word.
Love of all words is the morality that confers morality on each event we love.

That also means that no event is morally neutral if we hate it or if we love it. And since we either love or hate each word which describes all events, events are either immoral if looked on with hatred, or moral if looked on with Love. So even atheists need to be in Love!:wink: Atheists in Love are endless more moral than any theists in hate of atheists!

So Love being the reason for everything,
then it wd make sense to me and be plausible and reasonable to me that to get me to love that word,
God wd teach me to love myself as that word
so that I wd love that word as myself,
and so love all others as myself,
so that I in Love I cd easily handle just thinking about it and deserve the best: to never have it actually happen to me, and even prepare to prevent it,
and cd also handle it with Love if the worse came: if it ever happened to me since he had already made a world with everything in it and events cd and will happen by chance, OR if he sent it on me to set a great example to all others as to how to love and handle disasters with Love.

BUT if I refused to lvoe me as that word, and hated me as that word, and so hated others as that words,
in Hate I wd have a hard time even if the best happened and it never happned to me: in hate i wd not even be able to think of it;
and in hate i wd make the worse worse if the worse actually happened.

And in my hate for that word, it wd also make sense if God as a loving parent sent that word on me in the form of what it represented in the outer world and what it IS in the inner world of my mind to get me to lvoe it so I cd handle it with Love if it ever happpened to me and/or to others.

It wd make sense that worse than an earthquake is the hatred for one: that hatred for myself as earthquaked makes me shaky even when there is NO earthquake, and makes me doubly shook up and fall to pieces when there is a shaking!

Now, if I suffered an earthquake due to my hate for it, then all those who were NOT in the quake but also hated it just as much I did, are also as much to be blamed as i am. So as a survivor, I wd help them to see why. For if we see why, we can bear any how.

To me that is a reasonable explanation for disasters of any kind.

One penultimate thing: if any person does NOT know that they are to lvoe all words and suffers anyway, even tho ignorance of the law is no excuse for not suffering the penalty of breaking it, that lack of Love is not held against them in any way.

One last thing as a test of that hypothesis:
In Ache province, in Indonesia, off of whose shoreline occurred the epicenter of the 9.0 quake that led to the Tsunami,
the Govt hated the terrorists
the terrorists hated the govt.
Is it a good guess that they each also hated quakes and tsunamis?

And here is God talking in Love to each:

Ezekiel 23:28
28For thus saith the Lord GOD;
Behold, I will deliver thee
into the hand of them whom thou hatest,
into the hand of them from whom thy mind is alienated:

With all the mis-hatred in this world,
each group of haters tends to get exactly what they were hating and fearing to not get.

Hatred of self is so full fear and guilt,
That it spills itself in fearing to be spilt. Hamlet 4.5.

LOVE …is a strange brooch in this all-HATING world.
KING RICHARD II Act 5, Scene 5

Think about the bad things that have happened to you:
Think back: Did you love it or hate it before it happened?
there it is!

By pre-loving all pairs of opposite words, we pre-pair our minds with the one right Prejudice of Love for all things, and so pre-expect the best and pre-vent the worse and pre-pare for the worse all at one stroke, all in the one key of Love.


Hi Aquarian,

Good post. So follow your logic to the end: since God can NOT be all-good, he MUST be ALL-LOVING for the good and for the bad!

That All-Love is what makes meaningfulness out of meaninglessness since Love also loves being meaningful!!

When I mean less to you than your family, am I not meaningless to you? Yes? Right! So? So there is meaning in meaninglessness and in the meaningless! see? So as with Gandhi, AS his killer was killing him, said I Love you, so too there IS everything meaningful with a 500 mph tsunami coming down on me: NOTHING can stop our Love when we love everything!

People only call events meaningless when they hate being meaningless!

Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations. Alfred Adler

A person’s opinion of himself and the environment can best be deduced from the meaning he finds in life and from the meaning he gives to his own life. Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler.

“We insist life must have a meaning - but it can have no more meaning than we ourselves are able to give it.
Because individuals can do this only imperfectly, religions and philosophers have tried to supply a comforting answer to the question.
The answers all amount to the same thing: Love alone can give life meaning.
In other words: the more capable we are of Love, and of giving Love to ourselves, the more
meaning there will be in our lives.”
Herman Hesse (1877-1962) Reflections

Therefore, if you follow thru in each aspect of your thoughts,
God is also NOT omnipotent,
NOT omniscient,
NOT omipresent,
NOT omniwise,
NOT omnibenevolent,
except OMNILOVING for all the potent and the impotent,
for all the knowing and unknowing,
forall the present and the absent and the future.

HATE FOR imperfections=supposedly equals=sin
sin=HATE FOR suffering=possible to stop sin WITH LOVE=since we are imperfect BUT CAN HAVE PERFECT LOVE FOR THE PERFECT AND FOR THE IMPERFECT

here is blake to encourage you:

If a fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
~ William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93). Proverbs of Hell

Without Contraries is no progression.
Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy,
Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.
William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”


Hi iloveu.

I guess I see what you mean. Yet, we have to consider the classical conditioning of the many ‘‘natural evils’’ innocent people go through, especially this one horrible tragedy (death toll is at 52,000). It takes time to assimiliate both mentally and emotionally, the enormity of an event like the tragedy of two days ago.

Certainly ‘‘love’’ requires some sort of emotion which is triggered by the chemicals in the brain. Dopamine rushes through the brain which makes us feel good, norepinephrine flows through the brain stimulating production of adrenaline. These chemicals sometimes override brain activity that governs logical thinking.

Which is why when we consider if ‘‘imperfections lead to suffering’’–how is it that we can tell that to the victims? Do you see what I mean, iloveu?

Love is needed, I very much agree with you. And it is now that we have to love the victims of this unfortunate tragedy :frowning:

Best Regards,

I think this is an unjustified assumption.

And to reiterate, all, each and every human being (and the poor ‘innocent’ animals too) will die. How does the manner of death makes a death more unfair, unjust or unkind than another? Surely God is just, or else he is not God.

Death is a tragedy only to the living - even, in these times, to all the far-flung living observors all around the world. We fret, squirm, complain, blame, sneer, ridicule, curse, mourn, cry, etc precisely because of the discomfort it caused us. And of course the shock, fear and horror too. The dead knows no such things.

And this discomfort arises from the meaning of this mighty demonstration of the absolute sovereignty (apparent arbitrariness if you like) of an unknown power in the world. Some hate to call this power God; some are stirred to know to ‘control’ such a power or at least to ameliorate its effects; and yet others resign to the fact that we are but frail humans subject to the tryanny of Nature (or god, gods or God).

God is God of the living and not of the dead.

Innocent people…Lost love…We cry out why? We want complete answers. God offers Himself instead. Right now we need to weep with those who weep, knowing that somehow God will work this disaster into His eternal plan. Somehow the pain and suffering will draw those involved, and perhaps those not directly involved together. Now is not a time to turn from God, but rather a time to turn to Him for mercy, and comfort…for an easing of the immense pain…for recovery…for rebuilding…for renewed love…for renewed lives.

HELP, OH LORD! Help those affected, and all of us, to somehow become better, rather than bitter.

Mcgrady001, if you call us pots one more time, I will have no choice but to make you look like a complete fool.

Uhhhh, ‘we’? I don’t cry out why. It’s called plate tectonics. The plates move; It is part of nature. That is all.

As for why a god would let this happen (if one exists), maybe even “god” is bound by the laws of nature. Either that or “god” doesn’t like life forms living on the coasts.

I am mourning the friends I found in Sri Lanka, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Moslems and the Christians who were friendly towards me and my wife last year. We were planning to return in 2005, but the village and the hotel are gone. According to the news, our friends are probably dead too, since they lived on the coast in the south.

Now you may say that I am touchy, but I find it abominable that some molly-coddled Christian should sit in front of his computer out of range and write something like this:

Why don’t these people just shut up! It makes me sick to read the drivel they are continually pouring out, written without the least compassion. What has such a statement to do with Christ? Why do they even think they could be followers of someone who cried for his people, after seeing how they were being led astray and how they were labouring and heavy burdened without the chance of rest, ease or peace.

If Christ would have us pray for our enemies, what should we do when we see how innocent people are befallen by some tragedy? What would he make of our sitting back and philosophising that it “is an unjustified assumption” to say ‘innocents’. How can you shut out the suffering and mourning in such a way - unless you are a block of concrete? How much do I long for the day when God says “And I have turned aside the heart of stone out of your flesh and I have given to you a heart of flesh.”