Why Disasters — like typhoons, say — Happen.
There is much nonsense about all this being evidence of God’s non-existence to be heard from one side to numb the skull and to make one epileptically flail about. Where was God, they ask, when it all happened, or why wasn’t he around? Why is it that they require God to attend to their moment to moment happiness like some genie in a lamp as though everyone ought to be in a state of eternal bliss if He existed is my question.
The other side fares no better, unfortunately. One hears a lot — a rather fortunate lot — insensitively extolling God’s love for them, evidenced apparently by the fact that they were spared! God must not have loved those who were killed, is what’s being unwittingly said. While there are those who, in Pat Robertson-esque fashion, claim it all to be divine retribution of some sort, which makes one wonder what exactly these victims did, or why exactly they deserved to die, or, more importantly, why exactly they deserved to die in such a horrible manner. I mean, the Canaanites, on whom God exacted divine justice according to scripture, only beheaded their own children as a sacrifice to their gods — mundane stuff, I know!
Why do these things — these horrible, horrible things — happen, anyway?
Theologically speaking, it’s just that they do. The world is the way it is, operating with regularity. Typhoons, earthquakes, fires, and what have you, are really just products of the world’s — actually, universe’s — regularity. Things bump into each other, and that’s all well and fine, until people get in between those which bump into each other and end up, well, dead, in the process.
If the world didn’t operate with regularity, then guess what? Morality becomes impossible. How so? Think of it this way: moral decision-making requires weighing options and choosing that which produces the best (read:the most moral) outcome. Thusly, if the world operated non-regularly, then there’s no point in deciding anything. I mean, what’s the point in doing good if it ends up making people the worst for it; what’s the point in helping if by doing so you’re actually, um, not helping, as will be the case in a world operating less than rationally.
In other words, stuff (or shit, if you prefer) just happens because that’s how it must be. That’s all; that’s it. It is certainly the more theologically parsimonious explanation compared to the nuttier ones above. And that stuff of this sort happens is hardly evidence for God’s non-existence, as the atheist keeps (rather stupidly, in my opinion) claiming.