JC stated: If as you say “natural disasters (et al)….are not about divine punishment.” Surely the question that floats through the discourse must be, ‘What IS it about then?’
God plans it all, OR he plans nothing. Let us not find convenient, faith based protection for a god whose actions just do not stand up to simple moral logic and reason.
I must also insist I do not mean to offend believers. It’s just that when we choose to open any Pandora’s Box, we must be prepared for controversy…at least. So when religions and faiths are bandied about on public forums like ours, there are views on offer that may not be equally simplistic or subservient. The reasoning could be discomforting and unpalatable.
We tend to ignore at our peril, the fact that faith creates its own truths. And not always can they bury reality.
On this, I believe we must hold god to account by the same ethical codes that all religions support for decent and acceptable conduct. The greater the power and authority…the greater the moral expectations must be. Our god is all-powerful and is also the supreme authority. So why then is there no moral code for him, by which his actions, or lack thereof, could be evaluated?
My own god falls mightily short…repeatedly….and I am not just talking about natural disasters. Also, divine punishment is a proven (motivational) myth….I am a living example of this. I am blessed beyond belief, emotionally and materially, by my god.