1. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Why do natural disasters happen?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Domoviye, May 9, 2007.

    I'm about to start writing a zombie apocalypse story where religion, of all kinds, will be a central part of the plot.
    Now, what I would like are peoples opinions on why God/gods (of your religion of choice), allows really bad natural disasters to occur. I'm talking about completely natural disasters like the 2004 Tsunami, droughts, earthquakes, and things like that. Ordinary evil between people I have well covered.

    I already have a few different viewpoints for the characters in the story, but they tend to be different aspects of my point of view, mixed with cheesy after school tv movies, with some hardcore extremism thrown in for flavour.
    So if you know of some good places I could look up different points of view on this question, or would like to put your own views, or someone else's views that you found interesting it would be greatly appreciated.

    Please note that this is purely for research, I don't want any arguments, or even stern debates on this. The most questioning I will do to anyones post is asking for clarification if I don't understand something. I will notify moderators if I see something that looks like an attack.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    My view on religion is pretty skewed up compared to the classic thoughts (I think religion ought to be a relationship, not a ritual), and I would be the first to accept that my worldview is pretty childish, so I always kind of put it down to: Things that look bad tend to happen for a good reason, and if they don't, I figger it's just some force going against God at work.

    Now, I know that writing that up here is like asking to be bombarded with "LOL RETARD"-type comments, but like I said, I admit I have a very childish outlook on life, and I don't want to be the first to change it- it's worked for me so far. So please keep any angry comments to yourself.
     
  3. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Thanks Ivan.
    And I don't have a problem with your idea. That's actually going to be the main 'hope' for most of the minor characters in the story. And probably one or two major ones as well.
    Cheers
     
  4. stav
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    stav New Member

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    There are numerous reasons, among them passive, active, and causitive.

    For example, in Norse mythology, earthquakes happen when snake venom drips on the bound Loki.

    I'm sure in others, volcanos signifiy trapped gods, goddesses, or other mythological creatures.

    In Christianity, disasters are often the result of a god's conscious will (i.e. the flood, sodom and gommorrah).

    I'd recommend taking a look into each religions' mythologies to see what pops up.
     
  5. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Thanks Stav.
    I know about God's will, and a few other religions (didn't know about the Norse though, thanks), but I'm more concerned right now with individual ideas.
    The story I have planned is a biological disease, supernatural things don't come into it. The religion aspect is how several hundred people react to it as they try to survive in an armed camp. So some people will decide its God's plan to purify the world, others that God is dead and the Devil is triumphant, and a few will decide that they need to purify the sinners anyway they can. (This is a little simplistic, but its the general idea.)
    I want individual peoples takes on this question, to help add some more depth to my characters. It's alright to have the main characters saying the usual things like God's will, and its the Apocalypse. But if someone gives me a point of view I haven't thought of, or in more detail, that can only help my story.

    Hope that clarified my question.
    Cheers
     
  6. Evelyn
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    Evelyn Senior Member

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    God has a sense of humor, and it's less like Noel Coward's than it is like Benny Hill's.
     
  7. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    You know God has a twisted sense of humor the moment you read the Bible. I mean, come on. A plague of frogs? A plague of locusts, sure, or maybe a plague of bacteria. But frogs? We're dealing with a mysterious mind here...
     
  8. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    You don't livein Australia... do you? We are currently batteling... well not me cause I'm int the southern end of Oz, but up north, part of Queensland, the cane toad (yes I know, toad not from but same thing!!!) has destroyed crops and is slowly making it's way into W.A.

    And around december we had a few plagues of locusts hanging around eating all the wheat.

    Maybe the world is ending!
     
  9. Alice in Wonderland
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    Alice in Wonderland Contributing Member

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    The butterfly effect.

    It's not exactly a religious view but I reckon you could bring it into play...
     
  10. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    Evelyn I'm definitely going to have at least one cameo appearance for a person saying that. I've practically come up with a scene for it. Thanks.

    Dropbear all of Australia's problems wouldn't have occurred if you just had some normal animals there. See all the hassles you get when you have things like platypuses and kangaroos wandering around.;)

    Alice, I hadn't thought of that. I'm going to have to give it some thought, but it would be an interesting little feature if I can get it worked out in my head properly. Muchas gracias.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the answer is in the question, folks!
     
  12. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Good answer. :D :redface:
     
  13. stav
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    stav New Member

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    I don't know how relevent the following is, but I've always been intrigued by a sort of twist on Pascal's Wager. If you know about PW, then just ignore - if not, I'll explain:

    PW is simply the argument that it's better to believe in a god than not, because you're covered either way, whereas if one exists and you don't believe, you could be in trouble.

    That said, I've always wondered what sort of interesting things could happen if there was a sizeable religious element/community that used the same sort of reasoning to apply unorthodox views about the supernatural. One possibility is that a god exists, but only favours those who question its existence. Another could be a god exists, but he's really the evil one. So on and so forth.

    As I said, perhaps this has no relevence to your project. But as you mentioned you were more about the social aspect of groups with respect to religion, it's at least a thought to add yet another dimension/twist to the story.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    also known as a CYA maneuver!
     
  15. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Thats useful to know Stav. I didn't know what it was called, but Terry Pratchett used it in one or two of his Discworld novels. So I know the general concept. Thanks for filling in the details.
    Anyways, while its not what I was looking for exactly, I can easily use it for at least one or two people when asked why still go to the makeshift church.
    Thanks.
     
  16. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    In fact, what he said was (From Hogfather: )

    "This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..."
     
  17. stav
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    stav New Member

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    :D

    Pratchett rules, haha.
     
  18. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Agreed.
    Thanks for posting it Ivan.
     
  19. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Why? Gods are supernatural beings anyway. Many cultures over the world have their own interpretation of one (or more). If I were to believe in, say, the Christian god then I'm bound to be in trouble if there is such a thing as Thor. Same again if I were to believe in the malevolence of Zeus I'll be in big Sh!t with the Christian god.

    I'm free from this trouble if I'm a non-believer. To even think that I could be in trouble if I don't believe in a god is to already pre-suppose a belief of an existence of a god thereby stating a contradiction. It's in the logic, peeps. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Personally, I think if everyone is right, everyone on that factor is wrong. the best part of religion is that logic doesn't ALWAYS apply. We're talking, as I have stated before, about a god who rained down a plague of frogs, "peeps." >.> It's not all about the logic and reasoning. It's...well, it's about the religion. It's like the obnoxious fourth-grader who sits in the back and yells out how the really cool magician is doing all his tricks. You don't want to know. You're just in for the ride.
     

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