Board index Terror Attacks and School Shootings

Tragedy is ever with us. Let's talk about it.

The Boston Bombing

Postby jimwalton » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:10 am

The Boston Marathon bombing—another tragic event in people’s lives. Will the hatred, stupidity, and senseless violence never stop? It makes me think of Psalm 55.1-8.

I have noticed through this seemingly unending train of tragedy that the worst that people do brings out the best that people do. The horrific nature of the event motivates people to care, service, compassion, and purpose. Tragedy shows what resilience we have, and a true spirit of love and kindness to each other. It is what makes us human: hope of purpose and significance, love, and motions of morality and rationality.

Some claim that the existence of evil proves there is no God, and yet if good comes out of the pain (as it does with successful surgery), then the suffering turns out not to have been meaningless. Evil does not prove there is no God; the existence of goodness in the face of evil reveals that to be a lie. If we have evolved in an empty universe out of what is only impersonal, and by chance, then the hope, love, and service we saw yesterday are ultimately meaningless and rationally unfulfillable. We’re just being awfully nice people for no particular reason. If all of life is meaningless and ultimately absurd, why bother (honestly) to help each other instead of fleeing (so that the fittest survive)?

The love that was shown yesterday (and at Newtown, and at 9/11, and at…) means facing the forces that destroy to overcome them. It’s a voice that says people matter, that life has meaning, that it’s reasonable to love and have compassion, that there is a reason to not destroy each other.

What sense does it make for a person to put his own life at risk (another bomb might discharge) to save ultimately meaningless people (we’re just chemicals) whom he doesn’t even know (no vested interest)? The reaction of care-givers after the Boston bombing gives evidence that humanity started with a personal beginning and therefore there is intrinsic meaning to personality.

Humans are able both to rise to great heights and to sink of great depths of cruelty and tragedy. Either there is no spiritual reality, and we are simply too small to deal with the cruelties of life that confront us, or else there is true evil in the world—a spiritual reality—that must be met by other spiritual realities.

Christianity speaks an answer to all of these dilemmas. There is a God who is good. There is a hope of a solution to the dilemmas of humanity, including man’s inhumanity to man. And there is a sufficient basis for morals.
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