You always hear christians saying how this or that disaster is punishment from god. I always wonder what christians say when something happens to them. Do they go around saying that god is punishing them for their sins or do they blame the devil for these events.
I had to work today and when I was headed that way I came upon a fire which was burning inside a church. The volunteer firefighters had only arrived shortly before me because they were just getting the hoses run out. I was unable to get a photo of all the smoke rolling out of the church because it would have been a bit dangerous to at that time. There were probably 5 different fire engines from brush buggies to large fire trucks there. The second time I went by it I was able to get a few pictures that showed some of the fire trucks and this time there were at least 2 county mounties there with them. Since there were so many vehicles on or near the road this was as close as I felt it was safe for taking any pictures from a moving vehicle. This time by they seemed confident they had the fire out and were putting the hoses up. It had been about 2 1/2 hours since I first went by it.
The third time I went by there were people trying to get some of the stuff from inside out into the sun to dry it seemed to me. From the photo above you can see some of the damage to the west side of the church up near the top. It didn't see to be as much fire damage but smoke damage and where they might have busted it away to get water to the fire.
The final time by the church I was able to get these last two pictures and it seems to me that most of the damage was on the inside unless the back of the church was burned a lot more then the other three sides. The top of the church had fallen in some but it didn't seem that the fire had gotten to far out of control by the time the fire fighters got to work. I would say they are probably lucky it was a Saturday morning, otherwise many of the people that came to fight it would have been at work or on their way to work.
I wish I lived a little closer to where this church is located or knew a few people that lived in the area. I want to know what rumors are flying around about the cause of the fire. I could believe that many of the members are wanting to say it was arson or an attack by the devil. I very much doubt that they are going around saying they are being punished by their god. I figure it was an electrical fire but wouldn't be surprised if the reasons being used for the fire run the gambit from satanist to muslims. I have a brother that goes to church and runs the sound system. Many of these older churches are running probably 4 or 5 times as much electricity as they did when they were first built. The failure of the members to understand that with the added draw of power by many of the new systems they use is what happens when you think some god is watching over you.
Right now I am working in an area where a tornado went though on April 30th. There are many in the area that seem to have the same mind set that anything bad that happens to them is the devil and all the good is because of god. Why do these people always want to blame sin when it happens to others but never blame their own sins when it happens to them?
Update: The police are investigating this as an arson fire. They have arrested a guy for burning another church in the area and suspect him of setting this one on fire.
I do something still today that used to really piss my ex-wife off. I would find a subject and start thinking about it heavily. I have been reading a few old blogs I used to read often until they quit publishing. The one I was reading that led to this post was about how religious people claim it takes faith to believe in science. It seems to me that this type of statement requires you to redefine the word faith. We know that faith is believing something without the evidence to support that view. I know of no science that is based on no evidence.
I have conducted no studies nor do I plan to about this topic. The points I plan on making here are my opinions and mine alone. Some of the differences I see between these two types of people are scientist tend to avoid saying they are 100% sure and always welcome challenges. I have met a few theist that seem to welcome challenges but once you start showing the evidence against their view they tend to get less and less willing to accept anything but their own words. Most that believe in any religion tend to be 100% sure of their views and will throw any evidence out with the bathwater if it doesn't fit their views. Yes a scientist will have some faith in his/her new hypothesis but will tend to have more trust in his/her abilities. A scientist might not like it but if their idea is proven wrong to them, they will accept it and modify their views to fit the new evidence. Many religious people will ignore any evidence or throw the devil into the mix to avoid admitting they are wrong. Most scientist will keep up with any advances in their fields and those that are related to it. I can't say that i know of any people who are religious that keep up with advances other religions make other then the methods which will get them more followers.
Do both scientist and theist use fear to advance their views? Is money the main reason either of these groups attempt to advance their views? I know theist use fear as a tool to advance their religion but I don't think it is used by most scientist. There are some but most people who use fear to advance science aren't actually scientist. The problem is that most non-scientist see the fear invoked by these other none scientist as coming from scientist. Yes money is always a factor in both fields. The difference I see is that most scientist use the money they struggle to get to help all of mankind while religions tend to use it to just advance their own views and could care less about the harm done to others. I have no way of knowing the full numbers but I would be willing to bet all I have that less then 50% of the money given to churches actually helps anyone outside of that church. I would be about 75% willing to bet less then 25% goes to those in need outside the churches.
I have been doing some research into morals and how we might come about with the morals we do. I know most religious people claim it is their god that gives us our morals but I just can't see that. The main problem I see with this claim is that christian morals change with society but by their claims they shouldn't change at all. I like the example of how the laws and morals of people began to change after women got the right to vote here in the USA. Once women started voting many politicians began to enact laws which helped women. It has taken many years but the morals of people have changed when it comes to many crimes committed against women. There are other areas where religious claim morals but their actions don't support their views. Some of these areas are charity, murder, rape, and war. They talk about how their god is all about peace but will condone all the above as long as it is for their god.