When Your World Rocks

The prophet Amos famously dates his oracles as “two years before the earthquake.” In ancient times (and some modern, dimly lit regions of some religious minds) earthquakes were thought to be signs of divine displeasure. We lost that naïve, magical view with the discovery of tectonic plates and fault zones, but it is hard not to take earthquakes personally. A third major earthquake of the year hit Turkey on Sunday, leaving further human distress in its wake. While scientists assure us that earthquakes are not increasing in frequency, we nevertheless hear more and more about them.

Although we have the technology to build earthquake-proof buildings, the nations suffering from the recent quakes do not have the luxury of ensuring that those who live around fault zones all have housing to withstand that unsuspected temblor. Those who cannot afford high cost housing are fated to be victims. We don’t cause the earthquakes, but we can ensure that affluent cities will withstand them. Haiti, Chile, and Turkey seem a long way distant.

Whose fault is it anyway?

Scanning the unfair distribution of wealth across the world, it is far easier to see an angry god behind an earthquake than it is to relinquish our personal gain. Perhaps it is a result of our biological urge to survive that we constantly seek to increase our own advantage while shaking our heads sadly as people we don’t know become the victims. Meanwhile neo-cons and prosperity gospelers bray loudly that wealth is their god’s reward for lives of righteousness in this wicked world. It is a scenario worthy of Amos himself.

3 thoughts on “When Your World Rocks

  1. Henk van der Gaast

    I assume you are talking about what we standards folk call “fit for purpose”.

    We live on this planet with 6 billion or so others. Its hard not to justify not spending money to get them all up to speed economically.

    It’s damning that of the worlds population, you couldn’t make a fair, equitable organisation to carry what you and I would like… without bungling it!

    Post modernism for Amos was tough, very, very tough in light of what went to grow out of righteous thought. Thank goodness he died before he had a chance to see it.


  2. Steve Wiggins

    Well said! I shudder when I see any human progress shut down in the States by the mere mention of the word “socialism” or any such moniker. Here it is everyone for him or herself!


  3. Henk van der Gaast

    Ever heard of the invocation “there are two sides to a coin”?

    It’s not something you can apply to a human’s thinking process or its power.

    Some philosophies have it that we should have rigid systems or utopias to achieve our goals.

    History has it that there is a cosmic “too hard basket” or Governments manage only to the point of the “S.E.P.” (see the Hitch Hikers Guide).

    Frankly, for every great development in science, the world has to philosophize for a goodly period before acting on it. Some decisions are fatal, some philosophies are fatal.

    We do move on slowly and maybe there will be a utopia of sorts.

    Frankly, that will be for people you or I wouldn’t recognise as a relative.


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