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Science in the land where gods reign JAKARTA - Iyan Nurmansyah, living in Oxford in the United Kingdom wrote an opinion on the website of The Jakarta post last week. I will just copy the reaction below. He seems to point at the exact problems Indonesia is facing; corruption, religion and ignorant people. Speaks for itself I suppose.

A few days after the Sumatra earthquake, a friend of mine told me that she was lost for words when her daughter asked her: "Mother, why did God send us an earthquake? Why should we worship a God who sends us natural disasters and miseries relentlessly?"

It is not only children who ask this kind of question in the aftermath of natural disasters, especially ones on a massive scale like the Aceh tsunami and the more recent Sumatra earthquake.

Many say that God is angry with us. They say the Indonesians deserve the punishment because of their sins. Clerics and priests urge us to ask forgiveness from God. In the words of Muslim clerics, taubat nasuhah (an act of contrition to God) is what the Indonesians have to do.

Others confidently say natural disasters are signs the apocalypse has come nearer. To make matters worse, some of our media give too much space to upholders of theological paradigms which explain earthquakes, instead of asking scientists to provide a scientific explanation.

When it comes to the list of "sins" that those clerics and priest refer to, nobody will dispute it. It is our personal freedom to choose whether we want to believe theological or scientific paradigms. However, it is reckless to say natural disasters are God's decision.

I wonder how many of us are still surprised that we often hear that donations and funds for the victims are stolen or embezzled. Recent news from the West Sumatra earthquake is that many ethnic Chinese reported that they were extorted.

Crime against disaster victims reflects that our disaster management is extremely poor despite the fact that Indonesia lies in one of the most naturally volatile regions in the world. Theological paradigms in explaining earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions are partly responsible for the inefficiency of our disaster management.



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Related blog entries (category 'Religion') Tags: islam, corruption, eartquake, padang

© The Jakarta Post
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Posted in Religion @ 18 October 2009 12:38 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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(Edited) Posted @ 19 October 2009 12:25





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