Monday, February 8, 2010

Mother Nature is Neither Compassionate nor Moral

January 17, 2010
Dallas, Texas

Mother Nature is Neither Compassionate nor Moral
By Saeed Qureshi

The Haiti’s colossal earthquake instills in the mind, the unshakable inference that the Mother Nature is devoid of compassion and morality. Otherwise, in the first place, such a devastating seismic convulsion would not have taken place, in which 100,000 human beings perished and many more were maimed just in 30 seconds. To be honest if Nature was compassionate and merciful all the calamities and disasters that have been visiting upon human race from the beginning and that devoured humans in countless numbers would not have happened.

The nature is the apparent mechanism that governs the universe from an atom to the expanding contours of the universe. All cosmos and matter whether visible or hidden is what nature is all about. It is the system behind these manifestations of existence. If there was compassion and morality in nature then the pillage, devastation and horrendous pogroms that were inflicted by powerful invaders on the weaker and the defeated nations or human races would have never taken place.

The creation and the destruction are two facets of nature that run parallel but happening at a time of nature’s bidding. How Egyptians Pharaohs could found their majestic dynasties on human blood lasting for millenniums! The Romans, the Byzantine, the Persian, the Greek and Islamic empires, among others, would not have wrought indescribable havoc on the rival habitations and civilizations of their contemporary times. The civilizations perished due to the onslaughts of the more powerful invaders who by adopting monstrous strategies of parched earth and ethnic cleansing eliminated the whole populations in the conquered areas. We can count innumerable wars between the combatant nations that resulted in complete butchery and massacres of the entire inhabitants brought under control by dint of sword.

The human toll in the known history, on account of earthquakes, famines, floods, volcanic eruptions, invasions, battlefield casualties, genocides, tsunamis, hurricanes and natural disasters comes to roughly between 500 million and 1000 million. Now if nature had intervened by virtue of compassion or morality all these deaths could have been saved. It didn’t happen. The genocides of humans by humans after the invasions run into 70 to 100 million in case of Mongols’ invasions alone.
All those human dwellings that were pillaged and burnt by Mongols must have such people who were righteous, devout in their faiths, staunch believers in god, innocent children and helpless women. They must have prayed to the divine supreme power to save their lives from the savagery of the invaders who knew no mercy. But all were slaughtered indiscriminately. Same happened in European, American wars both religious and otherwise. In World War I and II roughly 100 million humans died. Catholics killed their rivals in faith. Franks, Gothic and Vikings exterminated the civilized populations in Europe. But all these barbarities did not spare even the virtuous people whom nature and divine powers witnessed being killed by the merciless warriors and beheaded by the swords. The Aztecs notorious for human sacrifices killed someone million people for the sake of their gods. The list is distressingly unending.

The chapels, the synagogues the mosques, the temples and the monasteries are places of worship for the people who believe that a system of mercy and redemption through prayers existed. But invariably during the natural catastrophes the houses of worship despite moving invocation by the faithful collapse like other buildings.

Jerusalem the sacred city to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike was burnt several times by the alternating occupation armies of different religious persuasions. It was never saved by nature because of its being a holy place. Same is true in case of the holiest places of other religions including the Muslim holiest place in Mecca. This year alone a few hundred pilgrims died either because of stampede, floods or heat.

In the gruesome bloodletting between religious combatants, for the sake of their faith, one of them must be right or both wrong. But it all matters who is strong irrespective of the rectitude, obedience, benedictions, being god fearing or a symbol of good behavior. All are treated alike by nature without any exception either in doling bounties and blessings or inflicting disasters or ruinations and destructions. But while prayers may be ineffective and Mother Nature totally imperious to the heartiest invocations of the believers, the reward for the truthful believers is reserved in the world that will come after death at a time no one knows.

It means whether man is good or bad, prays or not, worships or no, is sinful or not, he is equally vulnerable to the fury, tyranny and vagaries of nature in this world. However, the sufferings of this world will have their spill over in the next world when nature will be replaced into two abodes of hell and heaven. It means good and bad deeds are relevant only to the next world or the hereafter. So in this material world the nature’s merciless outbursts are the fait accompli. Perhaps nature’s apparent disasters are aimed at maintaining balance in the order of physical things even if it tramples human sensibilities, overrides the ethical moorings of religion and ignores good social behavior such as kindness and an upright life. Man is subservient to the writ of the nature and nature is not bound by humans’ joys or sufferings.

Yet amazingly, the other elements of nature on which the human survival depends remain in a transfixed or constant proportion and the minutest variation in their quantity or value would destroy the whole living being both human and animals. Take the example of oxygen that is lifeline for all living beings. Negligible decrease or increase in its quantity would sound death knell for the living species. As Freeman Dyson points out that, “if the force between protons and neutrons becomes a little stronger, the universe would be devoid of hydrogen and stars and water would vanish”.
So there must be a method in the madness of nature visible in the violent manifestations via earthquakes and volcanoes etc. One may call it immoral and callous from human perceptions but these phenomena will never cease to happen.

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