Please explain

Will Bill O’Reilly or anyone else who saw the hand of God in the safe landing of US Airways Flight 1549 this January please explain why God chose not to save Continental Connection Flight 3407, which plunged into a house outside of Buffalo last night, killing all 49 people on board and a resident on the ground?

Among the explanations which will not be accepted: “humans cannot possibly fathom God’s mysterious ways.”  Oh yes they can, apparently—when something good happens.  Having found proof of God’s love in the safe conclusion of US Airways Flight 1549, believers cannot now turn around and claim that God’s ways are veiled just because something disastrous happens.  If it’s legitimate to infer beneficence from a happy outcome, it is equally plausible to infer malice or at least indifference from a negative outcome.  You can’t pick and choose the actions in which you find God’s will transparent.

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277 Responses to Please explain

  1. Centerman says:

    It’s so comforting to feel god’s love… to bad it’s all in your head. There’s absolutely no proof of any supreme being. That’s reality folks. Not wishful thinking or superstition AKA religion. Once again s Derb has written, “If god exists, he may as well not.”

  2. Mark says:

    They didn’t have time to pray and besides they were probably all gay abortionist drug using atheists.

  3. Mark says:

    Not sure how crashing a plane into the water could be considered anything other than a great loss.

  4. Heather Mac Donald: Among the explanations which will not be accepted: “humans cannot possibly fathom God’s mysterious ways.” Oh yes they can, apparently—when something good happens.

    It’s beyond human comprehension. The Bible does say blessing is reserved for believers. Something good happening may not be God’s will, but His permissive will. Why do the wicked prosper? It isn’t God’s will. To believe something good that happens is God’s will is also presumptive.

  5. Scott: After the way god treated me for so many years

    What did God do to you?

  6. Auvi says:

    Jeus’s weapon was “thunder”
    Similarly modern day Gods use “birds” and shoot them at Plane’s Engine

  7. Kaitlyn says:

    I just find it completely fascinating that US Airways is applauded for their crash landing… and the pilot celebrated.. for doing.. HIS JOB. They are, after all, specifically trained to deal with the situations that may arise while in the air. Congratulations to him for paying attention in pilot school, and taking special note in doing the right thing. It’s just really grating to see everyone reward a staff so blindly over doing what they’re supposed to.

  8. Heather says:

    Atoms, friends. Atoms and quarks and elements.

    If there is a God, he does not care about us. At best, he created us and left us. These two plane crashes just happened to end the way they did. You all will believe the way you do. Do not waste your time arguing with each other.

  9. Wow…..

    no wonder the rest of the world hates americans.

  10. Pastafarian says:

    Obviously, the plane that landed on the Hudson was touched by the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Noodly Appendage. Anyone can see that. If you don’t believe this, then you will miss out on the beer volcano when your soul departs this Earthly plane.

  11. Scuba says:

    I’m with Kafir, God wanted to punish the guy in the house and, unfortunately for the people on the plane, it was the closest thing at hand.

  12. Caledonian says:

    “It’s just really grating to see everyone reward a staff so blindly over doing what they’re supposed to.”

    We’ve become so conditioned to expect incompetence that, when confronted with an example of competence exercised in a way that we approve of, it seems almost heroic.

  13. Eran Jada says:

    The correct answer is: There is no God.

  14. Mitch says:

    HERE HERE. I couldn’t have said it better myself. These stupid logical fallacies have been what is continually perpetuating religious beliefs.

  15. Mitch says:

    You’re not being serious are you?

  16. Martin says:

    Im with steve

  17. J says:

    I seems clear that many of you are taking this as a joke. But in reality those people have died and their families are devastated. I am from buffalo and my father had a ticket on that flight but ended up switching to an earlier flight amazingly. My views on God are not very strong because I don’t necessarily understand religion, but if God exists- that day was when he existed to me.

  18. Em says:

    @Machine Gun
    If your answer is god created the Big Bang, then you will end up in the endless loop of:
    – who created god?
    – god wasn’t created, god was the beginning.
    then one bright dude might say, well Big Bang wasn’t created! Big Bang was the beginning. You call it god, I call it Big Bang! At least I’m not claiming that Big Bang secretly talked to a messenger and told him to go tell everybody else …

  19. Gotchaye says:

    J, for what it’s worth, I think that everyone here understands that this really was a terrible thing. The very fact of its terrible-ness is what all of the joking is drawing on – some see it as absurd, and comical in a rather morbid way, that there are people who can see the hand of an all-loving God in the fact that, sometimes, people don’t die in plane crashes.

    I don’t think anyone means to make light of the deaths of these people; the humor is found in the beliefs of certain other people. The comedy is in imputing horrific but absurd beliefs (“God wanted to punish the guy in the house…”) to certain Christians as the logical result of their way of thinking about plane crashes that don’t kill people. In many ways, the jokes are meant to point out that the joker is the one that actually understands the tragedy here, whereas the religious explanation doesn’t confront it directly.

  20. casey says:

    @Machine Gun

    What a stupid remark. Of course there are atheists in foxholes (

  21. blufindr says:

    Ahahaha. I like this one.

    To be absolutely honest, though, I find this reason to be the main flaw of religion. There seems to be little logic in believing in an invisible man who kills and saves at will, yet claims to be all-loving etc.

  22. Teh Lawlz says:

    This thread simply makes me laugh. The fact that every single person who is completely ignorant to the idea of God’s existence or non-existence has something posted on here is so entertaining. God, with the assumption that God exists, does not have an omnipotent hand in every act that is ever carried out on Earth. It is very possible that it all came down to the circumstances of the two crashes. One pilot was able to make something of it, while the other pilot just did not have the experience or maybe even the ability to fully control the airplane enough to bring it down somewhat safely. If God did have a hand in both situations or even just one. The reasoning would, more then likely, go beyond anything any of us could comprehend, even if we were told.

  23. Gotchaye says:

    Good job missing the point, buddy.

  24. Blackbird (not the one further up) says:

    just to clarify the big bang thing. (it is not actually certain, just the theory with the most evidence). think of a set of numbers that has one way in which they continue. we don’t know what this is yet. However we can make guesses as to which number comes next and we can make logical guesses at which numbers came before. We can make guesses at when this sequence began (if it ever did). Making logical guesses based on what we see. Not all of them will be right, only one or two, but if we keep them all open to query we will find one that works eventually. But suppose someone says that the first number was in fact ‘a’ a letter, not a number at all, not even from the same realm as numbers, and proclaims it is the start because the number they see at that time makes them think of the letter ‘a’. They also decide they are right and that all other ideas preceding it (or even succeeding it) are wrong. This logic is flawed. If you can’t see why, then i have no means of helping you 🙂

  25. Bob says:

    Simple, There is no god.. He wouldnt have allowed 9/11 😉

  26. Heather Mac Donald says:

    J writes:

    I am from buffalo and my father had a ticket on that flight but ended up switching to an earlier flight amazingly. My views on God are not very strong because I don’t necessarily understand religion, but if God exists- that day was when he existed to me.

    With all respect to J, what I remain puzzled by is the following, which is true of all such claims of God’s intervention: If God kept your father off that plane; if you attribute your father’s extraordinary good luck to God’s concern for him–and I am sure that your father would deserve the solicitude of any humane God–why didn’t God keep the other passengers off the plane as well, since they were also wonderful people whose loss has devastated their families and friends? If you say that you can’t understand this, then it seems to me that you or anyone else also have little reason to attribute a positive outcome to God.

  27. Superbia says:

    I wonder if the proprietors of this site are satisfied having generated comment threads like the one above. Is this what you intended to elicit from us conservatives? A gang blog to make public our private doubts about faith? To what end? To let off some steam?

    The post that caused this bumper crop of snark was as simple-minded as the straw man Ms. Mac Donald invokes. You spend your energy battling superficial notions generated by tabloid TV show hosts, notions held close to the heart of those without the wit to represent their inherited position in the ancient debate of theodicy, and yet notions that provide comfort to many. To what end? Are you satisfied with your yield?

    This “Secular Right” niche, and the aggressive impulse that launched this site, will likely fade into the thrice-removed nihilism that provided its initial enthusiasm. I get it — you thought you needed a pressure valve. You wanted a place to let loose your frustrations. Welcome to the internet. But your arguments are thin. They’ve been asked and answered, insofar as they can be, by superior minds whose work you are not sufficiently acquainted with. At least that’s my presumption. Why don’t you redirect your frustrated energies to study instead? Isn’t that what conservatives are supposed to? Look to the past, the best that has been thought and said? Rather than Bill O’Reilly?

    For the man on the street to presume that God took a hand in affecting a good outcome is the same as expressing, “God is good.” For someone to presume God was absent in the causation of a bad event is like saying, “God is good.” How clever to emphasize the inconsistency. How dishonest to discount the principle animating the inconsistency.

    But what if God isn’t good? What if he doesn’t exist at all! You haven’t even mastered the intricacies of such existential mysteries. What do you expect the man on the street to do with them? What is the point of spreading your peculiar confusions to the likes of Bill O’Reilly’s audience? I mean, maybe there are good reasons to make every Tom, Dick, and Harry deeply conversant in theological controversies — but was that really your mission in starting this blog?

    I am a conservative who appreciates that people who otherwise cannot express their ineffable gratitude for the good persist expressing their gratitude in simple enough ways for Ms. Mac Donald to logically dissect in a blog post. This whole niche movement is vicious.

    “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” The great religious traditions give everyone a defense, no matter what his reasoning capacity, even if it comes out as, “Just because!” or “‘cuz God says so!” If you are satisfied dueling with the Just Because crowd, your entire effort here is in vain. But know that their Just Becauses are backed by centuries and millennia of rather brilliant, accumulative wisdom that swallows up this “” twaddle like an acid droplet in the ocean.

    I saw God’s hand in both flights. I also saw human volition, human weakness and human virtue. That is the tragic condition we all inherit in relation to all things, both tragic and heroic, on this mortal coil. Goes with the fabric of our being. I’m sorry that Ms. Mac Donald will “not … accept[]” those of us who attempt to “fathom God’s mysterious ways” in fear and trembling. I can only presume her fathoming of the infinite is a more pleasant and more successful experience than mine (and most of the world’s) has been.

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