A writer for the Guardian, sees the lack of God in a natural disaster.
Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | How can religious people explain something like this?: "Certainly the giant waves generated by the quake made no attempt to differentiate between the religions of those whom it made its victims. Hindus were swept away in India, Muslims were carried off in Indonesia, Buddhists in Thailand. Visiting Christians and Jews received no special treatment either. This poses no problem for the scientific belief system. Here, it says, was a mindless natural event, which destroyed Muslim and Hindu alike.
A non-scientific belief system, especially one that is based on any kind of notion of a divine order, has some explaining to do, however. What God sanctions an earthquake? What God protects against it? Why does the quake strike these places and these peoples and not others? What kind of order is it that decrees that a person who went to sleep by the edge of the ocean on Christmas night should wake up the next morning engulfed by the waves, struggling for life?
From at least the time of Aristotle, intelligent people have struggled to make some sense of earthquakes. Earthquakes do not merely kill and destroy. They challenge human beings to explain the world order in which such apparently indiscriminate acts can occur. Europe in the 18th century had the intellectual curiosity and independence to ask and answer such questions. But can we say the same of 21st-century Europe? Or are we too cowed now to even ask if the God can exist that can do such things?"
Of course, this is all mere blather and not rational thinking, a mode of thinking that atheists like to talk about. The fact of immense natural disasters is neither proof of the existence of God nor of the non-existence of God. After all, in older, vanished religions, man's life and well-being was considered to be of little concern to the Gods. Certainly, one can question what kind of God allows such things to happen. It is fair to ask.
The answer perhaps lies here:
Those of us who have learned enough about nature to live in harmony with it are less prone to suffer from natural disasters, or to put it perhaps more clearly, we are just as subject to natural disasters as less developed nations, we suffer from them less. We have learned to avoid the life ending consequences of many such disasters by building buildings which can withstand the shaking by learning how nature operates and avoiding the consequences of getting in nature's way. One must also comment on the astonishingly anthropocentric assumption which underlies the atheist's question which assumes that God's purpose, if there is a God, was to cause the devastation to humans and their works rather than accomplishing some other purpose.
It should be noted that significant geographical changes have occurred as a result of this earthquake. To what end, we do not know.