Acts of God or acts of man?

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My first thought when my friend said he preferred not to drive when it was raining was that he might be over-reacting or trying to stall for time. After all, one of the main purposes of having a car in rainy and sunny Singapore was so that one can get wherever he or she wanted to go to - rain or shine. Neither of us were in a hurry to get anywhere so we had coffee instead while the rain poured down. We both got home safely after the rain stopped.

On Tuesday (20 July 2010), a 32—year old man was killed when a tree fell and crushed the car he was in. [Read article].

This incident also prompted me to check my insurance policies. It appears that my life and accident insurance policies cover "Acts of God". Some policies, such as some home insurance or travel insurance, do not.

Is the fallen tree an act of God or act of man? If man had not planted the tree by the road, the tree wouldn't have collapsed and killed the man. If the man stay at home and did not get into his car to drive it, he wouldn't be dead.

Speaking of Acts of God, I came across an email containing an interesting paradox about Acts of God:

In a small town, a person decided to open up a brothel, which was right opposite to a church. The church & its congregation started a campaign to block the brothel from opening with petitions and prayed daily against his business.

Work progressed. However, when it was almost complete and was about to open a few days later, a strong lightning struck the brothel and it was burnt to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the brothel owner sued the church authorities on the grounds that the church through its congregation & prayers was ultimately responsible for the destruction of his brothel, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection that their prayers were reasons for the act of God. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented:

"I don't know how I'm going to decide this case, but it appears from the paperwork, we have a brothel owner who firmly believes in the power of prayer and an entire church that doesn't."

8 comments:

David said...

Yu-Kym,

I believe you already know that the term
Act of God, is a legal term.

Act of God also goes by the term Act of Nature. In the case of a falling tree killing the man, which is tragic, resulted from the heavy rains SG has suffered through in recent weeks. Orchard Rd. has flooded more than once, and other areas have flooded.

I will not comment on the Church vs brothel. As a Christian I know when someone is pulling certain strings.

This is really a thought provoking post, (goes along your tag line well), and will bring some pithy and likely cause a few gallimaufry like comments.

David

I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.

-- Joyce Myers

Anonymous said...

For some weeks now, I have been reading about heavy rainfall, flooding, fallen trees, acts of god etc and I have been pondering about the necessity for home insurance coverage or even if existing insurance policies cover these incidents.

Just yesterday I too, suddenly picked up the phone and make enquiries with a couple of insurance companies. It looks like some customer service officers are totally unfamiliar with their products. It took me some doggedness to finally manage to speak to officers who know. I'm now in the process of buying a suitable policy for home coverage as soon as the insurance officer addresses my needs.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Neither Act of God or Act of Man.

Isn't it clear that it's an ACT OF TREE???


HIV

Anonymous said...

When it's time to go, no man can do a thing about it.

And the timing of your death is an Act of God.


HIV

Anonymous said...

HIV,

Perhaps we cant do anything about it when it's time to go. The unfortunate man underneath the tree could have lived but i guess it's his time to go. Just as many more had lived. May God bless him.

But you say God determines the timing of his death. How does God decide that is the specific timing for him?

I'm more inclined towards what u wittily put..an "Act of Tree"...or "Act of Nature". To me that meant all the circumstances or facts leading to the tree falling at that precise moment and manner his car passes by.

Anything else like attributing it to God is pure "speculation".

curious cat

Anonymous said...

I first read about the church and brothel joke some weeks ago. I think it's a witty attempt to show up the farcical side of religion. It is of course just for a hilarious laugh and not to put down anyone's faith but there is a subtle message too somewhere for the believers, the atheist, agnostics and what not.

When it's advantageous to do so, it's attributed to religion, prayer or God. When it's not, the blame lies somewhere or something else other than faith or God.

If there is a God, why cant HE be responsible for both the good and the evil (his antithesis that is Satan), both the creator and also the destroyer, both sides of the same coin?

curious cat

David said...

CC,

Since there is God, (and no this cannot be logically proved -- it is a matter of FAITH)

God is all good, and all things good comes from God.

Evil exist as does satan.

Part of being human is in our nature. The gift of our free will. We must decide whether we will follow a good path or an evil path.

Does everyone stay on the good path every day? Of course not. WE are flawed beings.

ONLY humanity is both Physical and spiritual, being endowed with a mind, intellect and freewill connected to our souls.

These gifts are so unique that in the entire history past, present and future NO TWO HUMAN BEINGS ARE EXACTLY ALIKE.

Because of this unique fact one can [or ought to be able too] discern hat we have these gifts because only humanity can KNOW God, Love God, Serve God and THANK GOD!

I am not sure if you believe in any God.

This link will provide a Christian POV.
http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/catholictracts/tract20.html

However is all I will state on this topic here.

I thank Yu-Kym for indulging me here.

David

Anonymous said...

I want to believe there's a god. But truthfully I dont believe there is one. You appear to be an uprighteous man David, that's all i can say. May God bless you and your love-ones.

curious cat