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Abrahamic God and the Black Death

I was watching a special (History Channel) about the Black Death. And they were discussing how the Christians, Muslims and Jews of the day all believed that God was the cause behind it and that it was some kind of punishment. They said that many people, including some priests and religious leaders believed that it was the end of the world.

Today we know that it was disease that caused the plague and most likely not God. But here is my question...

Throughout "biblical" history the God of Abraham took credit for many major disasters that we could also attribute to natural causes (The Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, Red Nile, Insects...) but the people of the day believed is was God, just as they did during the Plague. How do we know for certain that one was caused by an act of God and one was not? How can we credit one to God and one to nature without questioning the other??

**Lets try to keep our answers civil! No bashing!!

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 12:22 PM on Dec. 3, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • One is man saying it was God the other is God himself saying He was responsible. I only trust the latter.
    Godรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs judgments as described in the Bible are quite different from natural disasters. For one thing, God is selective; he reads the hearts of individuals and destroys only those he deems wicked. (Genesis 18:23-32) Furthermore, God sends warnings first, thereby giving the righteous opportunity to escape.
    Natural disasters, on the other hand, strike with little or no warning, and they kill and maim indiscriminately. To some extent, mankind has made such disasters worse by damaging the natural environment and by building in areas prone to earthquakes, floods, and extreme weather.

    Answer by CosyMama at 12:31 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • i agree! ^^^

    Answer by matobe at 12:40 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Because Mother Nature/Creation and God are separate, but ppl link the two together. Because the bible does not speak of any other powerful entity, followers have no reason to believe or speculate otherwise.

    Im not sure that there are many events in the bible that we have evidence for today. Although we have a scientific case for the Great Flood there is no "solid" proof yet. (but there is a case being worked on)   


    Answer by sugahmamma at 12:44 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • By that argument though you could also assume that anyone after the birth of Christianity has had their warning. We see posts in this section every day about the "end" of the world and how to live your life so that God isn't coming for you... What if disasters are Gods way of thinning out the population, especially if the population he thins is one living against his rules? Don't we already have the warnings we need...

    Of course this argument assumes the God of Abraham was ever responsible for any of the disasters in the first place... Or that Jesus lived... or that any of the myths surrounding Christianity, Judaism and Islam are correct in the first place... Which is a good bit to take on faith...

    **I don't expect any solid black & white answer. Because frankly I don't think there is one. Just more or less something I was pondering and wondering about...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:49 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Because now we live in the period of Grace. Before Jesus it was law based. God now allows things to happen but its more often than not the sin that causes it.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 1:25 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • There is no difference between natural cause and God.

    God brings about anything he wants and how he wants and uses whatever means he wills.. water, fire, wind, earthquake, disease...

    So the Muslim believes because it was revealed that Allah is the one who takes care of all affairs big and small ... There is nothing that happens on earth or heavens which he is not aware of, or gives permission .

    Everything is pre ordained in a premeasured proportion and it happens when it is decreed to happen.

    We do not believe there is God and then mother nature. Disease also comes from God and He has provided a cure for every disease except death however it's upto man to find it....and God allows him to in due measure and time. so that is why man is able to come up with cures and also knowledge of how things occur ..(only by the Will and permission of Allah

    Answer by Aasiyah at 1:47 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Sabrina, i encourage you to read the Quran and the narrations of the Prophet peace be upon him for some educational understanding of what we believe and for answers to some things i've seen you question.

    The questions you ask are answered in there. There's actually not too much a person can ask that we dont' have an answer for with proof from the revelation. but of course We have to know the answer. LOLOLOL.. (hence the study is important to the muslim).

    Don't worry it won't convert you. LOLOLOL. (heehehe)


    Answer by Aasiyah at 1:51 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • They're all just natural disasters. Mankind just says they are acts of god until they have the facts and the science necessary to make sense of them.

    Answer by RhondaVeggie at 1:58 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Often catastrophes of nature are still referred to as 'acts of God.' Something completely random. I can see how in the absence of knowledge of illness the Black Death was blamed on God being angry. Giving something a cause gives peole some sense of control over what is inherently outside their control. This is the same logic that saw virgins sacrificed to the sun god to ensure the growth of the crops. I'm sure living in the time of the Black Death with people all around dropping like flies it probably seemed like God was royally pissed off.


    Answer by Freela at 2:00 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • So does nature operate without God?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:35 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

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