Are earthquakes acts of God?
Aapsawalhiaisapuchtehokijawabdenekepehlehibhagavandoshi saabit ho jaye16
This question is framed in such a way as to set a trap, not to seek an answer. It is like asking a person: “Have you stopped beating your wife?” If he says no, he’s trapped: “What a shameless guy! You are still beating your wife.” If he says yes, he’s still trapped: “See! You have yourself admitted that you used to beat your wife earlier – and have only now stopped beating her.”
The only way to respond to such trap-setting questions is to challenge their underlying presumption: “What is the basis of this wife-beating allegation?” Or in our case: “What is the basis of this allegation that earthquakes are acts of God?”
Is it that all acts beyond human control are acts of God? If so, then why only the bad acts? Why not the good acts? Both the earth’s quaking and the earth’s not quaking are beyond human control. So, if one thing beyond human control is ascribed to God, then the other thing should also be ascribed to him. If God is to be penalized whenever and wherever the earth quakes, then he should also be paid whenever and wherever the earth doesn’t quake. If he has to pay for the one time when Kanjibhai’s shop was damaged, he has to be paid for all the times when Kanjibhai’s shop was not damaged. If he has to pay for the damages caused to Kanjibhai’s shop, then
16 My dear Sir, you ask such questions that even before replying God is held guilty. He has to be paid for the fact that no damages were caused to Kanjibhai’s house.
Just because one happens normally (the earth’s not quaking) and one happens occasionally (the earth’s quaking) doesn’t make any difference; neither is in our control. And if the assumption is that God controls what is not in human control, then he controls both the good and the bad. We can’t blame him for the bad and not give him credit for the good.