December 30, 2004 - Lots of People Die Every Day
Michael Williams - Random Musings
As the death toll climbs for the tsunami and earthquake in Asia -- 125,000 by current count -- I began wondering how many people die around the world every day. According to the CIA World Fact book, the average death rate for the world is 8.68 deaths per 1,000 people;
( http://www.cia.gov/... )
with a population (estimated) of 6.4 billion, that gives us 155,000 deaths per day by all causes, and almost 57 million per year. It looks likely that the tsunami and earthquake doubled the number of worldwide deaths for a single day.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 million people in 1998 died as a direct result of injuries sustained in a motor vehical accident -- over 3,200 per day.
Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God
By Chris Hastings, Patrick Hennessy and Sean Rayment
The Asian tsunami disaster should make all Christians question the existence of God, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, writes in The Telegraph today.
In a deeply personal and candid article, he says "it would be wrong" if faith were not "upset" by the catastrophe which has already claimed more than 150,000 lives.
Prayer, he admits, provides no "magical solutions" and most of the stock Christian answers to human suffering do not "go very far in helping us, one week on, with the intolerable grief and devastation in front of us".
Dr Williams, who, as head of the Church of England, represents 70 million Anglicans around the world, writes: "Every single random, accidental death is something that should upset a faith bound up in comfort and ready answers. Faced with the paralysing magnitude of a disaster like this, we naturally feel more deeply outraged - and also more deeply helpless."
He adds: "The question, 'How can you believe in a God who permits suffering on this scale?' is therefore very much around at the moment, and it would be surprising if it weren't - indeed it would be wrong if it weren't."
Dr Williams concludes that, faced with such a terrible challenge to their faith, Christians must focus on "passionate engagement with the lives that are left".
[ Continued ... http://news.telegraph.co.uk/... ]