Saturday, October 10, 2009

Indonesians really need to have a `Noah's Ark'

Indonesians really need to have a `Noah's Ark'

Al Makin , Bochum | Thu, 10/08/2009 11:54 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

Indonesians take religion and faith in God seriously. Thus, it is worth pondering for a moment to relate the current series of natural catastrophes - e.g. earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions - to religious traditions.

Religion in its very early form, according to those who study theology, had to do with nature. Religion, for those who hold the spirit of "positivism" under the light of European Enlightenment, served as an answer for humans to solve mysteries related to nature.

Religion was an early form of "science", which at least fulfilled the needs of human curiosity and, more importantly, of salvation.

It is therefore unsurprising that various early religious texts preserve the stories of natural disasters which involve God's intervention in human affairs. The relationship of man and God is often overshadowed by nature.

The Old Testament and the Koran are no exception to this, as various verses of both tell us that the concepts of God and nature are undivorceable.

The Koran clearly says on many occasions that nature itself stands for the sign of the existence and the greatness of God, which are as sacred as the Scripture itself. Thus, we should respect nature as carefully as we do the Bible and the Koran.

Let us recall here the great story of the Flood, which both the Bible and the Koran perpetuate. This account is even found in the older Sumerian and Babylonian texts. The Athrahasis epic, for example, tells us the deluge was caused by gods who were disturbed by the noises made by humans. However, the god Enki betrayed the plan, by revealing it to the hero, Athrahasis, who then constructed an ark to save humans.



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