Did God Save Flight 1549?

Karin Hill is a hero who helped other passengers evacuate the plane that recently landed in the Hudson River. Nicely done. We all can be grateful that nobody was killed, and that crew and passengers alike acted bravely.

However, I must point out the problems with a comment by Karin’s understandably relieved and proud mother. She said, “Our whole family really attributes this to the grace of God. He protected her and the plane and everyone. We all feel that way.” Not to take anything away from Karin’s bravery, but let’s think that one through.

If God was protecting the plane, then why did it crash land in the first place? Have you ever noticed that people tend to invoke God’s grace only after something terrifying has happened? Where was God before the crash? Why didn’t he, for instance, gently push the birds aside so that they didn’t damage the aircraft? I have a hard time believing that God would be so vain as to allow the crash just so that he could take credit for preventing any deaths.

More to the point, what about all the people whom God does not save? The idea that God saved the passengers of this flight implies that God chose not to save the passengers on other flights who perished. The implication is that either these other passengers were not worth saving, or God acts capriciously, saving some and permitting others to die a fiery and horrifying death.

The passengers in New York got unlucky in that their plane went down. Then they survived through a combination of good luck and brave action. Out of respect for those who were not so fortunate, let’s leave God out of it.

5 thoughts on “Did God Save Flight 1549?”

  1. I heard it said elsewhere and not by an objectivist that a miracle would have been something that contradicted reality like the bird going through the engine with either being harmed. I saw a decent amount of respect for the heroes that did the real work although the word “miracle” was thrown around liberally.

  2. As one US Airways flight 1549 survivor put it, “God was certainly looking out for all of us.” So I guess what this fortunate fellow means is, God, the old man with the beard who lives up in the clouds, decided that all the people on US Airways flight 1549 were so special, that he decided to frighten the crap out of all of them by faking a fatal plane crash, systematically making them think that they were going to die, then at the very last minute, God said, “HA-HA! Just kidding! I’m not going to kill you! I just wanted to scare the shit out of you, and then save your asses, since you’re all so special, and I really want you to know that I care for you and love you, so I’m going to save you now, so that you believe in me. The passengers on Flight 800, and other catastrophic fatal crashes were generally not good people, and so I disposed of them… After all, I’m God, damn it, and I exterminate bad people. The Sudanese victims of genocide are generally bad people, which is why I don’t let them live. 9-11 rescue workers, trapped and crushed on 9-11… Obviously bad people… Jewish victims of the Holocaust? Well certainly I had to kill them since they didn’t believe in the divinity of my son Jesus. I mean, no brainer there.”

  3. quote “If God was protecting the plane, then why did it crash land in the first place?”

    The answer is in your question.

    Because it benefits all.

    God makes His sun to rise on the good and the evil and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.

    To you this may make no sense at all, as most would never send (or give) any type of benefit to anyone except to those who can benefit themselves in someway.God is not like this.God is not like you or me,as He is God,not a meer man.

    If you will read the accounts of other Flight 1549 survivors,you will see that most have a “new lease” on life.It is no longer about themselves but about others,about living life to its fullest,in the few seconds before impact,there was no one saying ,how many turns does the world make a million years,is the bail out plan going to work,I wish I could just divorce my spouse… or even the dreaded “I dont believe in God so it doesn’t matter as I am smarter than most”.

    I seriously doubt anybody was thinking that,They were all thinking about if they were going to die.The rest of life was unimportant,God became vastly important,as it states all(most anyway) were praying to GOD.

  4. The God thing. Puzzling isn’t it? If there is a God then it seems as though you have decided he would surely reason and think the way you think. I haven’t read any of your other posts yet (but I will….I enjoy hearing a variety of viewpoints) but can I assume you only post the comments that line up with your perspective?

  5. Typically I only post the comments that make some sort of interesting point. Maxwell’s comments about God not thinking the way people think is just a variant of the claim that we can’t possibly understand God, which, inexplicably, is taken as some sort of proof that God must therefore exist.

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