Natural or Human-caused Disaster

It is common to hear spokespersons and other officials send “thoughts and prayers” to victims and victims’ families in the wake of natural or human-caused disasters. While this sentiment is often appreciated as an expression of condolence, it has also been criticized as “slacktivism” (slacker + activism)—a minimal act that is performed in place of other available concrete actions that could help those directly affected by the situation.In this essay, first describe an example of a natural or human-caused disaster occurring in the current calendar year (2021) that has received attention in the news. (Upon introducing the example, provide a footnote with a link to an online summary of the event). Describe how this example is an illustration of what philosophers of religion call “the problem of evil.” Quote and give page citations from Daniel Howard-Snyder’s text in RPR in describing this problem. (250-500 words)Next, describe the role that petitionary prayer  could play as a response to this disaster. Quote and give page citations from Eleonore Stump’s text in RPR (You should draw on the “Friendship and Prayer” and/or “Summary, Review and Conclusion” sections of her essay. The argument presented earlier in her essay for the conclusion, “Petitionary prayer is pointless” is not applicable.) (250-500 words)Finally, give your own conclusions about this matter. Does your chosen example demonstrate the implausibility of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God? What role do you think petitionary prayer (or any sort of prayer) should play as a response to this disaster? What, if anything else, should be done by those aware of the disaster? (250-500 words)Please organize your work in numbered and titled sections, exactly as follows: §1 A Contemporary Example of the Problem of Evil §2 Petitionary Prayer and the Problem of Evil §3 My ConclusionsThis assignment is aimed at gauging skills in philosophical analysis and clarity of written expression. Review “Tips for Writing” on Blackboard to avoid common errors.Please do not include a cover page, a general introduction paragraph, or a bibliography.

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