The Limits of Men and Science

posted by Jael Ever @ 20:02 PM
March 17, 2011

Several newspaper columnists offer promising headlines about “Limitations,” following the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power disaster in Japan.  But the articles usually go on to relate reasons for more technology and preparation against such disasters.  However, to some, these events aptly illustrate man’s long-term inability to control Nature and populations.  The usually resilient, placid Japanese people grow increasingly impatient with their government, because no one seems to be in charge. Cascading catastrophes––the latest being collapse of nuclear power plants––have made the usual diplomatic covers of assistance from other nations impossible.  Ingrained cultural habits, political infighting, and unprofessional communications confusion have pulled the veil back on what is supposedly the second or third richest nation on earth.  Now it seems that such wealth gives very limited protection.  What everyone thought was an advanced, technological superior nation is crumbling to its knees in a matter of days.

 Andrew Higgins of The Washington Post explains: “Unlike victims of earthquakes in Haiti, Indonesia or China, those   suffering in Japan expect their government to work and can’t understand why a country as affluent as theirs can’t keep gasoline, the lifeblood of a modern economy, flowing and why towns across the northeast have been plunged into frigid darkness for five days.”  Until the Japan Democratic Party upset its reign in 2009, the Liberal Democratic Party had ruled Japan for some 50 years.  According to the Washington Post archives, regardless of its name, this traditional Party is a conservative, business-centered, Imperial rightist group that had built up most of the present bureaucratic structure. And those bureaucrats do not work well with the newly elected regime.  Noriko Hama, an economist at Doshisha University , says:  “It’s not in their DNA to work with anybody other than the Liberal Democrats.”  Thus, at a time when the Japanese people need great leadership, this power struggle is the nation’s fourth, and perhaps greatest, disaster.
 While China now supposedly supersedes Japan in wealth, it is still a rather unsophisticated economy, only made rich with exports of everything to the United States.  Not so with Japan.  For centuries, its image has been one of wealth, refinement, superiority and well-established technology.   These catastrophes indicate the danger of believing pride-filled propaganda and man-made imagery.  Skepticism, investigation and vigilance works best in true democracies.  But even then, as Christian messages must continuously emphasize, it is unwise to put one’s trust in human beings and man-made systems.  Eventually they will fail.  But God cannot fail.  And He cannot lie (Titus 1: 2).  The Bible makes clear that Christians are to put their trust in God alone: “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of” (Isaiah 2:22)?

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