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Act of God?

For topics that are more about faith, religion and religious organisations than anything else.
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Alan C.
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Act of God?

#1 Post by Alan C. » April 15th, 2010, 5:29 pm

I can hardly believe what I'm hearing on the radio news re the airline cancellations "people will be entitled to a refund on their tickets but not compensation as it was an act of God" :angry:
While I agree that the airlines aren't responsible for the volcano eruption and can't be expected to pay compensation, to call it an act of God just boggles the mind. It's no different to the Bishop of Carlisle blaming floods on our decadent lifestyle.

It reminds me of a Bill Bailey sketch (which I can't find now) about hiring a car.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Compassionist
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Re: Act of God?

#2 Post by Compassionist » April 15th, 2010, 5:50 pm

Alan C. wrote:I can hardly believe what I'm hearing on the radio news re the airline cancellations "people will be entitled to a refund on their tickets but not compensation as it was an act of God" :angry:
While I agree that the airlines aren't responsible for the volcano eruption and can't be expected to pay compensation, to call it an act of God just boggles the mind. It's no different to the Bishop of Carlisle blaming floods on our decadent lifestyle.

It reminds me of a Bill Bailey sketch (which I can't find now) about hiring a car.
Reminds me of Billy Connolly's The Man Who Sued God where the insurance company refuses to pay for the boat because it was destroyed by an alleged Act of God. Looks like the passengers would need to sue God!

Fia
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Re: Act of God?

#3 Post by Fia » April 15th, 2010, 6:29 pm

I wasted an inordinate amount of time a few years back in correspondence with an insurance company when lightning fried my modem. I sent them screeds of explanations of how lightning forms, that there's nothing supernatural about it, therefore it can't be an act of god...

They never paid up. I changed insurance company, not that that any would have paid up, but it made me very cross.

My eyes have been watering and itchy all day - I'm blaming volcano dust :laughter:

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Act of God?

#4 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » April 15th, 2010, 6:46 pm

"Act of God" in this context is a legal term. It is not to be taken literally. My Oxford Dictionary of Law defines it as "An event due to natural causes (storms, earthquakes, floods, etc.) so exceptionally severe that no one could reasonably be expected to anticipate or guard against it." It is also defined as in Tennant v. Earl of Glasgow (House of Lords, 1864):
Circumstances which no human foresight can provide against, and of which human prudence is not bound to recognize the possibility, and which when they do occur, therefore, are calamities that do not involve the obligation of paying for the consequences that may result from them.
Now, I confess I rather like the term, because it confines "God" to a purely metaphorical usage, which is all the word is really fit for. But I think the use of the phrase as a legal term might be on the way out. Anthropogenic climate change has already blurred the distinction between "natural" and "human-made" events, and that's only going to get worse. Insurance companies and lawyers are going to have to deal with the outcomes of apparently "natural" calamities that human foresight could and should have provided against, and of which human prudence could and should have recognised the possibility, and that should involve the obligation of paying for the consequences. If it wasn't so depressing it would actually be quite fascinating. :D

Emma

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Alan C.
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Re: Act of God?

#5 Post by Alan C. » April 15th, 2010, 7:24 pm

Fia
My eyes have been watering and itchy all day - I'm blaming volcano dust :laughter:
Don't laugh, I took the dog out at 8.00am and I could taste it, I hadn't switched on the radio or the computer at the time and wondered what the hell it was.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Nick
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Re: Act of God?

#6 Post by Nick » April 15th, 2010, 7:25 pm

Emma is right about the terminology. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

The most extraordinary insurance story I heard concerned a friend of mine who has a van hire business. A driver suffered a fatal heart attack outside his garage, and ploughed into several of his vans. He had to claim off his own insurance, not the driver's , because he was deemed to be dead by the time he hit the vans, and hence uninsured. I checked it out with several insurance companies not involved in the incident, and they all agreed. I'm still perplexed.... :puzzled:

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Alan C.
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Re: Act of God?

#7 Post by Alan C. » April 15th, 2010, 7:36 pm

Nick
He had to claim off his own insurance, not the driver's , because he was deemed to be dead by the time he hit the vans, and hence uninsured. I checked it out with several insurance companies not involved in the incident, and they all agreed.
I would agree with the insurance companies (shamefully) If he was dead at the time of impact he is indeed uninsured, However; how can they possibly know that he was dead prior to impact?
I know the medics can be fairly accurate with time of death but surely not to within minutes, let alone seconds, you could be suffering a heart attack that would cause you to crash and then die some minutes later.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Nick
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Re: Act of God?

#8 Post by Nick » April 15th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Alan C. wrote:I would agree with the insurance companies (shamefully) If he was dead at the time of impact he is indeed uninsured, However; how can they possibly know that he was dead prior to impact?
I know the medics can be fairly accurate with time of death but surely not to within minutes, let alone seconds, you could be suffering a heart attack that would cause you to crash and then die some minutes later.
Exactly my thoughts, Alan. From heart attack to death in less than 100 yards? Doesn't sound plausible to me.

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Alan H
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Re: Act of God?

#9 Post by Alan H » April 17th, 2010, 2:24 am

Alan C. wrote:I took the dog out at 8.00am and I could taste it...
Poor dog.
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seyorni
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Re: Act of God?

#10 Post by seyorni » April 17th, 2010, 4:32 am

It seems to me the events which caused the damage were put into play, presumably, whilst the man was still alive and insured.

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Lorikeet
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Re: Act of God?

#11 Post by Lorikeet » April 17th, 2010, 2:52 pm

Poor chap - a nice insurance company would just pay up as he's lost his life whatever way it was! He's been paying in after all!

I noticed on my company's contract with the Council that insurance and so on does not cover acts of God, which irked me a little. But perhaps that's because I think I'm the only atheist there. Fortunately they don't seem rattled about it, which is such a nice change from some churchgoers I could mention :rolleyes:
All humans are brothers. We came from the same supernova.

Fia
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Re: Act of God?

#12 Post by Fia » April 21st, 2010, 12:18 pm

Oh dearie me:
Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, the acting Friday prayer leader in Tehran, said women should stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves.
"Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes," he explained.
source

This infuriates me on 2 issues: adultery increases earthquakes :puzzled: Just how, exactly, Mr Sediqi?
And he reckons that it's women's fault for dressing immodestly leading young men astray. Just how difficult is it for men to keep their dicks in their pants? Learn a bit of self control for goodness sake....Grrr.... :angry:

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Paolo
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Re: Act of God?

#13 Post by Paolo » April 21st, 2010, 1:49 pm

Fia wrote: This infuriates me on 2 issues: adultery increases earthquakes :puzzled: Just how, exactly, Mr Sediqi?
I would have thought that was obvious - Mr Sediqi must have had adulterous sex and it was so good that the Earth moved for him. He's just extrapolating from his own experience.
Fia wrote:And he reckons that it's women's fault for dressing immodestly leading young men astray. Just how difficult is it for men to keep their dicks in their pants? Learn a bit of self control for goodness sake....Grrr.... :angry:
Why should muslim men learn self control if they can justify their dalliances by blaming women? It's like an alcoholic blaming sherry for having alcohol in it - they can get drunk with the moral indignation of how drunkeness has been imposed upon them. That's seems like a perfectly fair argument... :wink:

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grammar king
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Re: Act of God?

#14 Post by grammar king » April 21st, 2010, 9:28 pm

I trust you've all seen the follow-up to this?

Boobquake, otherwise known as the Apocaniptic Catitclism will be this Monday 26th April. I have my concerns.

Nick
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Re: Act of God?

#15 Post by Nick » April 21st, 2010, 11:48 pm

I've heard that results need to be repeatable to be called scientific. How about every Monday....?



Of course, if it results in high winds instead, that'll be a storm in a D-cup... :D

Marian
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Re: Act of God?

#16 Post by Marian » April 22nd, 2010, 1:42 am

Nick wrote: Of course, if it results in high winds instead, that'll be a storm in a D-cup... :D
:laughter: D-cup...that's nothing!!
Transformative fire...

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Re: Act of God?

#17 Post by BAinBS Linguist » April 23rd, 2010, 5:54 am

Alan C. wrote:I can hardly believe what I'm hearing on the radio news re the airline cancellations "people will be entitled to a refund on their tickets but not compensation as it was an act of God" :angry:
While I agree that the airlines aren't responsible for the volcano eruption and can't be expected to pay compensation, to call it an act of God just boggles the mind. It's no different to the Bishop of Carlisle blaming floods on our decadent lifestyle.

It reminds me of a Bill Bailey sketch (which I can't find now) about hiring a car.
Act of God? Sounds like most insurance policies in the States (ie. the manifold excuses they use to never pay anything :laughter: ). Actually this is not remotely the fault of the airlines though, I mean, if airlines could control the weather airports would never be closed, right? Except perhaps on bank holidays? :D Hellacious, maybe Iceland did commit some serious crime against God? I've no idea what it could be but, maybe you should ask a fundie(fundamentalist) about that? Asatru IS a state religion there, NO? Maybe some other culture's God is angry? Hmmm?
BTW: love your tag line "abstinence in the church grows fondlers"! How true! :laughter:

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