The Great Courses

The Deadly Miracle

Dec 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM
4 years ago

The headline has gained world attention:  Nigerian Man Survives 3 Days at Bottom of Atlantic

Of course, the story ends in rescue and praises to God, which makes sense only if you've left your reasoning powers at the bottom of the Atlantic.

man underwater in air pocket 

Let's recap.

1) A tugboat in Nigeria sinks.
2) 11 crew members drown.
3) The ship's cook finds an air pocket in the sunken vessel.
4) Rescue divers find and retrieve him 3 days later.
5) The survivor says his rescue is divine deliverance.

To assert that God delivered Harrison Okene is to also assert that God chose not to deliver the other crew members. (This miracle was apparently an exclusive party with only one on the guest list.)

In this tragedy, 11 human beings horribly drowned. Their families were left shocked, shattered and grieving. To assert that this shipwreck story was miraculous is to proclaim that either Okene's life was more valuable than the others, that God's omnipotence is in question, or that the Miracle Crowd is too thick to understand that, in this instance, 1/12 is a really shitty fraction.

I understand this man's gratitude at being alive, and I'm thankful for his survival. But his gestures of praise should be directed at the rescue diver(s) who pulled his ass from what would otherwise have been a watery grave.

-Seth Andrews

comments powered by Disqus