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God and the Irish Famine

            If God were an all knowing, all powerful, all good being, he would be able to prevent natural disasters. One such example is the Irish Potato Famine of 1847. The famine was the result of the failure of a crop upon which the majority of Irish were dependant, the potato. The potato blight, was a brand new disease. The blight, Phytphthora infestans in scientific terms, is a fungal infestation that thrives in mild damp conditions. This disease first infects the leaves and stalks of a plant, and then consequently travels down through the soil to take over the root, which is why it was so hard to detect. The disease had made its way over to Ireland in mid August, however signs did not appear until the second week in October. By this time almost one third of the crop was lost. After being put into storage, the remaining seemingly healthy potatoes were found rotten months later. If God were really all-knowing, he would have detected the disease in the crop and been able to prevent the spread of this disease. Poverty and disease ran rampant during this time. The majority of the Irish were farmers or of the working class, and as a result they had no other means of food. The poor had to live in workhouses where they worked all day long in order to receive meager rations. Many of the Irish fled to America where they were confronted with immense poverty and prejudice, and had a difficult time finding work. A majority of the Irish died on the crossing to America as a result of disease and unsanitary conditions aboard the ships. These ships are often referred to as "coffin ships". By the end of the Famine in 1851, the population of Ireland had been reduced by over two million people. Would an all-good God allow this many people to suffer and die? If God were really all-knowing and all-powerful he would have been able to foresee the outcome of such a disaster and been able to prevent it from happening.

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