Friday, June 12, 2009

Correlation does not imply causation

You may have heard this quote from George Washington. Many people have been using it to suggest God purposed the United States and miraculously spared her first leader in the French and Indian War.
But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!

But what are we then supposed to make of this quote?
Only He can relieve me of this duty Who called me to it. It was in the hand of Providence to snuff me out by the bomb that exploded only one and a half meters from me on July 20, and thus to terminate my life's work. That the Almighty protected me on that day I consider a renewed affirmation of the task entrusted to me.

Or this one?
The bomb which was planted by Colonel von Stauffenberg exploded two meters to my right. It seriously injured a number of my colleagues who are very dear to me; one has died. I myself am completely unhurt apart from a few minor skin abrasions, bruises and burns. I interpret this as confirmation that Providence wishes me to continue my life's mission as I have in the past.

This second one might give away its source, Chancellor Adolf Hitler of Germany.

1 comment:

Brian Genda said...

You can see divine providence or divine neglect in just about anything. Miracles are by their very nature rare. Whether America has or had God's blessing or not, I think using chance events during a war to prove that God wanted the war to happen a certain way, very very easy to misuse and mislead. As is evidenced by the Hitler quotes.

If God had so willed, he could have allowed the colonists to win without the aid of Washington. If he had so willed, he could have allowed another dictator to lead the Nazi party.

Great use of quotes