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January 14, 2013

By: Joel Cohen

If you believe in God, you don't need a prophet's wisdom for this: God won't be apologizing any time soon for His sometimes devastating Acts (of God). At least until now, that has not been His practice. While it might be intriguing indeed to sense remorse from the Divine for having visited upon humanity a hurricane or a plague, or even a holocaust, for now, we must look inwardly for soulful relief if any is to come. God doesn't take blame – it's not a strategy; it's just the way it plays out.

Suppose, however, that people or corporations are seen by man's law as the direct or proximate cause of a disaster – a disaster for which God doesn't seem to be "responsible." For circumstances where blame is finally affixed at their doorstep, or even before blame is assessed or likely, we wonder about the real value (or, contrarily, the frequent dubiousness or inefficacy) of an apology – even when the apology may seem exquisitely sincere and heartfelt. Of course, confession, perhaps in the form of an apology, is good for the soul. Still, will it advance one's legal position?

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