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I wonder why on a lot of legal term in English country using "Acts of God" as an events outside human control?

As an Indonesian, I think everything that happens in this world is an act of God. And it reminds me one of The Simpsons episode "Sky Police" which Chief Wiggum crash to a church and the insurance companies won't cover it because Reverend Lovejoy said it's an "acts of God."

Why not use the term "natural disaster"? In Indonesia, if you say it's a natural disaster, the company cannot be blamed for a mistake they've made, like "Lumpur Sidoarjo."

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Legal language is extremely slow to change, as it must be far more specific than ordinary communication— and it is safer to use funny-sounding constructions with medieval origins whose legal implications are well-established than to craft a modernized but potentially ambiguous new version. The simplest employment contract might include clauses releasing a party from claims "from the beginning of time," or claiming other rights "throughout the universe, in perpetuity." Something being an act of God has nothing to do with God; it is a set phrase that has been used for many decades. – choster Mar 21 at 17:12
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I realize I misunderstood your question when I posted my initial answer. I may delete it. But I think you've answered your own question: these things are called "acts of God" because they're not "acts of man". No man controls them or could control them, so if you want to assign agency for some specific event (and human nature is strongly inclined to do so for major events, especially major tragic events), you must assign it somewhere else: to God, who, by the definition of that word, is the ultimate agent for everything. – Dan Bron Mar 21 at 17:32
    
@choster Please use your comment as an answer. I am afraid starting a religious debate with someone. – bayuah Mar 21 at 18:21
    
The legal term "act of God" is of long standing and is fairly well established (though it's possible it's been supplanted by another term in some US states). Precisely what it means, though, is probably more the province of "case law" than legislative or theological reasoning. It basically means something that was beyond the control of the parties involved, usually (but likely not always) of natural origin (weather, earthquake, etc). – Hot Licks Mar 21 at 19:38
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@PhilLello - It is a legitimate concept/practice. When you buy insurance you agree to a contract. If the contract includes an "act of God" exclusion then presumably you're getting a lower rate as a result. – Hot Licks Mar 21 at 23:42

"Act of God" is a legal definition:

An act of God is a legal term for events outside human control, such as sudden natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible.

Probably its origin as a legal expression is because it is closely related to natural disaster, that is something that is beyond human control:

The phrase “act of God” is sometimes used to attribute an event to divine intervention. Often it is used in conjunction with a natural disaster or tragic event.

Wikipedia

According to online Etymology Dictionary :

" Act of God "uncontrollable natural force" recorded by 1726.

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You mean the origin of the legal usage? – Saturana Mar 21 at 16:41
    
Ok, the reason why it is used also as a legal expression. – Saturana Mar 21 at 16:43
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@Dan Well, then you have to define "natural" and "disaster" – Azor-Ahai Mar 21 at 19:23

Act of God is describing naturally occuring events over which we humans could not predict, or predict its severity. Eg, an IT company's building housing hundreds of servers used by the public gets struck by lightening and gets taken offline. The public users depending on the up keep of servers for their business my loose some income while they work to get the servers running again. But getting struck by lightening was an 'act of God'. Random event happening such as a lightening strike, which is not really a 'natural disaster' on a big scale, but locally to that one building whose servers went offline, would be Act of God. However if someone working at the company maliciously causes data loses then its different.

Also, you say "As Indonesian, I think everything happen in this world is acts of God" but it can't be everything, eg. it was you, who came online and wrote the question, it wasn't God doing it...Legally or Spiritually you have to take responsibility for your actions.

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Yes, and no. If God will I can had stomach ache which prevent me to do so. But like my initial question why not use term "Natural Disaster"? – bayuah Mar 21 at 17:57
    
Remember Sky Police? Someone can exploit this term for their benefit. – bayuah Mar 21 at 17:59
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I think a lot of folks (in and out of the legal profession) would argue that having a server taken down by a bolt of lightning was not an "act of God", but a lack of adequate preparation/protection on the part of the service provider. While an individual lightning strike is unpredictable, it is quite predictable that there will be lightning strikes from time to time, and ordinary prudence would suggest taking reasonable precautions against such a possibility. – Hot Licks Mar 21 at 19:42
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In English law, taking Wikipedia as my guide, it would be a matter of whether the event "is not realistically possible to guard against". So if the building has a lightning conductor and redundant power supply and all that stuff, and yet nevertheless a direct lightning strike somehow takes out the servers, then I suppose you could claim an Act of God since the usual realistic precautions were insufficient. – Steve Jessop Mar 21 at 20:19
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Then again, the other side might want to argue that the servers being taken out is in itself strong evidence that the usual realistic precautions were not properly followed, given that buildings are struck by lightning all the time. Anyway I think the point stands, even if the example isn't clear as to why this lightning strike was unusual, that "Act of God" can include things that wouldn't necessarily be understood to be "natural disasters" in the language of contracts. Fairly disastrous for this company, sure. – Steve Jessop Mar 21 at 20:22
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'm quote choster's comment:

Legal language is extremely slow to change, as it must be far more specific than ordinary communication— and it is safer to use funny-sounding constructions with medieval origins whose legal implications are well-established than to craft a modernized but potentially ambiguous new version.

The simplest employment contract might include clauses releasing a party from claims "from the beginning of time," or claiming other rights "throughout the universe, in perpetuity."

Something being an act of God has nothing to do with God; it is a set phrase that has been used for many decades.

I think it's more enlighten and answer my question, "Why not use the term 'natural disaster'?"

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By the way, there's a term in Indonesian, "hal-hal yang berada di luar kekuasaan kami" literally "the things that are beyond our control." I think It more has a clearer and neutral meaning than "Act of God." – bayuah Mar 22 at 18:58

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