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Judgment Day Lessons

by @ 9:42 pm
Filed under: religion,star trek — Tags: ,

The purported judgment day on May 21, 2011 came and went with nary a soul being lifted into heaven, a dead body being thrown out of a grave, or Jesus descending down on earth to do whatever it is Jesus does. There was a volcano eruption and some small follow-up quakes. So it appears that even if God had the will, he didn't have the might to pull off the big event.

In a weird way I'll miss Harold Camping of Family radio, the persona behind the failed doomsday prediction. I loved listening to his radio program, Open Forum, for a number of years. It was almost a self-challenge. Can I listen to him without being influenced or deceived?

He left no wiggle room around his forecast. It was absolutely going to happen. He was so sure of himself, that he wouldn't even entertain questions regarding May 22, 2011. He'd chastise people who inquired, reminding them may 22nd will only be the second day of judgment and nothing else. Ironically he would admonish his listeners to cast aside pride and arrogance, while he was steeped in them himself.

No doubt he'll be back with a new rapture date. People have short memories, but things won't be quite the same. For one he's older now and may not live to see that date and this past campaign was a colossal flop, considering how long and wide the false prophesy traveled.

The point with Camping is that in reality he's no different than any other preachers or prophets, past or present. If you were scoffing at him, think about what your own beliefs are. Perhaps you believe in some supreme being who communicated with prophets and left behind a sacred book. You may believe in heaven and hell, and in an evil character called Satan. Do any of these beliefs make any more sense than what Camping was preaching?

In some ways Camping was admirable and courageous for declaring something concrete within his religion. He set a an actual date as proof that the Bible really was sent from his God. Now that his evidence has been debunked, we can say that the Bible is but a book written by people and not some divine being. Other religions are too smart to make such statements. They just dance around generalities without giving any concrete evidence. That keeps them a safe distance from the truth-seekers while they continue to brainwash newcomers and collect their monies.

People should have been rid of religion years ago, but the money-making enterprise is too powerful to slip away quietly. And with so many religions to chose from, anyone can pick their favorite flavor of superstition. There are as plentiful as rock bands and ice cream flavors. I am not suggesting throwing religions away completely. On the contrary, they should be kept and preserved as historical documents and events that shaped our lives for good or bad.

There was a time when ordinary people needed religion as a crutch, a guide, and a moral compass. It eased them into a sense of security, a sort of a defense mechanism to tackle the bewilderment they suffered by all sorts of unexplainable events around them. That time has long passed and we no longer need fabricated answers to our questions. We've learned to cope with unexplained events and understand that not everything must have an easy-to-digest answer. Religion no longer deserves its holy and sacred position among us. What it deserves is a historical status like many other things from our past.

The sentiment is best summed up by Captain Kirk, reasoning with an ancient God. "We've outgrown you. You ask for something we can no longer give." He retorts to Apollo. (Star Trek, TOS, Who Mourns for Adonais?)


by @ 3:52 pm
Filed under: money,religion — Tags: ,

Well, the May 21, 2011 rapture didn't happen. No judgments, no earthquakes, no zombies, and no Jesus. A bunch of blokes got "caught up" in the frenzy and wasted time and money, but economically speaking, the bogus prediction might have had a positive effect after all. Here's a short list of the favorable impacts of rapturonomics:

- It didn't happen on a workday, so no wasted company time checking websites for earthquakes and body-snatching news.

- Family radio and its affiliates paid a lot of advertising money to various outlets to get the message out. Making billboards, radio ads, stickers and placards, and printed literature create all sorts of primary and secondary jobs.

- Media companies covering the (non-)event relied on their employees to produce and broadcast the news. Those are real jobs.

- A variety of businesses for post-rapture services ranging from pet care to message delivery got positive attention.

- There were all kinds of rapture memorabilia sales, like t-shirts, mugs, and buttons.

- Rapture parties gave a nice boost to bars and beer companies.

See? That's not so bad. It's only doomsday if you treat it that way. And it turned out to be good for the economy. We should have a rapturonomics day every year. It'll blow away the cheesy independence day sales events 🙂

May 21, 2011 - Judgment Day?

by @ 11:24 pm
Filed under: religion — Tags: , ,

*Update: The above clock was updated to reflect the recent news of the rapture taking place at 6 PM local time. Just in case we are in the midst of some intangible divine judgement, the clock has been changed to count forward, showing how far in we are. Good luck 🙂

A few months ago I happened on a radio station called Family Radio and a program called Open Forum. This is a call-in program in which various people pose questions about the Bible to the host and Bible scholar, Harold Camping. I have been an occasional listener ever since.

What makes Harold Camping interesting is that he is convinced (or at least he does a good job acting convinced) that the judgment day will begin on May 21, 2011 and after five months the world will be completely obliterated on October 21, 2011.

Camping exhorts his listeners to abandon their churches, which he believes are now controlled by Satan, and instead spend their time begging and pleading God for mercy on judgment day. The point being that beginning May 21, 2011 five months of great upheaval and calamity will grip the world. People will suffer and die of injuries and starvation. A number of true believers will be selected to be transported to heaven (rapture) and the rest will be left behind to be completely destroyed as the universe implodes into nothingness.

A tall tale, to say the least, but that's Camping's interpretation of the Bible and I'm sure he has many followers. So in honor of the judgment day and the end of the world I have placed a countdown clock at top of this post, based on my JavaScript Countdown tool, displaying the remaining time until the judgment day, May 21, 2011 12:00 AM UTC.

Lest you think I'm ridiculing the man or his belief, I must admit that I have no evidence refuting his claim. Of course the lack of a contrary evidence, does not validate the original claim. It only gives the claim a measure of plausibility, in this case a very miniscule amount. Safe to say that I'm not a follower, I'm not even religious. But I am following this case to its conclusion because I wonder what type of explanation the followers will be receiving on May 22, 2011.

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