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End Times

February 14th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Imagine a world divided into two groups of people with diametrically opposed worldviews. The first group believes that the world has existed for billions of years and will continue to exist for billions of years, while the second group believes it has only existed for a few thousand years and will not continue to exist indefinitely but end at a certain point in time, a time which will come very soon.

Even with just that one fundamental difference, it’s obvious that each worldview leads to a completely different way of life. Group 1 will care about the environment. They’ll care about working together to build a better world for future generations. They’ll recognize that extinction is a possibility but not an inevitability and therefore we must take it upon ourselves to try and avoid it. Group 2 won’t give a shit about the environment because it will all be obliterated soon enough anyway. They won’t want to waste any time improving the lot of others, because whatever they build will be destroyed anyway. To them, extinction is an inevitability so there’s no use trying to avoid it.

Obviously, we have these two groups in the real world, but in addition to believing that the end of the world is coming, Group 2 holds many additional metaphysical and ethical beliefs as well. For one, they believe that this end will be brought about by a Divine Dictator, a man who created the world and the people in it, imposed rules that would be impossible for the people to obey (e.g. “don’t touch yourself” or “never feel jealousy”), and threatened all who don’t follow these rules with eternal punishment.

The people who believe in this Divine Dictator and have followed these rules absolutely HATE those who don’t believe and follow them, possibly because they resent having to hold themselves to such impossibly high standards while these other people have no such difficulties. They deal with this by believing that they will be rewarded for worshipping the Dictator once He finally destroys the world, while all those people in the other group are filthy sinners who will suffer greatly at that time while they will be peacefully taken away and given a nice view up in Heaven from which to delight in the suffering of the damned.

This prospect is so attractive to some of these people that they are actively working to try and bring it about. Scientists are actually trying to clone the kind of animals described in Revelations to hasten the end. Several Christian denominations in the United States advocate for Israel simply because they want the temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem so that Christ can return, rapture them away, and get busy smiting the wicked. Many of these people want war with Iran. If a nuclear bomb went off in the Middle East they would be happy, because it would look like a sign that the End was nigh.

And they see themselves as the good guys. The people who are trying to work towards a better future for humanity are the evil sinners, while the people trying to bring about the destruction of the world at the hands of an All-Powerful Dictator are the heroes. They can see nothing wrong with this picture.

One thing is for certain—the less people from Group 2 that are in positions of power in the world, the better off we are. They may not succeed in bringing about Armageddon (that would require all those prophecies to be true, and if they are I will laugh hysterically as the fires of Hell engulf me) but they will certainly not do anything to make the world a better place. To them, there’s no reason to make the world a better place. The world is about to end, so they might as well just look after themselves.

Anyone running for public office should be asked if they believe in End Times prophecies. We have a right to know how many of the people in charge expect to be raptured away, because those people sure as hell are not working towards our best interests.

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