May 18, 2011

The End Of The World ~ Many Believe It Will Begin On May 21, 2011 With The Rapture

Yes, the last day will be May 21, 2011, according to Harold Camping, an evangelical Christian in California. 

If you are around on May 22, it means you were not one of the chosen ones who were raptured up to heaven by Jesus.  You will still have five more months to mill about and try converting to Christianity before the Earth is destroyed on October 21.  But I'm told it will be too late for conversion after May 21.  It seems the Christian God allows conversions from prison cells and deathbeds, but for some reason not at the end of the world.  It appears that you are acceptable into Heaven if you accept God based on faith before the rapture, but not if you have merely witnessed and are convinced of His omnipotence as evidenced by His son's return and the rapture.  Doesn't seem like a kind, loving, perfect God - more like a selfish, vengeful, stingy one to me.  But who am I to judge....

If the Earth and you are still here on October 22, relax and enjoy game three of the 2011 World Series that evening - yet another of so many doomsday predictions will have failed.  I plan on watching the ball game.

If you're still here you can also reset what I call your "doomometer" to December 21, 2012.  According to the Maya of Mesoamerican antiquity this is the end date of a 5,125 year cycle of their calendar.  Some New Agers believe it will be a day marking the beginning of a positive physical and spiritual transformation for Earth and its Life.  Others claim it will be the day the world ends.  Most credible scholars dismiss both predictions as pseudoscience.

Here's an interesting blog post on what motivates both religious and secular doomsayers and why many of us find their predictions so irresistable and compelling.

Apocalypse Redux by Michael Shermer, Skepticblog, May 17, 2011

Here are links to Shermer's other excellent works on belief and pseudoscience:

Why People Believe Weird Things:  Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time (1997)
How We Believe:  The Search for God in an Age of Science (2000)
The Science of Good and Evil:  Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share and Follow the Golden Rule (2004)

Also, here's a secular response scheduled for May 21, 2011 and a commentary on the increasing secularization of America by Susan Jacoby:

Betting Against the Rapture, Godless Gather in D.C. to Lobby Against Religion by Billy House, The National Journal, May 18, 2011

Secular America:  Growing numbers with too little political clout by Susan Jacoby, The Washington Post, NATIONAL, May 18, 2011

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