RE: Rapture, A Non-Atheist Viewpoint



May 21st, 2011 (which was yesterday) was lately treated to quite a bit of fanfare, especially in the US. Which is not surprising given that it was the day the world is predicted to end, at least according to one guy named Harold Camping. Accwoording to him, an event called Rapture will take place on the Saturday, 6 pm local time (around the world, starting with New Zealand) where faithful Christians will be taken up to heaven on that particular timing and the world would be left to its demise til October 12th, where God would pull the plug once and for all.

And like all doomsday predictions, May 21st passed on relatively quiet for most of the world. The earthquakes and people being beamed up to heaven, as predicted by by Mr Camping, failed to materialize and life goes on as usual.

Along with many other Christians around the world, I did not believed in Camping's predictions that the world would end on Saturday. After all, the bible said that no one, even Jesus, would know the exact day the world would end. The bible even warn of false prophets who claims to proclaim the word of God and who will misled the people. Camping, for example, is one of them.

Sadly, some (particularly some atheists) saw this as an excellent chance to level their case against religion. One particular blogger that I follow, lets call him Mr A, argued that this Rapture and apocalypse belief is one of the reasons why the entire religion thing is bullshit and the world would be better off without organized religion.

In his blog, he wrote that people who believed in religion are nothing but gullible people who accept anything thrown to them, the belief that the world is ending on May 21st, for example, blindly and unquestionably. For him, religion only ruins people life, like how Camping's followers have sold off their entire possessions because of his message and how now they are left with nothing. Not only that, everything that people believe about in religion, like the belief that the world is coming to an end, is utter nonsense and should be banished altogether because it only does harm and not good.

If I'm Freud, I would say he has some serious reaction formation issue here (reaction formation is a psychology term btw, and it refers to a defense mechanism to conceal your desires by forming an opposite reaction to it. An example would be a preacher who preaches heavily against porn but secretly loves to watch them). But I don't deny that he has a point though, people like Harold Camping really gives us a bad name and that is why for this post, with my limited intellectual and language, I will try and  write things from an non-atheist viewpoint.

Firstly, I would like to disagree with the claim that Christians are the only people who constantly harps on the Judgement Day message and that without religion, we could all go on living peacefully without worrying about the end of the world. The problem is that although religion makes it easier, it's not only us who make doomsday prediction. Everyone does, Christian or not. There are numerous predictions out there regarding on how the world would end and not all of them are based on religion. The 2012 prediction for example, is based on the Mayan calendar, not Christian. And an example I remembered from my Psychology textbook is that in 1997, 39 people committed suicide believing that the Hale-Bopp comet which was passing Earth, would bring about an end and carry them off to paradise. And they're not Christians.

Secondly, what's wrong with believing that the world would end one day? I for one, believes that any day could be my last day on Earth and I should live everyday as it it was my last and leave no regrets when I go to sleep and from how I see it, it's not an entirely bad thing either. My friends and family know that I love them and if today were really to be my last day, I would die a happy man. It is those people who like to cause fear and spread panic are the ones that is problematic and not all Christians are like that.

Besides, the Bible says that only God knows the date of the end and those who claim that they know are among the small minority among all Christians. And from what I see, people who make doomsday prophecies do not really do it for the love of people, but rather they do it for the sake of fame .

But like they say, it only takes one to give the entire community a bad name. Because Christians or not, atheist or non-atheist, we like to stereotype. Christians like to stereotype atheists as immoral people doomed to hell and atheists stereotyping Christians as stupid people who would just believe anything. When only can we learn to accept each other and why can't believers and atheists live peacefully?

I mean as long as I don't spread my beliefs to you and don't make you do stupid stuff, you should leave my beliefs alone right? So what if I believe in an afterlife? It's not gonna hurt you or anything. And there's no scientific evidence to disprove of it either so you don't really know.
 
The point is that majority of Christians do not believe in the May 21st Rapture and for all you atheists say about us stereotyping, you all are pretty much doing the same thing too now.

Comments

  1. One particular blogger that I follow, lets call him Mr A, argued that this Rapture and apocalypse belief is one of the reasons why the entire religion thing is bullshit and the world would be better off without organized religion.

    Firstly, I would rather you have mentioned me by name and linked to my posts so people can see how you've grievously misrepresented my words.

    Secondly, I said Christianity is bullshit because it is bullshit. My argument is that after two thousand years of disconfirmation, it's stupid to still hold on to a belief. I also pointed out that Jesus said in Matthew 24:33-34 that he would return and fulfill his prophecies before the present generation of his time were dead. guess what, those people have been dead for 2000 years, and jesus was clearly proven wrong. renowned christian apologist and author, cs lewis wrote said that it was "the most embarrassing verse in the Bible".

    Firstly, I would like to disagree with the claim that Christians are the only people who constantly harps on the Judgement Day message

    Seriously, what is it with you and completely lying about what I said all the time? People like you are the reasons why I keep saying that religious people are liars. I made no such claim. Please, show me where in my post I said that Christians are the ONLY people who indulge in doomsday fancies? If you can't, I think you owe me a public apology.

    Secondly, what's wrong with believing that the world would end one day?

    I didn't say there's anything inherently wrong with that belief. I too believe that the world will end one day and scientists have pegged that day billions of years in the future when our sun swells into a red giant and roast our planet (or a gamma ray burst will kill us all, whichever comes first). My problem is with believing in an end of the world scenario about Jesus coming back and people being raptured up to heaven when (1) his prophecies have clearly failed and (2) it's a whole lot of unscientific rubbish.

    Christians like to stereotype atheists as immoral people doomed to hell and atheists stereotyping Christians as stupid people who would just believe anything.

    Don't all Christians believe in a talking snake, a global flood, a virgin who gave birth to a son of god, a man who can walk on water and return from the dead and many, many more? It's not a stereotype atheists made up - Christians do believe in absolutely ridiculous fantastic nonsense!

    And all Christians who believe in the Bible do believe that unbelievers will burn in hell because just by not believing is immoral.

    When only can we learn to accept each other and why can't believers and atheists live peacefully?

    i do accept christians and live peacefully alongside them. I just think that no one's belief should be safe from scrutiny. what's a belief worth if it cannot even stand a little criticism or scrutiny?

    Besides, the Bible says that only God knows the date of the end

    Amos 3:7 said that god reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 said that the people of god will not be in the dark concerning the coming end. Yes, the Bible. It contradicts itself everywhere. You can use any verse to justify pretty much any position. Camping actually used the above verses to justify him knowing.

    The point is that majority of Christians do not believe in the May 21st Rapture and for all you atheists say about us stereotyping, you all are pretty much doing the same thing too now.

    yes, because believing in a rapture in a future unknown date is so much more rational than believing in a rapture specifically on may 21.

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  2. It seems that there is another group on the scene with a new perspective in disputing Camping’s prophesies. They make a compelling statement that “Jesus is here now.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-0Br4o0ULk

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  3. If I'm Freud, I would say he has some serious reaction formation issue here (reaction formation is a psychology term btw, and it refers to a defense mechanism to conceal your desires by forming an opposite reaction to it. An example would be a preacher who preaches heavily against porn but secretly loves to watch them)

    LOLWUT? i don't even know what to say about it. i speak out against christianity and wacky beliefs - are you saying that i secretly want to be christian and believe in nonsense?

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  4. Only people without faith will have BULLSHIT and listen to scientists. What is science? Cannot even create a single living cell! Only those with ears will hear.

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  5. @kOk s3n w4i, Bible only indicate sign and NO specific time and date. Your analysis is very poor, medical student.

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  6. @Anonymous #1: funny you should mention that. scientists actually have successfully created an functioning artificial genome: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/scientists-create-cell-controlled-synthetic-genome/story?id=10692639
    science is an ongoing process that is getting better and better all the time. today, a genome in a bacterial cell. in 50 years? maybe a far more complex creature. i hate it when people disparage science when they are benefiting so much from it. where did you think the computer you're writing from came from? god magically poofed it into existence? why don't you eschew all of science since listening to scientists is bullshit? go live your life praying for stuff from god. don't touch any of these godless sciencey stuff like the internet and modern medicine, stupid.

    faith is bullshit because people who have them wouldn't change their minds even after encountering disconfirming evidence. for example, god's own prescription for leprosy include rubbish rituals like killing one bird, dip a live bird in the first bird's blood and sprinkle the leper with it 7 times (Leviticus 14:2-32). that's the good-for-nothing bible's contribution to medicine. i'll take the antibiotics science prescribes, thank you very much. you go and see how many lepers you can cure with god's method.

    @Anonymous #2: every time i talk to christians, i am convinced more and more that christians never really listen to what the other person's saying because they are already convinced that the other person's wrong. lukey repeatedly lied about things i never actually said, and you obviously never read what i wrote in my posts. i said two important things: jesus said, "Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Matthew 24:34. the early christians really did anticipate the end in their lifetimes based on these words. but now, the generation of jesus' time have since passed on for near two thousand years. in fact, i wrote this in my comment to lukey above (you don't even need to go to my blog to read it!). jesus was wrong. get over it.

    the second thing i said is, even if jesus didn't say that, after two thousand years, you must be stupid to still be waiting. if i say i'll give you RM 1 billion at a future unspecified time if you stand at a street corner, and that when i come you must be waiting there or i won't give you the money, how long would you wait? at which point would you think what i promised isn't true?

    that's what christianity is. 2000 years of empty, unfulfilled promises.

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  7. @k0k s3n w4i, you are damn smart until you call other stupid. Good manners your kins had taught you. All these science already exist long long ago only humans haven't reach that stage. Still progressing. Your brain is the creation of GOD. Do you think that you come to this world by chance? If you believe no creator, all is nature, by chance or big bang and faithless is your business. No interest in commenting to a ir-respectful person.

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  8. Anonymous: of course i have no respect at all for religion or the religious. why should i give even the slightest shred of respect at all to a religion that teaches its followers that people like me who do not believe deserve to burn for eternity in hell? why should i respect the idea of a god that's sadistically torturing my great grandmother right this moment? how DARE you expect respect for your terrible hateful beliefs, Christian.

    and why should i respect intellectually dishonest people like you who make extraordinary claims like "Your brain is the creation of GOD" without showing the slightest proof to back such a ridiculous claim or ever produced any incontrovertible evidence for the existence of god? show me evidence, or you're just another god-bothering liar to the rest of us who actually cares about what is true and verifiable.

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  9. @k0k s3n w4i, Ha, Ha, you stupid 'kok' fellow, you did come back as i expected. When and where did i claim a christian? Had been to Buddhist temple, Hindu temple, Siamese temple, church and mosque to seek the TRUTH. When your heart is full of hatred you see evil.
    Whether you like or not you still have the same fate as others i.e. death. If 'kok' fellow don't have a soul, is no different from four legged creature. No worry after death.

    Why 'kok' fellow need proof and claim he cares about what is true and verifiable? Can you proof/verify whether the existence of chicken or egg first? ?
    I believe there is a creator who created a pair which can reproduce. .
    Am I a liar or you? You stupid 'kok' not only have no respect, you curse (words in bold).

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  10. I don't know about any hard SCIENTIFIC evidence against Christianity, just like I don't have any hard SCIENTIFIC evidence against the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

    I have logic, however, and logic debunks your religion. I would really not like to go into specifics here, because I have gotten into countless arguments on sites/forums such as Youtube (I admit, shamefully) and such.

    In fact, the Invisible Pink Unicorn is more believable than the divinity of Jesus, because there's so many things wrong with the Bible than you think.

    -Former Christian.

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