• A Sign of The End Times

    Cartoon by Hartfort Covrant

    The signs of are all around us: War, famine, disease, earthquakes, hurricanes, cats and dogs living together. That’s what the religious believers are always telling me. The Bible predicted that these signs point to the end times.

    Here is the thing about these types of predictions; they don’t actually predict anything at all. They are like the Sunday horoscope. They are like the predictions made by the psychic with the neon sign, down the block. Is there currently a war going on somewhere in the world? Yes! When has there not been?

    Famine? There are countries in the middle of the desert, so of course there will be famine somewhere. Disease? You got to be kidding me. Sure we have cancer, AIDS, and many other diseases, but that’s nothing new. Many times in our history there were diseases far worse than the ones we have now. Remember the Black Plague? That was so bad they made up kids songs about people dying from it. Earthquakes and hurricanes are always coming and going. Still, I admit that cats and dogs living together is pretty new, but you get the idea.

    There has never been a time in human history where all these things were not happening within the same decade. There were people using these “signs” as evidence of the End Times pretty much throughout all of recorded history. In the Gospels, Jesus claimed that these were signs that the End of Days would happen within a single generation. Oops!

    And who could forget the late Harold Camping who used this same reasoning in the 1974, 1994, and 2011. But he was not alone in these types of ridiculous predictions. Here is a list from Wikipedia of other predictions. You will notice the list is long and if you look into them, you will find that many of them use the same reasoning. The signs, they say are all around us. The weather, the wars, the famine, the natural disasters, the disease, oh and wait for it… the moral decay of society. That one is always thrown in the two as if there was ever a time when everyone in society conformed to some perfect moral standard that never actually existed. But I digress.

    My point here is that these signs are a sham… just like religion. Don’t get me wrong, I have my own end of the world prediction, but I am smart enough to push it pretty far into the future so no one can call me out on it if I am wrong. Plus, mine actually has some science behind it. I predict that the End Times will occur on January 30th, 4000000623… give or take a few hundred years.

    See what I did there? I took scientists best guess for when the Sun will burn out and explode and I threw in a few odd years, a very specific date, and then added a disclaimer that I might be off by a few hundred years. If my prediction is wrong, my future followers can always fall back on the generalness of my prediction and I will be long dead by then, so I never have to admit my error.

    Category: End of DaysfeaturedReligion

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    2 comments

    1. The world always ending fills the collection plate. During the 1300s to 1400s we had the 100 years war and the bubonic plague. These events were related to an ever increasing population in Europe and a climate shift into the little ice age, making crop yields unreliable. The famine weakened people, making them vulnerable to disease, facilitating the spread of the plague, and war was often the solution to food shortages, because you could steal food from others and the battles thinned the population, leaving more food for the survivors. You’d think a dire situation like this was end times, but it wasn’t. In fact, the thinning of the population ended feudalism, peasant labor was worth far more. People don’t know much basic history. The knowledge of the average person is that we had the stone age, then Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the dark ages, the middle ages, the Renaissance, and then we quickly jump to America with very little details being known about these time frames. The modern era Europe where the reformation happened and the absolutism in France and Prussia and the wars with Louie the 14th are often not talked about. People think that since US history started in the 1600s, we can ignore European history after that point, but the reality is that if you trace back your family tree, you find that maybe only 10-20% of your ancestors were here for colonial America and most came over during the mid 1800s and were present for the Napoleonic Wars, the War of Spanish Succession, the Spanish Armada, the 30 years war, the conflicts of the reformation, etc, all of which are relevant to what happened in America. The Puritans coming here was a product of the reformation and religious freedom came up as an idea in New England and eventually became part of the constitution. Then of course, the unification of Germany and Italy in the late 1800s lead to politics that drove the direction of the world wars, so really, European history is very relevant to US history up until the end of the world wars. I went a tangent a bit, but the main point is that the lack of knowledge about the big picture allows people to be vulnerable to claims of end times.

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