Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying...

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying…

As an atheist, I’ve still got my share of problems, but I’ve put one behind me. I’ve dug myself out of the pit of religious belief and can now work on sorting out my destiny for myself. I keep this blog as a catharsis and a place for people to use as a resource if it helps them (for gardening too!), but I don’t go and pester people in the street.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons to oppose the spread of religion: that it isn’t logical or reasonable is one; that it allows all sorts of abuse of power and gullibility is another, but reading an article my friend Mark sent me has got me thinking about the future and human progress.

You see – I’m quite the science fiction nut. I’m not talking about ray-gun, technobabble sci-fi; I’m talking about Science Fiction that makes you think about what we are and how we organise ourselves. I’m particularly interested in Transhumanism and Post-Scarcity.

The latter of the two refers to a society where technology and economic organisation have effectively eliminated hunger or other needs and people work only to better themselves and others around them. Quite how it might work is open to discussion, of course. Aren’t we all fallible creatures driven by greed and in competition with each other? Or is that just what religion teaches us?

 So why are you lot still here?
So why are you still here?

My friend Mark sent me this article from the Irish Times. In it, an Evangelical Christian insinuates that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ, ready to usher in the End Times:

“On the one hand, it is exciting for us as conservatives because we can actually see what God prophesied coming about; but on the other hand, it is frustrating to see somebody become president who is a blatant liar.”

A simple Google search finds a blog about Obama being the Anti-Christ, and Time Magazine ran an article about a McCain ad insinuating that Obama is evil incarnate:

What I take away from this nonsense is, most obviously, if you’re running a political campaign, it can be useful to have a crowd of credulous morons willing to vote for you according to an unsubstantiated fairy story.

But more fundamentally, the whole concept of the Anti-Christ ties into the timeline that the Christian quoted above. The Rapture is part of the Christian belief in the End Times.

Leading up to the Rapture is the Pre-Tribulation, a time when things (in some ways) will look very positive and progressive for the Earth:

      1. The nations of the world must unify their currency onto a universal standard.
      2. There will be peace in Israel (Ezekiel 38).
      3. There will be a one-world government, to correspond to the 7th beast of Revelation, prior to the Antichrist’s 8th beast government.
      4. The Jewish temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt in its original place.
      5. Observance of Old Testament commandments concerning animal sacrifices must be reinstated.
      6. There will be a great falling away and the Antichrist will be revealed. (2 Thessalonians 2)

Of course, I’m not suggesting that I want all of these things to happen, but it would be great to have peace in the Middle East, have a united world and sort out our global economy so that we don’t have people starving whilst others fret over whether to get that latest Plasma Screen TV.

It’s as if Christians with this crazy belief in the End of Days think that anyone trying to better the world, through politics, voluntary work, science or economics are unwitting agents of the end of the world. It’s terrible that, in a very practical way, they are opposing a message of hope (which is how I interpret Obama’s message) in favour of a message of fear, divisiveness and war (which is how I interpret McCain’s message).

How sad that they view human progress and hope as essentially destructive and evil, but how confusing too, since they seem to long for the Armageddon they think it heralds.

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