Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dis Belief and Dat Belief

I really don't intend to keep beating the dead rapture horse, but I continue to be baffled that people believed so firmly that the end of the world was going to happen that they drained their life savings and uprooted their families in anticipation of the end. Perhaps this is why I am not a religious person. I can't think of anything I'd believe on faith alone.

It's kind of like me wanting to believe in ghosts. No matter how many episodes I watch of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, I still haven't seen anything that would lead me to the conclusion that ghosts exist. It would be nice to confirm that something about us continues on after we die, but logic seems to defy it. How can anyone claim to be an expert in paranormal activity unless they have died and come back? At least at that point you could speak from experience instead of just making crap up that sounds good. Of course, no one would believe you unless they made a leap of faith.

It is that mysterious "leap of faith" that seems to be the foundation of all religions. If something defies logic like walking on water or parting seas, the preachers blame your doubt on your inability make that leap of faith and just believe. Unfortunately, that leap of faith too often leads to draining bank accounts and drinking Koolaid.

Having been raised a Christian Scientist I was often faced with the dilemma of not believing enough. When I got sick as a child, I blamed it on my lack of faith. My mother's disapproving looks and quotes from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy reinforced that I was lacking in the faith department and thus was bowing before the toilet puking my little guts out because I didn't believe enough.

To this day, I feel guilty if I am sick.

So do I shake my head in wonderment at the rubes who believed the end was coming on May 21, 2011 because they were idiots or because I envy their ability to just have faith.

I think it is a little of both. But I still think Harold Camping is a whack job, especially since he now claims Judgement Day did happen but it was just a spiritual judgement and that the world will still end on Oct. 21, 2011. In the meantime he won't give any of the money back to the poor souls he bilked.

Now that is a a sin.


Nachtigall said...

Here's a strange little side-note for you to ponder: according to certain scholars of the Mayan calendar, its end will actually arrive around the last week in October, 2011. Of course, they do not believe the world will end, merely the calendar and the consciousness it embodied. A Mayan elder actually confirmed this to me (although she cautioned that the usurpers of Mayan spiritual practices were crackpots and charlatans who ruined her culture). She had a vision -- given to her by the spirit guardian of Lake Atitlan -- of a piercing shaft of light that would cause humans to rethink our aggressive/consumptive ways. I confess I find this all quite fascinating.

Time said...

There is a certain romance to the concept of "end of days" being merely an end to the practice of ticking off the days until we die. And humans could use some kind of wake up call when it comes to war and consumption. Though I doubt even a shaft of light can halt our lemming like march to self destruction.