Been there. My first 20 years were almost entirely spent in an community
whose objective was and is, to hasten the rapture by reaching the last
unreached indigenous tribe with the Gospel. This is done at great personal
sacrifice. Many of the most honourable and courageous people I know, choose
this way of life, which generally involves a lot more charity than it does
Nevertheless, I now feel kind of silly that we were so carried away with the
Here's a great doomsday link.
P.S. They only have to be right once.
P.P.S. Me, me, Regis! I want to be a millionaire!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Sterlynne" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2000 11:23 AM
Subject: RE: The end of Apocalypses?
> >He opined that popular predictions of the apocalypse, the Rapture, the
> >End of the World, tend to peter out after 2000. In fact, there are no
> >religious -- presumably he meant Christian -- predictions of the end of
> >the world with deadlines after 2012.
> The obvious response to this is a reminder that religions have always
> had apocalyptic expectations and mythology---long before, of course, we
> approached the year 2000 on a standard calendar. They faded, were
> revised, or whatever but the apocalyptic inclination persisted. With
> Christianity particularly intense periods of apocalyptic fervor have
> appeared and disappeared; these sometimes centered on dates (for
> example, the years 666 and 1000) which, of course, passed without
> Magic dates don't always have to be the focus, though. Consider the
> Millerites, a vocal Christian sect which was absolutely sure for some
> reason that the Rapture would occur on a particular date in 1843, then,
> when nothing happened, in 1844. After a while some people stopped
> listening and the Millerites, fragmenting, learned to not be so
> specific. . . .
> >But the point that interests me is that if the Christians stop jumping
> >up and down shrieking "the sky is falling!" because they're run out of
> >messianic deadlines, politics and cultural life will take an
> >interesting turn.
> Doubtful. If they move away from immediate millenarianism it won't be
> because they've given up on the basic idea. Same for the possibility
> that they accept certain technologies---some religious people have
> accepted new technologies in the past because they become ubiquitous and
> part of the culture's fabric. Many devout Christians today accept
> bicycles, movies, and various basic facts about medicine and astronomy
> even though these things were once considered abhorrences or heresies by
> some. Certain technologies, however, such as the ones we are expecting,
> challenge religious assumptions more substantially than your average
> Twentieth-century appliances.
> The (S/s)ingularity, of course, is a notion which has many of the
> qualities of a classic apocalyptic program. All the religious believers
> assure us that their apocalypse is the true one and that yes, this time
> it really will happen. Those of us expecting a singularity or something
> like one say the same thing. But we probably really are right. At the
> very least we have a chance of being right.
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