Wednesday, May 9, 2007

End of the world

Good run...

This is something I've been meaning to post about since I got home.

Last Friday, I was watching the History Channel, and I saw the most wonderfully ridiculous program. The show talked about the signs of the "coming Apocalypse" centered around a strict, Christian interpretation of the Bible. Now, for those of you out of the loop, I wag my finger at strict-Christian-fanatics as much as I do for the Left-Wing-lunatics; needless to say, I had a good laugh.

"Experts on the Apocalypse" (I'm not sure exactly how that works...Biblical scholars probably, but that was the term the History Channel used...) say that "the signs are all around us." Death, natural disasters, plagues, starvation, and loose morals all point to the Second Coming and the end of the world.

Now, I'm no scholar or historian, but I'm fairly certain that all of those things have always existed (some in fact have actually decreased significantly since the time of Jesus...don't see too much leprosy today).

So, I watched for the hour it was on, and enjoyed a few chuckles. But the biggest laugh came just a few minutes before the end of the program.
After the Bible-thumping session ended, the narrator's voice became even more ominous. He said , "Maybe the end of the earth won't take a supernatural form. We humans in fact may be bringing about our own demise..."

You guessed it! Apocalypse-by-Global-Warming has made it all the way to the Right of the political spectrum...all the way.

This bizarre union of Right and Left made me start to think. Man as a species has been obsessed with Armageddon since well before the birth of Christianity; it's become a sort of expects the world to end, but only in the way he envisions it. Christians think the Second Coming will bring about man's true end...

(aside: I always wonder what will happen to the Earth when man's all dead...and the animals...will Earth just be a rock floating through space with some animals on it? ...maybe that's all it is now...oooo...deep)

So, this train of thought eventually brought me back to Global Warming. Weeks ago, one of my room mates put forth the idea that Global Warming was a religion for atheists...There are rituals (neurotic recycling), congregations (protests and rallies), and there is a system of beliefs (the world is getting warmer, SUVs are evil). There are even different sects (those that lump in anti-globalization and anti-corporatism) and hypocrites (celebrities who travel the world in private-jets preaching against SUVs)

And of course, Global Warming, just like the Second Coming, will bring about the end of the mankind's reign on this is very much like a religion in many ways, and mankind's need for a belief in the end of the world explains why it has spread like wildfire.

Food for thought...thanks to the Macrocosm's author for his thoughts...check his blog out in my "Friends" section...if he would ever update it.

That's all for post will probably be on censorship.

EDIT: It has been recently been pointed out to me that the idea of Global Warming as a religion was originally put forth by Rush Limbaugh. So, I thought I might give him some credit for it too. Thanks Rush.


Travis said...

Okay, I just have to say this! Comparing the global warming movement to a religion is downright specious and absurd. First of all, it's assuming that everyone behind a non-scientific view of climatology is atheist, which is simply not true. Secondly, it assumes that all beliefs are somehow religious (again, not true). Finally, the misinterpretation of science or accepting science's incomplete understanding of a subject as well tested theory is not a religion. Also, it is important to realize that a large portion of the scientific community (including climatologists) accept global warming to varying degrees. Both sides like to present this as an open and shut case stating that debate is either non-existent or limited when there is indeed debate within the scientific community. This debate indicates that the scientific community is indeed doing it's job.

There are certain measures that we can implement that are not unreasonable because they improve more than just climate impacts. Increased fuel efficiency in cars is a good thing because gas is over priced and a more efficient machine is just better...efficiency is a good thing. Alternative fuel sources are also a good thing to implement because we could foster competition among different kinds of fuel and we live in a capitalist country after all. Some things are also bad, such as recycling that is actually wasteful of energy. So, all in all, it's important not to be taken by either side's unfounded statements.

As for the study of the end of the world. There is a whole branch of religious/philosophical study devoted to this subject, and not only from a religious stand point. Many big name philosophers have been involved in the discussion of eschatology including Hegel, Kant, and Rousseau. In fact, Marx even got in on the discussion. Some philosophical arguments even state that a technological singularity could be considered the end of the world. Some of it is actually quite interesting.

Spoticus said...

You've missed the point.

I'm not really trying to prove anything...I just thought it was just a very interesting thought.

And once again, you know exactly what I think about formal philosophy.

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