The End Is Nigh!
“The Bible guarantees it”. I was in Edinburgh a few weeks ago, visiting a few friends. I noticed a guy on the plane who had a jacket on which had the words “Judgement Day, May 21, 2011. The Bible guarantees it. FamilyRadio.com”. I remembered that there had been a group in Dublin claiming that date as the end of days. I happend to pass them by on Prince’s St. in Edinburgh two days later and, after a litte nervousness, my friend and I ran back and chatted to two of them. They were very polite, as was I. Given that I knew very little about their predictions, I played the amicable questioner and just asked them about who they were, how they had come to their prediction and what it meant. You can see their website here and read the text of the leaflet they have here.
In its simplest form, the group say: The Bible (“without question a very ancient book” link) and “each and every word in the original languages is from the mouth of God” (link). From their reading, the date of judgement is May 21st, 2011. After that is a 5-month administrative period, where all human souls (but not animals, because they don’t have the “breath of god” as one of the people we spoke to stated) are audited. Then, on 21st October 2011 (According to the people we spoke to) the world will be destroyed.
There’s not much to discuss really, because the argument falls from the outset because of lack of proof: There isn’t enough evidence to support the Bible as an infallible and credible source of “correct and accurate information” (link). If you can show that, then we can move on to the actual interpretation of the source. After that, we would use other sources to corroborate the idea. Never mind though.
We’ll be having a party on May 20th and a countdown to midnight. That should be fun. Theoretically, of course, it might be true. The odds are that it’s not true, in the same way that the world might end on any randomly chosen day. Honestly, arguing from the Bible or any one book baffles me. The problem is, any world events can be tied to any prediction of chaos and destruction. The upheaval in Tunisia; climate change; the global economic recession – they’re all, apparently, signs of the apocalypse.
On the question of whether this is dangerous behaviour on their part, I think I’d suggest that it is. While for most people, the idea that the world will end soon is a ridiculous one, other people may be indoctrinated into it and may give up their possessions, or take excessive financial risks on the basis that the world won’t exist for them to pay back any debt! Perhaps I’m being overly-cautious, surely no one will actually believe this stuff. Will they?