Happy Anniversary of the World Not Ending

Happy Anniversary of the World Not Ending May 20, 2016

The end was nigh!Whew! Civilization dodged another bullet. Pentecost was last Sunday, and Pentecost is when end-times prophet Ronald Weinland tells us that that the world will end (Pentecost is 50 days after Easter). He predicted that it would be Pentecost 2012 and then 2013. Since then he’s wised up and predicts only that “God’s final countdown for man’s self-rule has already begun and that rule will end soon on an annual holy day of Pentecost.”

That’s the mark of a mature prophet—he gives himself some room to backpedal. Don’t be too specific or give an end date within your lifetime. Otherwise, when the date comes and goes, as it always does, you’ll look like an idiot.

But don’t mock Weinland. Here’s what he said to mockers in the heady days before his spectacular failure: “you will suffer from sickness that will eat you from the inside out, and you will die; your death will not be quick.”

Harold Camping

If this all sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of our old pal Harold Camping, winner of the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics. Yes, Harold and his Family Radio ministry got us in a tizzy about the world ending. He spent more than $5 million on 5000 billboards announcing the rapture on May 21, 2011, then Armageddon, and then the end of the world five months later. (Of course, when I say “he spent,” I mean “he spent, using not his own money but money donated by his followers.”)

Tomorrow is the five-year anniversary of Camping’s rapture not happening.

Despite Camping’s confidence, some of us weren’t buying it. During the months leading up to the claimed rapture, the Ask an Atheist radio program highlighted the insanity with a weekly “Countdown to Backpedaling” review of the latest on the story. Members of Seattle Atheists helped spread the word with a “The end is nigh” sandwich board sign, and they collected money to help during Armageddon.

Who better than atheists to help out after a rapture, right? You can be pretty sure that they’re not going anywhere.

When the end didn’t come as predicted, the sign was updated (as shown in the photo above) and the money donated to Camp Quest Northwest to help raise a new generation who will be a bit more skeptical of claims without evidence.

While Armageddon didn’t happen, Camping has had his own slow-motion Judgment Day. Assets of Family Radio dropped from $135 million in 2007 to $20 million in 2012 (IRS 990), they sold their three largest radio stations, and donations dropped 70 percent after the false alarm. (Net assets were $45 million in 2014.)

I wrote about the aftermath of Camping’s failure here. What infuriated me most was Family Radio not asking themselves, “What would you do if there were no tomorrow?” Because, for them, there wouldn’t be after May 21, 2011. Many of their followers got themselves right with God, selling all their assets and using the money to spread Camping’s message. Curiously, Family Radio didn’t, almost as if they didn’t believe their own message. Given the actions that they knew their followers were taking (which included at least one attempted murder/suicide on May 22), doesn’t that sound like fraud?

Imagine this: what if Camping had put his money where his mouth was? Since he wouldn’t need anything after the rapture, he could’ve liquidated his assets and created a foundation to help people in need. And now, instead of it being a pathetic memory of an old man’s overconfidence in numerology, it’d be an ongoing foundation.

Every private U.S. foundation is obliged to distribute five percent of its assets annually. If we imagine that he turned Family Radio into a $100 million foundation in 2011, that’s five million dollars each year to actually help people. Y’know, like Jesus did. But that opportunity was missed, and Family Radio will now be remembered most for the harm it did.

Don’t forget that the first prediction of the end times failed as well:

There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:28).

If these end-of-the-world prophecies don’t stop, people will soon stop listening to end-times prophets.

Gotcha! I’m kidding, of course. “The sky is falling” is as enticing to the Chicken Littles of today as it’s been for the last 2000 years.

See also: Will No One Hold John Hagee to Account? The Bible Says, “That Prophet Shall Die.”

If you don’t want your religion laughed at,
don’t have such funny beliefs.
— seen on the internet(s)

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 5/21/13.)

Photo credit: Ask an Atheist podcast

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  • busterggi

    I lost count of how many times the world was supposed to end during my almost 62 years.

    • Hope springs eternal (which, in this instance, is not a good thing).

      I wish there were some way to impose retribution. Their own followers won’t. Is there a truth-in-advertising angle that would justify the government getting involved?

      • epicurus

        Even Jesus had a timeline that failed: a generation. I wonder what kind of back-pedalling He would have done if He’d lived to 90 and everyone of “those standing here” had died. He’d probably say “well this generation shall not pass away, and I’m of this generation, and I’m still alive, so there.”

        • Cygnus

          Poor sap, he committed suicide by cop. He didn’t give a flying duck if the world would end.

        • epicurus

          What?? Are you joking? I can never tell from your comments.

        • Cygnus

          A Jesus character fabricated by Christians, having put in its mouth “the end is nigh”, did actually commit a suicide by cop, thus a character with suicidal impulses doesn’t give a flying fuck about the “end is nigh”. Christians were ignorant about the psychology of person with suicidal impulses, yet they put in the mouth of their puppet ideas about the end of the world, when for a guy who commit suicide the end is when he/she kill himself or intends to be killed by someone else (suicide cop).
          There you have a longer explanation of my comment.

        • epicurus

          Ok, thanks

        • Cygnus

          You’re welcome. I like your comments when I see them.

        • epicurus

          Thank you for the compliment!

        • Max Doubt

          “Even Jesus had a timeline that failed: a generation. I wonder what kind of back-pedalling He would have done if…”

          One of our more dishonest defenders of the delusion, Scooter, explains it elsewhere in this discussion like this…

          “When Jesus says “this generation” He is obviously referring to the generation that will be alive when these things He talks about will happen.”

          See? If the prediction was for “tomorrow”, that means tomorrow from whenever someone reads the prediction the day before it happens. If the prediction is for “right now”, that means right… ya know… right exactly when it happens, whenever that might be. Duh. This predicting stuff is a piece of cake.

          And believe it or not, little Scooter gets miffed when people point out his irrationality and dishonesty.

        • epicurus

          Because some people can’t accept that Jesus could be wrong, they have to come up with silly explanations to try to make His failed predictions sound right. But I doubt they would accept their own reasoning if it came from the defenders of other religions.
          They’re basically trying to make Jesus say that “some of the people in the generation that will be alive when these things happen, will be alive when these things happen.”

          I’m to lazy tonight to type it out, but here is an iPhone picture of a page from Mike Davis’ great little book “Atheist Introduction to The New Testament” talking about this. hopefully it’s readable to all.

        • Greg G.

          Because some people can’t accept that Jesus could be wrong, they have to come up with silly explanations to try to make His failed predictions sound right.

          It’s like asking a four year old how we get the green cheese from the moon. They have no idea but they will give you an explanation.

        • Susan

          some people can’t accept that Jesus could be wrong

          One thing that wore endlessly away at me about Jesus when I was an indoctrinated christian is that he wasn’t really that impressive.

          He was vague, said some nice but not particularly original (certainly not otherworldy) things, said a lot of things that don’t seem to be true and mostly said a lot of vague things that aren’t particularly enlightening.

          If you hadn’t been taught that he was a god and that deep down he was frickin’ brilliant, you wouldn’t waste your time with him.

          Jesus’s moral wisdom and statements about reality require much pretzeling to make them make any sense at all.

        • epicurus

          Yes, and so many are determined to have a loving peaceful tolerant Jesus despite His contrary attitudes and lack of concern over OT genocide, that they have to water down or discard big chunks of the Bible to keep their family oriented, pacifist, loving Jesus.

        • Susan

          so many are determined to have a loving peaceful tolerant Jesus despite His contrary attitudes and lack of concern over OT genocide, that they have to water down or discard big chunks of the Bible to keep their family oriented, pacifist, loving Jesus.

          Or the other way around, depending on what point they are making at the time.

        • epicurus

          Like the Tea Party. They want OT wrath of God Christianity

        • Myna A.

          If you hadn’t been taught that he was a god and that deep down he was frickin’ brilliant, you wouldn’t waste your time with him.

          This is such an important point. I would only insert that the heaven/hell association creates the bondage of the belief. Without a base of fear and “divine mystery”, there was, and is, nothing to hold the story together. I swear sometimes that Christians would rather give up Jesus than not send their detractors to hell.

          …not particularly original […] said a lot of things that don’t seem to be true and mostly said a lot of vague things that aren’t particularly enlightening.

          And that’s just it. The poets, the philosophers, the heretics, the mystics, the visionaries, the man under the bodhi tree, mere human beings, have left humanity with the greater enlightenment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just what one would expect from a sorta bitsa fictional person invented by a number folk and embellished over a period of time and not a real person at all.

        • TheNuszAbides

          indeed, all the most obstinate believer need do to quell the cognitive dissonance is refer to the supposed ~timelessness~ of Holy Writ.

  • Ol’ Hippy

    I’m guessing humans have been swapping end times stories for…ever. Around the campfire in front of the cave there was probably a shaman predicting the end to come maybe by a lion or bear. The only difference these days are the omens and the ways the end can happen. Same stories different ways and means, always because of some hypothetical transgression. Some stories are actually entertaining, but most are just tiresome retelling the same old dreck, drudged up by unimaginative zealots.

    • Greg G.

      I’m guessing humans have been swapping end times stories for…ever.

      I bet even the dinosaurs had their end of the world prophecies… Uh oh.

      • Scooter

        False end-time scenarios are not particular only to false teachers and prophets. Consider the global warming doomsday prophets in the secular world.

        • T-Paine

          False equivalence.

        • Michael Neville

          There’s a difference between apocalyptic myths like Ragnarok and scientific predictions. The myths are based on imagination, the science is based on reality. As a theist you probably don’t recognize the difference.

        • Scooter

          I do recognize the difference but I wonder how much political and quasi-scientific alarmism is involved? Do you swallow everything that comes out of the scientific world?

        • MNb

          You pour out everything scientific that doesn’t fit your predetermined christian stupidities.

        • Michael Neville

          Ask yourself this question: What do the climatologists have to gain by being “alarmist”?

          As for swallowing everything that comes out of the scientific world, I do until some scientist shows that some claim or hypothesis is incorrect. I’m an accountant, not a scientist. I’m not qualified to make appraisals on scientific statements made by scientists. In a similar way, if my auto mechanic says I need new ball joints I don’t take the car to my dentist for a second opinion nor do I ask the mechanic if I need a root canal.

        • Max Doubt

          “Do you swallow everything that comes out of the scientific world?”

          Nothing that comes from the scientific world is based on secret knowledge. You want to do your very own objective analysis of a scientifically derived conclusion to see if it matches the published work? Have at it. The objective evidence to support religious claims, on the other hand, appears to be as non-existent as the gods that allegedly handed down the claims. “You just have to believe,” and, “You’ll find out after you die,” are pretty feeble shit compared to the rigorous application of the scientific method.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Look, that arrogant christians like you think they are the crown of god’s creation, the ultimate purpose of whatever process their god used to put Homo Sapiens on Earth, doesn’t mean atheists and scientists think so. Global warming may spell doom for you and I, but very unlikely for Earthly life. You may as well bend your knees for our next overlords:

          http://www.bedbugpestcontrolbronx.com/wp-content/gallery/cockroach-gallery/cockroach-01.jpg

          http://myrmecos.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/iridomyrmex.jpg

          They will survive us just fine. Given

          http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/07/swarms/miller-text

          we may even hope that ants will do better than us humans with our incurable stupidities.

        • Greg G.

          Haven’t you been paying attention? The scientists made predictions of rising global temperatures and global temperatures have matched the predictions very closely.

          They predicted fewer but stronger hurricanes. Fox News reported that there were fewer hurricanes but said that showed that climate change predictions were wrong even though it was precisely what was predicted.

        • Rudy R

          Most Republicans don’t believe in global change science because they’re against the cure, in terms of any Federal mandates that impact Big Oil and make the US companies less competitive against other foreign companies. Rubio said as much during his Presidential campaign.

        • Rudy R

          So you refute the scientific evidence that there has been a significant increase of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution? And would you contend, along with the increase of carbon monoxide gases, that the collection of those gases aren’t trapping heat? If you do agree, do you not think that trapped heat has no impact on climate? Do you also not agree that the massive amount of trees being cut due to agriculture, i.e. Amazon rain forest, has no effect on the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels? If you agree, do you think the balance would not reach critical mass?

          The difference between end-tlme religious and global warming prophets is the difference between predictions based on faith and evidence.

        • Scooter

          No, I don’t refute the scientific evidence that you mention.We’ll have to see what it all means since there are differing views out there. But as a point of interest (even though you don’t believe it) it’s in that 2000 year old book that we had the first word on climate change and its a little more positive than some of the current predictions. Check out Genesis 8:22

        • Kodie

          Let me guess, the time god promised he would never flood the earth again? You’re going to bet on a fairytale and ignore any modern investigation into what cause climate and climate change? Boy are you fucking stupid. You have the immodest nerve to pretend to know shit, when you know nothing.

        • Greg G.

          That’s part of the Flood fable. It says, “as long as the earth endures” but it also says that heat “will never cease”.

        • Scooter

          But don’t miss that cold and heat will never cease until the end.

        • Rudy R

          Being positive, or blissfully ignorant, isn’t going to make the problem go away. There may be differing views, but they aren’t necessarily coherent.

          How does the Genesis scripture relate to global change? The science doesn’t predict no cold weather in the future. It predicts more severe changes in the climate. More colder and hotter weather over time. I’m assuming Sen. Imhoff’s snowball in the Capital convinced you against global change science.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          If I still believed in god I think by now I would be frightened that he was dangerously incompetent.

    • Cygnus

      “I’m guessing humans have been swapping end times stories for…ever.”
      ===
      Not “for…ever”. Just from the time when they realized that with an “end is nigh” they can put in their religious submission other people without using a rock or a bat. I guess that’s what separates us from animals.

  • Michael Neville

    Don’t these people even read their own Bible?

    Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matt 25:13 NIV

    But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Mark 13:32 NIV

    • Camping had a response to this. Read 1 Thes. 5:2-5:

      2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

      4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

      • Michael Neville

        I’m aware that Camping and other apocalyptic “prophets” use 1 Thes 5:2-5 and similar quotes from 1 Cor 15 to justify disregarding what Jesus said in Matthew and Mark. These prophets make a very good living from shrieking “the sky is falling” every few years, which seems to me to be the real reason for their prophesies.

        • Greg G.

          My favorite is the guy who wrote a book titled (something like) “88 Reasons the World Will End in 1988” and the sequel “89 Reasons the World Will End in 1989“.

        • epicurus

          Edgar Whisenant – “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988.” Followed by “The Final Shout Rapture Report: 1989.”

          Bart Ehrman talks about Whisenant, a former NASA rocket scientist, in Ehrman’s book “Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of The New Millennium.” After the 1988 prediction didn’t pan out, Whisenant put out the 1989 book and explained his mistake as:

          “By an oversight, he had neglected to observe that when the Gregorian calendar that we use today was first created in the sixth century, it started the first decade of the new era as AD 1. There was no year zero. But as a result, the first decade AD had only nine years. And so, all of his earlier calculations had been off by one year. But the end was sure, now, to come on September 11-13, 1989!” (Ehrman p.7)

          You’d think that issue would have been thought of if someone went through the trouble of coming up with 88 reasons in the first place.

        • If there only were consequences, I wouldn’t much mind.

  • Peter White

    We can’t forget the Jehovah’s Witnesses who made no less than 4 (possibly 5) EOW predictions in the last century. The archives of the Watchtower Society show predictions for 1914, 1915, 1925, and 1995 with another in 1975 which was not officially sanctioned. My first experience with this came in 1967 when my sister told me the world will come to an end “some time in the 1990’s”.

  • Rudy R

    Camping , et al, and his followers are just confused Christians. Checkmate, atheists!

  • Scooter

    “Don’t forget that the first prediction of the end times failed as well:

    There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:28).”

    I’ve noted this scripture being used by atheists to cast aspersions on Jesus’words.
    There are some other views on this that one might want to consider rather than thinking this was a failed prophecy.

    Was Jesus actually saying he would come back in the first century or did he mean something else? Jesus did indeed come in His Kingdom during the lifetime of most of those who heard Him on that day. The topic of the Kingdom is a broad one and a deep one as well. Of course context is always important and in the context of Matthew 16:28 Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of God in the sense he most commonly uses it in the gospels. One aspect of the Kingdom of God is the church made up of believers of all time. In Matthew 16:17-19 Jesus had clearly equated the church with the Kingdom of Heaven. Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God are used interchangeably in the gospels. So when was the prophecy fulfilled? The answer is found in Acts 2 which reveals that the Kingdom came at Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection. There are Old Testament scriptures that also point to this event such as in Isaiah 2:2-4 and Daniel 2:44-45.

    So the point is that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church and the first converts were brought into the Kingdom at Pentecost and in this way Jesus had returned. These scriptures express the idea that Jesus comes to people when they receive the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit when God converts an individual. (1 Corinthians 15:24, John 14:15-21, and John 16:7-15 come to mind)

    • MNb

      The fact that you need so many words to explain a short quote away confirms that the quote is highly problematic. Also the similarities with

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

      are striking.
      Also you carefully neglect the words “there be some standing here”. I suppose “here” suddenly doesn’t mean “near Jesus”, but something else.

    • Cygnus

      There’s a contradiction between a Jesus promising to send holy spirit and the “end is nigh” in his generation. If the end was nigh, what was the role of the holey spirit?

      I think that the “end is nigh” was to scare the shit out of his followers into accepting Christianity hollow spirit. I mean, this trick is even used nowadays on suckers who are scared shitless every time a Christian comes out with new date of a “end is nigh”.

    • Max Doubt

      “Was Jesus actually saying he would come back in the first century or did he mean something else?”

      You’re pretty much entitled to process a work of fiction any way that suits your imagination. When atheists describe an apparent conflict between one part of the Jesus myth and another, we’re talking like how Captain Kirk could have hypothetically done this or that differently on a Star Trek movie — while you’re sitting there foolish enough to think Captain Kirk was a real dude. We’re trying to help you learn to differentiate between objective reality and figments of your imagination. Clue…

      Jesus wasn’t actually saying anything. He’s a character in a fairy tale.

      • Cygnus

        “He’s a character in a fairy tale.”
        ===
        You claim that you’re an atheist, yet you believe that Jesus’s a character in a fairy tale?

        When I was a Christian, I had no problem believing that Jesus was a character in a fairy tale. As long as I can make Christianity religion march on, the distinction between historical/mythical Jesus didn’t matter matter to me.

        • There’s no contradiction in an atheist believing Jesus was just a character in a fairy tale.

        • Cygnus

          But there is a contradiction between believing and disbelieving.
          Can you find it?

        • Does someone really have to explain how believing Jesus is a fairy tale character differs from believing he was God? That is the only disbelief necessary if you’re an atheist.

        • Cygnus

          “That is the only disbelief necessary if you’re an atheist.”
          ===
          So a different belief is necessary to disbelieve theistic claims? Are you serious? Greg is telling me that sometime some guys here are joking and I don’t get the punch line.

        • Max Doubt

          “So a different belief is necessary to disbelieve theistic claims? Are you serious?”

          Nobody seems to be taking that position.

          “Greg is telling me that sometime some guys here are joking and I don’t get the punch line.”

          Pretty much everyone here is writing in English. What is your first language? Maybe we can work to translate what we’re saying into a language you understand better than English.

        • Cygnus

          I know English enough to know that “belief” and “disbelief” are two different words having different meanings. What about you? Can you tell the differences? You seem very proud in your English knowledge.

          “Pretty much everyone here is writing in English.”
          ===
          Thank you for heads up.

        • Max Doubt

          “I know English enough to know that “belief” and “disbelief” are two different words having different meanings.”

          It’s odd that you’re directing that comment to me. I haven’t said anything about disbelief. I have in fact avoided using the terms “belief”, “believe”, and “believe in”, and have given you what seemed to be a clear reason for doing so.

          “What about you? Can you tell the differences?”

          Yes, I can. Unfortunately the terms can become pretty ambiguous in discussions about claims that gods exist. Christians frequently dishonestly use the terms to engage in equivocation. It’s a dishonest ploy, and I’m not keen on being lured into their silly game.

          “You seem very proud in your English knowledge.”

          I haven’t written a single thing that could reasonably be interpreted to mean that.

          I’ll ask again, because you’re obviously having difficulty understanding English at the level most people here are writing. What is your first language? Would you understand better if we find a way to translate our comments into some other language? Is there some particular grade level that would suit your reading skills if we continue to use English to reply to you?

        • Cygnus

          “It’s odd that you’re directing that comment to me. I haven’t said anything about disbelief.”
          ===
          Good observation! Neither do I mentioned “disbelief”, just asked you if you believe that “”He’s a character in a fairy tale.” Then you went in some verbose about the difference between “believe” and “believe in” (or having faith). I got it, you don’t believe in Jesus as a fairy tale.

          Wow! “believe” and “disbelieve” are pretty ambiguous for someone who know English? Oh, I see the words get ambiguous depending on the context. In your case, theistic claims. I am with you, bro. I have to admit that ambiguity is ambiguous 🙂

          Well, you seem to think that someone who doesn’t know your proper English, has no English as first language, when in fact those who brag about their English, don’t really know how to express their ideas, or do that poorly regardless of the degree of English knowledge.

        • MNb

          “Neither do I mentioned “disbelief”,”
          No, two comments ago you didn’t write

          “”belief” and “disbelief” are two different words”
          at all. Good to see that unbelievers can be as stupid and dihonest as the worst creationist.

        • Pete Eisenmann

          What the fuck just happened here? This reminds me of some of the 2AM philosophy conversations at the local pub – “…ambiguity is ambiguous.” That IS clever. The glaring problem is that you are making even less sense than when you started the comment on the thread and folks here are simply asking you, unfortunately in English, to clarify, and you go deeper into this wormhole of gibberish when you respond.

        • Cygnus

          Huh?

        • MNb

          So much for squeaking swan discussing ideas and not persons.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I like the way you framed this :~)

        • MNb

          A simple question. Do you understand the difference between

          “Jesus may or may not have been a historical character about whom all kind of fairy tales were told”

          and

          “Jesus was the Son of God and all those fairy tales really happened” ?

          If yes at least five comments of you are totally superfluous.

        • Max Doubt

          “You claim that you’re an atheist, yet you believe that Jesus’s a character in a fairy tale?”

          First, to make sure you’re not wandering into some kind of equivocation fallacy, I don’t believe anything the way god believers mean when they use the terms “believe” or “believe in”.

          We have objective evidence that Jesus was a character (or maybe several characters) in a collection of tales about, well, Jesus. Dorothy was a character in a tale about a Kansas farm, a tornado, and a magical land of witches, talking trees, and flying monkeys. Carrie was a character in a tale about a teenage girl who had difficulty controlling her temper and was prone to lashing out using her magical powers when she was pissed off.

          Your opening comment, “You claim that you’re an atheist, yet…,” seems odd. I’m an atheist because I don’t accept any claims that any gods exist as part of reality. It doesn’t speak to my position on any other issues.

          “When I was a Christian, I had no problem believing that Jesus was a character in a fairy tale. As long as I can make Christianity religion march on, the distinction between historical/mythical Jesus didn’t matter to me.”

          Good for you. Christianity is a moving target, by design, dishonest as all git out. However, the notion that the tales are true, that there was a real actual dude named Jesus who really actually was the son of the all powerful magical master of the universe, is ubiquitous among those who self identify as Christians.

        • Cygnus

          “He’s [Jesus] a character in a fairy tale.”
          ===
          I see, you just don’t have faith, believe in Jesus as a character in a fair tale, you just believe Jesus is a character in a fair tale.

          “I’m an atheist because I don’t accept any claims that any gods exist as part of reality”
          ===
          What about you, accepting that a Jesus was real? I mean, the reality of a Jesus is mentioned in a book that claim gods existence. Historians who happened to write about a Jesus were people who claimed gods exists as part of reality. Why do you believe *in* what they say, that a real Jesus existed?

          Doesn’t your belief in historical documents written by people who claimed that gods exists as part of reality, makes you a theist, but not an atheist?

        • Kodie

          I’m not really sure you do understand English after all. Just because a physical man named Jesus may have existed, he may not have; nevertheless, he is a character in a fairy tale, you fucking moron.

        • Max Doubt

          “I see, you just don’t have faith, believe in Jesus as a character in a fair tale, you just believe Jesus is a character in a fair tale.”

          I’m not playing that dishonest equivocation game you’re trying to play. Save it for someone who wants to indulge your juvenile approach to a conversation.

          “What about you, accepting that a Jesus was real? I mean, the reality of a Jesus is mentioned in a book that claim gods existence.”

          I mean this in the most sincere way. So fucking what?

          “Historians who happened to write about a Jesus were people who claimed gods exists as part of reality.”

          Again, so fucking what?

          “Why do you believe *in* what they say, that a real Jesus existed?”

          I don’t believe in anything the way people use that phrase when suggesting they accept claims that gods exist.

          “Doesn’t your belief in historical documents written by people who claimed that gods exists as part of reality, makes you a theist, but not an atheist?”

          Your persistent dishonest attempts at equivocation are noted. Also, in your failure to make a valid point or productive contribution to this sub-thread, you’re starting to babble nonsense. Here’s a helpful suggestion: Find a middle school in your area, somewhere you can get some tutoring in the use of the English language. Spend some quality time with a tutor to get your language skills up to at least that of an average twelve year old child in the US.

        • Cygnus

          “Your persistent dishonest attempts at equivocation are noted.”
          ===
          I asked for more clarifications, don’t be paranoid.

        • Max Doubt

          “I asked for more clarifications, don’t be paranoid.”

          I’m not paranoid, your bizarre misunderstanding notwithstanding.

          You appear to be asking for clarification of things that have absolutely nothing to do with anything I said or even implied. It leads to the reasonable conclusion that you’re addressing the wrong person/comments, or possibly that your language skills are simply deplorable. Go take some basic English language lessons, reading and writing, then come back and try again. You’re starting to make yourself look like a complete idiot.

        • Cygnus

          “I’m not paranoid, your bizarre misunderstanding notwithstanding.”
          ===
          You accused me of “dishonesty”, and I am assuring you that that dishonesty is just a figment of your imagination.

          Now you’re imagining that I make myself look like an idiot, but you need some people to back you up. I guess there will be some, but how do I know they are not in bed with you?

        • Max Doubt

          “You accused me of “dishonesty”, and I am assuring you that that dishonesty is just a figment of your imagination.

          Now you’re imagining that I make myself look like an idiot, but you need some people to back you up. I guess there will be some, but how do I know they are not in bed with you?”

          I’ve tried to address you directly, clearly, and in good faith, hoping to steer you from your inane misunderstandings and back to the discussion at hand. I’ve even helpfully suggested you do something about your shitty English language skills. Rather than respond with a good faith effort to communicate in an honest productive manner, you’ve resorted to just being an asshole. You’re a contrarian dick, obviously here to jack yourself off. You’re doing a good job of it. Try not to get any on ya.

        • Cygnus

          “I’ve tried to address you directly, clearly, and in good faith…”
          ===
          And now you’re whining.

        • MNb

          “I am assuring you that that dishonesty is just a figment of your imagination.”
          Which actually confirms your dishonesty. A honest person would try to remedy the misunderstanding.

          “you need some people to back you up”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          MR was the first. Greg G and I followed and I’m pretty sure Susan will join as well. Also Aram upvoted MD underneath. And given her comment Kodie is as quick as always.

          “how do I know they are not in bed with you”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Now THIS is an Ad Hominem (actually a crossover with Poisoning the Well) – “I reject what people write when they back MD because there is no way to know for me if they are in bed with him or not.”
          Let me guess – when you were still a christian you were also a creationist and possibly a Young Earth Creationist (ie you believed the Universe was about 6000 years old). The way you “argue” has lots and lots in common.
          Don’t be ashamed to admit it; we have seen on this very blog how creacrap ruins brain skills.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      I am going to annotate my Bible with your comment that Jesus never thought to add to clarify that seemingly straightforward passage. Jesus, what a careless dumbass!

      • TheNuszAbides

        i have yet to see a theist counter this complaint with “but writing things down used to be very expensive!”, but there’s supposedly a first time for everything …

        • Greg G.

          I would have to point out that means everything else Jesus said wasn’t worth writing down.

        • TheNuszAbides

          a zinger fer sure, but since there’s as of yet no indisputable proto-gospel, they can always retreat into the notion of lost/missing links.

        • Greg G.

          But that would refute their own claim “but writing things down used to be very expensive!”

        • busterggi

          But there are no transitional gospels – that would be evidence that the bible evolved!

    • Does this sound like what happened in the first century?

      “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven…. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.… You too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:24–30)

      • Scooter

        Well, no of course.. It is undoubtedly the generation that sees these signs – especially the abomination of desolation. When Jesus says “this generation” He is obviously referring to the generation that will be alive when these things He talks about will happen

        • Kodie

          That’s not what it says. You really have to slap yourself upside the head with a hammer to get it to say what you think it says.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which really doesn’t seem to be problem at all for these people. Squint the right way and ya can see whatever ya want apparently.

        • Kodie

          Belief in the inerrant truth of the bible
          + what it prophesies didn’t happen
          = must be referring to something else.

        • You’ve uncovered the long lost Equation of Truth®.

        • And yet that’s not what the verses say. What Kodie said.

          You should feel at least a little bit dirty when you twist the words of your Lord to make them say what you wish they did say.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Especially when ya think that the words in the yarn being said are the theological fictional muses of an anonymous nobody.

        • Max Doubt

          “You should feel at least a little bit dirty when you twist the words of your Lord to make them say what you wish they did say.”

          That abject lack of conscience so common to god believers is amazing. These people are so desperate to cling to their imaginary pal they actually think their bizarre distortions of reality make sense. They’re so scared of what is real that they live in a perpetual state of lying to protect themselves from it. I could go along with “to each his own”, but like our little buddy Scooter here, they’re constantly pulling that crap on everyone else, treating the rest of humanity like shit just to keep their own fantasy alive. It’s pretty disgusting.

        • Myna A.

          The desperation factor is a crucial point. It is one thing to have a belief, even cling to it, but when the drama imposes on the peace of everyone else, then it’s no longer ok.

          Your comment reminded me of a little video that I saw sometime ago, especially the “…treating the rest of humanity like shit just to keep their own fantasy alive,” and I went over to YT to find it again. It remains a story, but still—Go White Jesus—->

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oqhAb9JBno

        • Otto

          Mexican standoff with Bibles.

        • Myna A.

          Indeed. I’ve got to go with the guy in the blue shirt though. At least he’s trying to be reasonable…and knows when it’s best to just walk away.

        • Max Doubt

          “When Jesus says “this generation” He is obviously referring to the generation that will be alive when these things He talks about will happen”

          You can either admit you’ve just shot to shit every single prophesy or prediction type comment in your bible tales, or admit that you’re dishonestly engaging in special pleading. I predict, however, that you’ll take a different tack, that of steadfast willful ignorance.

        • Greg G.

          Even Paul thought his generation was the one and the fact that scriptures were being revealed to their generation that the Messiah was coming was a sign itself. Has there ever been a generation of Christians that thought Jesus was not coming during their lifetimes>

        • Otto

          Oh I get it, when he says ‘this’ generation what he actually means is ‘that’ generation…

  • For guys so devoted to the Bible, they somehow overlook that passage constantly.

    • Cygnus

      What passage is overlooked constantly?

      • The one he cited in the post.

        • Cygnus

          Do you mean: “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:28).?

          But it is not overlooked, every Christian is brainwashed that “some standing here” is you, the reader of the bullshit bible. As long as you believe that crap you’ll see the Son of man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:28).? I usually come in the face of the whores.

        • Yes, that was it.

          Of course they have to explain away the obvious. There’s no need for vulgarity.

        • Cygnus

          Whores like when I come into their faces, they feel it as a glorious coming. What’s vulgar in that? They’ll get more money.
          Christians don’t “explain away the obvious”, they just want to make you look stupid when you think that the end was in their puppet Christ timeline existence. Christianity religion survives because there are still idiots reading the bible believing that Son of man is coming in their faces while reading the bible, so in spite of “end is nigh” they’ll get more life.

        • What a gentleman.

          There’s no point in talking with you anymore. My time is more valuable to me.

        • Cygnus

          You should have not replied, then I would understand that your time is valuable to you. But then your replied…

        • SparklingMoon,

          The verse of Matthew: ”Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.(Matthew 16:28) Likewise, the verse in John: ‘Jesus saith unto him, if I will that he (i.e., the disciple, John) tarry (i.e., in Jerusalem) till I come.(John 21:22.) This means: ‘If I will, John will not die till I come again’.

          These verses show with great clarity that Jesus (peace be on him) had made a promise that some people would continue to live till his return; among these he had named John. So the fulfillment of this promise was inevitable.

          Jesus(as) knew that he would be saved from the Cross and would migrate to another land, that God would neither let him die nor would take him away from this world, so long as he had not seen the destruction of the Jews with his own eyes, and that he would not die so long as the fruits of the Kingdom, which the spiritually eminent are given by heaven, were not realized. Jesus made this prophecy so that he might give an assurance to the disciples that, presently they would see the signs that those who had raised the sword against him would be killed with the sword during his own life-time and in his very presence.

          There is for Christians no evidence greater than this: that Jesus with his own tongue makes the prophecy that some of them would still be alive when he would come again.

          It should be noticed that the gospels contain two kinds of prophecies about the coming of Jesus:
          (1)The promise of his coming in the latter days;his coming is of a spiritual character,and resembles the second coming of the prophet Elijah, in the time of Jesus.
          (2) The other kind of prophecies regarding the second coming of Jesus mentioned in the gospels have,in reality, been mentioned as evidence of the life which, by the grace of God, remained intact during the experience of the Cross; God saved His eminent servant from death on the Cross,as the prophecy just now mentioned implies.

          Some Christians are in error in mixing up these two contexts: because of this, they are confused and have to face many difficulties.(Ruhanikhazain)

        • Cygnus

          LOL!

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          After reading what follows your reply to him… I (comically) hate you… I hate you so much… Cygnus is as bad as Frank.

        • Worse-he’s an atheist.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Ever read George in the comments of Godless in Dixie and has a ‘Deal with it!’ for his comments history? Unless Disqus users can have the same names (comments history came up the same, too) George is a Christian troll caricaturing an “immoral atheist rich dude”. So, who knows? I can’t tell what Cygnus is about besides rare coherence and baiting pointless arguments.

        • Oh, I didn’t know. I haven’t been on Godless in Dixie much.

        • Susan

          I can’t tell what Cygnus is about besides rare coherence and baiting pointless arguments.

          I think you nailed it.

    • The Bible can be made to justify almost anything. Find a place where it says X, and an argument can be made, using different verses, that it actually says not-X instead.

      • Yes, it’s full of contradictions, another argument against it.

  • SparklingMoon,

    There is a description in the Gospel ( Matthew 24:3) ”As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

    Here ”end of the age; does not mean destruction of our earth or end of human life on earth. It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in his writings:Human civilization and dispensation have a cyclic life. The progeny of Adam also has a life cycle of seven thousand years. Only God knows how many Adams have passed away and how many have yet to come.

    The age of the progeny of Adam—from Adam to the end—is seven thousand years. All previous scriptures agree with this and this is also what is inferred from the verse: ”Verily, a day with thy Lord is as a thousand years of your reckoning”.(Quran 22:48)The scriptures of all the Prophets as well as the Holy Quran show that from Adam to the end,God has ordained the age of the world to be seven thousand years, with a thousand year periods both for light and for darkness. In other words, there is a period for righteousness to prevail and a period in which evil and misguidance reign supreme.

    The present human race originated from Adam,( our common ancestor who came after the previous ‘races’) and this human race has an age of seven thousand years, and that these seven thousand years are to God just as seven days are to man. It has been decreed by the Divine law that every ‘race’ has a life span of seven thousand years, and it is to highlight this fact that the seven days have been ordained for man.

    By now six thousand years of this era have gone and a thousand years remain (seventh Millennium is called end time is holy scriptures and its starting time was 1850 CE ). It has been prophesied, not only by the Holy Quran but by many earlier scriptures, that the last Messenger who will appear in the likeness of Adam, and will be named the Messiah, will appear at the end of the sixth millennium, just as Adam was born towards the end of the sixth day.

  • TheNuszAbides

    Who better than atheists to help out after a rapture, right? You can be pretty sure that they’re not going anywhere.

    depends on which Grand Scheme narrative is operating. are we sure there’s no prophecy of all the baddies being whisked away and the world left to the Chosen? could’ve been an improperly-designated heretical text that got burned, or buried in the Great Library between conflagrations …