36 Percent Believe Natural Disasters Indicate End of Times

Posted by Jim Newman on December 13th, 2012 – 4 Comments – Posted in Bible, religion

A Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll shows 36 percent of Americans believe natural disasters indicate end of times for religious immorality. Yup, a third of Americans think the world is going to end with natural disasters because we don’t believe and follow the Bible. Not from nuclear annihilation, not from war, and not from resource depletion. Nope, god is punishing us for immorality. Yes, a third of the US believes the end is near because we are too immoral for god to stand. Don’t you feel special? Not only that but nature is his executor. If nature were god…oh wait, that’s pantheism, heresy, not Christian-Islamic-Messianic-Judeo.

More than one-third (36%) of Americans believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in what the Bible calls the end times. Roughly 6-in-10 (59%) Americans disagree.

  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of white evangelical Protestants believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence of what the Bible calls the end times, compared to roughly 1-in-5 Catholics (21%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (15%).
  • Four-in-ten (40%) independents, 35% of Democrats, and one-third (33%) of Republicans agree that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in what the Bible calls the end times.

To put this in perspective only 2% believe the so-called Mayan prophecy of an end being in December. If there is so much news over the Mayan calendar imagine how prevalent biblical termination is in people’s minds. Mayan scholars have dismissed this calendar, epic ending yet headlines indicate otherwise. Even more think god is in control of everything.

 Nearly 6-in-10 (58%) Americans agree that God is in control of everything that happens in the world, while nearly 4-in-10 (38%) disagree.

  • Nearly 9-in-10 (89%) minority Christians, roughly three-quarters (76%) of white evangelical Protestants, 6-in-10 (60%) Catholics, and a slim majority (51%) of white mainline Protestants agree that God is in control of everything that happens in the world. However, only 3-in-10 (30%) religiously unaffiliated Americans agree with this statement, while 6-in-10 (60%) disagree.

Yes, two thirds of Americans believe god caused the rape of your daughter, the death of your aunt, and the wars in the world. If god is in control then why do we not hold him responsible? How is it that religious people accept so much evil as god’s will? Especially since no on can come up with a good answer of why he would allow this evil. Often the free will issue is raised as support of why god indirectly allows evil to occur so people have to make a covenant with god for eternal life, the culture of which we know nothing. This means god is willing to allow death and mayhem for some to make a choice. Saving you is worth killing others. Wow, that;s some exchange. god is love! Juts mind your p’s and q’s.

I don’t know what’s worse that god created murder and disease so people have the choice of choosing him or that he sent his son to death to save others, though how one son equals the death of millions is beyond me. I guess the deaths of millions of evildoers doesn’t equal the life of one son–no wonder religious people cast off evil ones to hell like a dog shedding hair. If I thought I could save the world I would happily hang on a cross all day long. Hell if I could cause world peace they could let me rot to the bones on that cross and never resurrect me. I am willing to wager that millions of people would give up their own life if they knew the result would be world peace! Indeed, I would say that millions already have given up their life for what they believe is moral. Why don’t we worship them like Christ?

This narcissistic view of the world encourages a me or them attitude and causes believers to either isolate themselves or try to save the world through proselytizing. One is either selfish or oppressive. Yet, even our political choices are fraught with cosmic, moral liability.

Roughly 3-in-10 (29%) Americans agree that God sometimes punishes nations for the political decisions their citizens make. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans reject this idea.

  • White evangelical Protestants (57%) are more likely than to believe in divine retribution for political decisions than are minority Christians (39%), white mainline Protestants (22%), Catholics (25%), or religiously unaffiliated Americans (17%).

You can’t just be a good person you have to vote correctly! If all of us were to vote that being Gay is sufficient to be married as well as being hetero, a third of the US would say it’s OK that we all be punished. I guess this would assume that at least a third would have voted against it. A third would damn the other two-thirds based on a vote, not even an action, a god damned vote! They don’t even have to do anything wrong. Just vote the wrong side. Yes, folks we will be punished by god, sometimes, for voting incorrectly. Better make sure your chad hangs correctly.

But 17% of unaffiliated believe in divine retribution. So even if you don’t ally to a specific religion you still believe in church dogma? I’d like to have unaffiliated better defined. I’m thinking there are a lot of renegade Abrahamic thugs in there.

Even more soften their view but believe that Americans are moving away from god, as evidenced by politics.

Nearly 6-in-10 (57%) Americans agree that the political choices being made by Americans these days are moving the U.S. away from God, while more than one-third (36%) disagree.

  • Nearly 9-in-10 (89%) white evangelical Protestants and 53% of Catholics agree that Americans’ political decisions are moving the country away from God. Only roughly one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans agree.

With a god that holds us hostage and uses emotional blackmail, I’d back away. Way back. But it works. I have an extremely intelligent friend that still says he believes cuz if god does exist, he’d be screwed. If there is one religious charlaton I wish had died young it would be Blaise Pascal. Friend, what if god is secular and is testing us to see if we realize his infinite secularity–you’re screwed unless you stop believing.

  • Only 2% of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted by the ancient Mayans, will happen by the end of this year.
  • However, 15% of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted by the Book of Revelation, will occur in their lifetime.
    • College graduates are four times less likely to believe that the world will end in their lifetime than are Americans with a high school education or less (5% vs. 22%).
    • Roughly 3-in-10 white evangelical Protestants (29%) and minority Christians (27%) believe that the end of the world, as predicted in the book of Revelation, will occur in their lifetime. By contrast, no more than 1-in-10 Catholics (10%), white mainline Protestants (8%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (7%) hold this belief.
Aaaah, so only 15% believe it will be in this lifetime. You know I thought the reformation individualized religious expression and obeisance but it seems like it was just abeyance of buying indulgences for stricter moral rules. The reformation was about being more pure not being less pure. That’s the big secret. The reformation wasn’t the secularizing of the church. It was the condemnation of the church being too worldly, too secular, and cheating the people. Think twice before you ask for Islamic reformation, it might mean more religious purity and not less.
A majority (55%) of Americans agree that God gave human beings the task of living responsibly with the animals, plants, and resources of the planet, which are not just for human benefit. Nearly 4-in-10 (38%) Americans disagree, saying that God gave human beings the right to use animals, plans, and all the resources of the planet for human benefit.

Yikes, 38% believe we can do what we want with the earth. 38% believe we can convert the world to dirt, create mass extinction, and destroy every bit of life as we see fit because we are god’s children. How on earth are people going to act responsibly if they are given the right to use all resources to human benefit to utter depletion? Aaah, god’s plan must be to have humans waste this world so he can reseed it.

It is no wonder Abrahamic religions are the main cause of global ecological catastrophe, they believe god gave them the right. At least disease can claim ignorance.

Jim Newman, bright and well

www.frontiersofreason.com
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  1. Dylan Walker says:

    You say only 2% of Americans believe in the Mayan prophecy, but that is over 6 million people. There are 6 million people walking around in our country right now who think the earth is going to end in less than two weeks. That is mind boggling. Completely insane.

  2. Gavin Greenwalt says:

    “It is no wonder Abrahamic religions are the main cause of global ecological catastrophe.”

    Only because we have the money to do so. China is doing a fine job of it without much religion to speak of.

  3. Jim n says:

    Gavin, it’s true there are many reasons to commit ecological catastrophe. Aside from birthing and eating too much, escalating to expanding material needs for rising classes, aside from all of that…

    Genesis tells people the earth was made for man to do with what they wish, interpreted as stewards or consumers. That’s really my point; the biblical basis for human superiority over nature and their right to consume it. A society that had as its canon or foundation myth a “living with” or low impact philosophy wouldn’t have gotten us here.

    It would be an interesting anthropological study to look at creation and foundation myths of the tens of thousands of indigenous peoples cultures to see which could be labelled as wise versus wanton consumers; living in nature, living with nature, or living over nature. Krober just in California noted the diversity of the some 1,000 separate and district tribes and cultures with vast differences in their attitude towards each other and nature.

    Abrahamic religions tend to be those of conquest. Buddhist, and Jainist do not. Ashoka conquered India, regretted his ways and forced conversion to Buddhism for its peaceful qualities.

    It would be another interesting study to rate every religion by its canonical sense of superiority and consumption.

    Conservatives and some darwinists have noted if it weren’t for the high consumptive aspects of Abrahamic religions, the west would not have become dominant and others who were willing to be aggressive would have come to power–the old arms race question. And that we need to continue the race or be dominated those willing.

    Status issues exacerbate what might be less consumptive societies to seek greater consumption.

    As an atheist and humanist it would be very difficult for me to find proof of human superiority and the right of humans to lay waste to the earth. I would have to come up with a right of conquest by power, might-is-right philosophy, that was rooted in the knowledge or belief that humans would be overrun by other animals unless we dominated nature. It’s very hard to justify the Disneyfication (totalizing human conversion, beautiful or not) of all nature without resorting to either conquest-based religions or keeping up with those who have already done it, as self protection or status.

    Jarard Diamond maintains that it was the increase of natural productivity that allowed the west to rise; the fertile crescent allowing unprecedented food production. But ideology counts. Whether a group sees themselves as conquistadors or not matters.

  4. Jim n says:

    Dylan, 6 million people is a lot. 2% seems small but it is hard to imagine 6 million people believing the Mayan story which has been proven fallacious anyway.

    Many generations, many people have thought their world was going to end. Bounded by geography, they say their entire world at stake.

    Once humans could actually travel and communicate globally those geographic, and often geologic, boundaries vaporized. Indeed, once the nuclear bomb came to be, it was clear we could truly see the corners of the living world and realize its destruction.

    The philosophical, social, and economic aspects of end-of-world fear, in all of its totalizing effects, has beed discussed for a long time. Indeed, the idea of of a subject, the human mind, means every person, in their own bounded, internal conscience, can decide for themselves how to live, as if their choice involved the entire world, their world.

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