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Saving the cat

August 29th, 2009

Quite a while ago, I raised a question about the practical implications of the “rapture” doctrine, held by large numbers of evangelicals.

Do they install automatic watering systems for their gardens and arrange for unsaved neighbours to feed the cat? Or do they just pay into their IRAs as if they expect the world to last forever?

Now it appears, some enterprising atheists have set up a service addressing one of the problems I raised. In the event of rapture, they guarantee that , assured of being left behind, they will look after the pets of those who are taken up. (video here)

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  1. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2009 at 10:38 | #1

    John, today Andrew Stoner has critised the Rees Labor Government for getting its priorities wrong especially in delays in installing the M5 East tunnel $50 million filtration system. And whilst there is concern over the delay the NSW is acting on the SOUTH EASTERN SYDNEY PUBLIC HEALTH UNIT & NSW DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH 2003 report findings that ‘all CO levels measured were within World Health Organization guidelines.

  2. August 29th, 2009 at 10:42 | #2

    Referring to http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2004/09/30/revolution-and-revelations/“>Revolution and Revelation post linked to in the present blog:

    Pr Q said:

    my memories of the late 1960s, when most people of my acquaintance gave at least some credence to the belief that there would be a revolution of some kind,…As I recollect, belief in the possibility of a revolution had pretty much disappeared by 1980.

    When I started uni during the eighties I encountered the fag-end of Left-wing revolutionary eschatology, in the form of Andrew Theophanous as a politics lecturer. He appeared to go to great lengths to affect the style and bearing of Leon Trotsky.

    It gave me a life-long allergy to this kind of politics. If most of Pr Q’s early political “acquaintances” were like this then he has my deepest sympathies.

    Pr Q said:

    evelation-based prophecies have similarly failed time after time, but they seem to be more popular than ever. What is about apocalyptic Christianity as a belief system that protects it from empirical refutation? I assume there’s heaps of research on this kind of thing, but I hope to get readers to point me to the good stuff.

    Dr Knopfelmacher explicitly addressed the problem of the incorrigibility of eschatological belifs, drawing directly on his personal experience of the 20th C European cataclysm. He memorably pointed out that “there are no exit visas from Heaven”.

    That is to say, there are millions of people who escaped or survived the Soviet Gulags and Nazi Stalags (got “exit visas” from Hell) to bear witness to the failure of ideological revolution. But no one yet has managed to die and then return to Earth with a factual report on conditions in the after-life.

    More generally, the linking between religious eschatology and scientific epistemology is based on a category mistake. Scientists eagerly quest for breakthroughs, debunking conventional wisdom and Brave New Worlds of technology.

    Religious people believe in God, end days and after life because such beliefs are resistant to refutation. They want a light-house to guide them on their perilous journey and an anchor to cast when they put to shore. These are things which, by their very nature, must stay the same.

    A proper assessment of the predictive veracity of theological revelations is therefore forever put-off to Never-Never land. The timing of the End Days can be indefinitely extended because Hope, the triumph of faith over experience, springs eternal.

  3. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2009 at 10:43 | #3

    Sorry John, stuffed it again for the above should have been under Weekend Reflections.

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 29th, 2009 at 11:24 | #4

    John, as Albert Schweitzer said ‘there is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed’.

  5. 2 tanners
    August 29th, 2009 at 14:54 | #5

    It was always my understanding that there were no exit visas from heaven because the dead ARE dead, waiting judgment on the day the last trump sounds.

    By the same token, I understood that the Rapture would be the final act, in which the faithful are summoned bodily to heaven and all others cast into the pit. In which case puss will go hungry anyway, so it might be better to dedicate your income to feeding it well right now.

    Not that I assume that belief in Christ, rapture etc is in any way equivalent to knowledge of dogma.

  6. ken n
    August 29th, 2009 at 14:59 | #6

    JQ, it is the weekend, but if you are spending time this nonsense, as my daughters say to me “You’ve got too much time on your hands…”

  7. jquiggin
    August 29th, 2009 at 15:05 | #7

    On the contrary, Ken, I’m frantically overcommitted, which explains why I’m irresistibly compelled to waste what little time I have.

  8. Ken N
    August 29th, 2009 at 15:07 | #8

    Thanks, John, I must use that one.

  9. Scything
    August 29th, 2009 at 15:55 | #9

    Why do you care about the cat if you get to Nirvana/Heaven?

  10. August 29th, 2009 at 22:11 | #10

    Scything:

    Why do you care about anybody else, human or animal, if you get to Nirvana/Heaven? Isn’t the consumption economy just another version of the same orientation? Maybe these rapture people are the crazy end but they are still part of the dominant thinking, the dominant paradigm.

  11. philip travers
    August 29th, 2009 at 23:57 | #11

    For all the innocent killed at war,both in and out of uniform,the Earth opening up and them walking talking to all those who had heard of their lost ones,and their life potential ,such a reality wouldn’t be frightening to the Christians with relatives lost like this.I saw a few teenage companions die young,some I may of been more committed too,disappear out of my life,perhaps to drug induced suicide.If they came to talk to me when my defences were completely down replacing the technological Pixies ,whom are of American Israeli origin ,[often I believe] then crowding out that, would mean I would be free from a military inspired piece of technological detritus first put into orbit not long after the Second World War.As a high pitched technological sound appears to come from my electric meter box.It pumped in the majority of these words..the contempt is o v e r w h e l m i n g! Government does nothing.

  12. Donald Oats
    August 30th, 2009 at 08:24 | #12

    I love my dog, as Cat Stevens would put it. Well, it’s my sister’s dog, but we all consider it part of the family. The dog clearly has some level of luuv reciprocation, even if its understanding of human language is no better than “Santa’s lil’ helper”, on that great Simpson’s episode, the title of which escapes me.

    Blowed if I know why so many people believe in the Rap du Jour, are they a new band or something? I probably couldn’t afford a ticket anyway :-)

  13. August 31st, 2009 at 14:33 | #13

    Anyone coming cold to this topic has a treat in store – Slacktivist on the Left Behind series. http://exharpazo.blogspot.com/2007/01/index-to-slactivists-left-behind.html. Since 2003 Fred’s been going through them a page at a time sorting through the mindset; he’s just left the first volume for the second. Wonderful stuff.

  14. silkworm
    September 1st, 2009 at 15:33 | #14

    I blame the Sunday schools and the religious schools for creating these nutcases. There needs to be a push from the secularists to claw back the subsidies and tax breaks given to these insanity factories.

  15. paul walter
    September 3rd, 2009 at 05:26 | #15

    Who pays for the Whiskas?

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