[ExI] 41% of people are insane

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jun 24 13:16:27 UTC 2010

I have two reactions to the Pew research:

>From a cultural perspective, it seems the spirit of the age is apocalyptic - 41% believe in the second coming before 2050, 30% believe in world war III, a large number are worried about terrorist nukes - a lot of people possess fear of at least potentially existential risk for out civilisation.

>From a Christian perspective - *sigh*. 41% of people have listened to a preacher talk about the second coming without checking the Bible passages themselves. In Mark's gospel, chapter 13, Jesus makes it clear that even he doesn't know when the second coming is, only God the Father - "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (In respect of the many atheists on this list, I'm quoting the version used on the atheist/agnostic discussion on http://atheism.about.com/od/biblegospelofmark/a/mark13f.htm )

It is depressing to realise the folk beliefs of so many are so out of line with the "core texts" (to quote a phrase we've been using lately) they claim to believe. To use a Bertrand Russell quote Max More is fond of stating, "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." Most people would rather accept the word of an expert than review the arguments themselves(in this case their preacher; in the case of right-wing conspiracies, some articulate person on fox news; in the case of politics, whatever the latest media soundbite is).

Luckily for us, most people who self-identify as transhumanists are willing to pay a little attention to arguments and source material, so our disagreements on this list are less dogmatic than on many internet fora. I hope this remains so for a long time to come, otherwise the "singularity cargo cultists" that Dale Carrico so enjoys attacking may actually come into existence.



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