Cause it’ll be here soon. May 21, 2011.
[Harold] Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.
I like how confident this guy is. He doesn’t let the fact that, for thousands of years, all kinds of people have been predicting the end of the world. Including himself.
This is not the first time Camping has made a bold prediction about Judgment Day.
On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping’s believers gathered inside Alameda’s Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.
But the world did not end. Camping allowed that he may have made a mathematical error.
Yeah, it was a math error. Couldn’t have anything to do with the premise, so it’s a good thing that he’s not even considering that.
Rick LaCasse, who attended the September 1994 service in Alameda, said that 15 years later, his faith in Camping has only strengthened.
“Evidently, he was wrong,” LaCasse allowed, “but this time it is going to happen. There was some doubt last time, but we didn’t have any proofs. This time we do.”
Would his opinion of Camping change if May 21, 2011, ended without incident?
If an increase in faith after an erroneous prediction of the apocalypse sounds odd, it’s not. Some members may leave the group, but core members may actually increase their church activity. There is an interesting book called When Prophesy Fails
by Leon Festinger that chronicles a UFO cult that had predicted the end of the world. After the date came and went, many continued on in their beliefs.
As with other doomsday groups, there is often an increase in proselytism after a failed end of the world prophesy. Theoretically, the members seem to be covering up the blow to their deeply held beliefs by trying to get others to join their movement. The social support that an increase of members gives them seems to confirm their faith, giving them comfort. Interesting stuff.
I believe it was Richard Carrier that theorized that this may have happened in early Christianity. When their movement should have been ended by the death of their leader, it instead bolstered their faith and increased their numbers. The stories about Jesus grew quickly and were written down to help proselytize.
Explore posts in the same categories: Beliefs and Superstitions
Tags: cognitive dissonence, The Rapture, When Prophesy Fails
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