Thursday, May 19, 2011

Episode 84 Armageddon Outta Here

On May 22nd, 2011 dozens of people will be disappointed to find that the world is still spinning, hundreds of billboards across the world will look ridiculous and Harold Camping will struggle to find an explanation for how he could have gotten it wrong once again.
Yes, yet another "Judgement Day" draws nigh. The Doubtcasters take the opportunity to discuss end of the world prophecies past and present and what happens to the true believers when their dreams of leaving us behind are inevitably dashed.
In counter-apologetics Justin takes on the moral argument from a new perspective and asks the question: If Yahweh is so moral, how come people like Abraham and Moses need to remind him to do the right thing? Then in God Thinks Like You, Luke looks at a study that reveals how your view of God affects your moral choices. We offer Props to yet another godless institute of higher learning and making the Shit list is a Southern Baptist minister playing a part in a case of anti-gay international parental kidnapping.


Mike Litoris said...

I got a good laugh from "dozens of people will be dissapointed" : ]

jim tuckwell said...

Ragnarök really does sound bitchin

Anonymous said...

so where can we find these logos? i've searched the forums and got nothing.

Fletcher said...

The logos are not up yet. Having some trouble figuring out how to make that happen.

Hopefully I'll have it worked out soon.

Lausten North said...

A minor point about religion in South America. I was in Colombia last August when a boy told his father he was gay and his father beat him. His mother, living in Canada contacted the Bishop of the Methodist Church, Juan Cardona, who dropped everything to help the boy out. The theology of Oscar Romero, once called Liberation Theology, now referred to as Latin American theology is an interesting social movement and will be a big part of modernization in that area.

Marc Naimark said...

I was in the bus on the way home this Saturday as you were discussing Ragnarok. I saw a group of riot police in the street as the bus slowly approached the place de la Bastille. This surprised me, as just a couple hours earlier the place was busy with an antiques fair on one side and a third-world crafts fair on the other. As the bus entered the square, I first saw the reason for the riot police: a demonstration against France's policies in Africa. And as I lifted my eyes to the opera house, and heard you speaking the words Götterdämmerung, I saw the giant banner announcing the current production; Le Crépuscule des dieux, aka Götterdämmerung. It was weird.

Anonymous said...


if your looking to create a poll for the logos that you can post on either the blog or forum id suggest a site like this

it basically creates a code to paste, and you can uploaf images fairly easy

Osyris said...

I believe this explains why we didn't see anything exciting happen on Saturday:

I would like to thank Saint Macho for making today (Sunday) possible.

inuk2600 said...

Thanks for that link Osyris, it all makes sense now, why he had to die. I mean Macho Man Randy Savage, not Jesus. It was to save us from Him.

Anonymous said...

I choose to believe the Rapture did occur and Randy Savage was the only true Christian.

Rob said...

Another great podcast. I enjoy your show primarily because your topics can often relate to politics and power. Take your Armageddon discussion and focus it instead on global warming and you really don't miss a beat.

It hadn't occurred to me the age breakdown of the Biblical doomsayers (ie. I've lived my life, now I'm ready for glory and them youngin's better get right and follow). The same can be said of some climate change hysterics, many of whom have the wealth and freedom to adapt to the planet-saving controls they want on those "beneath" them (smaller homes, smaller cars, higher energy bills, etc.)

One difference is that Biblical doomsayers give drop dead dates and look foolish when they aren't met. Climate change hysterics make predictions that, when they don't occur, are either explained by "forgetting to carry the one" or just ignored. (Example -, last sentence is a classic)

As an aside, I also enjoyed the latest installment in Galen's "Morals don't come from God damnit" tour, and the comment "That's not morality that's obedience." My take is morality, from a Biblical perspective, is more "these are the rules to living a good life. Ignore them at your peril." Not LIVE THIS WAY ARE YOU WILL BURN IN HELL!

The conflict I see is that many Christians treat Biblical morality like the adage, "never run with scissors," and ignore it. Why shouldn't *I* run with scissors? *I'm* careful. *I* would *never* slip and fall. *I* am better than everyone else. *I* can run with scissors.

That explains the infinite stories of high-minded Christians often getting literally caught with their pants down. They pick and chose the moral lessons to follow, while publicly demanding everyone else follow them all.

As for questioning God, I recommend a video lesson from your boy Rob Bell. It's the story of Job, and God basically saying "Who are you to question Me? You know not My responsibilities!" Think of a teenager demanding a bigger bedroom or better car or more money to eat at Outback every weekend, with no clue the financial responsibilities of their obviously stingy and mean parent.

Fletcher said...


I personally take offense, and I suspect my fellow doubtcasters would agree, that you're comparing climate change to doomsday predictions. The evidence supports the fact of Global Climate Change whereas the exact opposite is true for folks like Harold Camping and their doomsday predictions.

Mirjiam said...

I've been listening to reasonable doubts for a long time, and I adore the show. Not only do you guys get your information right, but you guys are amusing too. I love learning from your podcast.

But there's one correction I must make from the polyatheism section.

Vampires don't sparkle-- ever.

Stephanie Meyer's characters aren't vampires.

chris belling said...

awsome podcat guys, where do i vote?

Stephinabox said...

Although unrelated to this episode I just wanted to express how happy this show makes me all the way from australia

Ripley Perkins said...

A great podcast episode as I have come to expect.

Alas the day I was driving along and listening to the podcast. The statement about “last podcast” gave me a minor scare. I mean what was I to do if they took my reasonable doubts fix away?

Luckily I was suffering from a minor case of dimwittedness and did not immediately connect getting a dose of the Rapture and the comment.

As I don’t have evidence I cannot state with certainty that the rapture did not occur. There is a potential that it may have occurred but a lack of candidates meant a lack of actual rapturing occurred.

There seems to be a whole slew of new words required to describe the rapture, I am fairly sure “rapturing” and “raptured” are not real words. Of interest the auto correct seems to want to change these to ruptured and rupturing. Maybe the machine knows something?

Rob said...


Thanks for response. I contend belief in climate change requires just as much faith as religious doomsayers. Both pick and choose the evidence that supports their narrative.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but there has yet to be a climate model that successfully post-predicts climate change. Take all climate data from, say 1800-1970, then accurately predict climate in 2000. Yet to be done.

Instead, researchers goose the numbers based on what they think A will do to B, to show C, which is obviously caused by D. And since C is reallyreally bad, we need to repent of our carbon/polluting/whateveh ways to achieve eternal paradise.

This is not to deny climate change, because the climate is always changing. But it's easy to deny the specific doomsday scenarios endlessly hyped as established unavoidable fact.

Man-caused climate changer doubters could reenact the open of this particular episode with few revisions in the script, and the tone would be unchanged.

TeddP said...


Check out the this NCAR press release:

The paper is from 2005, but shows two models compared to the actual temperature record from about 1900 to now. The modeling appears to me(i.e. a non-expert)to be pretty good.

What really impresses is taking the model predictions from 1990 and compare to the record since then:

The RealClimate site is the place to go for good climate info:

There is also a section on the index page, "Response to common contrarian arguments" that covers all the basic "climate-skeptic" arguments.

Rob said...

Thanks TeddP for the links. Here's another, similar site I glance through.

My point is that climate and religious doomsayers both preach you *must* change your lifestyle or you're going to burn by X date. Both sides cling to their respective narratives to prove their points, often smoothing over uncomfortable contradictions.

When apocalyptic climate predictions are shown to be wrong or overblown, it's almost always a typo or misunderstanding (Himalayan glaciers will disappear, 50 million climate change refugees by 2010, etc). When Christians throw out crazy scenarios and are proven wrong, they're (deservedly) ridiculed as just stoopid and looking to take advantage of the stoopider.

One quick example (apologies as usual for the lengthy comment). Robert F. Kennedy is not a scientist, but is akin to a prophet for the climate doomsayer movement. In the days after Katrina he famously wrote, "Well, the science is clear. This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming."

Since then it's become an annual tradition for the experts to predict an above average hurricane season, only for the actual season to be much quieter than those experts expected. Of course, there's the reliable caveat that long-term climate change is different than short-term weather patterns, so don't worry.

Doubters will challenge your faith, but pay them no mind. The climate doomsday is totally on track.

TeddP said...


I see the parallel you are trying to draw, but still don't quite agree.

The critical difference is that religious prophecy is based on nothing but ancient myths and wishful thinking. Climate change is based on actual facts.

There are always people who make unwarranted conclusions based on their misreading of science(i.e. anti-vaccine, homeopathy, creationism, etc.), and there are no shortage of these folks in the climate change battles. RFK has apparently embarrassed himself in both vaccines and climate change.

But the earth is warming, the sea levels are rising:

By 2100, there are likely to be some significant impacts to the earth. Of course, the father in the future you predict, the bigger the errors bars. But the important point is that "significant impacts" is not the same as "no big deal".

This is why attempting to draw a a parallel between climate change and religious prophecy rubs me the wrong way. Prophecy can be safely ignored since it is based on nothing, climate change cannot.

Rob said...

Thanks for the response TeddP. I'll offer two more brief examples of why I think climate change doomsayers are equal to religious doomsayers.

Earlier this week, climate change prophet Al Gore, father of four, said one way to avoid heatageddon is to empower women in regards to "fertility management" and thus stabilize population growth.

Earlier this month, prophet Thomas Friedman wrote in the NY Times that the "Earth is full" and promoted the idea that "the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less." Meanwhile, Friedman himself has a "palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million, on a 7½-acre parcel just blocks from I-495 and Bethesda Country Club."

This is not much different than the Christian doomsayer who said the world will end on X day, but nonetheless keeps ownership of his radio station empire or whatnot. Why is one mockable, the other not?

Climate change prophecy, much like Biblical prophecy, is only as respectable as an individual's interpretation of its meaning and how they themselves act on their own true words. Which is why I say, again, the opening of this podcast could make the topic climate change and not miss a beat.

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