Maybe End Times believers should just stay home and pray, not make decisions

Let reasonable people try and deal with the world’s problems.

Belief That “Second Coming” Of Jesus Is Nigh May Be Preventing Climate Change Action: A Study : Science : Nature World News.

Belief that the “Second Coming” of Jesus is nigh may be stemming climate change action, according to a study published in the Political Science Quarterly.

The research, conducted by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado, examined data from the 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study to discover that belief in the “end times” reduced a person’s probability of strongly supporting government action on climate change by 12 percent when controlling for demographic and cultural factors.

This article links to a YouTube video of Rep. John Shimkus saying God decides when the earth will end. The article also notes that people believe the End Times are beginning because of the recent disasters that have taken place.

Here is the abstract:

The authors examine U.S. public attitudes regarding global climate change, addressing the puzzle of why support for governmental action on this front is tepid relative to what existing theories predict. Introducing the theoretical concept of relative sociotropic time horizons, the authors show that believers in Christian end-times theology are less likely to support policies designed to curb global warming than are other Americans. They then provide robustness checks by analyzing other policy attitudes. In so doing, the authors provide empirical evidence to suggest that citizens possessing shorter “shadows of the future” often resist policies trading short-term costs for hypothetical long-term benefits.

This way of thinking is shot through with illogical and dogmatic thinking. Humans are special, the earth is for our use, we can’t cause a catastrophe, catastrophes are increasing…

It’s hard to destroy a planet but not so hard to kill a whole slew of people with one natural or man-made incident. Earthquakes and disease ravage the earth every year. Now, we hear about it on the internet. And, there are more people living in environmentally vulnerable areas.

It’s deplorable that we vote in government officials that rely on one book and set of flawed teachings instead of the evidence all around us. Humans are the only ones who can deal with and possibly alleviate the future catastrophes that will befall people. I’d suggest that if people think that prayer can solve everything, they just stay at home and do that and stay out of humanist problem solving and stay out of politics altogether.

  10 comments for “Maybe End Times believers should just stay home and pray, not make decisions

  1. spookyparadigm
    May 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    And as I noted in a link I sent yesterday, conservatives are more likely to buy a lightbulb, for example, that saves them money. But if they are told it is good for the environment, they are less likely to buy it. For reasons of class/geography (we talk about red states, but really the divide in American politics is rural/exurban vs. urban with suburbs up for grabs, which means that those involved with scientific research by necessity will generally be in very blue places such as cities and college towns, and will often work with large institutions or corporations rather than smaller less urban businesses. In politics, the bubble of experience greatly clouds ones perception) and religion, American conservatism has fallen in love with antiscience and antireason (it is nearly impossible to find any remotely popular conservative news portal that isn’t heavily trafficking in conspiracy theories of one sort or another, and you now have congressmen acting on these conspiracy theories), and it is going to get worse before it gets better.

  2. saltydog7419
    May 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    also, don’t forget the endless wars, and, especially in the usa, people killing people with guns~

  3. RDW
    May 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    The math suggesting climate change seems sound. Observations of the environment would suggest that the overwhelming majority of scientists are right. Many if not most religionists hide from reality, wrapped up in their religion. They don’t care all that much about nature or living things. All they really want is a figurative pat on the head and assertions that they are “good people” from their God. Hopefully, clever people with a good grasp of scientific principles will prevail, and worst case environmental and cultural scenarios won’t play out. What would be a big help to life on the planet would be to safely start collecting the methane beneath the world’s oceans so that it doesn’t become an airborne atmospheric pollutant. If that happens, (huge amounts of “new” methane in the air) I’d think we’re pretty much screwed. Methane is a much, much worse greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide.

  4. Chris Howard
    May 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    So beliefs influence behavior. Who knew? Sorry, just couldn’t resist. ;-)

  5. Chris Howard
    May 5, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    On a serious note,

    W.C. Clifford on the matter: “It is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence.”

    I highly recommend his “The Ethics of Belief.” Dr. Clifford saw the flaw of believing that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, almost immediately (1870 something?)

    T. H. Huxley also saw the foley of silly beliefs, as did Brand Blanshard.

    I still think Goya (a tireless proponent of the enlightenment) said it best: “Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and source of their wonders.”

  6. Graham
    May 5, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    I wish I had the proof to hand, but supposedly the reason the Carter Era energy programs and other environmental legislation was scaled back in the Regan Era was that Regans Environment minister believed that because the End Times would happen ‘soon’ (eg Before the end of the 80s(?)) nothing needed to be done.

    So really this is nothing new.

  7. spookyparadigm
    May 5, 2013 at 10:40 PM
  8. May 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I think there are three related but different beliefs being mixed up in the linked article:
    1. The End Times are coming soon, so there is no point in fixing problems that affect the future. Why fix the roof, if the house is just going to be torn down soon?
    2. The increase in destructive storms and other natural disasters is a sign from God that the End Times are indeed coming, and we should be celebrating them, because the Second Coming will be a great and wonderful thing.
    3. God promised after the Flood that he wouldn’t do that again, so whatever we do to the climate, God will fix it – unless it really is the End Times, in which case there is nothing we can do. It is not within our power to ruin the planet; that’s God’s job.

    I’ve seen all three arguments used to justify inaction on climate change. A variant of the second argument also has a pernicious influence on evangelical American attitudes towards the Middle East peace process, since peace in that region would mess with their eschatology.

  9. May 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Shimkus says a lot of dumb things:

    Capping C02 Emissions Will “Take Away Plant Food”
    http://www.progressillinois.com/2009/3/27/shimkus-carbon-emissions-plant-food

  10. spookyparadigm
    May 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

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