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I am a new parent. My interests are secularism, learning, parenting, religion, career planning, and adult education.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Problem with Pretending to Know the Future

Whenever I come across religious or psychic statements about the future, I am reminded of why I think religion is harmful to society. Recently, I came across this

On the surface, most people, even less religious people, will say - "ah that's nice to believe that good will always overcome evil in the end," but we really don't know that for sure, do we? Seeing what we see on the news everyday, we can see that evil often overcomes good and there aren't a lot of good reasons to believe that this will magically change one day, just because a prophet, the bible, or whatever said so. The only way to ensure that good overcomes evil is to work towards it ourselves by creating a society based on human compassion, social justice, and logic and reason.

Pretending to know the future, in my opinion, is one of the biggest problems with religion and why more people need to speak out against ideas and statements that are of no help to a society that desperately needs it. It is important to challenge these ideas, because the more we let these ideas pass around without comment, they more these religious ideas will sink into the public conscience through social consent for religion.

Believing in an apocalypse, end of times, or even just a final judgement and destruction of this earth are common in North America - it is a tenet of Christianity and many people take it seriously. The biggest problem I see with believing this, is that whenever the world gets in trouble - wars, financial crisis, environmental threats, natural disasters, is that rather than respond to these problems in a constructive way, folks read everyday happenings as "signs of the times" and get busying praying, preaching, and getting people "on the right side" instead of acknowledging that Christianity and all its sects have been predicting the end of the world since the 33 AD and it hasn't happened yet. All these actions are misdirected time and energy that would be better used in solving problems the problems that face us.

And statements like the one made by Jeffrey Holland are only comforting to those on "his team" is divisive and exclusionary. Let's face it he's not talking generally about good guys and bad guys - he's talking about those who agree with his religion and those who don't.

There is no way to know the future, but we all have the power to create one that is better for all human citizens and the ones who come after us.


  1. i like to recall Martin Luther king's quote.."the moral arc of the universe is long but it does bend toward justice". But as you point out,it can't be achieved by dreaming alone. It takes a some work to get there, see what Dr. King had to go through.

  2. It isn't just religions, however, that go into Armageddon mode. Remember that book The Population Bomb from the 1960s that predicted that because of unchecked population growth, life expectancy in the US would plummet, there would be food riots in major American cities, and the Great Lakes would disappear? People who would rightfully laugh at the Jehovah Witnesses took this book seriously, even though its prophecies never came to pass.


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