Skip to comments.Failed Doomsday Has Real Deadly Consequences
Posted on 05/25/2011 6:50:21 AM PDT by Borges
Harold Camping, the 89-year-old leader whose study of the Bible convinced him and his followers that the world would end, has been described by his wife as "flabbergasted" that the apocalypse didnt start over the weekend. There are some red faces out there. And if that's all it had been, then one could argue no great harm had been done.
But while Camping and his followers try to figure out what went wrong (or right) with news Monday night that he now says Judgment Day will come on Oct. 21 the failed prophecy did more than just damage Camping's credibility: It also appears to have caused death and serious injury to true believers.
A California woman named Lyn Benedetto was one of millions who heard Camping's message, and became concerned that her daughters would suffer terribly in the coming apocalypse. She allegedly forced her daughters, 11 and 14, to lie on a bed and then cut their throats with a box cutter. She then tried to kill herself, though police arrested Benedetto and all three survived.
Others were not so lucky. An elderly man in Taiwan reportedly killed himself on May 5 ahead of the Rapture by jumping out of a building. He had heard that doomsday was imminent, and had taken recent earthquakes and tsunamis as early warning signs.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Camping is a fool, but the writer offers virtually no evidence for his charge in this article.
Camping is a loon. there will always be loons. And those who believed him are too.
Still, I can see where this is going: a “law” for our own protection. The best protection is knowing how to think critically.
This Camping loon had a First Amendment right to say these loony things. I can insist the sky will turn green on a certain date, and people can choose to believe it or not.
I have never understood suicide but especially in cases like this. Jesus is returning so kill yourself? Is that a way for the less than Holy to avoid punishment ? Doesn’t work.
Okay Lucy, looks like Charlie Brown wants another wack at kicking that football! This fool never learns.
I said on another thread that I feared there would be suicides because of this Camping idiot.
Too bad I was right!
Recall the little boy who cried “wolf”?
Only in this case he will never be right.
The article doesn’t actually document a single person dying because of the 5-21 doomsday scenario. Thus, more people died riding as a passenger with Ted Kennedy than died as a result of Camping’s false prophecies.
” Still, I can see where this is going: a law for our own protection. “
Gee - if we were to outlaw predictions, promises, and reports that turn out to be not exactly true — that would pretty much put politicians and the Media out of business...
I don’t understand your statement. The author doesn’t offer specifics on the alleged Taiwanese suicide, but the Lyn Benedetto story is all over the news. Furthermore, this is standard operating procedure for well-publicized end of the world fake outs. My dad told me that when Orson Wells did his War of the Worlds radio program there were people then who thought it was really happening and did dreadful things, including, he told me, suicides.
So I dont think the author is bringing any unjustified charges. I do wish that those who claim to believe in Jesus would also believe what he said about no one knowing the time of his return. I think he knew what panic and badness it would cause if people could know that moment with precision.
Someone once asked DL Moody what he would do if he knew with certainty that Jesus was coming tomorrow. His answer? Plant a tree. I love it. I wish there were more like him and fewer like Camping. I think some people just get a high out of making themselves into the prophet of doom. But that’s a very bad place to be if God Himself didn’t authorize it. And in Camping’s case, we can be certain he didn’t.
Maybe you disagree, but I don't think that merits notice.
That’s because the rapture theory is just an escapist fantasy that’s only been around since the late 1800s. It’s a good way to disarm the Christians into doing nothing while evil grows.
And why kill yourself if you think you are going to die anyway.
Some failed to learn from the Heaven’s Gate wackos.
It’s going to happen anyways (or desired to happen):
People will cry out for the mountain to Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! (Rev. 6:13-17)
There should be a law against false prophets and they should be put to death.
Good thing you reminded us.
I see your point. There may be no statistical correlation. It would make some sociology doctoral candidate a nice thesis. I agree that anyone of normal mental health is unlikely to mortally harm themselves no matter what they’re told. But avoiding misdirection is a central part of what Jesus warned against in that whole teaching on his return. He did not want his followers being misled by panic-mongers, because irrational fear does make you do stupid things you later regret. I suspect our doctoral candidate would find that such events serve as magnets to the already unstable and tend to push them over the threshold from passive dysfunction to actively self-destructive behaviors. So perhaps no net increase in looniness, but a definite increase in harm to the already weak-minded, as Paul puts it.
Its a shame someone who's lived as long as Mr Camping doesn't realize that.
“The Almighty wanted to give them a chance to settle the NFL Lockout...”
The question I have is:
For the believer there should be joy rather than fear.
For the non-believer, well they don’t believe so what would they fear?
Neither justifies suicide. Death will bring its reward to the believer and non-believer regardless.
“.....doomsday predictions are not going away. Many people, especially those in the New Age community, believe that 2012 will bring global cataclysm”.....
And the New Agers are taking it seriously unfortunately.
Maybe they hate waiting in line?
What about martyrs of normal mental health, or soldiers?
I totally agree, I’m just saying that the “less than holy” that were mentioned will be crying out to be able to commit suicide, but they won’t be able to.
Perhaps Mr. Camping, despite being a preacher for so long, is trying to store up treasure on Earth instead of in Heaven. He wants to be remembered as the prophet who correctly deciphered the Rapture. Yet, if he truly predicted it there would be no one to appreciate his prediction. Let's just assume he is senile and has been for a while, since he has predicted this before and now yet again for Oct. 21.
What about the real suicides and people financially wiped out by Barney Frank’s, Chris Dodd’s and ACORN’s collapse of the American economy. Not as big a concern to the AP.
If Camping and people who agreed with him want to spend their time and money warning others about judgment day, that’s for them to decide. It’s a free country.
There is an idea running through all of this mocking and criticism of Camping that society (in other words, our governmental masters) should ‘protect’ people from those like Camping. That is a fascist tyrannical idea which is un-American.
Do you mean the battle-induced mental challenges faced by soldiers? Serious stuff, I agree, but I’m not sure how you are relating it to the Harold Camping business. I am afraid I do not understand your point. Please rephrase. Tnx.
You said...’I agree that anyone of normal mental health is unlikely to mortally harm themselves no matter what theyre told’...I mentioned martyrs and soldiers, as they are both likely to mortally harm themselves. Both will do things that they know will kill them...ie, throwing themselves on grenades and dying because they will not renounce something.
Ah, good point. But there is a difference between suicide and a willingness to die for what one believes in. In using the phrase “harm themselves,” I mean that literally, not indirectly, as in pointing a weapon at one’s self and pulling the trigger, with no external assailant involved. No true martyr or soldier of good mental health does that, i.e., they do not initiate the lethal condition with the intent of destroying themselves.
A soldier may fall on a grenade, but he did not throw the grenade himself in order to fall on it. Instead, he is imposing his own body as a barrier to prevent harm to others whom he values more than his own life, out of a rational sense of love and duty.
Likewise, religious martyrs, of the mentally healthy sort, do not intentionally seek out firing squads to stand in front of and be shot by. Doesn’t happen. Whereas those who do initiate harm to themselves, even in the guise, say, of a suicide bomber, are still not mentally healthy. Indeed, the jihadis are known to seek out bomb carriers who are either too mentally immature to know what they are doing or too unstable to care. Osama BL promoted many a suicide bombing but he did alright for himself until one of our soldiers took him out.
So I think my premise stands, that the mentally healthy do not intentionally do mortal harm to themselves, with the refinement that we are talking about classic, totally self-inflicted suicide, as opposed to bravery in the line of duty.
So killing oneself is relative.
So killing oneself is relative.
So killing oneself is relative.
Sorry for the repeat, happens with my mobile.
I never said that. I wish I knew where you really wanted to go with this. You are confusing me. As an attorney, I've been trained in how to differentiate specific acts of harm. If I have failed to do so to your satisfaction, I apologize, but I really don't know what you want me to say. As compared to suicide, giving one's life voluntarily out of necessity to save another is not a difference of degree but a difference of kind.
Suicide is intentional self-destruction without justification or excuse. It is self-murder. There is nothing about it that is noble. It is running away from something perceived as too difficult to bear. Ultimately, it is selfish. And no, it does not reflect the operation of a healthy mind.
Sacrifice of self for the good of another is an entirely different frame of mind. It is not grounded in fear but in courage and love. I am reminded of that Cuban mother who lost her life at sea trying to get her little boy to America. She would have lived if she could have found a way, but circumstances did not allow that, yet she took that risk on her son's behalf. I really don't see how you get "relative" out of that. Please enlighten me.
In some European countries prophecy is outlawed because it “causes panic.” Liberals and their Muslim Shira pals are hoping to gain control over the “dangerous” religious speech of Christians.
They will use any excuse they can find to kick in their “hate speech” punishments.
No you didn’t.
I think it is a difference of degree, not kind. Bottom line, one’s actions brought about their own death, whether instinctive reaction, deliberate, justified or not. If the end result of an attempted suicide, falling on one’s sword, martyrism, suicide by police or jumping on a grenade is sure death, then the only thing that determines it’s goodness or badness, is it’s relativity to the situation or circumstances. To save another, to show one’s determination, to self-destruct, these all have the same result. The only differences are the method and/or motivation. How can you say that to the individual, their suicide was without justification or excuse? That really is just an opinion, isn’t it?
I don’t understand why so many people reject the idea that most everything in life is relative to something. How are circumstances not the same as things being relative to a situation? I’m just asking to see where you, an attorney, stand on this. Thanks
Its one of those term-of-art things. Falling back on relativity is fine as long as we are discussing relationships between things and their relevance to moral evaluation under universal moral categories. However, when said relativity allows one to erase moral categories altogether, more has been lost than has been gained. There is a real topography to moral analysis. Categories exist that allow us to differentiate between murder and self-defense, or suicide and other-defense. It’s kind of a mind trick.
Yes, I can put on a filter that appears to eliminate the moral categories and sees, hypothetically, only varying physical situations that end up with similar results.
However, even at the physical level, there are patterns that differentiate suicide from self-sacrifice. Consider this: How many actors are necessary for a suicide? One. How many actors are necessary for the grenade-covering scenario? Three; the hero, the villain, and the one the hero is dying for. Saying they all end up with one person dead and therefore they are the same is, if I may be so bold, ludicrous. Persons may also die of disease, or pure accident. Are they also the same, simply because they have a similar physical result? Or is it as a former employer of mine once said: Theyre all the same except for where theyre different.
There comes a point where the identifying the similarity is not as useful as identifying the difference, and, viola, a category is born. Categories are shorthand for the configuration of facts that make events differentiable, whether morally, legally, or otherwise. And the categories have real value. A murder is still a murder, an unjustified killing, even if the murderer sincerely believes the killing was justified. The law recognizes a difference in kind as between using lethal force because one must defend one’s self versus using lethal force against one who is, in objective reality, no threat.
So then,would you erase murder as a category, simply because it can produce a dead body just like self-defense can? Or would you preserve that difference? If you opt to preserve that difference, you are sanctioning the use of moral categories, i.e., differences in kind re moral valuation (and yes, I would always tell one bent on suicide theyre not justified in ending their own life justification is both a moral and a legal category into which self-murder cannot be made to fit, whether by statutory or by natural law (yes, Im one of those pesky natural law guys)).
As an attorney, my legal battles all revolve around discovering how well the facts of the case fit one or another of the legal categories that control the law of the case. Sometimes the relationships are muddy, but mostly they are clear, and my job in court is to make them clear. Categories are my friend.
Hope that helps. Have to get back to work now.
I believe relativity is the basis for moral categories. It doesn’t erase moral categories, it defines them. There are levels in a murder charge aren’t there? There’s mitigating circumstances, manslaughter, homicide. I don’t think it’s a trick, it’s just a way of applying a law to an act, hopefully in a fair manner.
Saying they all end up with one dead, is a fact. They are results of circumstances. Circumstances that are relative to each other, in that the end is the same and in each instance death was the chosen result.
Thanks for your time.