ARMAGEDDON OR HEAVEN ON EARTH?

Any intellectual person who pays much attention to World politics understands that all of humanity is in a very precarious condition. We have advanced in knowledge and technology far beyond our control over our basic instincts, and we have become like mad gods, incapable of achieving the greatness of universal love; but we are now more than capable of destroying all of humankind. Our knowledge and technological capabilities have outstripped our moral character.

This paper is not a call for rejection of knowledge and technology. Rather, it is a call for a recognition that we do possess the power to change the course of history for the better. Annihilation of the human race is not foreordained.

Let's start this discussion with an (unprioritized) enumeration of a few of the reasons why we need to pay more attention to our survival:

  • Our nation's political and economic instability are reaching criticality. The United States is in political crisis, and our democracy is unlikely to survive unless radical changes in thinking occur. A second Civil War will destroy millions of people and almost everyone's retirement funding, food supplies, energy sources, potable water, and on and on. The technology of destruction is so much greater now than in the first Civil War of the 1860s that the desolation from the second will be far more severe. Survival will be for the unlucky few.
  • The decline in the overall level of rational thought occurring worldwide is causing a huge loss of respect for specialists in every avenue of endeavor. Wishful thinking is replacing reality in the minds of a majority. Rational analysis is of little to no consideration in a majority of disputes. This decline is occurring largely within the most prosperous countries, "Western" countries, because prosperity distorts and hides reality. This decline in rationality in the West, logically, will allow more disciplined Asian countries to gain World supremacy -- at our loss.
  • The rise of religious fanaticism is being manifest in most Muslim countries, but no more so nor more dangerous than that being manifest in the United States, among Evangelical Christians. Modern Evangelical Christians can tell the difference between an acorn and an oak tree, but not between a human blastocyst and a human being. Against all evidence, they believe the Earth is only 6000 years old; it never occurs to them that their interpretation of Scripture might need revision! Their theology is faulty because they reject the very logic and reasoning so strongly espoused by Jesus. If you doubt this, just look at how Jesus refuted the bad theology of the religious leaders of his time.
  • The danger of virus mutations and our general lack of preparedness were made clear during the very mild COVID-19 epidemic, which had an infection fatality rate of only 1.4 percent. Had it been a Marburg or Ebola virus or a similar nasty virus, the World could easily have lost 50 percent of its population in a year! Billions dead, instead of millions. The scientists know this, and have sounded the alarms, but the politicians and the public are in denial. Those who put free-dumb (freedom) before sound anti-viral measures will not get away with their stupidity if a truly nasty virus pandemic occurs. Any observer of how non-native plants and animals are proliferating in new environments due to globalized trade and travel can understand that viruses can be transmitted to new countries far more easily and with far less detection than the foreign plants and animals we worry about. Considering how badly COVID-19 disrupted economies worldwide, and particularly Chinaís, factor that economic disruption up by a factor of 30 or more if a nasty virus pandemic occurs. If you donít die from the virus, you still might starve.
  • The political instability of nations that possess nuclear arms is rising. Economically and politically, China is on the rocks. We may see their entire national structure collapse soon. Russia is but a shell of its former self, having rotted from the inside out. North Korea is a backwards nation run by a mad man. Will China, or Russia, or North Korea, rather than collapse under the weight of their bad decisions, start a war in an attempt to revive their economies? It is likely that a war with any of these countries will go nuclear. The old MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) policy that worked so well when national leaders were rational is now unlikely to work so well, because we see grossly unqualified mad men -- not just in North Korea -- in "control of the little red button" of thermonuclear bombs. Add to these risks the desire of Muslim fanatics to obtain atomic bombs, many of which are unaccounted for. We need to contemplate the scenario of if-and-when some nutcase triggers one; and what will happen in response?
  • One can argue whether global climate change is caused by humans or not, but no rational person can argue that global climate change does not exist and is not increasing in scope. It is undeniable. We can expect to see forest fires that encompass hundreds of square miles, increased hurricanes and tornados, coastal cities under water, much of Africa uninhabitable desert -- with hordes of refugees trying to move to Europe and Asia. Crops will fail. Water scarcity will increase. Standards of living will plummet. Hunger and starvation will become commonplace in many parts of the World
  • Artificial intelligence has improved by leaps and bounds. It can do much good; but, it also can do great harm in the hands of the wrong people. A good AI computer can craft highly believable propaganda in milliseconds, and the debunkers of this disinformation are like rock throwers against machine gunners. Unless the Constitution is modified to restrict the "free speech" of computers, our democracy will not survive the onslaught of disinformation.

If a wise person seriously considers all these threats concurrently unfolding, they will quite logically starts thinking about things that they can personally manage to help mitigate the likelihood of personal disaster.

It is right that we look at personal, actions, because we cannot rely on our governments to do what is best for us. But buying gold and silver and stockpiling food are about as effective as applying band-aids to a fractured spinal column. Those who seriously explore personal ways to mitigate global threats soon come to realize that the best answers are in the collective. We are all mankind, and we are all in this mess. There is no us-versus-them. We are all in this together. It is the us-versus-them that will kill us all if we donít recognize its lethality, and conquer it.

For those who seriously explore personal survival alternatives, it is quickly obvious that survivalism is a great hoax, a fantasyland.

Survivalists might last a week or two longer than non-survivalists, but then everyone is equally dead.

The greatest survivalist hoax of all is foisted by well-meaning but deluded Christians. Christians claim that "God is in control. God will protect His people." And they really believe it. Their problem is not of belief, but of bad theology. They fervently believe -- just in the wrong thing. Most of the people who claim that God will protect them will be under His wrath, not his protection.

Scripture is crystal clear and abundantly plain that most people who claim to be Christians will NOT be welcomed if and when they reach the pearly gates. It will not be because their God does not exist; rather, it will be because their God will refuse to accept them. He'll say, "Depart from me ye workers of iniquity. I never knew you."

Yes, most professing "Christians" will be refused at the pearly gates. Why?

A major theme of the Old Testament and of Jesus in the New Testament is that God expects everyone to be committed to "the common good" of all mankind. This commitment cannot be satisfied just with occasional charity. Those who claim salvation but ignore this demand will not be welcomed by God. Don't take my word for it. Read what Jesus said! It logically follows that if God does not regard them as "His children", unacceptable for Heaven, then they do not have His protection now, either.

I am not arguing against real Christianity nor against the wise counsel of Scripture. I am arguing against the current widespread heresy of greasy grace, where one can say, in effect, "Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, yea God!" and that is all that is required. But God does require more. It is fine to believe that God will save his own. But the vast majority of those who call themselves Christians are not His own.

Whether you be Christian or Athiest, in this one area of God demanding that Christians seek the common good, the demands of Scripture are equally sound! If one thinks about it from a careful Scriptural analysis, one sees that God demands all mankind to work tirelessly for the common good of all humankind. Whether you are an atheist or a devout Christian, or a Muslim, Buddhist, or any other religion, this is exactly the right message for our troubled world.

If one is an atheist and doesn't recognize the existence of any god, the same message is still the only rational alternative; that is, the best hope for mankind's survival, regardless of your religious or non-religious beliefs, is to work tirelessly for the common good of all humankind.

If those who profess Christianity would begin to understand this great truth, and the fact that they have ignored an unconditional demand by God, they could become an unbelievable force for changing the course of humankind. A light on the hill for the whole World. But I have no faith that they will do this. Perhaps the athiests will become the rocks that cry out?

--mof, 10/13/2023

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