Afternoon InquisitionReligion

AI: Denialism and Jesus Ninja

So by now you have probably heard that the Rapture prediction fell flat. At first Camping said, “I’m looking for answers,” he also said that he was “flabbergasted.” But not flabergasted for long apparently because a mere two days after the rapture did not happen, Camping basically said, nuh uh! It totally did happen… only it was invisible and I just blew your mind.

His actual quote after the fold.

Camping said May 21st was:

“an invisible judgment day” in which a spiritual judgment took place, he said. But the timing and the structure is the same as it has always been, he said. “We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he said. “May 21 is the day that Christ came and put the world under judgment.”

He says the for-reals-day-o-reckoning with all the smashing and the wrath and flames and earthquakes and stuff will be October 21st. May 21 was apparently invisible-ninja-Jesus day. He just forgot to mention the invisible-ninja part.

I posted over on Mad Art Lab how he is following almost to the letter, the predictions of Millerites. And this isn’t the first time Harold Camping has been wrong. If you are bored do a search on “Harold Camping: 1994?” Technically, I think this is his third failed prophecy. At least with the 1994 prediction he included a question mark in the title of his book. But this time he is super serious.

You would think after a while his believers would question him. You would think after a while he would question himself.

That actually got me thinking about how we all occasionally deceive ourselves in little ways. Cognitive dissonance often forces us into biases that can direct us down strange paths in life and that can then lead us to deny facts that are staring us in the face. As skeptics we try to avoid these traps by looking for evidence and being willing to accept mistakes.

Do you know people who are in denial? Have you ever recognized denialism in yourself? How did you come to terms with it?

Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab and cohost of Makers' Hustle Podcast Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+.

Previous post

The Secular Movement's Position on Women's Rights

Next post

My Little Pony Physics

10 Comments

  1. May 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm —

    NO, I’m not in denial! God, why do people keep asking me that?

  2. May 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm —

    “an invisible judgment day”
    You know, invisible, like his judgment.

  3. May 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm —

    Yes, I used to be a Republican.
    I grew up.

  4. May 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm —

    If someone was in de Nile I’d probably throw them a rope or a lifebelt or something… wait ….
    .
    Oh.

  5. May 24, 2011 at 4:37 pm —

    I know tons of people who are in denial about various things ranging from chemtrails, to God, to alternative “medicines”.

    I might be in denial, but the problem is I don’t think I’d be aware of it if I was because I would be in “belief/confirmation” about the thing I was in denial about … if you see what I mean.

  6. May 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm —

    Yes, I used to be a very devout (but not fundamentalist) Christian. It was as my career progressed in the sciences that I finally recognised that I was not applying the same standards of logic and reason to my faith that I was to the rest of my life. I had been cherry picking from Christian doctrine in order to hold my faith and my personal value systems in place at the same time. I finally “saw the light of reason” and gave up my faith. I went through quite a significant mourning period about letting it go, but at the same time felt free in way I had not before.

  7. May 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm —

    Exactly. The Apocalypse really is happening and the Rapture went off without a hitch. http://tinyurl.com/3fzf82p

    The final proof, of course, will be on October 22 when the earth is a burned out cinder. Or, possibly, not.

  8. May 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm —

    Of course I have recognized denial in myself!! I am human and that is one very important way I get through the day! That reminds me of a quote from the movie “The Big Chill” that I have referenced many times over the years….

    Michael: I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.
    Sam Weber: Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.
    Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?

  9. May 25, 2011 at 6:01 am —

    I spent all day Sunday gathering up random items of clothing and taking them to the Salvation Army drop-off, but I don’t remember any of it because I’m totally in denial. Just keep telling myself I wonder why there isn’t a lot more space in my closet after getting rid of all those old clothes.

  10. June 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm —

    When it comes to issues like religion, medicine and social justice, I try not to deceive myself but in my personal life, I am the king of rationalization. I am probably the biggest hypocrite that I know and am constantly making excuses for not talking to people that I fancy, avoiding going to social gatherings and putting off my college work… *sigh* I’ve just depressed myself.

    Of course, sometimes, it creeps into the three former categories but I do my best to disabuse myself of such destructive rationalization as fast as I can. Maybe, though, that is my rationalization for not digging deeper and considering, more seriously, the arguments of my opposition… I just made my head hurt.

    Still happy to be the kind of person that TRIES, though.

Leave a reply