Judgment Day

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lisa Miller, contributor to Newsweek and author of Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With The Afterlife, and John Matson, reporter for Scientific American ask why do people believe in "judgment day" and what it says about us. 


John Matson and Lisa Miller

Comments [45]

Larry from Bronx

Has any talked about this man being 89 years old and wanting to seethe rapture in his lifetime, like so many other s who believe like him. If he is wrong it will be too late to recalculate so he needs to raise money and leave it behinds his church and fund raising will be better endowed. I think he is successful in what he is championing right now.

May. 20 2011 01:51 PM
Bruce from NYC

I do question one element of your reportage and discussion. It's the use of the term "mathematics." Sorry, this is all numerology. A bunch of people pointing at some madeup systemisation of nonsense and muttering to themselves isn't mathematics. Postulates and theorems had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Oh, okay, so they're "counting" on the world to end. Yeah, right.

May. 20 2011 01:48 PM

WRONG AUDIO posted here!
(Sorry for the all caps, just wanted to get the webmaster's attention. I'd really like to listen to the Judgement Day segment.)

May. 20 2011 12:33 PM
Wilma from Bronx, NY

It is immaterial whether the Julian or the Gregorian calendar was in use at the time Jesus was alleged to have lived. He would have used a lunar calendar, as Jews use today.

May. 20 2011 12:11 PM
The Truth from Becky

*dboy* what a name ---not by my understanding.

May. 20 2011 12:07 PM
rose-ellen caminer from Jackson Heights,N.Y.

He's a fraud.Anyone who lacks humility in spiritual matters is.I heard him say he could not entertain the possibility that he might be wrong when asked if he would appear on a radio show the day after tomorrow if judgement day does not happen.Even Thomas the apostle had doubts.Jesus himself on the cross expressed doubt when he felt forsaken.A sure sign that he's a fraud is his lack of any doubt.That he would go through these lengths and expense only shows how determined he is to manipulate people.He is about power, the power to get thousands of people to think about what he tells them to think about.People like him give legitimacy to countries that are not so tolerant of freedom of religion because they see the dangers therein.

May. 20 2011 12:01 PM
Edward from NJ

But what about the fact that the anglo saxon term bulls#!t did not exist in the time of Noah?

May. 20 2011 11:55 AM

Gunna be a bunch of hungry zombies out there, tomorrow!

May. 20 2011 11:52 AM

@The Truth from Becky

"False prophet"? Is that kind of redundant??

May. 20 2011 11:50 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Any film buff can tell you that the end of the world can't come about until Peter Bogdanovich and his team finally finish Orson Welles' "The Other Side of The Wind."

May. 20 2011 11:49 AM
Max from NYC

Does Camping even know when the west first learnt about the decimal system? When did the 0.5 get encoded in the bible? Or does camping acknowledge that the bible was written way east and sent to the middle east to sow conflict?

Either way, what a hoot!

May. 20 2011 11:48 AM


Beyond CRAZY!!!

Every last one!

May. 20 2011 11:47 AM
Arlo from NYC

P.S.: The world has *already* been destroyed, by the way. Back about 50 million years after the third planet from the Sun was created, it was struck by a Mars-sized object which created the Moon and gave us the world we call Earth. That other Earth would have been much different from the one today. (You don't find that in the Bible...)

May. 20 2011 11:47 AM

@ esme:
No: the Mayan calendar is based on the "rolling over" of a digit of its base-20 calendar - akin to going from year "999" to "1000".

May. 20 2011 11:46 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Brian, zombies and the rapture are two different subjects. The former has to do with braaaaains. The latter, not so much.

May. 20 2011 11:45 AM
The Truth from Becky

Blasphemy - beware of false prophets

May. 20 2011 11:45 AM
esme from manhattan

does this relate to the Mayan calendar prediction where the world ends on the 21st of december 2012 (?)

May. 20 2011 11:45 AM
Joe from NJ

I heard Mr Camping on the radio chiding a caller that 'even the son doesn't know when the last day will be," so the caller should live every day as if it's the last. (That was @ 10 yrs ago- after he predicted the end date in 1994.)
But now Camping has come up with another definite date? Hypocritical, no?

May. 20 2011 11:44 AM
Ken from Soho

The dead cannot "rise out of their graves" as only the dead body is left behind - the soul resides in the astral plane, awaiting reincarnation (unless already reincarnated)!

May. 20 2011 11:44 AM
Pam from NY

Good grief, Brian.

May. 20 2011 11:44 AM

Follow-up on the calendrical question:

(1) The Gregorian calendar "began" in the 1750 (adoption dates vary); the Julian calendar was in use in year "zero".

(2) The "calculation" probably doesn't take into account the "lost" week in September 1752.

(3) Jesus was Jewish, so it's more likely that reckoning would have to be calculated against the lunisolar calendar - which begins its days at *sundown*, not midnight.

May. 20 2011 11:44 AM
lennief from Manhattan

Did he account for the 11 lost days when England switched to the Gregorian calendar from the Julian in the 1750's ?

May. 20 2011 11:43 AM
The Truth from Becky


May. 20 2011 11:42 AM
Dennis Moyes from Rutherford, NJ

Why are you wasting time on this sort of nonsense? There are more important things out there.

May. 20 2011 11:42 AM

How arrogant do you have to be to believe that the Earth's demise is based on your personal interpretation of one of many religions in this world?

May. 20 2011 11:42 AM
Lori from Montclair, NJ

I boarded a Hong Kong bound plane a few weeks ago and about 8 people on board were sporting those tee shirts. Most of the other passengers looked bemused but one guy standing next to me during boarding said to me, "I hope they don't feel that they have nothing to lose." 16 hours is a long flight anyway but that one was particularly long. :-)

May. 20 2011 11:41 AM

To all the believers: Can I have your house?

May. 20 2011 11:40 AM

did anyone read -- Maia Szalavitz Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Apocalypse Now: Why Believers Will Grow Stronger If the World Doesn't End

Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance, which predicts that the more we have given and invested in a particular point of view, the less likely we will be to abandon it in the face of contrary evidence. It's the same cognitive process that kicks in when we are made to behave in ways that are inconsistent with our beliefs; in the face of that disharmony, we often change our beliefs to be congruent with our behaviors and self-perception. Cognitive dissonance is uncomfortable and leads people to seek resolution.

May. 20 2011 11:40 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Does misspelling "Judgment" count as a sign of the end of the world, or was the headline outsourced from the UK?

By the way, there is no mention anywhere of a "rapture" in the Bible. I recommend Barbara R. Rossing's "The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation" (Basic Books 2005), which tells the full story of how this nonsense came to be.

May. 20 2011 11:40 AM


May. 20 2011 11:39 AM

it can't really be the end of the world. that would be a big story and brian's not on vacation.

May. 20 2011 11:38 AM
PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

Urrrgh! The pain! the pain! Please, please stop calling this numerological nonsense “math”!

May. 20 2011 11:37 AM
Joel Hubbard from Smithtown

Persona non grata in Heaven! It's could happen to YOU! To avert celestial confusion and to insure YOU your proper place in eternity! Act now, your thinking who the Hell do you think you are and what is it your selling? Absolutely Nothing! YOU worked very hard your whole earthly existence! "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Act Now, If your a pie in the sky when YOU die kinda guy or gal like I am. You'll want your piece of the Heavenly pie chart. All YOU have to do is sign all your worldly goods over to me. I'll hold on to them until YOU hopefully do not return! When asked I'll swear that You are one of the most giving persons I've ever met! ACT NOW, Don't be Left Behind with all that filthy lucre! Give it to me with peace of mind and have a great trip!

May. 20 2011 11:36 AM
Marcio from Brooklyn

How many times should the world have ended by now according to all existing theories that have popped up in history?

May. 20 2011 11:36 AM

Considering that this isn't the first time the "creator" predicted a last day, and considering that every predicted doomsday has been proven false, perhaps we should have a discussion about the rising epidemic of apocalypitiphillia (to balance the "epidemic of panic" from a few days ago).

May. 20 2011 11:36 AM
JoeM from Brooklyn

Does This prognosticator take into account the switch from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The change resulted in an adjustment of a dozen or so days?

May. 20 2011 11:36 AM
Joel from Nyack

To all those who read the bible literally, good luck tomorrow. The rest of us will still be here this Sunday wondering where all of you have gone. This is one big joke on all you believers.

May. 20 2011 11:35 AM
David from Queens

The world actually ended on Dec 31, 1999 - everyone was just too hung over to notice!

May. 20 2011 11:34 AM

The end was here.

May. 20 2011 11:34 AM
Brad from UWS

I agree with Arlo. This is from the Atlantic Wire (URL below):

"Neither, says Camping, whom I interviewed recently for my online news show TYT Now. The Rapture is at 6 p.m. on May 21, 2011, where ever it's 6 p.m. first, with the "fantastically big" world-ending event taking place on a time zone by time zone basis.

That means we can expect the Rapture to start when it hits 6 p.m. at the International Dateline at 180 Longitude -- roughly the between Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Nuku'alofa, Tonga. We'll know it's Judgment Day because there will be an earthquake of previously unprecedented magnitude, Camping predicts.

So, according to these calculations, the Rapture will actually begin like a rolling brown out across the globe at 11 p.m. PST on Friday, May 20th. "Everyone will be weeping and wailing because they'll know in a few hours it'll come to their city," said Camping."


May. 20 2011 11:34 AM
Erika from Brooklyn

Is it infallible this time? It wasn’t when he predicted the same thing in 1994.

May. 20 2011 11:34 AM

see u all on the 22nd!

May. 20 2011 11:34 AM
Cliff C. from Hampton, NJ

Im not a religious man at all , but a friend pointed out that it says in Matthew 24:36 that "But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." So wouldn't it be sacrilegious to say we do know exactly when its all gonna go down?

May. 20 2011 11:33 AM
anna from Brooklyn

These people don't even believe in science, so how the h*ll (no pun intended) are they going to even know what to do with math?

May. 20 2011 11:33 AM
Arlo from NYC

From what I've heard, the great earthquakes are supposed to start at 6 p.m. local standard time, which means they start in the island nation of Kiribati (Greenwich Mean Time +14 hours) which means we will know in New York when the clock strike midnight. Worth staying up for, eh?!? The reason why Kiribati is in this time zone is because they wanted to be the first to see the 2000 millenium. Now, if these escatologians are correct, the are first to see the real Millenium! Whoooeee!

May. 20 2011 11:26 AM

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