Technology and Religion: Do They Accelerate the Spread of End Time Biblical Prophecies?

Introduction

The current world is full of events that trigger the minds of many to think about the end of the world. These events are sociological, religious or technological. The most recent event was that of Harold Camping and the end of the world. He predicted that the world would end on 21st of May 2011. Another event is the earthquake that hit Japan early this year leading to evacuation of people from the area near the Fukushima nuclear power plant (BBC, 2011). This was because the pressure of the plant became higher than normal. Given the explanations, people are in a dilemma concerning the end of the world. They are not sure whether scientific innovations will rebound and end the world or it will end as religious doctrines indicate. These activities put the world at risk of perishing. It will also find out whether scientific activities assist in the spread of apocalypses and explain the relationship between religion and technology in spreading apocalypses.  The research will seek to answer the following questions:

How have various technological advances changed the understanding of apocalypses?

How has technology assisted apocalyptic prophets to propagate their arguments?

What effect will apocalyptic prophets have on the world?

Does technological advancement put the world at risk of ending?

The research will test the following hypotheses:

End of world predictors with technological knowledge have exploited the new potentialities of technology to extend their apocalyptic narratives.

People respond to apocalyptic narratives and current disasters by using technology in taking safety precautions.

There is the likelihood that some technologies may cause an enormous disaster that might massacre human life.

The research will use secondary sources to study the extent to which scientific innovations put the world at the risk of perishing. The research will gather information from books, journals, and website documents that have covered the topic under discussion.   

The nuclear scientists’ dreams of millennial change coincide with dreams of fundamentalist Christians (Knopf, 1997). As the Christians are expecting the execution of the foretelling of the end of the globe, the scientists are expecting the attainment of millennium changes or goals.  Discover Magazine has featured a topic about a few underground taverns that the Americans have built. These bunkers will assist the Americans in hiding from disaster in case of natural calamities or terrorist attacks. One such shelter can accommodate 150 individuals and feed them for a year. One of the pioneers says that his shelter can withstand nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks since we live in the time of mass destruction and wars (Lemley, 2003).  People have used technology to advance their bunkers to protect them to the extent of having surgery equipment.

Human beings have tried to predict the future in many occasions. Religion claims that its prediction is certain. Many religions predict an apocalyptic end of the world and judgment day. On the other hand, it is the work of scientists to predict the future. The scientists include computer scientists, climatologists, biologists, and general future predictors. Technology is likely to transform the future of the earth. It might not necessarily shape the world for precise results. Therefore, religion and technology are both trying to predict the future resulting into apocalyptic narratives. On the other hand, technological advancements may pose a threat to the modern world.

Literature Review

According to Koslowski, the eschatological hopes of modern technology cannot disregard the law of entropy and the heat of death of the universe (Koslowski, 2002). Even those computer scientists who believe that modern technology will eliminate death of human beings agree that the world will end when the energetic potential of the solar system will be over. Immortality will be possible if an ontological change of the energetic situation takes place. Technological visions of immortality propose that the change of this situation will be possible when human beings leave the Earth and go to another planet. On the other hand, the Biblical religion does not subscribe to the movement of humankind from one planet to another to seek eternal life. It proposes that a change will take place on the earth that will create a new face of the world. Both modern technology and religion agree that the world will at some point end, and all people will die because everything that has a beginning has an end.

There has been advancement in the rate of global change in telecommunications, information technology and other forms of science and technology because of satellites (Pelton, Oslund, & Marshall, 2004). Satellites make communication easy. It is through the satellites that internet connections are now possible. The Web has contributed significantly to exchanging of data amongst people. It links people through networking and strengthens the social ties. It is the platform where apocalyptic individuals discuss their mythological views. Computers have contributed to science fiction. The development of computers is a technology that utilizes electronic circuitry (Warrick, 1980). The speed of the process at which computers convey information is incomprehensible. Science accumulates information at an extremely high rate. Every advance in science and technology has made the scientific fiction writers reinvent the future. The computer has caused radical social changes, and it is likely to cause other changes in the imagination of human beings.  However, the memory of computers may be poor as much as they might complete some tasks faster and better than human beings. The ability of computers to assists writers in writing scientific fiction may have an effect on apocalyptic narratives by spreading these tales. This will lead to risks of committing suicide and harm to others by those who become fanatics. Religious believers and scholars have tried to interpret Biblical doctrines concerning the end of the world and the Day of Judgment. The powerful influence of apocalyptic visions details the frightful calamities of the end times and the coming of the New Jerusalem (Keep). The Revelation outlines events that will signal the end of the world. Such events will include catastrophes, foreign plagues, and alien invaders.  Some preachers use these events to prophesize the termination of life on Earth. For example, one of the worst earthquakes occurred in Haiti recently. It destroyed all property and the country’s infrastructure (see appendix for an image). Many people lost their lives.

Data Collection

In this research, data gathering will involve the use of secondary sources. These sources will study the extent to which scientific innovations put the world at the risk of perishing. The research will gather information from books, journals, and website documents that have covered the topic under study. These data will give sufficient information to cater for the research needs. The researcher will visit libraries and data archives where she can find information about apocalypse. Such places will include the institutional library, newspapers, and print media. The researcher will gather all the relevant information from the sources. The next step will involve recording of data for analysis in the study.

Analysis

The findings of the research show that religion and technology play a significant role in propagating apocalyptic narratives. Biblical scholars have left their beliefs to lead them to the extent that they end up predicting the end of the world. They base their claims on the events that take place in the current world. These events are similar to those that the book of Revelation in the New Testament mentions.  Information technology assists in the spread of this prediction narrative by creating a platform through which they can spread information. People with apocalyptic minds use computers to make their predictions reliable. They also spread information through the internet easily. Knowledge about the end of the world is beyond human understanding.

Some recent and future human activities have a direct relationship with technology and may cause disasters that may wipe life out of the universe. A superior example is the manufacture and the use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear power plants might destroy the world in case they exploded. This is because nuclear energy is tremendously powerful and capable of causing massive destruction. The invention of petroleum saving automobiles might also cause imbalances in the atmosphere. These petroleum saving automobiles will consume either hydrogen or oxygen. These gases are vital in the atmospheric composition and sustainability of life on Earth. Scientist should take into consideration the possible effects. Green house effect causes heating or rising of temperatures. The rise of temperatures is a threat to human life on Earth.

Conclusion

From the research, it is evident that apocalyptic narratives have caused fear among some people. These people have opted to build underground bunkers for protection in case of occurrence of events like nuclear winter that would occur according to some predictions. Scientists should take precaution while making inventions that they believe will make human life comfortable. This is because the inventions might turn out to be an uncontrollable disaster that might end the world. Finally, those who subscribe to the teachings of the Bible should stop spreading narratives about the imminent end of the world. This will make other people react to the news negatively and cause destruction due to tension. This is because they have no evidence as to when the world will end.

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