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#1
Due to the supposed second coming of Christ some people have taken extreme measures to keep themselves and their family safe: euthanising their children; committing suicide; abandoning property and homes; and resigning from jobs.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/05/while_harold_camping_sits_safe.php

My questions are...
Should Harold Camping or any other advocates of the rapture be held accountable for death or loss his teachings have caused?
Is it the gullibility of the people, or the exploitation of their faith which has caused their death/losses?

I believe that everyone needs to be held accountable for their own actions, but fear mongers were the causal element here; I believe they should be held accountable too.

What are your thoughts pit?
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
#2
I'd say no. He was just wrong (although it could be argued that he was really trying to feed off peoples' fears). Those people chose to take it to that extreme, Camping probably did not intend to cause any of that.

But if he is just trying to feed off peoples' fears, he is somewhat to blame.
#3
not sure, i think the people just went to far, why kill your fam for a rapture? rapture is a good thing, lol.
i <3 asian girls.
#4
He didn't force those people into believing anything, it was their choice to follow him and listen to him. They are accountable for their own actions.
Castles made of sand
Fall to the sea
Eventually
#5
He's a stupid dickhead. But I don't know if he actually believes it or not. If he does, then he's a jackass, but he's not morally wrong to do so. If he doesn't believe it, he's taking advantage of people's gullibility and faith to gain media prominence. So he would be morally wrong to do so.

But I don't think he should be legally responsible, if that's what you're asking.
#7
Quote by icesk8erqueen8
honestly??

It's their own damn fault for being so stupid/gullible.

That's pretty much how I feel about it.

Same concept as trolling: if you get sucked in by it, then you probably deserved it.
#8
Quote by toby3p0
He didn't force those people into believing anything, it was their choice to follow him and listen to him. They are accountable for their own actions.

But faith has a profound effect on people. When you consider what some do for religion, it's reasonable to assume that a few people will react this way. When a person in an influential position presents evidence to suggest you will die in five months do you believe them? This is the position that Camping's followers were in, some reacted to the news irrationally...

They are accountable for their actions. But they wouldn't have acted if it wasn't for him.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
Last edited by EnyoAdonai at May 22, 2011,
#9
As I said, if he was merely manipulating them to serve some selfish end, he was morally wrong to do so. But legally, no.
#10
[quote="'-[NiL"]-']That's pretty much how I feel about it.

Same concept as trolling: if you get sucked in by it, then you probably deserved it.

That is a good way to describe this... he's trolling.
#11
Quote by EnyoAdonai
But faith has a profound effect on people. When you consider what some do for religion, it's reasonable to assume that people will react this way. When a person in an influential position presents evidence to suggest you will die in five months do you believe them? This is the position that Camping's followers were in, some reacted to the news irrationally...

They are accountable for their actions. But they wouldn't have acted if it wasn't for him.


No one made them believe. They chose to.

Just as I chose NOT to believe.
#13
If I made a youtube video that declared: The Toyota Celica is capable of flight!!! And everyone went out to buy one on my word alone, I am not responsible. The retards who don't know how to research things are responsible.
#14
I wouldn't think so. If you're stupid enough to believe all that bullshit and commit suicide because of it, the world is probably better off without you anyway.
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#16
Quote by trueamerican
As I said, if he was merely manipulating them to serve some selfish end, he was morally wrong to do so. But legally, no.

While I can't proove whether or not he believes what he preaches I think the fact that he is rolling in dosh while 'the end' is supposedly nigh is a testiment to how he really feels about this.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
#17
Quote by EnyoAdonai
But faith has a profound effect on people. When you consider what some do for religion, it's reasonable to assume that a few people will react this way. When a person in an influential position presents evidence to suggest you will die in five months do you believe them? This is the position that Camping's followers were in, some reacted to the news irrationally...

They are accountable for their actions. But they wouldn't have acted if it wasn't for him.

I understand your point, it isn't a black-and-white issue. If someone made the claim that there was a bomb or a weapon of mass destruction in a populated area, that person would definitely be accountable for the panic they caused. In his case though, it is like saying that global warming is going to be the end to us all very soon (The Day After Tomorrow style). If that was proven wrong, I don't think we would hold the person who made the claim responsible for what they said. I'm pretty torn on this whole issue
Castles made of sand
Fall to the sea
Eventually
#18
Not all people are capable of rational thought. If you told a retarded person that jumping off of the Sears Tower would make him fly, are you not morally culpable for the consequences?
#19
Quote by EnyoAdonai
But faith has a profound effect on people. When you consider what some do for religion, it's reasonable to assume that a few people will react this way. When a person in an influential position presents evidence to suggest you will die in five months do you believe them? This is the position that Camping's followers were in, some reacted to the news irrationally...

They are accountable for their actions. But they wouldn't have acted if it wasn't for him.

I could see that, sort of like Charles Manson or Jim Jones. What both men did was wrong in my opinion, but I don't think that they should be held legally accountable.
#20
Morally? Yes, he is responsible since he scared the living hell out of the people who believed him, but I guess that's how you get people to join a cause...you scare them.
Legally? Nope, he's got nothing to do with the extremes that these people went to, he never actually said anything like "quit your jobs and kill yourselves".

I still retain the fact that he's an asshole though.
#22
Srsly, I know a lot of people have abandoned their properties, but if the end of times is approaching, where do you run? A cave? Wal Mart???

What about this 'ere question of morality: if you had some cooky neighbours in your vicinity whom you KNOW jumped into their trucks a few days ago (I'm guessing most of these people drive pickup trucks, pbbly with trucknuts too) in order to evacuate themseves from your "sinful" neighbourhood, would you break into their houses and loot the place?

You could blame the apocalypse once they've returned ("what, didn't you guys see it? There was this, like, tiny apocalypse-thing that started entering random houses and sh*t. I mean, bricks were flying around, smashing windows, taking flatscreen TV's and X-Boxes... It all went so fast!!")

Dammit, how come I don't know any of these people

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Last edited by shwilly at May 22, 2011,
#23
[quote="'-[NiL"]-']I could see that, sort of like Charles Manson or Jim Jones. What both men did was wrong in my opinion, but I don't think that they should be held legally accountable.
Well... hey now. Jim Jones forced his followers to ingest poison, cyanide I think. Deserters were shot. I think he is legally accountable for that.

I am so torn by this. I don't think Camping should be imprisoned/fined, but I think authorities should find a way to put a halt to his preaching.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
#24
Quote by EnyoAdonai
Well... hey now. Jim Jones forced his followers to ingest poison, cyanide I think. Deserters were shot. I think he is legally accountable for that.

I am so torn by this. I don't think Camping should be imprisoned/fined, but I think authorities should find a way to put a halt to his preaching.

As soon as I posted that I thought to myself, "Jim was a bad example."

I honestly wish they could stop him from preaching, just like I wish WBC could be stopped from protesting funerals.
Last edited by -[NiL]- at May 22, 2011,
#25
Quote by EnyoAdonai
Well... hey now. Jim Jones forced his followers to ingest poison, cyanide I think. Deserters were shot. I think he is legally accountable for that.

I am so torn by this. I don't think Camping should be imprisoned/fined, but I think authorities should find a way to put a halt to his preaching.


Why? First of all, that's against the first amendment. He's allowed to believe what he wants and speak of it as well. People that don't agree can ignore him if they so choose. As I said, you have to choose to believe, and there were a lot of Christians that disagreed with him as well.

Quote by ali.guitarkid7
Morally? Yes, he is responsible since he scared the living hell out of the people who believed him, but I guess that's how you get people to join a cause...you scare them.
Legally? Nope, he's got nothing to do with the extremes that these people went to, he never actually said anything like "quit your jobs and kill yourselves".

I still retain the fact that he's an asshole though.

What is he an asshole for? He had a prediction. He vocalized it. Isn't that what all religion is based on? Muhammad thought something, vocalized it. He was then ran out of town, came back with a few thousand and slaughtered the civilians, but hey who am I to judge? The thing is, people are allowed to think how they want and say what the want.
#26
Quote by blake1221
Why? First of all, that's against the first amendment. He's allowed to believe what he wants and speak of it as well. People that don't agree can ignore him if they so choose. As I said, you have to choose to believe, and there were a lot of Christians that disagreed with him as well.


What is he an asshole for? He had a prediction. He vocalized it. Isn't that what all religion is based on? Muhammad thought something, vocalized it. He was then ran out of town, came back with a few thousand and slaughtered the civilians, but hey who am I to judge? The thing is, people are allowed to think how they want and say what the want.

He's an asshole because as far as I know he feels absolutely no remorse for what happened.
And freedom of speech is a great as long as you don't hurt anyone with it.
#27
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
He's an asshole because as far as I know he feels absolutely no remorse for what happened.
And freedom of speech is a great as long as you don't hurt anyone with it.


And how do you know this? Do you know him personally?

He didn't hurt anyone directly. He announced that he thought the world was gonna end yesterday. Technically, all that people needed to do to be in the clear was accept Jesus blahddy blah. They took their own initiative in quitting their jobs and euthanizing their kids (wtf?). He never said any of that was necessary.
#28
On the moral side of things, yes he should be fully accountable. The fact he scared a decent amount of people into sending him money and his message causing people to kill themselves doesn't really sit well with the religion he's claiming to represent. To add salt to the wounds, he's selling shirts now and still saying we're doomed 5 months from now. (Maybe he is, given his age and the media backlash that will inevitably ensue)

On the other hand, legally, I really don't see anything wrong. However, I read somewhere that the IRS was keeping a close eye on the money he was getting donation wise, so perhaps they might intervene in some form in the near future, but we'll have to wait and see.

My personal opinion, he's an 89 year old troll who used troll theistics to make profits by being a false prophet, and I myself cannot wait to troll the believers of this nonsense come later today. Many have come before him attempting to say we're all going to die, and Camping is the latest in the list of failures, proving once again no one really knows when the end is nigh.
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Last edited by PlaguePlaymate at May 22, 2011,
#31
If you're actually dumb enough to buy that bullshit, it's probably a good thing you're killing yourself. Sucks that their kids got dragged into it though...
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and class less and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

A working class hero is something to be.
#32
Quote by Epicbizzjizz
If you're actually dumb enough to buy that bullshit, it's probably a good thing you're killing yourself. Sucks that their kids got dragged into it though...

Basically this.


I think it's fundamentally sick though. He's basically the leader of a suicide cult. What a total cunt. He should be held responsible for this.
#34
Quote by Butt Rayge
Basically this.


I think it's fundamentally sick though. He's basically the leader of a suicide cult. What a total cunt. He should be held responsible for this.



Oh yeah, I'd still smack the ****er if I ever saw him, but everyone involved with that whole debacle just pisses me off...
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and class less and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

A working class hero is something to be.
#35
Quote by Epicbizzjizz
Oh yeah, I'd still smack the ****er if I ever saw him, but everyone involved with that whole debacle just pisses me off...


that post was so coxian, man

hopeless mother is hopeless, idiot bible math is idiotic
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#36
Quote by Våd Hamster
I say give him a medal for raising the collective human IQ ever so slightly

ever the optimist. This is a good way to look at things.
MaKing thE possiBlE...
...totaLlY impossible
#37
This guy "worked out" that Christ was returning by studying the Bible, didn't he? Anyone know whether the Bible said anything about murdering your children, or killing yourself? From memory, it didn't seem to mind one way or the other, right?
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#38
Quote by trueamerican
He's a stupid dickhead. But I don't know if he actually believes it or not. If he does, then he's a jackass, but he's not morally wrong to do so. If he doesn't believe it, he's taking advantage of people's gullibility and faith to gain media prominence. So he would be morally wrong to do so.
this, pretty much.
i'll also say that anyone who was dumb enough to buy into that crap, well, i'm amazed they lasted as long as they did without getting ripped off.
#39
People aren't rational. People don't make rational choices, people don't listen to logic and their decisions aren't guided by logic. People will believe something because they need something to believe. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and call them stupid, but they're no less stupid than any of you and some of the things you believe.

If someone is so vulnerable that they'll believe this, then saying they're to blame for this is at the least remiss. And if you call them stupid, well, you're pretty stupid too for making an irrational assumption and holding the irrational belief that those people were, in that position, capable of rational thought.

The guy who spread this rapture garbage should be dealt with the way anyone else who spread that bullshit would be - with a criminal lawsuit.
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