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Self-fulfilling Prophecy Effect

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on April 6, 2001 15:02:05 UTC

Alex made a good point.

Let me add that there is the "self-fulfilling prophecy" effect to consider. If you believe what your astrologer says will come true and consciously or unconsciously adjust your life to help it be fulfilled then there will be a greater - than - expected - probability - by - pure - chance - without - that - added - influence that it will come true.

This can apply to the Middle East. Putting aside the geographic reasons it has been an important site historically (being the land connection between Egypt, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, if the Christian West believes that the place should be important and do things like force the Palestinians out so that the Jews can occupy it then it will be important politically.

The Crusaders were motivated for a somewhat related reason. The Pope wanted easy access to the Holy sites in Palestine because of his religion. When he feared the Arabs wouldn't allow it, he told the Christian world that they would have their sins forgiven if they joined the Crusades. My understanding is that the Arabs had made changes so that the Christians would be able to have reasonable access to the sites they wanted, but the Pope didn't know or didn't care. The Crusades is still a sore point with Arab-Christian relations. Arabs don't trust the West.

A belief that Palestine is important made it important. God didn't do it, people who believed in God did.

An end-of-the-world group in Japan, unrelated to Christianity I believe, dumped poisonous gas in the subway tunnels of Tokyo. Why? To bring to pass sooner the end of the world. They're not willing to wait for the end, they want to hurry it along.

The Branch Davidians and David Koresh of Waco, Texas had the same problem. They believed the U.S. would attack them so they acted in such a way to make it much more likely. Instead of considering that dialogue and some compromise was possible, they were die-hards in their beliefs. Unfortunately, the government didn't realize how significant their self-destructive beliefs were and made serious mistakes.

Millenialism in the U.S. could be critically influential in starting WWIII. If people assume the world will end by nuclear holocaust (because interpretations of Biblical statements suggest that to them) then they tend to be ambivalent about peace efforts. As another example, If they think Christ will come and stop all the pollution and corruption in His Millenial reign then they don't feel as much need to do something about it now: "Christ will take care of it when He comes". Christian belief in the end of the world could be the cause of it!

On a personal note, my eldest sister and her husband have no life insurance because they believed that Christ would come before they would need it. My brother-in-law has now been diagnosed with cancer and they can't seem to get any insurance. These kinds of beliefs can be destructive to society.

The Jehovah's witnesses were told that 1970 would be Armegeddon. Some of them sold their homes (cheap), quit their regular jobs, and dedicated the last year of their lives to selling the Watchtower books. This is crazy. Yet accepting what religious teachers tell you can result in these kinds of foolish decisions.

If you really believed in God you wouldn't act like everything depended on you. We are all over 99% atheist based on our actions. Those who let that percentage drop too far tend to make very foolish decisions.

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