Where are we going?

By Allison Mann

Raised as an active member of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Joshua Brose of Bloomington, Minn. once had dreams of becoming a youth minister or pastor. However, during his junior year of college, Brose says he came “to a conclusion that we, as humans, don’t really know much about the supernatural.” By default, he says, he became an atheist. FIN spoke with Brose about his skepticism surrounding the end of the world prediction on Dec. 21 and how he thinks life on Earth will cease to exist…far off into the future, that is.

Q: Why do you feel people need to believe in a catastrophic end of the world?
A: First off, the end of the world is going to be catastrophic however it happens. The demise of the earth’s entire population is pretty much a catastrophe by definition. The real question is, “Why do people believe they know when the world is going to end?” This question is much more complex, and it depends on the individual. In my opinion, some people believe it because they think it gives them a license to do whatever they feel like without consequences. Others believe it because they have been trained to unconditionally accept the words of their holy books, or of their religious leaders. Still others, I feel, believe it because they think such a belief makes them seem interesting or important.

Q: Do you think it is your atheism that has made you feel it is unnecessary to be preoccupied with the world ending in a catastrophic way?
A: I think we should have a reasonable approach to the end of the world. I don’t think the apocalypse has a specific date, and I am confident that religion doesn’t have any answers for us. However, we live in an age that has nuclear weapons, melting ice caps, and highly effective terrorist regimes. Although I believe the Mayan apocalypse, the coming of Christ, and a final judgment are equally fallacious beliefs, there are still real dangers out there and we need to spend ample time preparing for them.

Q: Speaking of the 2012 Mayan apocalypse, what is your opinion on it?
A: First off, I think that the date is a bad analysis of the Mayan culture and their dating system. While the date is currently supposed to be Dec. 21, 2012, if you actually look at the Mayan dating system, where that calendar would actually end would be somewhere in 8000 A.D., so it would be a long time from now. Secondly, Mayans believed that time was circular and that ends tend to cycle in to beginnings. So basically, when we reach the end of the Mayan calendar, maybe they didn’t believe anything was going to happen. But if they did believe something was going to happen, it would probably be something akin to a new beginning.

Q: How and when do you believe the Earth will end?
A: The most likely thing, in my opinion, is that the sun will explode in billions of years from now and then the Earth will be gone.