The Second Coming

Pew Research has found that 79% of Americans believe in The Second Coming of Jesus. What worries me more is not that 4 out of 5 Americans believe in The Second Coming, but that 1 out of 5 believes it will happen in their lifetime. It seems inevitable that such a belief will grossly warp your priorities: you would have no reason at all to care about long term problems like global warming or antibiotic resistant bacteria, because you believe the world will end long before those concerns become substantial.

I wonder: does this 20% of the American people exhibit more delay discounting than American atheists?

4 responses to “The Second Coming”

  1. Alvaro

    re: delay discounting, you might find this interesting:

  2. Jim

    Sam Harris talks about these stats a lot, and the ramifications of them:
    (4:10 in)

  3. John Cook

    Martin Luther had a different attitude. He said that if he knew that Christ were returning tomorrow, he would still plant a tree today.