Caring For Pets After The Rapture

Last August I had a post on Eternal Earth-Bound Pets which promised to care for the pets who are left behind after the rapture. In case anyone was wondering if this outfit is still around, BusinessWeek has a profile on them:

Many people in the U.S.—perhaps 20 million to 40 million—believe there will be a Second Coming in their lifetimes, followed by the Rapture . In this event, they say, the righteous will be spirited away to a better place while the godless remain on Earth. But what will become of all the pets?

Bart Centre, 61, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, says many people are troubled by this question, and he wants to help. He started a service called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets that promises to rescue and care for animals left behind by the saved.

Promoted on the Web as “the next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” the service has attracted more than 100 clients, who pay $110 for a 10-year contract ($15 for each additional pet.) If the Rapture happens in that time, the pets left behind will have homes—with atheists. Centre has set up a national network of godless humans to carry out the mission. “If you love your pets, I can’t understand how you could not consider this,” he says.

Centre came up with the idea while working on his book, The Atheist Camel Chronicles, written under the pseudonym Dromedary Hump. In it, he says many unkind things about the devout and confesses that “I’m trying to figure out how to cash in on this hysteria to supplement my income.”

Personally I think that if there is a Heaven I can bring my dogs. I also think it will be kind of like living in a concierge suite at a premium Disney World  resort, except everything is free, the lines are much shorter, and nothing is ever closed for refurbishment.

Posted in Religion. Tags: , . 1 Comment »

Captain America vs. Iron Man

Yesterday I noted how Captain America was taking on the teabaggers. It appears that Captain America is influencing political discussion in the blogosphere again today. Ezra Klein writes:

Spencer Ackerman’s adjudication of the dispute between Captain America and Iron Man is some of the most relevant punditry you’ll read today. And, incidentally, I agree with Spencer entirely: Iron Man was unequivocally right in the argument over superhero registration. I’m not even sure what the case for the other side is, and the libertarians I’ve asked haven’t been able to come up with one. If the state has any legitimate function at all, it’s to train and regulate people who could accidentally kill everyone in a hundred-mile radius.

The dispute involves events in the Marvel universe which took place well after I stopped reading their comics but Spencer Ackerman”s post does give a summary:

In the ‘Civil War’ storyline, Iron Man responded to a superhero-wrought tragedy by coming out for a Superhuman Registration Act, which would allow the government to register and regulate heroes and give them training. Cap and a band of likeminded heroes fought this — literally — and Cap died. But what Iron Man was really saying was no different than the uncontroversial principle that the state needs a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. When Cap launched his “the government will pick the supervillains” monologue, I was surprised that someone — like She-Hulk, who’s a lawyer — didn’t reply, “Wait, no. We have laws criminalizing certain behavior. We’ll have to follow those laws. That’s why the cops and the firefighters and the military and the intelligence communities don’t just go around legally killing members of the out-of-power party. Why would we be any different?”

Not having read the comics I am not in the best position to judge this, but Ackerman and Klein have not convinced me that Iron Man is right. My first problem from reading this and more of the discussion is that it appears we are dealing with far more than just a situation analogous to regulating weapons with the potential of killing everyone in a hundred-mile radius. It sounds like they are discussing mandatory government training of superheroes and making them work for the state. I cannot support this any more than I supported conscription during the Viet Nam war or would have supported slavery in pre-Civil War America. Holding superheroes responsible for their actions and preventing them from exercising uncontrolled violence is one thing. Making them slaves of the state is another.

I also wonder where we draw the line. If we really had mutations or bizarre accidents involving radioactive spiders which really did turn people into superheroes I am envisioning two extremes, with others being somewhere in between. On the one extreme are those with relatively minimal super powers which allow them to do things which most humans cannot do but which doesn’t really give them the power to kill everyone for miles around. Here we are criminalizing people who fail to register as superheroes and submit to government training who represent no meaningful danger. We can no more justify different treatment of these individuals than we could justify special regulation of individuals who happen to be stronger, faster, or smarter than most other Americans. Do we force Bill Gates to register for his intellect and force him to serve the state? (Maybe this is a bad example–this might have spared the world all the problems of Windows.)

The other extreme would be those who are so superior to the average human that they really could kill everyone for miles around. In this case I would think that such beings would laugh at humans who said “our government has a monopoly on the use of force and you must serve us.” I just do not believe that many of them would acknowledge the right of government to control what they could  do naturally.  The result would most likely be to convert super beings who might be kind enough to leave us alone into super villains.

Follow Me On Twitter

I’ve given in and quickly set up a Twitter account. I still have to look into all the widgets to use it along with Facebook and/or the blog, as well as figure out if there is any value to using it. At the moment having six followers doesn’t make it very useful, but I imagine the number will grow. Any suggestions for using Twitter?

Click here to see the Twitter feed.