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A being known as Dea is the creator of all things in the mortal world. He created human beings as living batteries in order to fuel him and give him power. This god is in competition with other gods for domination over the universe. Dea feeds off of human worship, which he uses to get stronger, gaining power any time humans pay homage to him.

As time goes on, the world becomes more populated. The amount of worship from humans increase and makes this God stronger. Eventually, Dea conducts a rapture-like event which ends the world. During this rapture, he consumes the souls of human beings, both living and dead. All humans ascend to this being and become a part of it, existing everywhere and nowhere at once. This gives Dea a massive power boost. The world resets itself and Dea re-seeds the earth with life. This process occurs every few thousand years.

In our world, the rapture is supposed to happen at any moment, without notice. However, simply rapturing individuals without warning is rude and inconsiderate.

( i haven't even seen the last season of GOT yet! Does the Night King kill everyone? Who wins the iron throne? It's not fair!!!).

Or something to that effect. People must be given time to prepare themselves, put their affairs in order, raise the last generation, etc. This is to show respect for the population. However, warning people of the last days can also have negative consequences. This needs to be done delicately, giving people time to prepare without disrupting society too much. (Not going to work, paying bills, etc)

How can Dea ease people into the last days without negative consequences?

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 15 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ Very suspicious... You could be god and want us to tell you how to do that because you don't know. $\endgroup$ – Billy Rubina Aug 15 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that rapture ("God bringing the saints bodily up to Heaven, while the unsaved remain on Earth. The saints are then rapturous at being brought to Heaven.") means what you think it means. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Aug 15 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ To be fair, I hear you wouldn't be missing much if you don't see the last season of GOT, so you might see it as a mercy kill. $\endgroup$ – noClue Aug 18 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ The warning is not the disruption, the information in the wearning is, so all you can really do is lie. $\endgroup$ – John Aug 18 at 5:41

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"Hi, this is your God and I'm going to be, gently, killing all of you in the next little while. Don't panic." Not sure how any marketing department can soften that message. :-)

During this rapture, he consumes the souls of human beings, both living and dead. All humans ascend to this being and become a part of it, existing everywhere and nowhere at once.

Marketing Department here and we love this product. We think it can really take the entire market by storm. Obviously like any of our great products we need to accentuate the positive. It's all about presentation, and what happens after you unwrap the product is covered by the EULA, right?

So we tell people:

  • Good news.
  • An end to all pain and suffering
  • No taxes
  • No work
  • You become a God
  • You live forever
  • Everyone you know will be there with you

That last one needs to be carefully handled. Frankly, who wants to spend all eternity in the company of HR? Just joking, we at Marketing love HR and truly respect their commitment to the organization. But we all know people we're not so keen on, so maybe mentioning we're going to be in their company is not such a good idea. Who wants to share thoughts with a serial killer, or, worse, that annoying twit next door?

So we downplay the last one, but the rest is all good. And if, maybe, God doesn't plan on extending this great product to all the bad people (HR again, I kid, I kid :-) ) probably best not to mention that to them anyway. They might get ... upset and take it out on other people. So why bother them with details they don't need (or deserve) to know.

And it's free. We really are giving this product away.

What's not to like. :-)

Am I right, people? You know it ! :-)

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    $\begingroup$ Lie by omission for the last one: "Your loved ones will be there with you". $\endgroup$ – Matthieu M. Aug 13 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ "Your loved ones will be there with you"... and so will everyone else, but that is not important. I love it. $\endgroup$ – jo1storm Aug 13 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ "We apologise for the inconvenience" $\endgroup$ – MikeTheLiar Aug 13 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ @jo1storm You'll love them once you get to know them...once you really, really get to know them. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Strand Aug 13 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ Slicky boys... can't stand those marketing wonks... sure glad I won't have to ..... awwwww darnit! $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Aug 13 at 16:39
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Make sure it isn't believed.

Have the "true believers" know and announce it to the world. Everyone else laughs and ignores it. More fool them. Politeness has been served.

If you really were to announce it you can expect society to collapse overnight. Why work, why raise children, why do anything when it's all going to end? Many people would carry on but enough wouldn't that it would cause massive problems.

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    $\begingroup$ Just like religion now, you have lots of "practice run" raptures so everyone ignores the announcements..... I've already lived through several raptures and nothing seems to have changed. $\endgroup$ – Thorne Aug 13 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Thorne Wait, you mean you're not up here in heaven with the rest of us, you're still slumming it on Earth? Damn, you missed the boat on that one... $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Aug 13 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Chronocidal - pun intended ("Damn")? $\endgroup$ – Ddddan Aug 13 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ You mean those crazy people on the street downtown holding up signs about the apocalypse were right the entire time? $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Aug 13 at 20:32
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Challenge to your basic concept incoming, I'm afraid...

How can Dea ease people into the last days without negative consequences?

Why does Dea care about people's feelings? I don't care about how an alkaline battery feels. When it's used up, I throw it away. If that's all we are to Dea, there's no need to "ease" your alkaline battery into its last days.

If Dea cares about people to the level that a farmer cares about their animals, it will only slaughter rapture some of the people and allow the population as a whole to continue increasing. Simply from the point of view of maximising the result, you want a large breeding stock. The smaller the breeding stock, the smaller the number of lambs for slaughter rapture. Starting completely from scratch is usually only a good idea when the breeding stock have become infected with something which cannot be eliminated.

This latter perhaps gives you a reason for rapture. As people's knowledge of and control over the world increases, their need for a god inevitably reduces. There's no need to invoke a god to explain the moving lights in the sky when Copernicus and Newton have the answers. There's no need to invoke a god to save your child from illness when Pasteur and Semmelweis have the answer. The biggest enemy for Dea isn't atheism, it's indifference. So when the worship from the herd drops off due to intellectual improvement, you slaughter rapture them and raise a new, ignorant herd from scratch.

Dea still won't "ease" people into that though. For humanely slaughtering animals, you make sure they don't realise anything is wrong until the moment the slaughterman uses the knife/bolt to kill them. So the humane way to slaughter rapture the population is to do it completely out of the blue, with no warning at all.

And if Dea does actually care about people as people, equal in status to itself, it fundamentally won't murder rapture them.

So the outcome is clear. Either Dea won't do a full-scale rapture, or Dea won't warn humanity of their impending rapture.

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  • $\begingroup$ You beat me to this answer. A god that cares about the mental state and actions of the populous at the end game, would not use them simply as a battery source. A god that does not care about them, would not bother with letting them know. Also, letting your livestock know that they are about to die, stresses the animal out. Causes a lot of Adrenalin, makes the meat all tough and hard to chew. Bleh $\endgroup$ – Umbra Aug 13 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Umbra and nobody wants chewy souls. $\endgroup$ – GreySage Aug 15 at 19:09
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I can recommend The Hydrogen Sonata from the culture series, it deals with exactly the issue of "subliming" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hydrogen_Sonata

Basically anyone who thinks they have their affairs in order gets the option to store themselves in a freezer, and because the date is set you slowly end up with a world mostly stored away. Children become rare. Drug fueled orgies become...not rare but very well organized.

So to take away a few lessons:
1. Set a date, preferably two generations in the future.
2. make sure people have an easy way to spend the interim without suicide.
3. Make sure the majority of people think this is a great idea. See the Brexit for some ideas.
4. Have some sort of premium package available for the people who want to organize things. Everybody likes being the cult leader. Maybe encode their names in the DNA of the next worlds' beings?

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    $\begingroup$ Well organized drug fueled orgies. Man, I wish the marketing department had thought of that one. :-) $\endgroup$ – StephenG Aug 12 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ #4: that's just an easter egg room with kickstarter names in it, isn't it? $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Aug 13 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ Ahh, great answer Borgh. Bank's sublime process is the central pillar in sci-fi about a rapture. OP surely needs to read it ! It's remarkably touching that Mr. Banks passed on after writing it. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Aug 13 at 12:09
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Click bait.
"20 reasons you should relax about the Rapture! (As explained by our staff Bikini Team)"
"30 celebrities who are planning parties for Rapture Day"
"20 photos of models and what they will be wearing on Rapture Day"
"25 great recipes YOU can prepare for YOUR Rapture Day party"
"Never prayed to Dea? It's not too late! 18 ways you can atone today!"
"Thirty great hotels that are having Rapture Day sales!"

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Since Dea is "being polite" about it (but is still going to consume everyone's souls like he's binge-eating ice-cream) I assume there's a reason for it - such as also absorbing their emotional state at death. 7.5 billion souls worth of terror and dismay makes for, quite frankly, an ungodly bout of indigestion.

As such, he needs to market the hell heaven out of it. It's not "the end of the world", it's "gaining your final reward". These aren't "the last humans ever", they're "the winners", having survived to the final round. Possibly make up some other planet who "failed" in competition, to punch up that "Humanity, f-- yeah!" feeling. This isn't the end of days, it's a victory lap.

As part of 'finishing up' - and to make his message more believable - he might also want to turn off baby-making. This ties into "raising the last generation" - since no new ones will be starting - and lets you put a stamp on it: "When the people born on this date turn 21 years old, the eternal party shall begin!"

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  • $\begingroup$ Hail the Old Ones! The believers get devoured first. $\endgroup$ – pan-mroku Aug 13 at 11:58
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Surprised no one mentionned the Ragnarök.

Quoting wikipedia:

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of events, including a great battle, foretold to lead to the death of a number of great figures (including the Gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr and Loki), natural disasters and the submersion of the world in water. After these events, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology...

Having a similar event (perhaps without the submersion of the world in water) can be a really good way to warn your people about the end of the world, and may be widely accepted. Plant the seed early in the religion worshipping your god, and let the people accept the armageddon as part of the history to come.

They will be warned. They will know that they're all going to die, and everything will be obliterated - even the memory of anything that ever had value. But it's part of an inevitable events that will happen someday, just like their natural death. Vikings lived with it.

Plus:

  1. It's a real life example.

  2. It gives off the idea of the world "resetting".

  3. Vikings!

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for Vikings :-) $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Aug 13 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ Technically, the "resetting" was only added after the introduction of Christianity (the older version just stops after all of creation is undone "as if it never was"). Which made it even more about "natural death": i.e. even the gods will die one day, and they know it, but they face it with honor and courage (as an example for mortals). Mccoy has more in his book The Viking Spirit $\endgroup$ – LinkBerest Aug 14 at 12:04
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When he announces it he also indicates that to be eligible for rapture you must continue to behave basically as you would if the rapture was not coming. While you may make preparations you may not act as if there isn't going to be a future after that point.

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Don't just lay the end of the world on your followers and then twiddle your thumbs. Make PREPS. Post-Rapture Environment Primer Sessions. Make it clear that the session is voluntary but highly recommended. Make it clear that people will go whether they are ready or not. Organize seating, traffic, maybe accomodations. Spend the rest of the end days teaching humans about their new home beyond time and space.

I'm a person that's always been in one place. Not the same place all the time, mind you, but I've never been in two places at once. Well, I've never been in two different physical places at once, though I often have multiple web pages open at once. Is the afterlife like that, some sort of interface that lets me view the afterworld from any place I like? Is it simply a place where space doesn't exist and time moves infinitely fast, then waits for you when it's your turn to make a decision? If so, how do I make sense of what is happening in that place?

For me, the concept of being everywhere at once and nowhere at all at the same time is utterly alien to me. It is exciting but also terrifying. I am not afraid of the unknown, but I want to be prepared. Being torn away from everything I know isn't nice. Traveling to exciting new places without spending a coin is exciting - but I need to know how to behave in those places. And even though I cannot practice navigating infinite-dimensional space while I'm still on Earth, I will love to hear the theory. Even if it's as short as "the understanding of your new home will come naturally when you arrive", I need to hear that.

Once I know exactly - or as exactly as is possible for a human being - what I'm going into, I won't despise you for years of terror that come from knowing my inevitable demise. I won't even swerve the civilization into a burning pit ravaged by panicking animals. I will bless you in my heart for the knowledge you gave me. I will wrap up my chat conversation, save all of my unfinished work, even turn off my computer for once. Then I'll put on my Sunday clothes to attend the world's last lesson of PREPS. And just as the classes worldwide come to an end at the exact same time, everyone closes their eyes in unison, and ...

<fade to black, short pause, cut to stock footage of Big Bang and a booming choir symbolizing the dawn of an awesome new age>

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By doing it far, far in advance.

If you tell the people you are going to end all their lives, they will go through the 5 stages of grief:

  1. Denial: "The prophecy is clearly wrong. The message doesn't come from the real Dea. Or if it really comes from Dea, it is just a test of our faith. And who can even prove beyond all doubt that Dea exists anyway?"
  2. Anger: "How can the great Dea do this to us?!? Down with the false god! Curse his name! Vandalize the temples! Burn the holy scriptures! Lynch the priests!"
  3. Bargaining: "Maybe Dea will reconsider if we prove how faithful we are? Praise his name! Rebuild the temples! Read the scriptures all day! Lynch the heretics!"
  4. Depression: "It is hopeless. Dea has forsaken us. Everything in life is pointless now. We can just as well end it now."
  5. Acceptance: "Let's make the best of the little time we have left. Let's prepare ourselves, put our affairs in order and raise the last generation."

You want the phases 1-4 to cause as little damage as possible and to stay as long as possible in stage 5. In order to achieve that, Dea needs to announce the end of the world as far in advance as possible, preferably multiple generations, and make sure every subsequent generation is risen in a way that it accepts the end of the world as a fact of life. That way people won't turn as crazy during the first phases (it's something far, far in the future, after all) and the last generations which will actually experience the end will already be raised in phase 5.

  1. Establish the exact date for the end of the world as a core pillar of the religion from the very start of the world.
  2. Add a couple prophecies about events which are harbingers of the end of the world. Add precise dates and detailed descriptions of what will happen. Space them out over a couple hundred years with the frequency becomming higher near the end.
  3. Make sure all those prophecies become true in ways which can not be mistaken for anything but divine intervention. This reinforces that the prophecies are true.
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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure "acceptance" is so likely. Humans being who we are, we're more likely to "rage, rage against the dying of the light". And if Dea feeds off worship and homage, that's exactly what it won't get after announcing it's going to exterminate the whole human race. People worship gods for moral guidance and physical and spiritual protection. Announcing that you're going to kill everyone and eat their souls is not a good way to get worshipped. $\endgroup$ – Graham Aug 13 at 15:28
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Announce it gradually, over a couple of hundred of years, first to level minded politicians who'll hint it to people who trust them, then to more and more people. What's a couple of hundred of years for a god?

What you'll get is (appearing to be) highly religious leaders who'll give an example and hints of their own to a few people they can trust. Over generations, like minded politicians will join together to form rapture oriented parties and societies. Eventually people will talk and several respected leaders will come together to say they heard the voice of God. Nearing rapture time, the last couple of generations of people will look forward to be reunited with the almighty spirit.

Add incentives to your followers such as "If you hint this to people, ye shall have many sheep and camels. Oh, it's been a hundred years already? Ok, um, many cars and a boat. Ah, another century's past? Ummm... autonomous flying cars, and one of those funny robots that cleans the spaceship and has a British accent. Just hint the rapture thing, will ya?"

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have examples of "level minded politicians" who could be trusted with this? Even then, bear in mind that you're not only sharing the secret with the politician, but also with their staff members and senior members of their political party. And do you have any solutions to how your "level minded politician" is not going to look like a raving lunatic when they publicly broach the subject of God talking to them directly about the end of the world? At best their political career is over instantly; at worst they're locked up for their own protection. $\endgroup$ – Graham Aug 13 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ "level minded politicians" - Isn't that an oxymoron. $\endgroup$ – Glen Yates Aug 13 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ There are plenty of "level minded politicians". They are the ones whose IQ is flatlined at zero. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Aug 13 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Graham By "level minded" I meant: 1. They can recognise the opportunity to gain something for themselves, 2. They realise that outright telling anyone and everyone that they heard the voice of God is no good 3. They care about their people, enough to try and make some difference. What you'll get is (appearing to be) highly religious leaders who'll give an example and hints of their own to people they can trust. Over generations, like minded politicians will join together to form rapture oriented parties and societies. $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Aug 14 at 6:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Nahshonpaz They might set up small sects, sure, but that doesn't mean they'll be able to influence things. And the more their inner message gets out, the less credibility they have. Scientology is a prime example - of course there are high profile Scientologists, but they actively deny the central tenets of their religion to the general public (thetans, Xenu and so on) because they're aware how ridiculous they sound. $\endgroup$ – Graham Aug 14 at 10:56
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Consider the flood. Noah warned everybody, but only 8 people got on the ark. Jesus says that in the last days, it will be like the time of Noah. People going about their daily lives, until they get left behind.

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  • $\begingroup$ Dea will not leave anyone behind! Everyone will be consumed^W ascended. $\endgroup$ – Ángel Aug 12 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ So what is the rapture? $\endgroup$ – Walter Mitty Aug 12 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ Dea will be all like "There's a huge TV showing the last season of GOT in the ark, and also ZAP! - all the umbrellas is the world just evaporated! So if you don't wanna get wet..." $\endgroup$ – Nahshon paz Aug 13 at 14:47
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Establish some "doomsday cult" or "part away club" - (like "Heaven's Gate"). Help them to become most powerfull religious and political force in the world. Then just fulfill the prophecy! This would be a great worldwide holiday with all the wealth of the world being spent in days with great joy and happiness.

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If there aren’t any (or at least not many) other solar systems Dea cares about, the stars can wink out, one by one, until only the sun is left. A countdown like that is hard to miss.

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  • $\begingroup$ You might want to read "The Nine Billion Names Of God" by Arthur C. Clarke, although the countdown period is rather short. $\endgroup$ – Alchymist Aug 13 at 15:10
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You made the humans. Make them so those alive, when the time comes, don't care about their lives on earth.

"I'm really looking forward to..."
(God pokes brain.)
"Bring on death! I have nothing to live for here!"

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Tell them it happens in 150 years, do it tomorrow.

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Could those-to-be-raptured start getting dreams - ones with a little "this is real" notice, so they start to wrap some things up? In many myths (and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), there's a sense of "prophetic vision" with some dreams that makes them stand out from regular dreams.

Also, I hope this god makes sure that they only take pilots who are not actively flying, surgeons not actively mid-operation, and in general, not people who are driving vehicles.

Or perhaps those with the dreams, once they're settled, they'll feel compelled to voluntarily enter something like a Futurama Suicide Booth (https://futurama.fandom.com/wiki/Suicide_booth ) or the disintegration chambers in the Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Taste_of_Armageddon )

A similar tactic is to convince everyone that they are about to become noncorporeal (technically true) and continue life as Beings of Light -- see Babylon 5's TV-Movie The River of Souls (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon_5:_The_River_of_Souls ) -- just make sure no counter-deities are trying to "save" your people.

Possibly some hormonal changes may help -- decrease adrenaline, and other neurochems that send a "joy in living" signal? (I am very much not a scientist, so I can't suggest a good thing to synthesize, and whether you should alter people directly, or merely add it to something everyone consumes, but I'd love others to build on this idea.)

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In Neon Genesis Evangelion, a rapture-like event that fuses all life on Earth along with all of humanity into a sea of Tang is actually triggered by a sect-like organization.

So your rapture could also be triggered by someone else besides your deity that are fed the information, and have them take care of all of the prepwork. Perhaps only give them the final trigger once your deity feels it is time. And if they refuse, well, the delivery of the final catalyst was a fair warning of what is to come, while the deity triggers it itself using its own materials.

So basically, you could simply outsource your HR department.

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I would make a post in some forum or question and answer site telling them that I'm going to do it, but without telling them.

Like with a story or something, asking for how they would announce it, so they think it's only teorical, and even gives their opinion on it and how it should be done.

That way I would have their best ideas, and I can choose from them, and learn the best way to do it.

And then I would do it that way.

...

Wait...

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Just make the date far enough ahead, so that it will only affect people's great-great-great grandchildren.

Then there will be no need to immediately panic, and the problem will be far enough away that most people just ignore it anyway. Slowly as the time approaches people will become more concerned about it, and society will slowly adapt.

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Assuming this is 2019 then just send memes to the masses for comfort akin to:

Yeeteor

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protected by L.Dutch Aug 13 at 9:42

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