The End of the World

by Raxicorico

In recent years there have been numerous groups which claimed that the world would end. The book The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey predicted that cold war would result in a nuclear war that would end the world in 1988 (and then 1993 and 1994 when the world continued to not end). Harold Camping has used Bible numbers and dates to claim the world would end numerous times starting in 1994 and most recently in 2012. In 2000 computers were going to destroy us. Yoruba priests in Nigeria expected natural disasters to escalate in 2002 which would inevitably tear the world apart. A Japanese religious cult expected the world to burn in a nuclear war in 2003. Many scientists thought the world would end in 2008 when the Large Hadron Collider was first turned on resulting in the potential creation of a black hole. The passing of Comet Elenin was thought to potentially bring about the end of the world in 2011 by disturbing the earth’s crust, resulting in devastating earthquakes. The Mayan calendar was (incorrectly) assumed to end in 2012, during which some people thought the earth would collide with another planet, be invaded by aliens, or experience the aftermath of a supernova. Rasputin prophesized the world to end via a fire storm in 2013. Asatru, believers in Norse mythology, expected Ragnarok to occur in 2014. Most recently David Meade, a Christian numerologist, predicted the world would end in September of this year when the earth was (again) supposed to collide with another planet. For future doomsayers, Jeane Dixon (an American psychic) predicts the end of the world in 2020, the Messiah Foundation International anticipates the world to end in 2026, Sir Isaac Newton predicts the world will end in 2060, mainstream Orthodox Judaism expects 2239, Nostradamus predicts the world to end in 3797, the Doomsday argument mathematically predicts we will be killed off in 9120 years, in 5 billion years the earth will be consumed by a new red giant star known as our sun. While this list may seem somewhat excessive, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Many religions anticipate the world’s end, either a linear end to the cosmos through an Armageddon-like event or through a cyclic destruction and rebirth as is seen in Hinduism and Norse mythology.

If nothing else, what we should get from this rant thus far is that many humans have a desire to see the world end. In many religious cases it is a matter that there is a future reward, what we will simply call the Good Place. But since humans seems to naturally prefer immediate reward over a reward at a distant point in the future we observe people not only believing that the world will end but almost wanting the world to end. Others are simply not happy with the world as it is and just want to see things end before things get even worse. They believe the world is fundamentally flawed. Whether it is to move on to an afterlife or just end things, people are hoping for something they perceive as better than what they perceive as an unjust and imperfect world. Others still will go along with what others are doing. They may fear being isolated, they may place trust in others, etc. They perceive that they need to go along with the crowd even if there is little logic in doing so.

But these are merely perceptions. The world around us isn’t unjust or imperfect. It just is. What makes it flawed is the fact that it doesn’t match with the mental models they make of the world. They make assumptions on how the world works through which they develop expectations. And when these expectations are not met, they place blame on an external locus. After all, it’s easier to curse the darkness than light a candle. The thing about perceptions is that they can be voluntarily changed. For example, many people complain about a rainy day, saying that it’s bad weather. The rain isn’t what makes the weather bad, it’s one’s perception that rain equals bad that makes it bad weather. Essentially, happiness is a choice, a philosophy almost (barring the influence of neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain which may lead to depression). All that is required is for us to change our ways of thinking. So instead of looking out on the world and seeing it as flawed, gaze out and admire it. It is beautiful if you open your eyes to it. There would be no doomsaying if more people were able to see what was right in front of them. The world may not behave as you think it should, but instead of resisting it we should go along with it and change ourselves to better face the challenges life may bring.

Cheers,
Rax

Comments (10)

  1. Bradly

that is very well said. countless rumors or profits spouting how the world will end as if they wish it themselves. but who knows one day the rumors and profits may be telling the truth but again they my not be. so you are right not to dwell on...

that is very well said. countless rumors or profits spouting how the world will end as if they wish it themselves. but who knows one day the rumors and profits may be telling the truth but again they my not be. so you are right not to dwell on what isn't or the negative but to accept and admire the beauty laid before us.

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  1. JLSpinner

Spot on brother! Expectation vs. Reality is a common conflict that creates so much suffering in our lives. If we can learn to adapt to what life gives us, free of what we want or assume, we will be so much better off and so much stronger for it.

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  1. Alexandre Orion

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  1. Johno

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." - Epictetus.

I was living in Israel in 1991before and during the Gulf War. All of the sudden these religious fanatics from the US and other countries appeared claiming that...

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." - Epictetus.

I was living in Israel in 1991before and during the Gulf War. All of the sudden these religious fanatics from the US and other countries appeared claiming that the world was about to end and the Messiah was coming. I met three people claiming to be the Messiah and a woman claiming to be the bride of the Christ awaiting his return.

The world didn't end. Israel brushed off the threat and went back to squabbling over everyday things like football scores and politics.

I'm convinced that we humans seem to have a love/hate relationship with fear. The reality is our fears are most often illusionary and faced up close fail to materialize in to anything tangible. I stopped taking notice of doomsday prophecies long ago. Its more likely a Death Star is going to appear in orbit than half of those scenarios described in sermon.

We should still be objective. While the end of the world is not going to happen as per a prophecy it might still end as we know. The human species is still under threat. The Doomsday Clock is not set by a bunch scientists intent on terrifying the world for their own benefit. The scores are based on objective assessment of current events and potential future trends. It serves as a warning not a fait accompli.

The clock is currently at 2​1⁄2 minutes to midnight. The lowest since 1953. I remember in 1984 when it was at 3 minutes. There were a run of movies at the cinemas like "The Day After" and "Threads" and "Testament" which I went to see. People installed fallout shelters in their basements and stocked up on iodine. I remember growing up under the threat. It was not nice.

These days we have the risk of a war breaking out on the Korean Peninsular that could quickly go Nuclear. People seem to forget that the first strike will likely lead to Russia and China counter launching at each other and the west. The scenario is catastrophic. In addition the situation between Moscow and Washington has never been frostier. In the old Cold War there was a degree of mutual respect between the West and USSR. Most of the people at the helm had fought in the second war and didn't want another disastrous conflct. There was a pragmatic sense of cooperation hence the large number of treaties.

Those treaties are now in tatters and the mutual respect is long gone replaced by accusations and paranoia. A small mistake in the Baltics could easily start a conflict. Feeling surrounded on all sides Russia may feel it needs to use Tactical and then strategic nukes to protect itself.

I won't even start about the current environmental challenges facing the Earth.

As Jedi our task is do what we can and accept what is out of our control. The stakes are higher now than they ever were lets be honest. That does not mean we should live in fear and allow imagined conflicts to steal our happiness.

"Everything we hear is an opinion not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth" - Marcus Aurelius.

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  1. Carlos.Martinez3

Good thought ! Thank you ! May now, be what we believe in tomorrow; May the morning, be the passions we hold in our arms today.

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  1. Sven One

well said

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  1. hdridernate

Well spoken ... reminds of a "rumor mill" so-to-speak!

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  1. Johno

Well the Doomsday Clock just moved to its lowest point ever.
Well done world.
Keep Being Jedi.

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  1. Mdvmonk

Well said. Alot of the talk about doomsday is to do with control through fear. So the religious nuts can turn round and say I told you so. when mankind was young natural disasters were written down as acts of God due to lack of understanding but...

Well said. Alot of the talk about doomsday is to do with control through fear. So the religious nuts can turn round and say I told you so. when mankind was young natural disasters were written down as acts of God due to lack of understanding but also a way to make people fearful. If someone is fearful they can be controlled through that fear. Natural disasters happened before mankind and will continue after mankind. It's the cycle of life.

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  1. Locksley

Good.

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