One thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is the end of the world. Not the literal end of the world, wherein we all die and the earth is destroyed, but more so our perception of the end. There are two things about it that truly bother me. The way Hollywood sees the end of the world and the fact that we are always falsely predicting the end times. I want to talk about both of the today.
First off, I'd like to point out that the way Hollywood shows the end is very likely not what is going to happen. There won't be any aliens, or meteorites, or even zombies. Humanity will simply choke itself out. No explosions, nothing killing us all. From a completely arbitrary perspective, ignoring my religious viewpoint, if humanity is going out, it will be by our own hands. From cutting down the forests and warming the atmosphere, overcrowding, and lack of resources, that is how we are going to die, assuming God doesn't take us all first.
Second, and far more important, is the fact that we are always trying to perceive when the end will come, without realizing how impossible it is to tell. Allow me to use the Mayan calendar as my first example. The Mayan calendar expired in December 2012 and everyone believed the end had come. Why? Because some guy a few millennia ago died, or got tired of making calendars. Maybe he didn't think they'd need to go that far in the future to begin with. The Mayans weren't psychic, how could they know when the end was?
I believe scientists influence our beliefs about end times quite a lot. They are constantly saying that there is a giant asteroid or something similar that could 'potentially' destroy the globe. Or that the sun will go out in ten billion years. Even things like the hole in the ozone layer or global warming, all lead us to believe that we are all going to die. But not matter how many theories are discredited, we always end up believing one more. A few weeks ago there was a 'Super blood moon', and many people believed this was a sign of the end times. No one payed any attention to the fact that such a moon occurs once every 18 years. These are things we should notice, before the mass panic and hysteria begin.
Another popular belief that the end was coming occurred in the late 1990's with the coming of 'Y2K'. The belief that humanity would be left in the dark because computers weren't programmed to mark the date past a certain point. Hello humanity?!?! Is anyone there? Do you not realize that you survived thousands, if not millions of years without this technology? And just so you know, I personally own several of these computers and every one of them works just fine. You're all just crazy. Honestly, can you imagine being that guy who built a bunker and stockpiled toilet paper for the end of the world and then nothing happened? You would look really foolish.
Psychics, however impressive, cannot predict the end either. I have two famous examples. One, John the Baptist, a disciple of Jesus Christ, who was not really psychic but was granted a vision of the end. He saw what would happen, all of it, beginning to end. But you know what he did not see? When it would happen. Because it's impossible. Jesus himself said that only God knows. Even Jesus, the son of God didn't know when it would happen. My second example, the well noted psychic Nostradamus predicted the end of the world would be in the 1900's. While this fact is often blotted out, readers of his original texts have found this to be an accurate interpretation of his writings. What we often don't realizes though, is that he predicted events occurring after this end. And while this information is not well known, nor is it easily interpreted, many Nostradamus experts have interpreted his texts in this way. Do you see the flaw in this? People doing things AFTER the end of the world? That's not even remotely possible.
In conclusion I ask one thing of you. Take a look at the world around you. Do you see it? It hasn't ended yet, despite the hundreds of times we've predicted it would. Wikipedia lists another few hundred end times predictions. I guarantee you none of them are actually the end. Our time has not yet come. We will know when it has but we cannot predict it.
Remember, you're still here, enjoy life while you can.