The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Waiting for the End of the World

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 17, 2019 17:42

1 user

Why are we so obsessed with the end of days?

A young man in the Netherlands, haggard and unkempt, walks into a bar. He orders a few beers, then tells the barkeep that he had run away from a house where he and several others have been kept in a small, enclosed space for the previous nine years, all in anticipation for the "end of time." It's a bizarre tale, and more bizarre as more details are released.

But the story has me thinking about the end of the world, more specifically what seems like a species' preoccupation with it. I get it, there are a cavalcade of existential threats out there, a revolving door of climate disasters, political crises, war, famine, and "your gift of such-and-such dollars can help such-and-such person/animal in need" guilt-producing infomercials, all events that tug on heart strings and can, in many cases, produce suffocating anxiety and fear.

But does that warrant an obsession with the end of the world so strong that a handful of people spent the better part of a decade in a makeshift bunker, without any contact with anyone but themselves, waiting for some hyperbolically-prophetic apocalypse that may or may not come to pass?

To me, the answer is no. But then again, when it comes to topics such as these, I think the "be prepared" crowds are silly. Though my nihilism and mockery of doomsayers and doomsdayers notwithstanding, there is an attractiveness toward doomsday-preparedness that some tend to believe amounts to religious ritual and, unfortunately, the best defense against a world -- nay, an existence -- gone literally to Hell.

Christians come to mind first when it comes to obsessing over the end of days. Christianity is not only preoccupied with the end of the world, but also the entire concept of death. The adherents to the testimony of Jesus Christ are a billion-strong cult of human sacrifice, worshiping the brutal, torturous murder of a prophetic individual (or at least a claimed prophetic individual).

Many of the new religious movements that have manifested under the Christian banner over the past two millennia have not only been spiritually-tethered to the murderous "miracle" of their savior's undying love, but also obsessed with the idea of the end of an adherent's life, as well as the adherents' life. This forms the basis for how to save a soul from damnation -- the promise of divine reward.

On a more global scale, this ethical worldview applies to a rapture, a claiming of the souls of those worthy to enter The Good Place while simultaneously forsaking those who don't get enough Pope Dollars.

While Christians are an easy example, they are by no means the only people who obsess over the end times. The power of the end of the world rests in our collective fear of it, our discomfort with the unknown. It's a fear of death, which many have on a much larger scale.

Though, that doesn't mean it's something worth obsessing over.

Robert Franklin

Posted on October 17, 2019 17:42

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

THE end of the world is fast approaching, according to militant Christian evangelists who are convinced biblical prophecies...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest