It’s great not to be religious. You don’t half save yourself a lot of worry. Take Jehovah’s Witnesses for example. They used to regularly predict that the world would end next week next month or next year. To be fair to them they now seem to have given up and content themselves with going round houses boring people to death with their absurd drivel about lions and lambs spreading the word of God.
In the nineteenth century an American baptist minister, William Miller, predicted that Christ would return to earth on various times in 1843 and 1844 and at that point it would be games a bogey for planet earth. When these events didn’t materialise it was known as ‘the great disappointment’. We have a very similar thing going on at Dumbarton FC every year.
Of course remember all the prophets of doom at millennium time when the world was supposed to end on the first of January (about tea time).
Whether you refer to it as eschatology (religious theory of the end of the world), millenarianism, end time belief, apocalypticism, or disaster scenario, it is one of humanity’s most powerful ideas, and it goes way back.
“It is a very ancient pattern in human thought. It is rooted in ancient, even pre-biblical Middle Eastern myths of ultimate chaos and ultimate struggle between the forces of order and chaos,” says cultural historian Paul S Boyer, author of When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture.
“It is deeply appealing at a psychological level because the idea of meaninglessness is deeply threatening. Human societies have always tried to create some kind of framework of meaning to give history and our own personal lives some kind of significance.”
And although end of the world thinking crops up in many religions, those in the West are probably most aware of Christian eschatology. In the early days of the church it was taken as a given by many believers that the Second Coming and the end of the world were imminent.
So why mention this at this time? Well there is a scientific experiment taking place in Switzerland on Wednesday which some people reckon will be time’s up for all of us. There’s this thing called a particle accelerator which apparently is going to create a black hole and suck us all in. Apparently some religious nutjobs and fruitcakes leaders are getting in on this act too saying that its God’s punishment for……….well take yer pick.
Look it’s like this. The world will end some time just as sure as night follows day 8) . And when it does it’ll be because of nuclear war, some natural disaster, a disease, environmental stuff or global chronic obesity/chronic famine. If you think that there is some superior being up there ready to smite us all for our ungodliness, sins or failing to donate for the church roof – get help.
See you on Thursday. (I think!)
Souces used, BBC