Sunday, April 20, 2014

End of the World and Apocolypticism

Do I believe in the end of the world? That is a difficult question for me to answer, since I feel very unsure about the answer. My fearful side wants to say no, the world can never end, and we are all safe. However, rationally, I understand that many things could bring about at the very least an end to the world as we know it. In my opinion, the most likely cause of the world's end would be use of nuclear bombs, because I believe that if a single one was set off it would cause a chain reaction leading to full on nuclear warfare, and the death of huge amounts, if not all, of the world's population.

With all this being said, I do not believe almost any of the common end of the world "prophecies", which are constantly circulating through society. Part of this is probably because many, although not all, apocalyptic theories are centered around religion, and I am not a religious individual. This brings me to the difference between apocalypticism and millennialism. Apocalypticism means that it is a theory which centers around some sort of divine intervention, while millennialism is a more broad term which can cover secular ideas as well. Millennialsim has seven branches that were discussed by Dr. Krebs, and of these five I find two to be somewhat believable. The first of these is the progressive view, which says that a new world order may come about with out the catastrophe. Essentially, this is a political theory which focuses on the way that new, better political regimes can be put in place with out some kind of horrible destruction. This theory appeals to me because it eliminates the more fantastical elements of catastrophe, leaving behind real people making the world better. An example of this would be true communism, which has never been practiced in the world.

The second theory is the environmental one, which says that the breakdown of the environment will lead to the destruction of the Earth. As a believer in global warming, this theory definitely speaks to me. We are constantly polluting the environment, and I definitely believe that people need to be more cautious about what kind of world we leave for the next generations. However, I do not believe that this will ever come true during my lifetime, but instead will be something that might occur hundreds of years from now.

Overall, while I do find apocalyptic theories to be very interesting, I do not think that they are particularly realistic or have any real benefit to society.

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