left biblioblography: The World Is Ending On Friday? Oh Well, It’s Been Nice Knowing You All…

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The World Is Ending On Friday? Oh Well, It’s Been Nice Knowing You All…

Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis

mayan-calendar-humor-freak-somebody-out-somedayIt's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. – REM,  It's the end of the world as we know it

The world was supposed to end last year.

It was also supposed to be swallowed by a black hole created by the Hadron particle accelerator.

It was supposed to end in the year 2000.

The planets were supposed to align in March  1982, triggering mass earthquakes and massive flooding.

In 1910, Halley’s comet was supposed to release a poisonous gas called cyanogen into the atmosphere.

The number of pillars in the Pyramid of Giza number one thousand eight hundred and  eighty one, because Charles Piazzi Smith was convinced some biblical patriarch built it, all evidence notwithstanding.

Belaboring the obvious, all those predictions have two things in common. One is the end of the world. Two, they were all wrong.

This is one of those items that we skeptics find most infuriating: despite all the evidence to the contrary, other members of our species simply refuse to admit that they were not only wrong, but stupendously, incredibly, ridiculously wrong.

The end of the world is a common motif, one that predates Christianity. Because humans are trying to measure the universe in accordance with their own data subset, it’s just trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Our lives are brief, our mortalities imminent, and because our live begin and end, we think in terms of such: beginnings and endings.

But this idiocy should be ridiculed and laughed at roundly: we should never ever keep our peace when someone announces the ‘End Of Days!’ (regardless of how that has a great ring to it). It is, in its simplest form, mental pollution of the worst kind.

Why is that? Back in the days I was selling shoes (and taking too many drugs, and had a great deal vested in  nonsenses both occultic and religious), I made no efforts to work towards a future, because after all, if the world’s gonna end, why bother? Anecdotal it may be, but I’d hazard to guess that a great many people would echo that statement. There are folks out there I’d wager are simply not making any effort to enrich their lives or others. I overheard a grown woman last month at a Tai Chi class blathering about how she was going to ‘get her affairs in order’ because she actually believed this bullshit about 12/21/12 (why wasn’t it on 12/12? Who knows? Maybe the doomsayers wanted 9 more days). I stopped pushing hands, turned around, and carried on about it. At length. Most folks laughed. I dearly wanted to bet her a grand that the world wasn’t ending – a safe bet if it isn’t, right?

(As an aside, wouldn’t it be ever so fun to walk around the metropolitan areas with a sandwich board announcing in big block letters, THE WORLD IS NOT COMING TO AN END! RELAX! And betting anyone who stops to argue a goodly sum against it?)

So if it comes – it’s been n'ice knowin’ ya all. But if it doesn’t (and I’ll bet the rent it don’t), then I’ll see you next for our weekly drubbing of that ol’ time religion.

Till the next post then.

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