Tomorrow, 23/09/17, the world will NOT end
Why do people believe absurd apocalypse theories? Tomorrow, according to a strange interpretation of the Bible, some think the world will end. Are these beliefs religious or psychological?
The world is supposed to have ended 29 times since the turn of the millennium. Isaac Newton predicted the return of Jesus in the year 2000.
And tomorrow, along comes another.
This theory echoes the idea that the world would be destroyed in 2012 by an asteroid. Predictably, the asteroid was proven not to exist.
“Christian numerologist” David Meade is now revisiting this idea. He has homed in on the number 33.
“Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God to the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the Bible],” Meade says. And September 23rd is 33 days on from the total solar eclipse, which Meade regards as an omen. At this point he expects Nibiru to appear.
It will not happen.
But interest in doomsday has revived recently. Part of this is due to the Islamic State, whose followers see themselves as key players in the end of the world.M
Armageddon or end-of-the-world myths are a staple of most cultures. After all, if people ask themselves “How did we get here?”, the troubling follow-on question is: “How will it end?”
We have solid scientific theories for how the world might end, so why do people cling to these bizarre theories?
Apocalypse not yet
“This is about the power of certainty”, say some. Psychologist Karen Douglas likens their mentality to conspiracy theorists: both "feel like they have knowledge that others do not." Meanwhile Shmuel Lissek, a neuroscientist, thinks "apocalyptic beliefs make the fear of our mortality—predictable."
Others see the intense power of religion as the greater cause. As of 2015, 40% of Americans believe we are living in the end times - the final period before Jesus returns to judge us. While people still take the book of Revelations literally, these views will persist. Countering religious fundamentalism is the answer.
- Why do you think people believe outlandish apocalypse theories?
- Write an end of the world diary. What happens? What is it like?
Some People Say...
“Humanity will be able to prevent the end of the world.”
What do you think?
Q & A
- What do we know?
- David Meade, a “Christian numerologist”, believes the process of the end of world will start tomorrow . It would be 33 days after the total solar eclipse, and Meade ascribes great biblical importance to the number 33. We know that the end of the world has been predicted hundreds of times before.
- What do we not know?
- Which scientific explanation for the end of the world is most likely.
- Return of Jesus
- In Christian theology, the return of Christ will signal the end of the world and the advent of the kingdom of God.
- The end-date of a 5,126 year-long cycle in the Mayan calendar. This was explored in the film 2012.
- Islamic State
- The extremist Islamic States believes in a final battle between Muslims and “Rome” at Dabiq, a small town in modern-day Syria. It will usher in events that will see the return of Jesus and the end of the world.
- 40% of Americans
- Including 77% of evangelicals and 51% of protestants. According to a survey by Barna Group.