Is this the end of the world?
My co-workers and I were debating yesterday whether the world is worse now than ever before. Most of them are religious and expressed their concern that the world is getting worse and worse and that the apocalypse is fast approaching. One of them said, "just look at CNN for crying out loud." I did, and this is what I found:
I have to admit, it's quite a collection of stories, and would feed almost any end-of-the-world frenzy. But I'm skeptical. I tend to think that the world really isn't that much worse but that we are more aware of our surroundings, that natural disasters, disease, and other calamities are not more abundant, but that 24-hr access to cable news disproportionately affects our perception.
One example: the concern about avian-flu (which I've been following closely since Katrina and I will be moving to Thailand in 7 days) is that it will wreck the same havoc that the Spanish Flu pandemic (also a bird flu) of 1918 to 1919 did, which is believed to have killed an estimated 20 million to 100 million people.
I remember reading an article once in the Ensign which said that a number of youth were polled and an overwhelming number said they thought the end of the world would happen in their lifetime. (The article was referencing the faith-promoting lie of the "chosen generation.")
Are we really in the last days of the world? Are stories on the evening news really the signs of the times?