Wednesday, September 29, 2004

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:

  • Hurricanes do more damage
  • Mount St. Helens is grumbling again
  • California suffers major earthquake
  • Trial of man who buried 14-yr old alive
  • Bird flu virus now feared communicable between humans
  • 15 killed by rocket attack in Israel

  • 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?


    At 9/29/2004 05:20:00 PM,


    At 9/29/2004 05:20:00 PM,


    At 9/29/2004 05:28:00 PM,

    If it is the end of the world, can we blame the media for it?

    My problem with all this is that people have been saying it's the end of the world since A.D. 70 and coming up with signs to prove it. Everybody thinks their generation is the last one. In the end, though, I don't think it matters (as long as you have your food storage, right?). Sure, it'll happen sometime, but I think it should end with knowing that it will happen and not with working out complex formulas (pastor russell??) for the exact day and time.

    I realize this post said mostly nothing; but hey, when the world ends, no one will care anyway.

    At 10/01/2004 10:07:00 AM,

    Along these lines, I remember reading an article by a BYU sociology professor who argued that the the end of the world wouldn't be characterized by an increase in moral wickedness, there's been plenty of that. (And for those who think we're the worst society morally, visit pompeii and those concerns will disappear) Johnson argues that the big sin that will lead to the end of things is socio-economic inequality.

    My take is that even if it is the end of the world as we know it.....I feel fine. 

    Posted by Chris

    At 10/01/2004 02:51:00 PM,


    Are you talking to youself? 

    Posted by Doug Spencer

    At 10/01/2004 03:21:00 PM,


    Posted by Chris




    << Home