The End Of The World

Every so often an apocalyptic cult or idea appears, from the End Time to Ragnarok, to the Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and many more. Why?

People of every time always seem to consider their times are fearful or degraded, and no matter how fearful or degraded the present world may appear, whenever you are reading this, let us make one thing clear; the world is not ending and will never end. Humanity and the creatures and plants of the world we all need will be preserved.

Societies reflect the psychology of the constituents of that society. A group of people behave as one, and we can talk and feel about groups, whether political groups, socio-economic or racial groups, or countries, like we talk and feel about individuals. We can think of countries as individuals, having personalities. One country might seem confident and bombastic, one humble, one open, one oppressive. Countries, like any group of people end up having a personality, one that is a massive aggregate of everyone in that country. Even the animal and plant life of a country contribute to its psychology, as creatures like bears and snakes, heat and cold, cacti and snow, affect how the population behaves and feels, and how the state then relates to other countries, and how we feel about the personalities of other countries.

All groups of people end up reflecting the psychology of the individuals in that group, and all of humanity ends up reflecting the psychology of everyone. This means that humanity as a whole is a complicated beast, but it also means that humanity is as self-preserving as each of the individual selves that make it up. Part of humanity might destroy the planet and itself, just as some humans self-harm, but other parts of humanity work to rebuild and care and preserve the world, just as people work hard to rebuild and care for themselves. Humanity would only be at threat if everyone became suicidal or homicidal, which never happens.

Any species that has become suicidal or murderous no longer exists, for obvious reasons! But life is clearly self-preserving across all species divides. Are there any historical examples of self-genocide by a species? No, a species could not evolve to become self-genocidal.

As a species, our greatest enemy is fear, as this emotion can lead to unnecessary anxiety and potential self, and therefore social, harm. All people have an apocalyptic streak inside, a romantic notion of a neat end, normally a happy ending after a great and terrible crisis. One reason for this might be that these fears are present as warnings of possible disaster, to cause us to take self-preserving action, or to ironically create more stable societies as people peacefully prepare for an ending rather than destructively fight for survival until the last person. Whatever the reason for apocalyptic feelings, the notion of an apocalypse can create fantastical fears about disasters which are not warranted, and certainly nothing to do with the real world.

The will and personality of the people in charge of nations, and those with influence in our hierarchical society will have more influence and control over its destiny. The personality of a leader can shape the personality of their nation and social groups to a greater extent than the other members of the populace, but even in cases where that leader is violent and suicidal, such as Adolf Hitler in his final months, the remainder of society adjusts and prevents as much harm as the other members also prevent.

Thus, we can relax. Humanity will exist for a million years, a billion, or until humankind evolves into whatever myriad forms it is destined to evolve into.

Mark Sheeky, 13 November 2016