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100 Qs for God: Is the end nigh?

August 12, 2011

This is Question 94 from the “100 Questions for (my) God” series.

Is the end nigh?

History shows rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated . While I can’t preclude Armageddon, Apocalypse, Ragnarok, meteor strike, rapid climate change, a sudden implosion of the universe or some other equally amusing conclusion to our existence,… everyone who has predicted a date prior to today has been wrong.

My math is not advanced enough to determine the ultimate probability of today being the end of the world as we know it, but the calculation might look something like this:

Probability of today being the end of the world:

About the same as yesterday

Assumptions:

Years we’ve been smart enough to consider our extinction

50,000[1]

Days it hasn’t happened

18,263,000[2]

Recognizing the enormous disappointment we must have with the copious prophecies of doom failing to come to fruition, it’s not out of the question RUTH (Random Universe Theory) could crash the party at any moment. However, you can be confident my God will have nothing to do with it.

God’s lack of interest in ending our existence could be driven by her commitment to free will, tendency to like us a little, affection for life, intrinsic goodness, lack of interest in the physical spectrum or boredom. Regardless, any “Acts of God” should not be inappropriately attributed to my God – it’s either RUTH or some other force.

While only one prediction of our ignominious end has to come to fruition to truly upset the applecart, it probably doesn’t matter for a number of reasons:

1)     We probably can’t do anything about it.
2)     Nothing like it has happened on Earth in the last 23 billion or so days[3].
3)     It doesn’t change anything about what we should be achieving and how we
should be living in the meantime.

Regardless of whether the end of the world is tomorrow, next week or postponed indefinitely, you only have till the conclusion of your life to achieve what you aspire to. If knowing the end was imminent would change your actions, it’s certainly something to consider moving forward. However, since the last dinosaur predicted “That asteroid will be the death of us,”[4] predictions of global demise have been relatively unsuccessful.

Conclusion:

Living a life in fear of impending worldwide catastrophe is probably inappropriate given the limited and poorly-executed track record. However, it is a timely reminder of our mortality.  While living every day as though it is your last may be too extreme a reaction, I’d encourage living each day as though the average person only gets about 24,000[5]. When you take away the number of days it takes to “grow up,” it’s pretty sobering.


[2] This does account for leap years (even before they were invented) and was rounded up by 500 days for my own amusement

[3] Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction event – 65M years x 365.25 days = 23.7B days

[4] I may be practicing a little anthropomorphism but you get the idea (I believe it was Cyrus the Stegosaurus but I may be misattributing)

AS ALWAYS, YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS – ANY INSIGHTS, WISELY PHRASED OBJECTIONS, OR ADDITIONS, WILL BE CONSIDERED AND ADDED IF SEEN FIT. MAY THE DISCUSSIONS BEGIN!



One Comment leave one →
  1. sberoza permalink
    August 29, 2011 8:15 am

    I appreciate your viewpoint on the end of the world.

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