For Sale: One Apocalypse. Lightly Used.

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Well we had The Fire Sale at End of the World. You know the one where Harold Camping Junior was telling us that the Messiah as coming back and all of us who didn’t get right with God immediately were going to be in a world of hurt?

Well, after Harold Camping got the date wrong three times, the three strikes and you are out rule applied and he skulked off with only $73 million or so. Thus dashing the hopes of a million odd Nimrods who were looking forward to seeing all the unbelievers fried to a crackly crunch as the faithful floated off to heaven.

But like PT Barnum is alleged to have said, there is a sucker born every minute. Once again we have someone saying: there is an End of the world Sale: Everything Must GO!

This time the Armageddon for sale is 21 December 2012.

There is no earthly reason to believe that Doomsday will occur on 21 December 2012. Even the Mayans didn’t seem to believe it and their descendants certainly don’t . But it does make for an entertaining story, and I and more than a few others have no qualms about making a nickel or two off the hype and hubbub. At least some of us are not going to lie to you and tell you that we believe in something that there is absolutely no evidence for—either scientific or spiritual.

Let’s get the matter straight however. Armageddon is just a question of time and physics. One day we will end. One day the earth with wither away in the heat of sun gone super nova, one day the sun, the moon and even the galaxies will pass away. There is no question of this. The laws of physics, thermodynamics and entropy as we understand them permit no other outcome. The controversy comes when someone says: And it will happen on a date certain and that date is written in the stars.

As the Good Book says, no many knows when the Messiah will come again.

By the same token, no one knows when that super volcano will blow up North America or that super quake and Tsunami will take out every major city bordering the ring of fire. But some day these things may well happen. So at least part of our fascination with doomsday stems from our discomfort with uncertainty.

The uncertainly that attends the death of stars sometimes fills us with such dread and foreboding that we happily exchange ambiguity for prophecy and make of our inevitable ends a religion. Worship is so much easier than fear.


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