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Why Are People Obsessed With The Apocalpyse?

Updated on July 10, 2014
A dilapidated building in Atlantic City, NJ
A dilapidated building in Atlantic City, NJ | Source

What Is It With The Apocalypse?

Ever since I was a child, I was obsessed with doomsday, the apocalypse, end days--whatever term you want to call it. Many other people are too.

Not one time in my life can I recall someone saying, "Man, I can't stand a good doomsday story."

There's something about the end of the world that thrills people. It makes them giddy and happy and excited. Of course, there are people who are horrified by the idea as well. But all in all, it captivates the imagination. One of those topics that cause gooseflesh to ripple across people's skin.

I've asked a lot of folks why they are interested in such a topic, and here is what I have come across.

A Driveling Street Preacher

End Of Days: Religious and Scriptural Delusions

This is the one that disturbs me and creeps me out the most. There's something horrifying about the twinkle in a religious lunatics eyes that give me the chills, whenever they talk about the scriptural end of days. The rapture. You know the type I'm talking about: standing atop a soap box with glittering eyes, breathing hellfire and giving you the date of Jesus' return.

I've heard many times from both Muslims and Christians that I'm going to die and roast in hell when their respective end-times take place. What a pleasant thought. Thanks for that. Glad we belong to the same species, and I'm thrilled to know you'll enjoy the smell of my scorched flesh.

If you trace faith back through human history, a majority of them had a rapture or doomsday scenario built in. Why? I can't say. Probably to keep people in line and scare the living daylights out of them.

People of faith strongly believe the day of rapture is coming and it makes them giddy. They are just and right and will be dining with god, and the people they hate, we sinners, will be roasting in lakes of eternal hellfire.

(If any religious people are offended here, I'm not sorry. You're allowed to take offense, of course. But this article isn't solely about you, and I won't engage in petty arguments about your faith, nor do I care about scriptural passages.)

An abandoned building atop a hill in New York's Hudson Valley
An abandoned building atop a hill in New York's Hudson Valley | Source

They Want The World To Start Afresh

Some of the people I've spoken to like the idea of doomsday, because it would give us a chance to begin anew. As if humans wouldn't screw it up again if they had a do-over. How do you think we got to the place we are now? By being nice?

I understand this afresh idea and agree with it to a certain extent, but I don't think the end of the world would be the best way to bring it on. With technology gone and the population dwindled to a mere fraction of what it used to be, we'd be thrown back into Games of Thrones-esque feudalism. The strongest guy in the neighborhood dominates.

Maybe that thought excites people a little bit? It does excite me as horrified as I am to admit it. But I wouldn't wish it on the world. Those were brutal times.

Exctied Doomsday Preppers

Firstly, I have to point out a big delusion among Preppers. They think they will survive the apocalypse, because they've prepared themselves. Fine. Maybe they will, but that's certainly not a guarantee. There are no guarantees in plagues, nuclear fallout, and meteor strikes.

I've met and spoken with a lot of doomsday Preppers. Though they range in personality from hippies to 'frontiersmen', there is one common theme. The thought of doomsday excites the hell out of them, and they are already living as if it is here.

Their reasons for being excited about most of humanity being wiped off the map vary as much as their personalities do. Some cite the environment while others talk about their hatred of government.

With hippie types, I've noticed that they want a more enlightened (their definition of enlightened), spiritual world. A more harmonious type of being.

With the tough, rugged frontiersman/women, they seem to want a chance to live on their own accord. Be alpha men and women. Live in the wild and live off of the land with no obstruction.

What I've never gotten, though, is an admission that they want the world to end. But they do, it's obvious. If not, they wouldn't be living as if the world already ended.


The Aftermath Would Bring A Simpler Life

Assuming you lived through it, the aftermath of an apocalypse would be a much simpler existence.

In a sense, this is true. No more work, no more economies, no more societal infrastructure to live by, no technology. No more laws, no more police, no more judges, no more rules. Just you, your band of friends and family, and the great wide open.

We've been here before, though. Our hunter and gatherer ancestors lived in this lifestyle for thousands of years. And guess what? Most of them died of their teeth, broken bones, or now-curable diseases by the age of 30.

It would be a simple life, but not an easy or comfortable one. It would be a brutal Darwinian existence and you'd have to constantly cover your ass.

Abandoned building
Abandoned building | Source

They Hate People

Yes, it's true. There are people out there who just despise the human race. Call them psychos, sociopaths, cynics, or misanthropes--whatever, they don't like our species. These people don't care if they live, they just want to see the entirety of the human race eradicated.

I happen to be a cynic and my idea of an ideal world isn't what it is today; but I think that probably holds true for most people. I wouldn't say I hate humans, but I'm disappointed in our immaturity and inability to overcome trivialities and work together. But I don't want to see our species completely obliterated. I'd like to see us improve.

Where this sort of hatred comes from in people, I don't understand, but there are a lot of factors. Upbringing, genetics, influence, intelligence, and environment all seem to play a role.

A Simple Doomsday Poll

Does The Thought Of Doomsday Excite You?

See results

Lastly, We Romaticize Terrible Things

I don't know what it is about people, but we tend to romanticize a lot of horrible things. Sex sells, but I think death, violence, destruction, and blood sell even more.

Take the news, for instance. What do you see? Death, destruction, and violence. Why? Because there's a market for it. If there was a market for happier things, the news networks would be all over it as it would drive up their ratings.

Look at our entertainment. First person shooters. Game of Thrones, horror flicks, mixed martial arts, boxing. What do they all have in common? Violence, of course. Destruction.

(Note: no, I'm not one of those idiots who think video games are responsible for violence and gun massacres)

I think people are bored and thirst for something more. They always want something more or something else. The thought of a chaotic world excites them. This is why the thought of doomsday excited them.

Of course, these things don't hold true for everyone, and I could very well be wrong about a lot of things I said. This isn't based on data or peer review. Just my own observations as a person who spent a long time studying psychology and neuroscience.


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    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

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    • Debbie Snack cake profile image

      Debbie Villines 3 years ago from Iowa

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