When Do People Think That the World Will End?

According to a poll done in 20 countries in 2012, roughly 15% of people believe the world will end during their lifetimes. The poll included 16,262 people from various countries such as China, Russia, Japan, the United States, Spain, Australia, Great Britain, Indonesia and Germany.

One in seven people taking part in the poll expressed a belief that the end of the world is near. The results did vary from country to country however. For example, 22% of poll participants from the United States said that the world will end during their lifetimes, whereas only 6% of poll participants from France felt the same way. The poll also showed higher rates of concern about the world ending among participants under the age of 35.

More about end of the world predictions:

  • About 10% of people thought the world would end on December 21, 2012, the end date of the Mayan calendar.
  • According to a poll published in Newsweek on November 1, 1999, 45% of Christians believe that the world will end at Armageddon, in a battle between Jesus and the antichrist.
  • There have been possibly 100 or more wrong predictions about the date for the end of the world since the 1st century A.D.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some historical predictions about the end of the world?

Throughout history, various cultures and individuals have predicted the end of the world. Notable examples include the Mayan calendar's 2012 phenomenon, which some interpreted as signaling the apocalypse, and the Y2K scare, where technological collapse was feared at the turn of the millennium. Religious texts like the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible have also been interpreted as predicting the end times. These predictions often reflect the concerns and understanding of the era in which they were made.

How do modern scientists predict the end of the world?

Modern scientific predictions about the end of the world are based on astrophysical, environmental, and technological factors. For instance, the Sun's eventual transformation into a red giant, expected in about 5 billion years, could engulf Earth, according to NASA. Climate change and its catastrophic impacts are also a concern, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) providing models and forecasts about the potential for severe, irreversible damage to our planet's ecosystems.

What role does religion play in shaping people's beliefs about the end of the world?

Religion plays a significant role in shaping beliefs about the end of the world. Many faiths have eschatological narratives that describe how the world will end or transition into a new era. For example, in Christianity, beliefs about the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ inform expectations of the end times. Similarly, Islamic teachings include the Day of Judgment. These religious narratives often emphasize moral conduct and the fulfillment of prophecies.

Are there any common psychological reasons why people are drawn to end-of-world predictions?

Psychologically, people may be drawn to end-of-world predictions due to a desire for certainty in uncertain times, a need to make sense of complex global events, or as a reaction to existential anxiety. The concept of a definitive end can also provide a narrative that simplifies the unpredictability of life. Additionally, some find comfort in the idea of a new beginning or a sense of belonging to a group that shares these beliefs.

How do popular media and culture influence perceptions of the world's end?

Popular media and culture significantly influence perceptions of the world's end through movies, books, and television shows that dramatize apocalyptic scenarios. These narratives often reflect societal anxieties and can shape public discourse on potential threats to humanity's survival. The entertainment industry's portrayal of disasters, from asteroid impacts to zombie apocalypses, can both entertain and amplify concerns about the fragility of human civilization and the planet.

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