When it comes to the subject of dooms-day, its preachers are unflagging, its believers are stubborn, and all the while nonbelievers scoff. After all, the cycle of life and death being the fate of all things, we still see the Earth's six billion people as standing on terra firma as usual. Could it all end in a day? And should we live in constant fear that the sky might fall?
The question we should instead ask is why humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion or time in which they lived, have almost always come up with doomsday prophecies.
The end of us all?
Regarding this question, Juang Kai-dih, former chief of psychiatry at Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, explains that when people lack a sense of security, they struggle daily to regain it. It's an inborn human trait.
"People content with modern life are less likely to believe in doomsday prophecy," says Juang. Using psychology to probe subconscious motivations, we find that when humans are faced with problems, it's hard not think of destruction, whether it's the destruction of oneself or of all mankind. "There are some who would take advantage of our lack of security, spreading doomsday prophecies to create the false impression that we will all be destroyed together," he says.
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