The eschaton

Eschatology is a fixture of civilization. No matter where you look, you find people waiting for the end.

It happened in the mid-1800s with the Millerites. It happened in 1992, with the conservative opposition naming Bill Clinton the Antichrist. It happened in 2012, across the scale, from New Age-inspired fears of Nibiru to warnings about the Rapture. It has happened for pretty much every election of any leader for any position in any group, no matter where, from Popes to PTA meetings.

Not that we’re invincible, by any means. In the 20th century, the universe saw mankind achieve a destructive power we had never before possessed. The atom bomb is the eschaton.

But it is also true that every generation believes they are the last, and that belief is a basic part of humanity. Because no one really believes the world will go on without them.

I find this comforting.

My wife does not.

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