This is a spectacular mainstay of paranoid religious thinking and it crops up time and time again.
Now we’re looking at the 2012 Mayan end of the world, another manifestation of this sort of behavior. Of course, we should know better because the calendar everyone thinks that will end the world isn’t the only Mayan calendar we know about.
There’s a reason why one of the end of the world predictions was called the Great Disappointment; and when these come out there’s numerous humorous betting pools about “how many days until backpedaling.”
The best defense against this sort of cult thinking is an actual background in critical thinking and following the evidence. People devastated their livelihoods and lives for last year’s May 21st prediction—all on the premise that the world wouldn’t be here for them to worry about.
They let themselves be suckered in the worst possible way and Harold Camping’s organization swelled as a result. Sincere or not—the injury so some was profound and terrible.
The next time someone doomsays without evidence: chances are very good the world again won’t end.
via Friendly Atheist.