Why do some people believe the end of the world is near

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do people believe the end of the world is near?

People who believe in religions , like me, have a reason to believe that the world will end one day, apparently because their religious scriptures tell them so but why would some people all of a sudden claim that the world will end on a certain date or time?

Why would someone commit suicide in order to avoid the end of the world?
Why would someone give all of his money to charity only to discover that the world wont end now?

Every now and then some people start to claim that the world will end on a certain date then attract a large number of supporters who start doing all kind of extreme behavior just because of believing that end is near.

Yesterday i came across a site that said that the world is going to end in 8 days. The site was a commercial one and it was Selling survival kits, rations and all kinds of goods that a person might need when the world ends!

The first question that came to my mind was, what on earth is the site owner going to do with the money if the world was really going to end according to his beliefs?

Why do people believe in superstitions about the end of the world

This site i was just talking about and other sites sold products worth millions of dollars. Some people are capitalizing on the fears of others and that's why its important to find out why do some people strongly believe in such superstitions.

  • 1) To be among the chosen or in other words to feel superior: The desire to feel superior to others is more strong among some humans than others. Whens some people fail to feel superior in a direct way by playing with the normal rules they start to seek twisted methods to feel superior to others. When a person believes that the world will end on a certain day he instantly feels superior to all of those who are uninformed.
  • 2) Because they eagerly want it to end: Some people believe that they are losers, failures and unlucky fellows. For those people the end of the world can be a very good thing since it will put an end to all the rules that classified them as losers or failures. In other words, some people believe in the end of the world just because they need to believe that it will end soon.
  • 3) The conspiracy theory makes them feel important: Usually when a person claims that the end is near he also claims that the government knows it all. This kind of conspiracy theory makes the person feel worthy and very important because after all if the whole world is conspiring against him then he must be a very important person. In other words, many of those who believe in such superstitions only want to feel worthy. In the Solid Self confidence program i said that people who fail to feel worthy in the usual ways might start to seek unusual ways to feel superior such as claiming that they were abducted by aliens (they were chosen among the whole world).
  • 4) To feel in control: In my previous article Why do people believe in superstitions i said that one of the strong forces that motivate people to believe in superstitions the is lack of control over their own lives. By believing that the end of the world will happen on a certain date a person can become much more in control of his fate

Why superstitions will never end

What do you think will happen when a person who believed that the world will end on a certain date finds out that it didn't end? Will he give up on superstitions?

No he wont simply because he has a psychological need that forces him to believe in them. In other words that person will shortly fall prey to another superstition and will start believing in it as well.

Don't wonder how people manage to forget about a prophecy that didn't happen and to believe in another one that quick. In my article How people twist the facts to support their beliefs i said that people discard the data that goes against their beliefs even if it was real and keep the data that supports them even if they weren't sure of it.

Superstitions will always be there because some people need to believe in them.

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