Friday, November 22, 2013

Raganarok 2014?

These "end of the world" prophecies seem to be coming faster than ever these days. 2012 saw the made-up "Maya apocalypse" and Harold Camping's two failed predictions of the equally made-up "Rapture." Now it some experts believe 2014 is the date that the Norse predicted for their own apocalypse, Ragnarok. Apparently this latest calamity is scheduled for February 22, 2014.

During the world's end, the sun's beams will become black and the weather will become treacherous. The wolf Skoll would devour the sun, and his brother Hati would eat the moon, causing stars to vanish from the sky and the Earth to be thrown into eternal darkness. According to one of the prophetic poems: "Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters' children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife - an axe age, a sword age - shields are riven - a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong. No man will have mercy on another."

According to Norse legend, the apocalypse is due to be preceded by the winter of winters. Vikings believed that three freezing winters would follow each other with no summers in between. All morality would disappear and fights would break out all over the world, signalling the beginning of the end.

My opinion, of course, is that this will turn out to be yet another failed prediction. I really don't understand why people seem to be so open to the idea that the world could mysteriously end based on dates extrapolated from ancient mythology, and more to the point why some seem to be drawn to it. Nobody who's tried has ever been right. And let's say, just for the sake of argument, that this one is for real. What could you do? It seems to me that regardless, the best strategy is always going to be living your life to the best of your ability, whether it's right up to the supposed "end" or, more likely, far beyond.

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