A Philosopher's Blog

End of Days in May?

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy, Religion by Michael LaBossiere on March 9, 2011
Armageddon looming

Image by nimboo via Flickr

The end of the world has been predicted numerous times and has yet to come to pass. However, the past failures of the world to end as predicted has not deterred new predictions. The latest prediction is based on an interpretation of the bible and the date set is May 21, 2011. If this is correct, then we do not have that much time left.

Interestingly enough, the bible (Mark & Matthew) seems to clearly state that no one (other than God) can know the hour or the day when the end will come. As such, to use the bible to predict the day of the end would seem to be somewhat problematic. After all, if the bible is accurate, then it would be accurate in regards to the claim that the day cannot be known. If that part is not accurate, then this would cast doubt on the parts that are used to make predictions about the end. Naturally enough, folks who calculate the end of days always have a response to the claim that this day cannot be known and perhaps they are right.

Not surprisingly, I am rather skeptical about May 21 being the end. After all, there have been numerous other attempts to calculate the end from the bible and these have all failed. As such, there seems little reason to believe that this new calculation is correct. Unless, of course, the new calculation is such that its methodology and content are both reliable. I am inclined to suspect that this is not the case. However, we do not have long to wait for an answer.

If the end does not arrive on May 21, the result will probably be the same as what occurred with other failed predictions: a new prediction will be offered based on the claim that the original calculation was off to do some (until then) unknown error in the calculations or in the interpretation of the textual evidence. The group that accepts the prediction will lose some members due to the failure, but others will accept the changed prediction. However, if the new prediction does not come to pass (or is set too far in the future) then the group will gradually lose membership and fade away.

In any case, it is not clear how useful a correct prediction would be. Given that we have no real way to confirm the predictions until the day arrives to confirm or disprove it, it makes little sense to change one’s life on the basis of such predictions. Unless, of course, the change is one that would be a good idea anyway. However, to quit one’s job or abandon one’s family on the basis of such a prediction would seem to be a bad idea. After all, such things would seem to have no impact on what is supposed to occur in the end and would have a negative impact should the prediction turn out to be wrong.

In any case, we’ll have the answer soon enough.

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8 Responses

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  1. brucetheeconomist said, on March 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I’d hope one wouldn’t abandon one’s family if one thought the end was near.

    I likely would:

    a. quit job
    b. sell all investments
    c. schedule a trip or two
    d. hook with old friends and acquaintances
    e. max out credit cards

    The prediction does sound anywhere solid enough to justify this.

    The only thing that would seem to provide for a certan end of the world at a known time, would be a large asteroid impact with no ability to prevent it. Hopefully not in our lifetime.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on March 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      I have a list of what I’ll do at the end of days. Not telling until a week before the end, though. Spoiler alert: that blog will be posted on 4/4/2014.

    • Jeffrey Simoneaux said, on March 21, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      I feel our focus should be more on the path forward it is not healthy or God’s way to focus on our inevidable demise. Afterall, He never promised we would live forever on earth but only if we follow the way the truth and the life would we find eternity with Him in the Spirit realm of Heaven. Perhaps we need to connect to the universal source of knowledge through deep meditation and ask God our Creator for the answers to all man’s problems before it is too late. Remember when we pray we speak to God and when we meditate He Speaks back to us, through the Holy Spirit and our inner entity. Order your advanced copy of my book today and get your own “Illumination of Conscience” as you work on discovering your own truth. For “there exist no real truth in the world only varying degrees of certainty” You will learn more about your soul, your body, your Creator, the universal source of knowledge and much more in my new book out this July by 5www.foldmedia.com it can be pre-ordered now for a $2.00 discount at the website http://www.thetruthbooksite.com The book is titled THE TRUTH “The Illumination of Conscience” by author Jeffrey Michael Simoneaux

      Thankyou for allowing me to reply and know that we can all walk in the way, the truth and the life as we were so designed.

      Peace, Love and Truth

  2. ajmacdonaldjr said, on March 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    hmm . . . “4990 + 2011 = 7001” that’s ALL I need to know . . .

  3. Greg Camp said, on March 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Any time someone tells me that the world is going to end on a given date, I offer a bet: $1,000 from me if I’m wrong, or $1,000 from you if you’re wrong. No one takes me up on that.

    By the way, Bible is to be capitalized, since it’s the title of a book.

  4. umesh bawa said, on March 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    All prediction makers tends to be the survillience og god..thats why, they are making such a ambiguois quotes…

  5. WTP said, on March 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    “the date set is May 21, 2011. If this is correct, then we do not have that much time left.”

    I figured they had to be wrong. Looks more like March 21 judging from the news lately.

  6. anonfredk said, on March 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What a disgraceful waste of web space . . .IMHO:

    End times? To quote our beloved 43rd president, “Bring’em on.”

    Greg: I’m certain Michael appreciates your editing skills. What’s your hourly rate?

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