Apocalypse When

Apocalypse of the Week 2: Omnidirectional Zergling Rush

Hello again!  This week’s apocalypse comes from a bit farther in time and space than the Islamic mythos previously explored.  In the mountains of 6th-century-BCE Nepal, the Buddha and his most prominent disciples waxed lyrical about an endworld scenario like no other.  As Buddhism would have it, civilization will end as the world suffers a steady increase in “unskillful” behavior.

That’s…remarkably reasonable.  Civilization falls apart as a result of an epidemic of incompetence?  I’d almost buy it, given the special class of nincompoop that seems to occupy too many government offices, including those armed with the ability to render vast swaths of the world uninhabitable for decades.  Apparently the Three Stooges are prophets of slapstick.

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Apocalypse of the Week 1: Taste the Doom of Fire!

As part of the lead-up to Centre for Inquiry Ottawa’s Eschaton 2012 conference, Celebrating Reason at the End of the World, I wrote a feature called Apocalypse When, a brief lampooning of some of the many eschatological visions and scenarios that have gained or maintained popularity over the centuries.   Eschaton2012.ca is defunct now, so I’m reprising my creation here.

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This week’s apocalypse is the one envisioned in the Qur’an and various hadiths and thus central to most interpretations of Islam.  Unfortunately, the details of this scenario are dispersed across numerous suras and hadiths, but a few themes and tidbits stand out.

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