Apocalypse Prevention

From metawiki
Can we agree that the apocalypse is a bad thing?

A significant number of religions and cults make some prediction about how the universe will end. The technical term for this is eschatology.

These are usually referred to as "apocalypse" events, particularly in the Abrahamic traditions. Other depictions of the end times in scripture include the Hindu god Kalki and Zoroastrian Frashokereti.

metaculture's ethical philosophy is decidedly anti-apocalypse.

Scientific Eschatology

The wiki page "Ultimate fate of the universe" discusses the scientific theories that attempt to predict the manner and time in which the universe will end. This is the eschatology of science.

Fortunately all evidence indicates that this event is many billions of years away, and not something we need to concern our life choices with. Therefore, most of the time our brains spend thinking about the end of the world is time that could be spent thinking about doing something to help people and making the existing world a better place, or better yet actually doing it!

Apocalypse Allegories

In many cases, the notion of an apocalypse or rapture event is used as an allegory for war and the transformative changes in society that can arise like the phoenix from the ashes of the old.

Notions of a supernatural afterlife can make this a confusing metaphor. You could be talking about toppling the government of Rome, and literalists think you mean that angels are going to descend from the heavens any day now and start smiting people on your behalf. Instead of starting a movement, you breed complacency. Or, even worse, you encourage people to seek it out.

The Apocalypse Is Bad

The apocalypse is bad. Don't look forward to the end of the world. Don't welcome the apocalypse with open arms. Don't make geopolitical decisions to help bring it about.

This stuff should be obvious, but therein lies the problem with a literalist view of the afterlife. For the literalist, everyone dying means everyone goes to heaven, except the people you don't like who go to hell. It turns what is actually the worst case scenario imaginable and re-casts it as the best case scenario.

In most cases, looking on the bright side of negative events is very good for promoting happiness. This is not the case when it comes to the apocalypse, whether you are using it as a metaphor for war and revolution, or talking about the actual end of existence.

Apocalypse Prevention

The philosophy and theology of metaculture accepts the eventual heat death of the universe will come, and until that time its practitioners should do anything in their power to avoid human extinction. This should come naturally to evolved lifeforms.

However, this does not mean that we should sacrifice the happiness and well-being of the living to ensure the survival of future humans, as is suggested by longtermism. It doesn't make sense to neglect the issue of poverty in order to colonize other planets a little faster, just in case some extinction event happens on Earth. We will get to space. In fact, we will probably get there faster if we can actually get the people on Earth to live their best lives instead of grinding away in poverty so that billionaires can colonize Mars. We'll probably go a long way to avoid extinction by war in the process.

In the interest of apocalypse prevention, issues like climate change and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction should be considered high priorities. This is why the creation of a universal in-group is vitally important.

If it should be possible to escape the end of this universe by creating or moving to another one, this option should be explored. However, it is premature to do so at this time.

Apocalypse Now

Have an immediate need for apocalypse content? Here you go!

Why We’re All Rooting for the Apocalypse

R.E.M. - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

If you really want songs about apocalypse, heavy metal is the only way to go.

Metallica – Blackened

Megadeth – Rust In Peace… Polaris

Black Sabbath – Electric Funeral

Iron Maiden – 2 Minutes To Midnight