Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime, and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify that it will happen this year, according to a new poll.
“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, 1 in 7 thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Public Affairs, which conducted the poll for Reuters.
Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely, with only 6 percent of French residents believing in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared with 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina.
Gottfried also said that people with lower education or household income levels, as well as those under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect.
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This piece was interesting. I actually wonder if the 1 in 7 is LESS than in the past. But I would guess it’s about the same. Parts of the population at all times suspected the world would end in their lifetime. Now is no different. Could the hype and access to scary information be balanced by the lessened belief in world ending religious prophecies and superstition.
What is more scary is what people who DO believe that will do with information. The deeply held belief in Armageddon approaching could translate into trouble for innocent people who get caught in the wave of hype — panicked parents who cause their children grief or religious leaders who compel their followers to buy into it. And of course, the media capitalizes on the fear and hype.
Fear the world will end is a collective one. We enjoy sharing the thought of impending doom together. I’d say this is not knew but the consequences and how we deal with that fear needs to be taken seriously.