If you’re reading this, the world didn’t end on Wednesday, as predicted. As worlds go, I guess ours is sort of unreliable that way. All the signs supposedly point to its imminent destruction and then, boom…the world doesn’t go boom.
How unreliable is our unpredictable world? People have been incorrectly predicting the end since 68 A.D.. It has failed to end as predicted thirty-two times in this century.
The bulk of those making predictions are best categorized as religious zealots. Actually, they’re best categorized as religious nuts, but that term gives nuts a bad name.
And yet time after time, when these people make their predictions they get press. And a certain part of the population does whatever one does to prepare for the end of the world. You might think there’s no harm in these predictions, but I think there is.
The World Is Ending. Send Money.
I imagine that waking up the day after the end of the world and realizing that it’s just another day must be crushing. Like Christmas without Santa crushing. I suppose that as people woke to find this latest prediction didn’t come true they had a lot of important questions like
- “I wonder if I can get my job back?”
- “do you think that giving the reverend all our money was a mistake?”
- “did I really sleep with my cousin?”.
But our society thrives on people being able to speak their minds, no matter how foolish those minds are. And we can’t really say that the press isn’t allowed to give these end of the world sorts any publicity even though it would be best if they didn’t. But I know how we can solve this problem.
The answer isn’t to tell folks they can’t spew their predictions, nor is it to prevent them from getting on the six o’clock news if that’s what they really want. The answer lies in one simple question that we can have reporters ask anyone who wants to get the word out about the latest end of the world. The question is “are you sure?”
Stand Back, I’ve Got This.
“Are you sure?”
Because being sure will have consequences under the new law that I’m proposing, called the Armageddon? Are You Sure? Religious Zealot Act of 2015. This law preserves everyone’s freedom to say what they think, but recognizes that saying the world is ending tends to adversely impact those who feel compelled to act upon these prophecies.
Let’s suppose that I predicted the end of the world because there was an eclipse last week. Under the Armageddon Act, I could tell anyone what I thought.
But if I spoke to a journalist, that person would be required to ask “Are you sure?” If a reporter asked me if I were sure and I said anything other than yes, the reporter could not do a story on what I thought. If I said I was sure, the story could run, but I would also be saying that I’m so certain of my theory that I’m willing to accept certain consequences if I’m wrong.
By issuing a prediction that I was sure of, I would also be agreeing that if I was found to be wrong that I would never ever communicate again. That means no talking, no writing. No communication whatsoever. Why? To keep me from saying I miscalculated and issuing a new date so that I get more money from my followers.
OK, let’s face it. This law has nothing to do with protecting anyone from preachers who use their end of the world proclamations to wring more money out of their gullible flocks. This law is about saving people like you and me from having to say, over and over, each time some yahoo says that we’re all doomed… “Again with this bullshit? When will they learn?”.
Think I’m over reacting? Guess what? There’s already thirteen more end of the world predictions in the hopper, with more to come.
So, If You Woke Up Alive, Surprised And Disappointed…
If you woke up Wednesday morning looking for answers because the world didn’t end, let me be the first to say “Hi, welcome! Everything is right where you left it.” And the answers to your questions are:
- “Yes, McDonalds will hire you back, but you’ve lost your seniority.”
- “Giving your money away was a mistake, but hey, McDonalds!”
- “Yes, you did sleep with your cousin. Let’s face it, it’s not the first time that’s happened in your family.”
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