There are many views on the subject of the world’s eventual end. While there are those who believe that the Earth will continue to exist infinitely, most people agree that there will come a time when the planet will cease to exist. Collected here are several theories about this apocalyptic event from multiple viewpoints. These have been gathered for the sole purpose of informing the reader, and no promotion of any view should be inferred.
Within the Christian faith, the end of the world is preceded by the rise of a one world government. This government is ruled over by a singular individual, known by such titles as the Antichrist, the Beast, and the Syrian. At some point during this period, Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ returns to humanity declaring war on God. According to Christians, Jesus ends the war and judges the inhabitants of the world. There are variations of this teaching, but ultimately in most of the variations, the Earth is destroyed by fire before it is recreated to be inhabited by the righteous.
According to Muslim beliefs, the end of the world is described as the earth and mountains being carried off to be crushed to oblivion. The actual end of the world is signaled by a creature of God’s making rising from the Earth; the moon splitting; the resurgence of Gog and Magog; and the appearance of smoke from the sky itself. Within the teachings of Islam, Jesus Christ also makes an appearance during the apocalypse. According to some variations, these events are ushered in by the Islamic faithful, while other views suggest that the end of the world is known only to God.
Within Hinduism, the end of the world is known as the Kali Yuga. According to the Hindu sacred texts, this end of the world is evidenced by an increase in terrible things and a decrease in virtue. Hinduism teaches that violence, fear, poverty, and deceit, among others, will steadily rise as the Kali Yuga approaches. In contrast, compassion, charity, and other such excellent traits will steadily decrease. At this time, Hinduism teaches that Dharma will end. The end of the world within the Hindu faith is less a physical destruction, and more a self-destruction of the unrighteous.
Atheism is not included in this list as if it were a religion; rather, it is present because the atheistic philosophy lends itself to several very interesting concepts regarding the eventual demise of the world. While there are several major differences between what is known as Classical Atheism and the more prominent New Atheism of today, one thing remains the same: Man is the sole creator of his own destiny. This has lead to multiple speculations on how the world may be brought to destruction, ranging from war due to greed or cowardice to a universal collapse preceding a new Big Bang, to the collapse of the sun or alien invasion.
Those who do not believe that this planet and its solar family are doomed to one day be destroyed are often ridiculed. However, very few ever take the time to examine their claims and arguments with as open a mind as may be afforded other matters. These skeptics put forward such points as cyclical energy, or the tendency of the universe to continually recycle all forms of energy. They will also point out that the Earth’s atmosphere operates as its own filter, correcting issues and problems by itself. While many arguments offered run counter to current scientific findings, some are based in the areas of quantum and theoretical physics, making these counterpoints difficult to test.
No matter how one chooses to look at the issue of the longevity of the world and its eventual end, or lack thereof, examining the various theories can be a fascinating experience. The rewards of such a study are often immaterial; yet understanding how other people believe can lead to greater cooperation and goodwill among all.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.