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Idle Science

Apocalypse Tourism: Where To Celebrate Doomsday? 233

PolygamousRanchKid writes "December 21, 2012 marks the end of the current cycle of the Mayan 'Long Count' calendar. And while this has had some fearful types preparing for the end of the world, others have been preparing to travel. The Mexican government is expecting 52 million tourists as part of their "Mundo Maya 2012," campaign to visit the five regions — Chiapas, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Campeche, over the next 12 months. So, if you're wondering where to spend the last tourist dollars you'll have as a breathing human being or just want to see the looks on those faces when December 21 comes and goes uneventfully, President Felipe Calderon hopes you'll choose Mexico."
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Apocalypse Tourism: Where To Celebrate Doomsday?

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  • by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:01PM (#38521032)
    I was thinking, with all the "drug wars" going on in Mexico, visiting there may be the end of the world for some people.
    A Y2K bunker, Cuban Missile Crisis bunker, or hole in the ground would be safer.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:05PM (#38521572) Homepage Journal

    ... the place of origin of a doomsday prophecy would be exactly where you would not want to be.

    Do we know where this "doomsday prophecy" actually originated? I'd think it wasn't likely in Mexico, because there are lots of people there who understand the Mayan calendar). And they understand that all that'll happen next December 21 is that the first digit of the year will increase by 1 (and the rest of the digits will reset to 0). That is, it'll be about as big a doomsday as Y2K was.

    It seems more likely that this "doomsday" was generated by someone with no understanding at all of the Mayan calendar. Either that, or they were your typical charlatan trying to scare people for personal profit. (Actually, that sort of person is easy enough to find in Mexico. ;-)

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@NoSPaM.nerdflat.com> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:13PM (#38521660) Journal
    That's not a fundamentalist Christian group. Not anywhere even close. If you had labelled them a fringe group, which is much closer to what they evidently actually are, your comment probably would have been the subject of less criticism.
  • by MichaelKristopeit420 ( 2018880 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:27PM (#38521766)
    last time i lived in washington state... liquor is only available by state run distribution stores... there was only 1 store in the entire large seattle suburb that i lived in.
  • by Empiric ( 675968 ) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:58PM (#38521968)

    You are aware that Mayan religious belief and Fundamentalist Christian belief are two entirely unrelated worldviews, and neither would take the other's predictions as authoritative, right?

    I'm just wondering how you would arrive at the notion that Fundamentalists are going to think 2012 is the end because Mayan "paganism" says so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:33PM (#38522240)

    Fundamentalist != fanatical. Please learn the difference or it's very hard to have a serious conversation on these matters. If you're just going to dump them all in one big bin don't act like you care what you're talking about, just come out and admit that you hate everything about religion and all followers are the same in your eyes.
    The group in question is fanatical. A fundamentalist group likely wouldn't use the Bible's prophecy as an instrument for violent reaction since "But about that day and about that hour no one knows, not even the Angels of Heaven, but The Father alone." A true fundamentalist would see trying to fulfill God's prophecy as presumptuous and heady as only "The Father" can make that determination.
    In any case, I'm not a Christian but I do find OzPeter's posting to be trollish in nature. Again, if you don't care about the distinctions of fanatical versus fundamental that's fine but don't try to make it seem like you do and others aren't as understanding of these classifications.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@NoSPaM.nerdflat.com> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:46PM (#38522346) Journal
    Being in Israel awaiting the return of Jesus might make them zealots, or, as you put it, fanatics... I don't see how that makes them fundamentalist, unless you perceive the two terms as synonymous. I would suggest that fundamentalists are those that represent the core ideals behind the religion, the most significant probably being belief in the absolute authenticity of their scriptures, and ongoing endeavoring to practice its values. Considering their actions speak questionably to with regards to this extremely fundamental principle to no small measure (since their scriptures state that nobody on earth knows or will ever know in advance when Jesus will return) , I really can't see how you can call them fundamentalist. Even the article you linked to on the subject does not use that term, and paints them as much more of a outlier movement within Christianity, rather than being representative of Christianity as a whole.
  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:38AM (#38522890)

    The ability of theists to extract reasons for whatever nastiness they may want to commit has shown no limits so far.

    This ability is not limited to the religious; it is a universal human affliction. An overwhelming majority of mass murders in the 20th century were justified by long-standing ethnic grievances, pseudo-scientific claims of racial superiority, pseudo-scientific claims of historical inevitability, pure revanchist nationalism, and sheer paranoia. Arguably the most egregious example was the attempted elimination of an ancient religious group by followers of a very modern ideology that never took on overtly religious trappings. (Granted, the Christian churches in Germany could have done more to stop the Nazis, but they were hardly the instigators, and at worst allowed themselves to be co-opted.) Probably the largest single pool of victims were killed by governments that actively suppressed religion (and in many cases continue to do so today), but which themselves espoused a messianic ideology. Historically speaking, the heyday of religiously-motivated massacres was the millennium between approximately 650 AD and 1650 AD, and one need look no further than the campaigns of the Mongols (~500,000 killed in the sack of Baghdad) or Timur (pyramids of skulls) to see that religion was frequently unimportant.

    The sad fact is that some people simply enjoy brutalizing their fellow humans, and will latch onto any justification they can find for cold-blooded murder of innocents. The perpetrators of the killings of last century all believed that history was on their side, and that violence was essential to usher in the perfect society. There is no shortage of delusional belief systems that the violent elements can abuse to gain popular support for their actions. It would be folly to believe that only religion is to blame for this, or that atheism is any indicator of a reduced propensity for murder and mayhem.

    And before you ask, I'm an atheist, and militant secularist.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling