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Where does 'doomsday dread' come from?

(People's Daily Online)

10:08, December 15, 2012

With the approaching of the so-called "doomsday" on Dec. 21, more and more absurd things triggered by the feelings of "doomsday" also appeared: A senior engineer in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing sold her house; the residents in Longchang county, Sichuan province began panic buying of candles and Shanghai police had received 25 cases of spreading the rumor of "doomsday" on Dec. 5 and Dec. 6. Why can the feelings of "doomsday" always confuse and poison people's minds?

It is not too terrible that people have some feelings of "doomsday." The U.S. movie "2012 (Farewell Atlantis)" is a warning to the reality with its stirring visual effects. It can be said that having a little feelings of "doomsday" may help us to ponder over the proposition of "how to see the past, present and future."

However, it will not be a good thing if great panic is added to the feelings.

Where on earth does the "doomsday dread" come from? Low scientific literacy is an important reason.

Well-known U.S. sociologist Anthony Giddens once said that one of the major ways that get the modern social system to work is to reduce the risks and maintain security by all means. In this process, the individual trust in the social system is very important. Once the trust system is destroyed, people will increase their feelings of insecurity.

Therefore, we should face up to the "doomsday dread" and use scientific knowledge, the best weapon, to get rid of rumors. In addition to the popularization of scientific knowledge, the government departments should also consciously increase the emotional supports among social groups in their day-to-day management.

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