If scientists discovered a life ending anomaly in earth's path...

If scientists discovered a life ending anomaly in earth’s path, such as a black hole, massive asteroid, go with the hypothetical; and there was no solution, but it was 5 years away from the end of the world, would you want to know? Would you want world leaders to disclose it to humanity? There’s no way to get any human’s far enough away from earth to save the species. We are all going to die.

If yes, why? What would you do differently to prepare for yours and everyone else’s end?

If no, why? Is being blissfully ignorant of the world’s end, a better way for us all to go out?

Absolutely yes I would want to know. Same as I’d want my doctors to tell me if I have incurable cancer. It will enable life to be lived very differently and in a much more worthwhile way.

I don’t think people should be told, because some, perhaps many, will say, fuck it, why save for retirement that’s never going to come, why stick to a diet that will prolong your life, why obey laws because you don’t want to spend the rest of your life in prison. The whole “hookers and blow meme” might sound really appealing.

Would I want to know? Absolutely. I would certainly go out having fun.

Would I want world leaders to disclose it to humanity? No. Society would almost certainly break down.

Selfish? Definitely.

Exactly why I would want to know.

From the movie “Men in Black”:

*Edwards : Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.

Kay : A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.*

And what’s wrong with that? Why should we save for retirement, or stick to a diet, or worry about any of that, under the OP’s hypothetical scenario?

Blowing off your diet, or blowing your nest egg would be relatively harmless in the circumstances. But some people may choose to ignore the laws and customs that say not to loot the Best Buy store, not to rape your very attractive neighbor or not to consume vast quantities of cocaine. Now, you might think, I’d never do those things. But if you know for sure that you and every other person on Earth will be dead in a few days, weeks or years, you might think, why not?

Yeah…that sounds about right the way things are going.

I’m kind of with **FastDan1 **on this one. I don’t want to spend the next 5 years living in some sadpocolypse - portrayed in movies like Children of Men, Melancholia, or On the Beach. Maybe something like the world portrayed in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World might be ok. Something where everyone is spending their last remaining days with loved ones, seeking spiritual fulfillment or indulging in debauchery.

I’d want to know, so I could maximize the remaining five years by spending more time with family, traveling, and generally having fun.

However, I wouldn’t want anyone else to know, because society would collapse and life would be shitty for everyone, including me. There would be no more fun, unless your idea of fun is looting grocery stores and barricading yourself in your home with a shotgun.

Keeping the forthcoming apocalypse a secret probably isn’t plausible, though. Eventually the truth would leak out and things would go to hell pretty quickly. If I was one of those scientists who knew what was coming, I’d be saying “We must withhold this information from society!” while quickly and quietly setting up a remote off-the-grid shelter where my family and I can spend the next five years in relative peace and safety.

These Final Hours is supposed to be a very good Australian film from 2013, like the ones you’ve mentioned.

In print, there’s always the option of what the civilization did in Clarke’s, “The Star.” His, “Childhoods End,” towards the end, also deals with the OP’s question. I’ve always liked Larry Niven’s, “Inconstant Moon,” which introduces a similar dilemma.

I would want to know.

Yeah, I’d want to know. But if that meant that everybody else would know too, then I would sacrifice knowing for what I would consider the good of… society I guess?

I’d rather be blissfully ignorant not knowing the end, than living through hell on earth for 5 years (and probably not even living that long) being in the know with everyone else.

It would be utter chaos, like The Purge, except every day. No way I would want to live through that.

I’d rather not know. I already enjoy myself every day, being retired and having no serious money worries. And if I knew but I were the only one, how would I be able to face family and friends? Seeing them be obliviously happy or sad or desperate or in the full flush of joy? Seeing them grieving for a loved one, or guilty over some minor fault, or trying to get pregnant? I would be more likely to sink into depression myself.

So no thanks, keep the knowledge to yourself. I don’t want to know.

I’d want to know. Ignorance is bliss, sure, but it’s still ignorance. And yes, probably civilization would collapse Mad-Max style. But what if it didn’t? That’d be awesome. Also, we are all supposed to live as if it’s our last day. But we don’t. Cause it’s hard. It’s get real easy then!
Now, a new hypothetical: the chance of doom is “only” 98%. In that case, I think powerful arguments for not telling could be made.

Definitely don’t want everyone to know. I might want to say the hell with it and enjoy myself, but if the farmer and the person selling me food does also I’m screwed.
But I’m not sure I want to know. Being retired I’m doing what I want to, pretty much. Knowing would mean that I would know my grandchildren will never grow up. Why bother doing anything for posterity if there is no posterity. People with fatal illnesses can do something for others, but what’s the point in this case. So keep me dumb and happy.

OP’s hypothetical is straight out of Superman.

The Kryptonian council: “Yes, Jor-El, we know the world’s going to end. But put a cork in it and zip your lip, or it’s the Phantom Zone for you!”

To those who don’t want to know: How do you know it’s not already happening, and you’re not being told? How do you feel about, say, Donald Trump knowing the world’s coming to an end, but not telling us?

Donald Trump’s administration is so leaky, they couldn’t keep a secret like that. Someone would leak.

In any other administration, you might have a point.

If we were not told, word would leak out anyway. In either case, it would be treated like any other Conspiracy Theory. If such a thing were announced today, would you trust the source?

I wouldn’t want to spend any money on drugs … Vegas baby, Vegas!

I wouldn’t want to know or want anyone else to know.

First, obviously, society runs the near certain risk of total anarchy of the not-cool kind.

Second, there’s the practical matter that my personal manifestation of a carpe diem ethos would most likely kill me in a horrendous and embarrassing fashion long before the apocalypse, possibly harming others in the process.

Third… on the off-chance that I didn’t do something self-destructive, it would be incredibly alienating to be the only one living a lifestyle with the knowledge that literally nothing else matters. Everyone else would see me as a feckless, disengaged, selfish, gluttonous wastrel, which would suck the joy out of the whole undertaking.