posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 06:06 AM
It may come down to simple conditioning, through religion, through government control etc
People have an inate need to believe, and throughout history this has often equated to control through fear.
Fear of hell
Fear of retribution
Fear of death
As society (western) has become more secular in nature, people have looked elsewhere for their fear fix.
Now whether this is due to a need to believe that there is something greater, or fear of the unknown after death, I'm not sure.
But I think it is currently manifesting itself in a series of doomsday predictions.