A pale rider

When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

Steve Hays mentions various ways infectious disease could make a comeback in the modern world in his post “The four horsemen of the apocalypse“:

Among other things, the pale horse represents epidemics triggered by infectious disease. You might think this is one of the most dated aspects of the vision. Hasn’t modern medicine done much to eradicate pandemics? True, but that could revert overnight:

i) Overprescription of antibiotics and antivirals has generated superbugs.

ii) Progressive policies funnel immigrants into the country who haven’t been screened for contagious disease. In addition, traditional Muslims have prescientific views of hygiene.

iv) The general public is losing resistance to contagious disease, due both to the diluting effect of uncontrolled immigration–as well as progressive elites at the helm of the antivaxxer movement.

iii) Likewise, welfare is a magnet for urban concentrations of homeless men and women. This leads to the breakdown of public sanitation.

iv) In addition, green policies promote composting rather than standard food disposal. That attracts rats, which multiply exponentially.

A side effect of affluence is to make many people indulge a false sense of security. Affluence creates a buffer. The affluent aren’t used to living on the edge, where there’s no margin for error. They lose their sense of danger. In addition, most folks are crisis-driven. Hazards are an abstraction. They are used to feeling safe, so they lower their guard. But the world is an unforgiving place. Just consider the following scenario:

Dr. Drew Pinsky: Entire Population of California Could Fall Victim To Bubonic Plague Due To Homelessness

The warning is focussed on LA, but all up and down the West coast, urban centers have become a haven for illegal immigrants and the homeless. While many infections diseases are curable, the system is easily overloaded. For instance, the black plague is curable, but because it’s rare, hospitals lack the resources to contain a serious outbreak.

I’d like to add the following:

1. Humans weaponizing pathogens. Biowarfare. Like the Soviet Biopreparat successfully weaponizing the plague, smallpox, and anthrax. Not to mention the Biopreparat successfully hybridized the smallpox with ebola (Ebolapox).

2. Deadly pathogens stored in facilities are accidentally released.

3. Long buried (“prehistoric”) dangerous diseases (e.g. anthrax). This could partly be due to melting permafrost reviving dormant diseases.

4. Antibiotic, antiviral, and other related R&D fails to keep up with the microevolution of pathogens. This is already happening.

5. Weakened human immune systems in subsequent generations (e.g. hygiene hypothesis).

6. It’s become trendy in certain parts of the world to eat foods that might not be safe to eat under certain circumstances (e.g. some raw meats).

7. Sexually transmitted diseases due to increased rates of sexual promiscuity. For example, syphilis was almost eradicated in the US near the turn of the 21st century, but today it’s more prevalent than ever.

What comfort is there in atheism?

My response to the comment of a friendly atheist named Gpzjrpm:

1. I don’t mean “non-intellectual reasons can really lead anyone to discover truth”. Rather, what I would say is (roughly speaking) it is necessary to have intellectual reasons in order to believe in Christianity, but intellectual reasons aren’t the only legitimate reasons to believe in Christianity.

2. Also, it is normal for a person (religious or irreligious) to look for comfort, meaning, and so on in the wake of a tragedy in their life (e.g. physical abuse, death of a loved one). A tragedy can lead them to look for answers to questions like “Why did this happen?” and “What’s the meaning of life?”. These sorts of questions are questions directed at truth, but whether or not they arrive at truth is a different story.

3. A tragic event can lead atheists to find religion, religious people to find atheism, religious people to become more religious, irreligious people to become more irreligious, and so on.

4. After all, people can find comfort in true things as well as false things and good things as well as bad things. Some people find comfort in religious practices. Some people find comfort in spending time in nature. Some people find comfort listening to music. Some people find comfort binge watching Netflix shows. Some people find comfort in gambling. Some people find comfort in the arms of prostitutes. Some people like psychopaths or serial killers even find comfort in murdering people. The list of what people find comfort in seems almost endless.

5. So there’s nothing wrong with seeking comfort, but what kind of comfort is one seeking? Many comforts are false comforts. Many comforts are immoral comforts. Many comforts are ephemeral comforts.

6. Finally, another way to put it is this. If Christianity is true, then what kind of comfort would that bring? If atheism is true, what kind of comfort would that bring? (Same for any other worldview, but since I’m Christian, and you’re atheist, I mention these two.)