Some of those who oppose loosening the draconian restrictions the government has placed on economic activity argue that the restrictions are necessary because they will save lives. That argument — while it may be made in good faith — is nevertheless profoundly blinkered and shortsighted, because the heartbreaking reality is that China’s criminal recklessness has put us between the Scylla and the Charybdis when it comes to the question of saving lives. Lives are going to be lost no matter what we do.
We can continue stifling economic activity and maybe lives will be saved (though the science on that question is far from settled). But there is a price to be paid for stifling economic activity. We are already paying it to some degree by, for example, throwing millions of people out of work and stacking trillions of dollars of debt on top of an already unsustainable debt burden. But if we push the world’s economy into a depression, we will pay a price in lives lost as well.
On April 16 the UN issued a report warning that hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world could die this year due to the global economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, and tens of millions more could fall into extreme poverty
But if history is any guide, the deaths of those hundreds of thousands of children could be just the tip of the iceberg. In 1929 the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Over the next 16 years, the world changed radically. Governments were restructured. Dictators arose with promises of saving the people from the economic devastation. Wars began, and the period, especially from 1937 onward, was drenched in the blood of tens of millions. No one could have predicted these events. If someone from 1945 traveled back in time to 1929 and told the story of the next decade and a half, he would have been dismissed as an outrageous fabulist.
The choice before us today is not between saving lives and callously refusing to save lives. Rather, we are faced with the dilemma of choosing which course of action will result in the fewest lives lost. Continuing the economic shutdown to save people from dying from COVID-19 will have a steep cost in lives stemming from the economic downturn. If we loosen restrictions on economic activity, we may pay a price in lives lost to the virus. Which way should we go? It is a terrible choice, but the way forward is clear. We cannot risk burning down the world’s economy. Because if we do and the UN is correct, the cost will run into the hundreds of thousands of lives of the most vulnerable – and that is a best case. We also risk unimaginable carnage such as that which came in the wake of the last Great Depression — or worse. That is a risk no sane person would take.
16 Replies to “Depressions Have Unpredictable Consequences in Lives Lost”
Suicide 329,053 this year
Influenza kills an average of 500,000 people every year in the world. COVID-19 has yet to reach 200,000 deaths. Cities with high populations, like Mumbai, are too densely populated to have distance between people. Gangs in the inner cities within the United States continue to carry out the same activities they were prior to draconian measures being taken. Drug dealers, prostitutes, shootings, etc., continue and none of those activities are done with social distance.
For something that is proving to be less deadly than influenza, the cure is far worse than the disease. As AaronS1978 pointed out in the first post, there are almost 330,000 suicides so fare. Not quite as many lives lost to influenza, but more than COVID-19. When all people hear are doom and gloom, they tend to lose hope.
The draconian measures that have brought police states to the United States, in the name of the public good, has removed any means of relieving stress people used to have at their disposal. One can no longer go to a bar and relax. Those stresses build over time and are finding release through violence in the home. There’s a reason we are seeing a massive increase in domestic violence.
BA, yes, sadly relevant concerns. KF
As to dealing with depression and suicide in general: Which worldview, Christianity or Atheism, is better in dealing with depression and suicide? The answer is, of course, Christianity.
The reason why Christianity is much better than Atheism in dealing with depression and suicide should not be surprising. Atheism, since it claims that your life ends at the grave, simply denies that there is real and objective meaning, value, and/or purpose to your life.
As William Lane Craig pointed out, (If atheism is true) “we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.”
Whereas, on the other hand, as Dr. Craig further points out “If Christianity is true then each one of us is here for a reason. And life does not end at the grave. And God is the absolute standard of goodness. He knows you. He loves you. And He intentionally created you. So your life does have objective meaning, value and purpose. That means you can live a life that is both happy and consistent.”
As to belief in ‘life after death’, here is an interesting study that found that knowledge of the afterlife deters suicide.
Thus, in the hope of alleviating any depression that anyone reading this may have, I point out that we have far more evidence substantiating the reality of life after death that we have evidence substantiating any of the claims of Darwinists,
To further establish the reality of life after death, I point out that advances in quantum biology have now confirmed that there is indeed a transcendent, i.e. immaterial, component to our being, i.e. a ‘soul’, that is capable living beyond the death of our material bodies:
As Stuart Hameroff states in the following article, the quantum information,,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed.,,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
To further establish the reality of life after death, I will appeal to Einstin’s Special Relativity which is one of our most accurately verified scientific theories ever in the history of science,
On top of all that evidence for the reality of life after death, I also point to this following piece of evidence.
In the following study, materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to try to prove that NDEs were merely ‘false memories’ by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
Simply put, these materialistic researchers did not expect the results they got: to quote the headline “‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”
It is very interesting to find that life after death feels ‘even more real that real’.
The reason why this ‘more real than real’ finding for NDEs is a very interesting it that atheists, in their denial of the reality of God, have lost any objective basis in which to differentiate what is truly real from what is merely illusory.
It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.
Thus in conclusion, while atheists, such as Alex Rosenberg, since his life ends at the grave and his life is therefore objectively meaningless, can give no valid reason why he should even bother getting out of bed in the morning,
,,, while atheists, such as Alex Rosenberg, since his life ends at the grave and his life is therefore objectively meaningless, can give no valid reason why he should even bother getting out of bed in the morning, the Christian, on the other hand, can live his life perfectly happily and consistently knowing full well that life does not end at the grave but that his life is indeed meaningful.
To repeat what Dr. Craig said, “If Christianity is true then each one of us is here for a reason. And life does not end at the grave. And God is the absolute standard of goodness. He knows you. He loves you. And He intentionally created you. So your life does have objective meaning, value and purpose. That means you can live a life that is both happy and consistent.”
You know what’s really depressing? The lack of scientific rigor that’s accepted by supposedly scientific-minded people concerning the Covid-19 narrative. You can pretty much make up any story that you like and stake your claim and regurgitate whatever numbers fit your view and no one really knows whats going on. Where the QA? Who’s asking for better science?
If you look at a timeline as to when and how this pandemic unfolded you’ll see it sped around the world at an unprecedented speed. That’s a fact. Initially during February the response by the CDC and Coronavirus task force was focused on a containment and contact tracing strategy. This appears to have been somewhat successful on the west coast. No doubt this was in part due to Trump’s 1/31 travel ban which closed down travel from China. In retrospect, however, while it looks like he shut the front door fast enough he was somewhat tardy in shutting the back door to Europe which is why we had such a big flare-up in flare-up of Covid-19 in New York City. The CDC was forced to change its strategy to a nationwide mitigation strategy.
We were told and it was sold to us as something that was temporary till we were able to flatten the curve so that our health care system is not overwhelmed. But now when it appears that our mitigation efforts have started to succeed some, especially on the secular progressive left, want to move the goal posts again and keep the economy shut down till there is a vaccine. That will lead to economic depression that would be greater than the great depression making the so-called cure worse than the disease. Opening up the economy will not be perfect. Perfection as a goal is not attainable. It never has been.
Indeed, commenter orthomyxo gives us a perfect example in another thread. He insists the COVID-19 numbers are understated. There is strong evidence, however, that they are overstated. He asks for data to support that claim. I give him data. His response: “TO ME, that is not data.” Orthomyxo is so arrogant and consumed by confirmation bias that he has arrogated unto himself the authority arbitrarily to expel from the category “data” anything that does not support his thesis.
It’s very similar to the Climate Change narrative. Pushers and victims alike know the information presented isn’t rigorously scientific, but it’s always good enough to support a preferred narrative and good enough to dismiss anything challenging.
And no one asks for better science.
It’s apparent that when you attach ‘Global’ to your narrative, like for Global Warming and Global Viruses, the quality of your science is going to go down, because the scope has been widened to include areas you can’t possibly have controlled or even accounted for.
According to darwinists, the self is an ‘illusion’.
Therefore, you can not kill your’self’ (because your existence is not ‘real’).
Yes, darwinism is the doctrine of lunacy. It is a cancer that destroys everything that it touches.
Barry, depressions kill young people because they kill aspirations. Dreams snuffed out lead to drifting and wasted mid-lives.
Depressions matter less to old people because, well, we’ve basically done most of what we were going to do in life so a depression isn’t preventing it. I think that, once social distancing has flattened the epidemic, vulnerable populations should self-protect and be protected but the rest of the crowd should just get on with life.
I’ve been thinking about this post a lot since it was first published. I don’t know what to think really because my first instinct is to protect people and prevent unnecessary suffering. But I understand that a) people are frustrated and fed-up and getting rebellious and b) there is a severe economic hit that is so large it may change the financial landscape for years to come. So, I post the following link merely as another opinion to consider; that means I’m not endorsing it.
From Ars Technica:
In the same vein (?), again, I’m not endorsing the views expressed, just bringing them to your attention.
From Ars Technica:
And, same disclaimer again. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Just one more, my RSS feed seems to have several interesting articles this morning from Ars Technica. This is the kind of thing that no one wants regardless.