The “Rapture”

At one point, I started to fantasize that we’d actually have the “Rapture,” where the rigid fundamentalists, of any type, preferentially got killed off by a plague. They think we’re left in the worse place, but maybe we’d be better off with fewer people who are stuck in old traditions around. They think those left behind are in hell, but I think maybe we’d be better off. But by their own beliefs, the ones who were taken would be happy too!

To be clear, I’m not out to pick on any specific religion. I once had an argument with a fundy Bahai. Now up until that day, I would have thought that was an oxy-moron, if there ever was one. But sad to say, even Buddhists have started resorting to violence in our sad, sad world. Anyway, I’m a progressive. Focusing hatred on a single ethnic or religious group is repugnant to me! It’s only because Christian fundies are the type I have to deal with in my day to day life, co-opting their own Rapture fantasy was what crystallized for me. What if poetic justice prevailed? What would the world look like, in the aftermath of the Peace Fare Virus?

There was a historical precedent for this, I reflected. First of all, when forty percent of humanity died due to the Black Plague in the Middle Ages in Europe, there was a rapid change in outlook by those who were “left behind.” Clearly, belonging to the Church hadn’t saved anyone. On top of that, the dramatic decrease in population meant that the equivalent of the minimum wage rapidly rose. The poorest of the abused under-classes experienced considerable improvement in standard of living, and the backbone of the self-reinforcing power structure of the church and royalty was broken. In the West, we ended up with the Renaissance, and eventually, a new, more Democratic vision of government.

What would such a Renaissance look like today? How would the daily lives of ordinary people change? Mother Earth would surely breathe a sigh of relief with a significantly lower population burden. I fantasize that there would be more resources for the poor, who would still outnumber the rich. Life might just be a little bit easier for those who currently have it so rough.

But, I asked myself, would we even still be homo sapiens sapiens?

Recent scientific work has shown that we are not the single human race that the Adam and Eve story made us out to be. Maybe this is part of the reason that there are large fractions of the population who can’t communicate with each other. At least they can’t communicate anything more subtle than “Please pass the salt.”

And isn’t part of the definition of a biological species that it can freely interbreed? Why do so many couples need fertility clinics?

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Engineering consultant by day, science fiction writer in off hours.

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