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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Microstory 919: Decline in Child Mortality

Wow, this is a depressing topic, isn’t it? Any attempt at being positive will be overshadowed by how dark the subject is. Before I started this entry, I was doing research, and what I learned was something I’ve already intuited, about a number of other concepts. It may not seem like any, or much, progress is being made, because people lack the historical references to understand what has changed. You’ve only been alive yourself for so long, and you can only understand so much about what things were like before you. I often hear arguments for going back to the way things were that involve claims that we did things that way for so long, and our ancestors did fine. Well, no, that’s not true. Before the nineteenth century, the child mortality rate was roughly fifty percent. This means that, for every one child that was born, and lived past five years old, one child did not. Medical science was severely lacking, as you would expect; utilizing treatment techniques that would be laughable today, if not outright horrifying. Sanitization was difficult to come by, if not virtually nonexistent. And people simply did not know how to care for children as well. Part of this was not their fault, but part of it was. Things were once so bad, that offspring were seen as a means of continuing one’s legacy, rather than family to be cherished. The Abrahamistic God, in his infinite cruelty, one killed a man’s entire family, just to prove the man would continue to love him. He and Satan teamed up for a wacky adventure where they destroyed this man’s life, taking everything from him, in an attempt to win an argument between each other. Of course, being the Bible, God won the bet. He used his power to not just restore Job to his former state, but make his life better than it was. He didn’t do this by undoing his own actions, but simply by replacing his wife and children with a whole new set. That’s right, people were living in such wretchedness, that a human could be replaced by another, and no one would bat an eye. We don’t know what the child mortality rate was back then, but I’m guessing it wasn’t great. I’ll never understand this need to trust in a higher power that would ever kill a human being for some “grand design”. How despicable an entity you would have to be to ever do that, much less to a child. I have big plans for the future, and none of them includes killing any children, and I hope yours don’t either. Things are getting better, but like any progress I’ve mentioned on this site, or not mentioned, there is always room for improvement. We must seek a state of zero child mortality, and the only way for us to do that is to embrace advancement, reject counterproductive nostalgia, and abandon religious superstition.

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