Reflections on Biblical and
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More on Apparent Evil Having Inherent Good

 

Benefits of the Black Death? "In 1347, galleys returning from the near East brought bubonic plague to the major Italian port cities.... Within a year the Black Death had spread along the trade routes all across Europe.  By the time it ended in 1350, a third of the population—about 30 million people—had died.  This was a terrible human tragedy, but ironically, its economic and political impact was largely positive, and the survivors and their children lived better because of it.... The initial result of the plague was a labor shortage.  Predictably, wages rose rapidly.... landlords had to compete for workers ... adding many noncash inducements to their offers.  Among these, and far more important than higher wages, were issues of freedom and choice, with the result that large numbers of serfs became free tenants.... agricultural production declined far less than did demand ... and for a time substantial surpluses depressed food prices.  This, in turn, spurred urban growth, and by the end of the fourteenth century, Western Europe was substantially more urban than before the plague.... (There) was a substantial increase in the purchasing power of the average European ... a better market for goods.... [the wool export business] was to become more prosperous than before the pestilence.... So, shortly after the plague the factories all across Europe became busier than ever, the transportation system ran at at full capacity, the banking ledgers showed remarkable incomes, and in many places ordinary people enjoyed a standard of living beyond their parents' wildest dreams."  (Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason, 125-126)

Hurricanes.  "The flooding of hurricanes Katrina and Rita had an upside.  It brought cleaner sediment into New Orleans, with noticeable health benefits.  Scientists at Tulane report that local children now show lower bloodstream levels of lead.  (Discover Magazine, September 2010, page 20.

 

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