RS.4 History’s Malleability By Danny Sherrod

RS.4

Lee Miller’s “A Woman’s War”

Welcome Guest Writer Danny Sherrod

O.K. Allow me to say something that will shock you. Here goes…
Within a few years (30? 50?) every human being on Earth will owe his or her existence to Adolf Hitler. The same must be said of Vladimer Lenin. It can already be said of Alexander The Great, Julius Caesar, The Emperor Augustus, Saint Paul, Constantine The Great, Mohammad, George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, and numerous other persons of historical significance. In fact, by looking back several generations, we could probably select people lacking any sort of fame whose effect on history may have been similar. Allow me to elaborate.

World War II resulted in the deaths of over 50 million people (military and civilian). So what became of all the offspring those millions would have produced? They never existed. Therefore, they never produced the subsequent generations (totaling many millions of people) which would have followed them. Had they existed, they would have married and/or reproduced in combinations far different from the ones that occurred, producing entirely different people that the ones we see today.
Next, let’s examine someone much less famous. Imagine a man living in the year 1600. Let’s suppose that he has seven children, and all those children proceed to have large families. After a few generations, we may be talking about quite a few people here, and some of them could be pivotal individuals in the stream of history. Do you see how this works? That unnamed fellow may have had a world changing effect on history.

More shocking still, our existence rests on past events of all sorts, ranging from the noble to the heinous. Yes, even innumerable rapes and murders have clearly played a role because they changed the combinations of who lived, who died, and who reproduced.

Of course this is an entirely non-theistic view of history. If you believe that a supreme being preordained that you would one day exist, then what I have written above is nonsense to you. But if you don’t subscribe to a theistic viewpoint, what I have said is inescapable.

So, this is for those who don’t take a religious view:
The next time you hear of a tragedy involving the loss of human life, remember, you may be witnessing the loss of generations that will never exist, and the creation of generations that will take their place.

by Danny Sherrod

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