Why the lab leak theory is dangerous

If the lab leak theory is true it proves to bioterrorists that lethal gain-of-function viruses are a reality, done in a lab that is not top-tier in China.

It’s one thing to know intellectually that design of a lethal virus is a possibility, but to observe in America the devastating impact of a deadly gain-of-function virus, in real life, can inspire bioterrorists in a way similar to how 9/11 inspired a generation of Islamic terrorists.

A bioterrorist attack is a bit similar to an airplane crash. It (usually) takes more than just one single cause to crash an airplane. A bioterrorist is most likely driven by more than one motive.

My theory is that bioterrorists will probably be motivated by two psychological factors: 1) a dogmatic political conviction on an intellectual level, such as radical environmentalism for example, and 2) visceral disgust which neutralizes the ability to feel empathy.

It’s therefore relatively unlikely that a leftwing environmentalist will get a microbiology degree in order to release a virus that grinds the global economy to a halt, because the emotion of disgust is not that easily triggered in liberals.

Domestic rightwing radicals in America have grown up in a libertarian and individualistic culture of tolerance, so if they are not exposed to something that triggers very strong disgust in almost all human beings it’s less likely that US rightwing militant activists will become bioterrorists.

If a culture is generally more conservative (religious and/or nationalistic), a phenomenon will not have to be very disgusting to neutralize empathy when rightwing people in that culture are exposed to it.

For example, if a somewhat leftwing microbiologist in nationalistic Europe goes through a religious conversion or gradually becomes more culturally conservative (as he gets older) the combination of both environmentalism and disgust will be present in him when he observes cultural decadence and environmentally destructive consumerism in the West.

In the case just described above it may not take much disgust to neutralize empathy. With relatively easy access to lab equipment the microbiologist doesn’t need to be very angry/hateful or “have a very bad day” to create a lethal virus and pop open a vial of it, in public.

Many Nazis are environmentalists, it’s been part of their ideology since the 1920s. They are also disgusted by LGBT. This combination of motivations can lead one of them to get a degree in microbiology. Some critics may think Nazis are too stupid to learn microbiology, but many Nazis were engineers, doctors and had PhDs. Ted Kaczynski was rightwing in some regards.

Islamic terrorists are anti-LGBT. They have already used weaponized drones and chemical weapons. ISIS have taken credit for starting wildfires, in an ecological jihad. Creating a pandemic is perhaps too self-destructive even for ISIS, but it takes only a single disgusted militant activist to release a virus if he spends five years on getting a microbiology degree.

So raising the LGBT flag in places like Europe and exposing radical conservatives to mainstream entertainment containing LGBT may contribute to creating a very dangerous situation. Like waving a red cloth in front of a bull.

Finally, a Christian university student in Africa may also be willing to use very violent methods to stop climate changes. After Covid-19 he knows that a virus can slow down the Western economy. He may take action if he has no emotional barrier to releasing a deadly virus, no empathy as a result of being disgusted by the perceived neoliberal decadence in America and Europe.

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