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Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly

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10 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I have argued with extensive observations that masking and social distancing have not allayed this climate of fear, and that many businesses are still failing - even without strict lock downs. Simply, people now don't want to go out and be near other people, not anything like before. Everyone has learned new, reclusive habits. The economy suffers, many people are hurt unnecessarily. That can't be hard to understand.

People are deciding individually how to react to the pandemic as best they know how.  If some of them are letting others do their thinking for them, we need to address that fundamental issue, and to avoid letting it contaminate our thinking about masks.  The only workable way to get the economy going again is to get Covid-19 under control.

10 hours ago, whYNOT said:

If one is against lock downs like you say you are, then to be consistent, the placebo (or panacea) effect of masking, to feel better about one not infecting others (doubtful), should be as much opposed, to regain some sanity in the world.

There is big difference between lockdowns and masking.  As has already been discussed, there are legitimate reasons for wearing masks.

10 hours ago, whYNOT said:

You evidently can't "suppress" a virus

Vaccines will eventually greatly reduce the danger from this virus, and if used consistently enough, may lead to its eradication, as happened with smallpox.  We can reduce the damage this virus does in the meantime by appropriate precautions. 

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Defiant Michigan UP cafe owner told to shut down after serving indoor diners Since November, bars and restaurants in Michigan have been limited to carry-out service or outdoor dining in an effort

This graph may be out of date, it is certain those percentages have fallen further - but what it illustrates is just who are being sacrificed to whom. I.e.: The top half to the bottom half of people.

Interacting with people in public without any symptoms of disease or infection isn’t dangerous to the public. The masks worn by the majority of the public have little or no medical efficacy. The

2 hours ago, tadmjones said:

keeping my phlegm and snot on my face is not helping to ‘fight the spread’.

If this is your experience with masks, you are using them wrong or you have pretty bad sanitary habits. "I don't wipe my nose" is pretty gross. And if "copious amounts" is your limit, then my guess is you aren't generally very careful about sanitation. 

 

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6 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

I was trying to clarify the point you seemed to be making about social norms in general.

You are exaggerating the effects.

This is not about fear.  It is about prudence.

This contaminates and distorts everything in our society.  But instead of blindly rejecting things because of it, we need to apply reason, both to the question of what we do now, and to the question of how things would be in a more rational society.

Its certainly not about prudence for a child's development. Teaching one's youngster to conform to society is hardly conducive to their independent mind, I'd think. And if not for he or her, who for?

 

A grand self-contradiction. One doesn't get to a "rational society" which is a submissive, sacrificial one.

Really, consider this pre-formed mind a child has, and with a little empathy and imagination you can predict the consequences on his consciousness from his duty-bound, daily masking. Warn him, as rationale, that he may be a transmitter of a dangerous disease that Zombie-like will enter others' bodies, to his imagination, and you have the makings of lifelong paranoia. This is not exaggerated.

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5 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

People are deciding individually how to react to the pandemic as best they know how.  If some of them are letting others do their thinking for them, we need to address that fundamental issue, and to avoid letting it contaminate our thinking about masks.  The only workable way to get the economy going again is to get Covid-19 under control.

There is big difference between lockdowns and masking.  As has already been discussed, there are legitimate reasons for wearing masks.

Vaccines will eventually greatly reduce the danger from this virus, and if used consistently enough, may lead to its eradication, as happened with smallpox.  We can reduce the damage this virus does in the meantime by appropriate precautions. 

"Deciding individually" sounds noble, but is not the reality. Most are instead 'feeling collectively'.

And you forget that it is force backed by government and fear spread by media which dictates how they think and what they do.

This is just another virus, although of measurably more severity, and unless you or anyone can prove otherwise, should have been treated as one.

The position remains unchanged, only those who need(ed) protection ought to take "appropriate precautions" and anyone who has fears can choose to, also. Everybody else can and should choose to live normally. Like every virus that has been it has a lifespan, it gets "under control", partly through human anti-bodies, partly through community - herd - immunity. Partly by vaccines.

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28 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Its certainly not about prudence for a child's development. Teaching one's youngster to conform to society is hardly conducive to their independent mind, I'd think. And if not for he or her, who for?

We teach children to conform in lots of ways: wearing clothes, refraining from aggression, going to school, being careful about entering the street, ...

We just have to be careful how we do it, so as not to send the wrong message.

38 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Tell him he may be a transmitter of a dangerous virus that Zombie-like will enter others' bodies

For the youngest children, tell them "wear a mask".  If they ask why, say "Because I said so."  Older children have always had to learn about germs, washing hands, covering sneezes and coughs, using the toilet, taking medicine, not eating off the floor, and also such things as being wary of strangers, fire, traffic, wild animals, ...

Wearing a mask is just one more part of this.

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33 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

"Deciding individually" sounds noble, but is not the reality. Most are instead 'feeling collectively'.

And you forget that it is force backed by government which dictates how they think and what they do.

The point is that people would react to the virus with prudence, and in some cases fear, regardless of what the government did.

 

37 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

This is just another virus, although of measurably more severity, and unless you or anyone can prove otherwise, should have been treated as one.

The position remains unchanged, only those who need protection ought to take "appropriate precautions" and anyone who has fears also. Everybody else can choose to live normally. Like every virus.

I'm going to take Eioul's advice from earlier and decide that arguing with you further about the virus itself is just a waste of time.

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2 hours ago, tadmjones said:

Cloth face masks don’t stop aerosolized particles , so how is it they help contain spread ?

That's literally what masks are for . https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-72798-7#Sec12

2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Teaching one's youngster to conform to society is hardly conducive

This is what I meant by you are talking as if nobody agrees with the basics. It's at worst patronizing, and at best annoying. You are using the least charitable interpretation of the word conform in this discussion. 

1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

For the youngest children, tell them "wear a mask".  If they ask why, say "Because I said so.

To get something a little more productive and something I am curious about:

Isn't it simple enough to tell them why? If you mean like a 3-year-old, "because I said so" might be okay, and probably not harmful, but it seems were beneficial to give them a very basic explanation. At the very least, to encourage them to ask why. "To keep you healthy" seems like a good enough explanation. 

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38 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

That's literally what masks are for. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-72798-7#Sec12

This is what I meant by you are talking as if nobody agrees with the basics. It's at worst patronizing, and at best annoying. You are using the least charitable interpretation of the word conform in this discussion. "I don't think the conclusions you reach are correct, therefore, you must not understand rational self-interest, and I should explain to you these very basic things." 

 

And I told you clearly that there has been no, zero, indication of anybody agreeing - and obversely quite a bit of explicit disagreement. Am I supposed to read minds? Certainly it would pain you, for one, to openly agree.

For all that, I have seen no attempt by Objectivists to lay out a comprehensively philosophical position on pandemics and official measures taken and their ramifications, and if I want to give a try at one, I have no need for your permission.

For patronizing you take the cake. Ill-mannered too, you have been consistently the one to try to discredit me in every debate I have had. Just who do you think you are to advise another poster not to debate with me?

Yes, you will recognize the "basics"-- after they have been pointed out again, attached to this context.

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

 

 

I'm going to take Eioul's advice from earlier and decide that arguing with you further about the virus itself is just a waste of time.

Suit yourself. Conform to Eioul's advice.

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The O.P.'er does not generally reply directly to the posts generated by his articles being re-blogged here, vis-a-vis my experience.

@whYNOT expounds on the the distinction brought forth in the O.P. of Disney's choice to ask guest to wear masks at the theme park as touched upon by Ben Bayer while contrasting what might have been it's likely acceptance except for the ethics of altruism clouding the issue.

Details folks.

Attending a "fireside chat" by the ARI today, I found myself thinking of the posts here that have critiqued the ARI for not creating content consistent with unfunded expectations of what ARI 'ought' be providing were the critic made king.

The take-away point for me was that ARI is not pursuing the role of "activist". Another point that struck me is those that come here to post umbrage with ARI or TOS, or (as of late) the Prometheus Foundation. are lifting a torch that ARI/TOS/Prometheus Foundation, are a form of authoritarianism/dogmatism. The fact that such individuals come here speaks highly of the 'clientele' that frequents these halls, and to the vision of its founder for establishing a forum aligned with the founder's vision.

The individuals with whom Ayn Rand's ideas resonate most deeply with are not likely to be shaken by the even the most resolute naysayers. The individuals swayed by the naysayers, have lost sight of the clarity of vision they originally pursued.

A compass is directed by metaphysical magnetic forces to point north. Those seeking what is right are not moved for long by being jarred and shaken before realigning their moral compasses with demonstrable moral principles.

From Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Miss Rand puts for this cogent formulation:

It is important to note, in this connection, that a discovery cannot be patented, only an invention. A scientific or philosophical discovery, which identifies a law of nature, a principle or a fact of reality not previously known, cannot be the exclusive property of the discoverer because: (a) he did not create it, and (b) if he cares to make his discovery public, claiming it to be true, he cannot demand that men continue to pursue or practice falsehoods except by his permission. He can copyright the book in which he presents his discovery and he can demand that his authorship of the discovery be acknowledged, that no other man appropriate or plagiarize the credit for it—but he cannot copyright theoretical knowledge. Patents and copyrights pertain only to the practical application of knowledge, to the creation of a specific object which did not exist in nature—an object which, in the case of patents, may never have existed without its particular originator; and in the case of copyrights, would never have existed.

I would add to this that an intellectual discovery of Ayn Rand's magnitude might be blotted from some minds, but I would concur with her pithy assessment in Atlas Shrugged: "I have foreshortened the usual course of history" . . .

 

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Pointing out accurately the premises of the predatory "selfishness" the public is accustomed to, (You are selfish for not wearing a mask), Ben Bayer remarks: "A world full of sick and dying people is not to anyone's advantage". Well, quite. Although a virus is a virus, and the extent of fatalities is naturally limited, so "a world full" of casualties is over-dramatic. More the product of the initial extreme alarmism put across so irresponsibly by some scientists.

But if I may paraphrase him: A world *much* fuller of dispossessed, non-functioning, less-free and depressed people is *far* less to anyone's advantage. We focus on life and living not potential and actual deaths.

On a hierarchy of objective values, in this case, DISvalues, the one disvalue is greater than the other disvalue. A world deprived of the full activity of other men's minds and energy would hardly be worth surviving the coronavirus in, and render most 'survivors' with little encouragement for the future.

Then, the objectively ethical choice has to be the lesser disvalue. It is in one's self-interest to side with the living and functioning, while acknowledging that certain people out there (or intimate to one or even oneself) are at risk. And the general others should do all they can for their health and life, such onus is on them to do so, not one's own.

Masking or not masking is a peripheral issue, and much fuss made over not much. One needs to have the freedom of choice to go either way, at the time of choosing too. With the proviso of being amenable to masking on others' property or to their convictions or fears (or frailty, of course, on encountering someone old, etc.). Like entering Disney's and many businesses (who can hardly act otherwise to these measures from a customer image p.o.v.)

The pressures I've read on social media to conform to masking are angrily driven by the same attitudes Bayer sees, but their subtext is - you are "selfish" if you want to go on working and normally functioning, at all! Masking is their cover: It is one's primary obligation to protect unknown 'others' (who in their view of mankind, are too helpless to think, choose and to help themselves...) - and here is the social/establishment assault on individual freedom and their explicit advocacy of your sacrifice to others, which Bayer didn't pursue enough (I think).

With some I read, the lock downs should stay in place to make us all behave.

Beneath their public safety concerns, is submission of everyone's minds under their altruist beliefs. Because, and they know this, the health benefits of masking and distancing are debatable, while CV-19 second waves occur. And self-responsible, rational, self-protection by those at risk an unacceptable option. There is their give-away.

 

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7 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Masking is their cover: It is one's primary obligation to protect unknown 'others'

I've even said that I wear a mask as a precaution for myself and as a mutually desirable thing for people around me. It's as if you don't believe me when I say I don't do it out of duty or altruism. (Did you really think I didn't agree with you that altruism is bad?)

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18 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I've even said that I wear a mask as a precaution for myself and as a mutually desirable thing for people around me. It's as if you don't believe me when I say I don't do it out of duty or altruism. (Did you really think I didn't agree with you that altruism is bad?)

But it's not about what you, in particular, do. That you do so by choice is fine, I have put it that the *moral* choice to mask or not, is everything. Or self-isolate, or be tested, or, or. If we don't have that freedom to choose, unquestionably, you know you are in a predominantly altruistic society. As you and we all are.

To leave aside Gvt. regulations and state-forced lock downs, this masking thing has mostly been built into something major by society, other people. So one knows that their ethics is as much the motive as is their stated efforts to beat (which is dubious) the virus.  

Some, I tend to think, are innocent altruists, unaware of its real nature and effects, and simply "want to do good", while many too, are deliberate altruists who loath the sight of independent individuals, they are most enraged by non-maskers and opponents of lock downs. Because they won't submit.

Comes down to the question, is "man an end in himself", or not?

More critically, is "man's life" the standard of value, or are "men's lives" the standard of value? The sacrificer/self-sacrificer only admits the materialism of the latter while escaping the explicit 'selfish' values of the first. Therefore: In this pandemic you are morally responsible for the lives of others. One's life is not one's own.

Of course, biological lives come and go (a reminder, cardiac disease and cancer are still the leading causes of death). The value-standard, man's life, persists.

This pandemic's handling has been clearly premised on default altruism, from the scientists to gvt., to media, to societies - but secondly - its consequences have entrenched sacrifice in people's minds and behavior for a lengthy period to come.

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21 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You criticized me for saying that some people wear masts for rational reasons. No one disagreed that there are some people who wear masks for irrational reasons. 

Needs clearing up. The mask-blanketing for everyone, at all times, in every situation, without individual, rational judgment, consent and choice - that is irrational. Either by edict or social pressures.

Is it your moral obligation to protect others' health? (On the off-chance that you may have an infection). No. It IS their RIGHT that you mask/sanitize when wishing to enter their property or when in close engagement, if that's their request or rule. In other words, to respect another individual's judgment.

But, not at all their *moral* right that you accede to their personal and 'society's' wishes, in general, and at all times.

The cause of and what is arrived at, by the nature of a transmittable virus - nothing novel -  is this obvious, collectivized concern for universal others, altruism-collectivism. One is now told to worry about - and act for - this other stranger in public, her future contacts with others, her elderly parents etc. etc. right out into broadening circles of possible spreading mass infection across the world. We enter the realm of impossibility and insanity.

Were you the initial cause of XYZ's eventual death the other side of the country? Did my mask slip that one time? Did I touch and infect 'something'? A mind cannot handle that reality nor responsibility, so must be fundamentally irrational, self-destructive to try. Even one's imagination balks.

To recap, since I can't tell if this point has been put across, that fear for universal others' sake is what has caused the stopping of "the motor of the world", a universal self-sacrifice. The unthinking or deliberate giving up of something that has absolute importance to proper life - for what? - a lesser, temporal dis-value. How quickly and automatically the world surrendered.

That human sacrifice named humanitarianism, needless to say, is anti-man to the living and that is why altruists/'humanitarians' are enamored of it.

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If I or anyone wants to continue to operate a business rather than go bankrupt, which relies on several employees and large numbers of customers to survive, (e.g. a resort) and one decides can only return a profit without mask laws and at normal social distancing, that right cannot be denied. The employees (and customers) have their right to accept or not - many and most happily will accept, being at no health threat (and in my experience, including even those older who might be at risk, much prefer and need to continue work).

That is Bayer's self-interest in the work-place which initiated this topic, except going further than simply the health well-being (that counts, too) of one's employees, of vastly higher value is your and their total well-being.

Men and women have needs: ongoing mental focus, an active outlet, purpose, productiveness, independence, self-esteem, involvement with others in cooperation - and earnings, goes without saying, all in their own self-interests. Exactly what pandemic-altruists oppose, 'selfishness'. (Ultimately capitalism, too)

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17 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

How come you cleared up your post by expanding a great deal on the part nobody disagreed about? I get that.

There isn't any "part" I am aware of. The argument needs to be one comprehensive whole, standing or falling, on all the integrated parts. If I repeat myself and everyone knows the "basics" anyway, well that's a small price for being accurate.

Seriously, Eiuol, I do not have intrinsic knowledge. I have no notion of what anyone agrees with and doesn't. I mean, who is this "nobody"?

Looks like me and you here, and occasionally someone else on other tangents.

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Test, track, isolate.

What folly. At first and last impression this endeavor is out of touch with reality and with human nature. A scientific-seeming solution that may look superficially plausible and comforting but cannot be implemented, and when tried as the policy is all over, cannot be effective or efficient or rights-observing, on the grand scale.

If (only) a million in a population are tested, finding say, 20,000 to be Covid -positive, what next? Each are interviewed, presumably, to uncover their previous movements. Where did they go, who - and what - were they in close contact with for the last (say) 10 days? (Try to attempt to recall your exact movements for yourselves). And ordering all those in the first group into isolation.

Then the follow-up. Contacting all those named and places visited, testing them also, questioning, tracing their movements. And so on down the line, in radiating circles and increasing vast numbers, isolation for them also. To what end? To some degree, I estimate, the tracer-trackers are playing catch up and always a step behind the virus.

Then, the memories of people are always innocently faulty. Now, where did I go next, what was the name of that guy I met, I don't recall where she lives, was I in that shop or hairdresser that day - etc. Then, some won't be honest, he was with someone's wife, he was goofing off from work, she was at a maskless party (horrors!) and doesn't want to name names, etc..

It surely needs that one or two individuals in the transmission chain to fall between the cracks and go unrecorded, and much of the effort is in vain.

Then, how and why are all these people forced to co-operate, anyway? Why should one permit random testing, then being quizzed and interrogated - and then obediently going into self-isolation for a week or two? The very least, invasion of privacy. Worse, to even have a chance to work, this all will require police-state force and rigorously and regularly checking up on masses of people's quarantines. Since many of course will flout the isolation warning. Others will accidentally make contact with a pizza deliveryman or plumber. The spread continues.

Who foots the cost of the endless "leg work" (sure, computers and cells will be employed) and man-hours of the immense manpower needed for this impossible exercise? Rhetorical question.

Will the positive-tested not feel guilt for those they possibly infected, that individual they know (perhaps who unfortunately dies?) Similarly, will they blame those whom they discover passed the infection on to them? The psychological effects in society are not even considered when, unquestionably, any altruistic ends justify the means.

The last question: Has it worked? Just how many lives has this huge operation saved? The 'waves' evidently continue. Does anybody have a clue, and how can they be certain or be trusted?

All this providing the public with a figment of comfort, "They" are doing something! It is 'scientific', you know...

And there goes individual self-responsibility and self-ownership of one's body, surrendering that to authority figures.

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The greatest danger area? The beaches, of course. (Which must have their counterparts in California, etc.). Holidaying students held "rage parties" at the coast, were tested and showed highish infection rates and this is our mass punishment.

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-12-16-covid-19-beach-ban-holiday-bookings-cancelled-coastal-towns-reeling/

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On 12/15/2020 at 8:27 AM, whYNOT said:

Were you the initial cause of XYZ's eventual death the other side of the country? Did my mask slip that one time? Did I touch and infect 'something'? A mind cannot handle that reality nor responsibility, so must be fundamentally irrational, self-destructive to try. Even one's imagination balks.

We can't be omniscient.  I certainly would never worry about what effect my decision on what to say or what to eat would have on the weather in each place in the world a month later, even though weather can cost people their lives.  But we can take reasonable precautions to avoid wrongfully endangering people.  If, because I find it convenient, I pee in a wilderness stream that people may be drinking from a ways downstream, I have done something wrong.  It is wrong even if the probability of actually doing harm is low, and even if it won't be possible to prove whether I have done harm.  We need to work out rationally, as well as we can, where to draw the line between permissible actions and wrongful endangerment.  Technical issues will be relevant here.

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11 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

We can't be omniscient.  I certainly would never worry about what effect my decision on what to say or what to eat would have on the weather in each place in the world a month later, even though weather can cost people their lives.  But we can take reasonable precautions to avoid wrongfully endangering people.  If, because I find it convenient, I pee in a wilderness stream that people may be drinking from a ways downstream, I have done something wrong.  It is wrong even if the probability of actually doing harm is low, and even if it won't be possible to prove whether I have done harm.  We need to work out rationally, as well as we can, where to draw the line between permissible actions and wrongful endangerment.  Technical issues will be relevant here.

First off, remember that you are not everybody. You know we "can't be omniscient", but many and most, secular or religious, certainly subscribe to a kind of causality which is the pretension of omniscience. In effect, I did this, others at large will suffer. So I must not do this.

(There's lurking some Kant and Categorical Imperative in here: do only what you believe would be universally acceptable, briefly). As most common examples, there are too many known from the rabid environmentalists, laying down our guilt for how each individual's single acts are destroying Earth. Underlying their message is the evil of selfishness, too. We will save Earth (/end the pandemic), by being - unselfish.

What are "permissible actions"? Permissible by the law, by right, by the state, by 'society'? By individual rights your freedom to act is primary. As are others. That is the freedom to act for one's own benefit - and life. That any one person -might- be infected, is it not primary for others to look out for themselves; not him to look out for them? (If he chooses to take precautions for the sake of others' health, equally who has the right to stop him? So long as he doesn't exalt his acts as 'moral', he wouldn't meet resistance from me.

But: loading the moral responsibility onto one, for those he/she *might* infect and even, 'kill', is a symptom of altruism. And, moral praise for anyone for putting others' lives before their own, an identical symptom and consequence of altruism.

We can't "work out rationally" where we accept and allow sacrifice. They are mutually incompatible.

 

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