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

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9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

The altruistic pandemic is contaminating and complicating responses to the CoViD-19 pandemic.

The altruistic pandemic is not fueling the CoViD-19 pandemic.  The virus is driving the pandemic.  Fuel is provided by people not taking the pandemic seriously and by people not knowing how to react to the altruistic element in the response.

The focus is still that the concern is placed on the CoViD-19 virus and what it is reported to be doing to others.

The fuel, you say, is provided by people, . . . i.e., by others . . . not taking the CoViD-19 viral aspect seriously. 

Altruism is Other-ism. 

Even in the response to the altruistic element, the claim is that it is by people . . . i.e., others . . . not knowing how to react to the altruistic element in the response. 

I read, recently, that the media may not be able to tell people what to think, yet have a great deal of influence on what people think about. 

Are you reading/hearing stories about the freedom and liberty to try preventative approaches such as Vitamin D might offer? Or are the stories of late a variation on the trolly car problem of who should the first thousand doses of vaccine be allocated to today, and in which hands should the divining rod be placed tomorrow?

What of the freedom and liberty to volunteer to take a potential treatment? Or is the focus, in such matters, on the need to protect foolish irrationality from buying snake-oil, or a company from destroying its reputation by premature marketing of a product. 

Are businesses being offered the freedom and liberty to seek the advice of competent experts to advise them how to provide a safe environment for their customers, the same customers that trust the judgment of the business to provide them with the quality of merchandise for the prices they are willing to pay? Or are government servants to be elevated to positions of authority over arts and sciences they have never studied, to choose which 'expert(s)' should be 'listened' to (i.e., obeyed.) . . . Should this be done at the freedom and liberty of the individual level? Or should it be delegated to a city level? Or should it be established at a township, parish, or county level? Or at a state or a national level?

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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

13 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

The altruistic pandemic is contaminating and complicating responses to the CoViD-19 pandemic.

The altruistic pandemic is not fueling the CoViD-19 pandemic.  The virus is driving the pandemic.  Fuel is provided by people not taking the pandemic seriously and by people not knowing how to react to the altruistic element in the response.

Sure. A natural phenomenon isn't driven by a doctrine. But the *protocols* as the scientists call them, the measures in response to, were clearly motivated by inherent altruism. "You don't want people to die, do you?!" Therefore you agree you must do - this.

Anyone can't help notice that the deluge of comments made from the start, were roughly: She closed her business "due to Covid". He has no job - because of the virus. The farmer ploughed over his crops this year - because of Covid. They canceled their wedding ... They have run out of their savings - He has to beg for food - etc.

Terrible nonsense of course. False causation. None of those things ¬had¬ to occur because of a disease. They happened as RESULT OF the lock downs, (etc.) The powers that be, authorized by experts, decreed that instant lock downs and other severe controls be implemented. Less the pandemic, but the automatic response to it, is most - by far - what has devastated lives and aspirations.

Which reveals the go-to sacrificial doctrine nobody questions while they suffer. They indeed know and have been taught "how to react to the altruist element", and that's to commit more self-sacrifice.

But I still argue that far from "not taking the pandemic seriously enough" if left to their own devices, people would have adjusted - much - better when apprised of the gravity of the situation and left alone. Who knows, maybe fewer deaths? If told the bare facts, e.g. that this general group is most at risk - but you are the final judge of what risks you take with your life. As is everyone else. (And watch out for others too...? No problem). The State can't take care of you better than you can.

The supposedly good protocols that epidemiologists pushed at us, including trace and isolate, are not "good" if unworkable, impractical - and have to be forced, to achieve (questionable) effects on the pandemic, imposed control that human nature resists. Like the statement, Communism is "good" but mankind aren't moral enough to practice it.

 

 

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dream_weaver:

There is a lot of room for improvement in the way our society handles medicine and disease, and in the way our society handles everything.  This does not change anything I have said.

Altruism is sacrificing oneself to others, or the demand for such sacrifice.  I am not doing, advocating, or condoning that in any way.  But we must also refrain from sacrificing others.  This includes refraining from wrongly endangering others.

Social metaphysics is treating other people's consciousnesses, rather than objective reality, as ones primary focus.  I am not doing, advocating, or condoning that in any way either.  But other people's consciousnesses are part of objective reality.

An important part of protecting oneself from the pandemic is doing what one reasonably can to limit its spread.  This includes trying to clarify the issues involved.

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On the subject of scientists learning about Covid-19, and thereby learning more about the general subject of viruses being transmitted through the air, today NPR has an article that sheds some light.  The title is For Scientists Who Study Virus Transmission, 2020 Was A Watershed Year. 

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Doug Morris:

Nicely put response. Your clarifications bring into better focus a blurring on my part of social pressure/metaphysics and altruism. Objectivism provides proof for a moral high ground. Clarifying the issues involved is not only to be right about the issues, it is to be clear on what the issues are.

As to protecting one's self from the coronavirus, if I do not contract it, then I can not spread it. Whenever I turn on the radio, or go to a news website I more often find myself thinking of the passage from Galt's speech about defining one's character when treating men like irrational animals, but I digress.

 

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23 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Social metaphysics is treating other people's consciousnesses, rather than objective reality, as ones primary focus.  I am not doing, advocating, or condoning that in any way either.  But other people's consciousnesses are part of objective reality.

 

"Social metaphysics", the wry term, is self-evidently rather treating 'Society' as 'a composite consciousness'. Therefore, is surely an anti-concept. Man has objective consciousness, an individual has an objective consciousness, absolutely. Society is a bunch of individuals each with their own.

We are concerned primarily and only with "man's life", or survival-thriving and in the manner proper to man. With the morally right objective approach - excluding the altruist force and duty - both maximum survival and continued flourishing could have been sustained, even in the face of coronavirus. Instead men have greatly sacrificed flourishing to the physical survival. Yet still, couldn't avoid fatalities. Mankind has paid and will pay for this massive mistake for a long time.

Never to take one's eye off the main prize:

"The purpose...belongs to every individual man, and the life he has to live is his own".

One must not take away men's purpose, or endanger their own 'life' as well as their living.

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22 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Doug Morris:

 Clarifying the issues involved is not only to be right about the issues, it is to be clear on what the issues are.

 

 

The issues have to be clarified, identified and defined in order to correct them and replace them. Right.

Otherwise we and many blindly move on and repeat the error.

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8 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

You will have to show me the definition.

Next time I go back to my place I'll have to dig through my Objectivist literature and find the article on Social Metaphysics and possibly other material.  I'm not sure when that will be.  Meanwhile maybe someone else can help us out.

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23 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

dream_weaver:

 

Altruism is sacrificing oneself to others, or the demand for such sacrifice.  I am not doing, advocating, or condoning that in any way.  But we must also refrain from sacrificing others.  This includes refraining from wrongly endangering others.

 

If living for one's own rational purpose is sacrificing others and wrongly endangering others, then you implicitly admit self-sacrifice.

Returning to your speeding motorist metaphor, and if highways are filled with speeding cars - simply:

Do not walk in the road.

If you value your own life you won't place the burden on others to protect it. Do not allow others to "wrongly" endanger your life.

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8 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

Next time I go back to my place I'll have to dig through my Objectivist literature and find the article on Social Metaphysics and possibly other material.  I'm not sure when that will be.  Meanwhile maybe someone else can help us out.

Okay.

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10 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Returning to your speeding motorist metaphor, and if highways are filled with speeding cars - simply:

Do not walk in the road.

If people are driving in a reckless manner that makes it unnecessarily dangerous to drive in the road, they are violating the rights of anyone entitled to drive there.

If someone is driving in a way that creates a danger he will accidentally run up on the sidewalk, he is violating the rights of anyone entitled to walk on the sidewalk. 

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2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

If people are driving in a reckless manner that makes it unnecessarily dangerous to drive in the road, they are violating the rights of anyone entitled to drive there.

If someone is driving in a way that creates a danger he will accidentally run up on the sidewalk, he is violating the rights of anyone entitled to walk on the sidewalk. 

No sense at all. Anyone doesn't want to take the risk of cars accidentally climbing the sidewalk and taking them out, stay home. Who's stopping him? To repeat, living is action and HAS risk elements.

"Rights" to drive anywhere are dependent on not being unfit and not driving a dangerously derelict auto (unhealthy, with comorbidities, aged) to drive in the first place.

BUT, the living/healthy who are prevented, curtailed or banned from 'driving' because of the possibility of 'accidents' is anti-life and immoral.

If you want forced protocols, 100% compliance, then admit that. Then accept a police state which must logically follow. 

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2 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Posted February 14, 2010

I think the old idea of a "social metaphysics" captured a certain element of what ya'll are talking about. Social metaphysics can be combined with explicit altruism, or not. "Social metaphysics" comes from the days of Rand's psychological investigations with Branden, so it is not in the Lexicon and Branden's article on the topic is not on the Objectivism CD.

Here is a brief definition of the term by the editor of the "Journals of Ayn Rand"

["Social metaphysics" refers to the neurosis resulting from automatized second-handedness, i.e., the type of psycho-epistemology that is focused primarily on the views of others, not on reality.]

From "Art and Moral Treason", writing about two unhappy men she knew of and worked with regarding aesthetic responses:

They knew-even though not in fully conscious terms-that they were achieving the opposite of their original, pre-conceptual goals and motives. Instead of leading a rational (i.e., reason-guided and reason-motivated) life, they were gradually becoming moody, subjectivist whim-worshipers, acting on the range of the moment, particularly in their personal relationships—by default of any firmly defined values. Instead of reaching independence from the irrationality of others, they were being forced—by the same default-either into actual social metaphysics or into an equivalent code of behavior, into blind dependence on and compliance with the value-systems of others, into a state of abject conformity.

The Objectivist—January 1966 "Altruism As Appeasement", writing here of becoming an altruist:

[...]

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Interesting. That type of angry "Social Justice Warrior" who right now, slams photos on Facebook of families enjoying a Xmas lunch - "They are not masked!"

--is only another variant of the social metaphysician, it seems. 

Social metaphysics I've been considering a large driver of the pandemic's sacrificial guilt and shaming, causing "...blind dependence on and compliance with the value-systems of others, into a state of abject conformity".

In fact, isn't SM that other infestation which ails most societies?

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19 hours ago, whYNOT said:

No sense at all. Anyone doesn't want to take the risk of cars accidentally climbing the sidewalk and taking them out, stay home. Who's stopping him? To repeat, living is action and HAS risk elements.

"Rights" to drive anywhere are dependent on not being unfit and not driving a dangerously derelict auto (unhealthy, with comorbidities, aged) to drive in the first place.

BUT, the living/healthy who are prevented, curtailed or banned from 'driving' because of the possibility of 'accidents' is anti-life and immoral.

If you want forced protocols, 100% compliance, then admit that. Then accept a police state which must logically follow. 

I am not demanding that danger be totally eliminated; that is always impossible.  I am objecting to wrongfully increasing danger.

Someone who drives while unfit or drives a dangerously derelict auto is violating the rights of others.

Someone who drives 100 miles an hour on a downtown city street is violating the rights of others.

Someone who recklessly drives the wrong way in a lane is violating the rights of others.

Someone who is reckless in the use of a steering wheel  is violating the rights of others.

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9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

I am not demanding that danger be totally eliminated; that is always impossible.  I am objecting to wrongfully increasing danger. of others.

 ...of others.

 ...of others.

 ...of others.

The "rights" of others - covers over the underlying moral issue. An argument for altruism in the guise of individual rights. You keep glossing over a fact: nobody has "the right" to NOT be infected by a virus. This is not a right, it's a demand or claim.

Simply, I would go to reasonable lengths to not infect you (while maybe unknowingly infected myself) but best, if that possibility worries you - stay out of my way. And certainly if in a high risk bracket, self- isolate, get out of everyone's way. Don't go out on the roads if especially vulnerable to traffic accidents.

I mention "self responsibility" again, which many people (not a majority, apparently) still subscribe to, that essential partner of freedom. Not the Nanny state nor 'society' to make one's choices, to look after one and those important to one, but oneself.

The ugly outrage surrounding this superfluous masking debate in every place, shows how distant from good will to others most people have gone. Of course. When one's inclination and choice to help others, becomes a counted-upon duty, repetitively, at one's own cost, all the while losing one's own resources and fearing for one's future prospects- wishing others well and helping them, must vanish. O'ists are familiar with that. The knowledge of one's highest values being sacrificed to lesser values or non-values destroys good will.

The load placed upon one's self-responsibility (or rational selfishness) and benevolence to be turned to being 'other-responsibility' is a hall mark of altruism. Anywhere and any time you notice presumptuousness from others, you can be sure of the presence of altruist demands and expectations.

There are increasing numbers of those who have contracted Covid after being fastidious about masking, sanitizing, distancing, I know of a few. So what's that about? One - apparently the protocols have limited effectiveness in curtailing the spread, therefore, two, masking is seen by most -primarily- to be a sort of symbol of 'loving' concern for others - and not that they articulate this - their notional 'love' equates with self-sacrifice. That is whom the so-called lovers of others hate, over and above their pandemic fears, any individualist dissident who visibly won't knuckle down to their demands for universal sacrifice. While pretending it's all about the pandemic.

 

 

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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 majority of the public isn’t at risk of dying due to an infection.

Face diapers say you care for people who for whatever reason believe or act as if covid is an actual reoccurrence of the Black Death.

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43 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

Interacting with people in public without any symptoms of disease or infection isn’t dangerous to the public.

But interacting with people in public even without symptoms increases the risk of catching the virus. In fact that is problem with this disease that allows it rapid transmission. Some other diseases like ebola have higher mortality, but have symptoms that people can identify and stay away from. 

So the statement "isn't dangerous" is false.

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6 hours ago, whYNOT said:

You keep glossing over a fact: nobody has "the right" to NOT be infected by a virus.

I'm assuming that I misunderstand you because one has a right to NOT be infected by another person, knowingly or not. Accidentally or on purpose, the person harming you is liable, culpable, responsible, and the cause.

In this case the issue seems to be about increase of risk. The question is do we, as a democracy, have the requirement/right/obligation to abide by what democratically, most of us, have declared to be "too much of a risk". That includes "even if the majority are altruists". In other words, when should one abide or not abide the law of the land.

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6 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I'm assuming that I misunderstand you because one has a right to NOT be infected by another person, knowingly or not. Accidentally or on purpose, the person harming you is liable, culpable, responsible, and the cause.

In this case the issue seems to be about increase of risk. The question is do we, as a democracy, have the requirement/right/obligation to abide by what democratically, most of us, have declared to be "too much of a risk". That includes "even if the majority are altruists". In other words, when should one abide or not abide the law of the land.

Was there ever an individual right to NOT be infected by, say, influenza?

Was that - liability and culpability - ever brought into law? "You infected that person with influenza so will be held criminally (or accidentally) negligent"? Not that I've heard. No such right or law exists. Just *proving*- beyond doubt - who infected whom is impossible, so cannot be an objective law.

The flu also, is/was of danger to some people and a regular cause of death. And went almost totally unnoticed by the general public until now.

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https://newideal.aynrand.org/its-past-time-for-a-pandemic-testing-strategy/

I had a look at Taiwan, its remarkably low infection and fatalities. Seeing that the ARI people laud the nation's "test, trace and isolate" measures and criticize America's. It turns out:

From The Lancet; Regional health; West Pacific - What we can learn from Taiwan and New Zealand. An excerpt:

"Results

 Summary of the COVID-19 status in Taiwan and New Zealand up to August 2020

Taiwan announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on 21 January 2020, a 50+ year old woman returning to Taiwan from her teaching job in Wuhan.

 New Zealand recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 28 February 2020, a woman in her 60 s who arrived on 26 February from Iran via Bali."

---

I'd gather that what worked easily for Taiwan's testers and tracers - with ONE identified confirmed case, this woman teacher (and certainly assuming a few others who entered testing positive after her) - and few ports of entry, hardly applies as ARI would have it, to the US, with perhaps many thousands of infected individuals having entered through (the maximum) 328 ports of entry, especially NYC.

How are thousands of people entering almost simultaneously, and transmitting Covid-19 to perhaps tens of thousands and they to hundreds of thousands more, Etc., throughout America, possibly going to be "traced"? Not to add, every individual isolated, effectively? Unreal. The comparative geographies of Taiwan's small island with few cities and the USA's, and therefore the range of unrestricted movements of the two populations, is one could one say, a -little- different too...

 

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In case we forget the "ordinary flu": Notice how imprecise the numbers are.

Abstract

Background

Until recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the annual mortality burden of influenza to be 250 000 to 500 000 all-cause deaths globally; however, a 2017 study indicated a substantially higher mortality burden, at 290 000-650 000 influenza-associated deaths from respiratory causes alone, and a 2019 study estimated 99 000-200 000 deaths from lower respiratory tract infections directly caused by influenza. Here we revisit global and regional estimates of influenza mortality burden and explore mortality trends over time and geography.

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