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Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point II?

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On 12/16/2021 at 6:55 PM, Doug Morris said:

If most eligible people had gotten vaccinated and boosted, the spread would have dramatically declined, and the nature of the pandemic would have changed.   

Do you mean with the currently formulated jabs , or a more general statement about virology in regards to sterilizing vaccines ?

The data on current formulations seems to point findings such as 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanepe/article/PIIS2666-7762(21)00258-1/fulltext

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

The data on current formulations seems to point findings such as 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanepe/article/PIIS2666-7762(21)00258-1/fulltext

 

If more people had gotten vaccinated early on when the existing vaccinations hadn't worn off so much, there would have been a better chance to knock down the pandemic.

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But won’t it be the case that the later vaccinated cohort  provided a stronger ‘barrier ‘ as they were waxing compared to the waning earlier cohorts ? 

And was the early due to reluctance or availability? Wasn’t the ‘rollout’ stratified by risk group ? 

Sounds like a lot of ifs and buts and still no candy or nuts.

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  • 1 month later...

From or with? , figures released by British govt after a FOIA request , out for a month with little to no media coverage . Unless the virus and or biology is different between countries highly suggestive that the institutions whose charge is to inform their respective populations on matters of public health decided these totals were not worth reporting. huh

 

Edited by tadmjones
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If a hemophiliac is injured in a car crash and dies from the injuries, but a non-hemophiliac would probably have survived, then the hemophiliac has died of injuries from a car crash and should be included in traffic death statistics.  The hemophilia was a contributing factor, but the car crash was the primary and immediate cause of death.

If A has a serious case of mononucleosis but is expected to fully recover, and B shoots A through the spleen, and A dies from the combination but might well have survived the gunshot wound if there were no mononucleosis, then A has died of a gunshot wound and should be included in gun death statistics.  Also, B is guilty of murder.  The mononucleosis was a contributing factor, but the gunshot was the primary and immediate cause of death.

How many people die where COVID-19 is the only thing contributing to the death is irrelevant to how deadly COVID-19 is.

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

No.

But there is a right to restrict reckless, drunk, or unqualified driving for the protection of all non-hermits.

 

I think our disagreement , at least from my end, may  stem from a differing view , or nuances of application , on legal theory.

Eg, between negative/ positive rights, legal punishments as retribution for harms caused as opposed to instantiation of legal codes to induce deterrence. And how far or by what criteria the government has powers to coerce health measures and those specific applications to Covid.

My argument from 'jump' has been that the governmental reaction(s) to this specific contagion was exaggerated to the degree of lethality. If the danger to the whole of the general public were equal , then blanket restrictions would seem more plausible , but from the outset this specific shitshow has 'felt' more than just being about a 'health emergency'. In the very beginning erring on th eside of caution was 'more' than prudent, but it didn't take long to see this is not that.

Edited by tadmjones
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/21/2021 at 12:21 PM, Doug Morris said:
On 11/21/2021 at 11:01 AM, tadmjones said:

What was the hoped for accomplishment?

Getting to where most people didn't have to worry much about COVID-19 and could go back to normal.

Doug,

I've been ruminating about the "unnecessary risk" phrase that is the basis for the justification for mandating vaccination.

First let's look at some examples of the problem I see.

The person next door is raising children. You notice they drink too much alcohol. You reasonably conclude that it will "likely" cause their children to grow up with antisocial behavior and this is an unnecessary risk to society.

Should the government have all parents go through a require child rearing inspection to deal with this unnecessary risk? or Should alcohol be prohibited?

Can't we say that prohibition of alcohol was based on unnecessary risk?

A person starting a family is not studying hard for their CPA exam, so you think their financial stress that will cause some unnecessary risk for you. After all it can be demonstrated that there is more risk to others if he does not get his CPA rather than if he does.

In other words people will do stupid things and it will be an unnecessary risk. It happens all the time. A mandate against "unnecessary risk" ends up being nothing more than an invitation for authoritarian rule.

Would you agree that free speech introduces risk? It is not always a "necessary" risk so if unnecessary risk was the standard of preventing something, it would prevent the right to free speech.

Granted, the fact that someone lights a fire in fire season, is an individual risk to someone else. As far as being necessary, would the person be justified if they had to eat meat that should be cooked to be sure all the bacteria was cooked. Would that supposed necessary risk (of lighting a fire to cook) absolve them of the liability of burning the neighbor?

  • Wouldn't necessary risk end up being a subjective determination?
  • Risk to whom and who is determined to have an over riding right? 

What about the risk of doing something irrational because one is very afraid? Maybe we will have a mandate for an injection that will prevent fear.

The fact that it is necessary or unnecessary may be determinable in hindsight, but in the moment, the fact that it is necessary can't be determined without knowing enough facts. But that is when fear strikes, we go by what we know at the moment which most likely is irrational. Again an invitation to authoritarian rule.

The word unnecessary loses it's meaning in this context. It's redundant or unnecessary because simply living next to someone introduces some "unnecessary" risk if you look hard enough to find it. It is simpler and more accurate to state that there is "risk" without the "unnecessary" part. The word risk is the only relevant issue.  And the "actionable" amount of risk has not been defined but that is the key issue, not the fact that it is necessary or unnecessary. "Unnecessary Risk" is an amorphous vapor of a concept floating around. Seems to mean something but I can't conjure up a clear example of it. Risk, on the other hand, has a clear meaning.

If in fact the vaccine causes birth defects or some other long term damage that we find out later on, how would one justify a requirement for mandates? I assume it could be argued that we can be reasonably certain that vaccines are safe. And so the idea of of unnecessary risk is based on "reasonable certainty" about something.

The problem is that a government forcing (mandating) even one death is too many and that is what is being blown off. The argument seems to be that "most people will be better off". Isn't that utilitarian?

Basically what I'm saying is that your formulation has to be reworked to deal with this issues.

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OK, unnecessary risk is not enough by itself.  We need to consider the degree of risk, the degree of directness of the risk, and the nature of the countermeasures.

Your examples seem to be less direct creators of risk than the risk in breathing out air that may well contain dangerous viruses.

We need to carefully protect parental rights.  But a sufficiently egregious case of bad parenting might justify someone suing for custody of the children.

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

As far as being necessary, would the person be justified if they had to eat meat that should be cooked to be sure all the bacteria was cooked. Would that supposed necessary risk (of lighting a fire to cook) absolve them of the liability of burning the neighbor?

We would have to consider the degree of fire risk and the availability of other ways of cooking.

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

What about the risk of doing something irrational because one is very afraid? Maybe we will have a mandate for an injection that will prevent fear.

Any restrictions should be based on actual aggressive actions, not on fear.

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On 1/23/2022 at 7:54 PM, Doug Morris said:

How many people die where COVID-19 is the only thing contributing to the death is irrelevant to how deadly COVID-19 is.

 

Less 'real' deaths, by a factor of 8:1, from a direct cause of Covid and with no comorbidities - is "irrelevant to how deadly Covid-19 is"?!

You can't dismiss this report by Campbell, DM.

It is plainly of the highest relevance. To government policies, to people's fears and behaviors and freedoms. In real terms Covid was far less "deadly". First, from the earlier exaggerated 'modelling' and now from subsequent mortality figures.

By the released UK figures and quite applicable elsewhere, one could divide all totals by eight to roughly get the "excess deaths". (Compared to average annual deaths in that country). Things become more medically complex after that, but we have a firm conceptual base to work from.

The ¬average¬ age reported of death from Covid in E. and Wales was 82 y.o. Which shows the bulk were well into their 90's.

Do you think that has no bearing on who, by the simple age cohort, should have been most diligently protected and self-protected  (and earliest and most exclusively vaccinated)? i.e. "targeted"? As some (usually censored) scientists insisted.

Especially since it is well known that vaxxes don't stop or eradicate the virus.

This was not new information, the first indicators in 2020 were of extreme age risk, but who has heard these new stats made public anywhere?

Edited by whYNOT
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9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

We need to carefully protect parental rights.  But a sufficiently egregious case of bad parenting might justify someone suing for custody of the children.

Keep in mind, the bad parenting redress that you mention is an individual case and I would agree with your conclusion. Meaning you are not advocating a mandate on all parents interfering with their parenting. Individual cases are dealt with individually.

But here the focus is on "mandate", a one size fits all mandatory edict by the monopoly on force (ultimately backed by guns). Very different from an individual response to an individual case.

9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Any restrictions should be based on actual aggressive actions, not on fear.

So … is being afraid of taking a vaccine an "actual aggressive action"?

9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Your examples seem to be less direct creators of risk than the risk in breathing out air that may well contain dangerous viruses.

Isn't there a difference between the 

  • risk in breathing out air that may well contain dangerous viruses 
  • vs.
  • risk in breathing out air that contains dangerous viruses

I argue that there is an unfortunate conflation between the two.

If there was a mandate for everyone to be vaccinated (or else), wouldn't an unvaxed person be treated as if they have Covid?

You realize many unvaxed people don't get Covid and don't pass it along. But they are treated as if they do. 

But in the mandate scenario, the unvaxed are being treated as guilty before being proven guilty. Or harmful based on a statistic, rather than a specific determination that the particular individual is harmful. It is at it's core a collectivist type stereotyping. The unvaxed are evil ... period.

As I said before, I am vaccinated, but I am afraid of the fear based movement toward authoritarianism that I see around us. It's not going to be to your benefit either Doug.

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9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

OK, unnecessary risk is not enough by itself.  We need to consider the degree of risk, the degree of directness of the risk, and the nature of the countermeasures.

 

Degree of "unnecessary risk" falls under the responsibility of those AT risk, for whatever causes - old age, etc. . Naturally, to include the personal responsibility of their family members.

This is not and should not be "a risk" which the public at large - nor Gvt. decree and coercion - can assume, practically or morally, for the great numbers of random other people. It's individual.

Edited by whYNOT
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15 hours ago, whYNOT said:

By the released UK figures and quite applicable elsewhere, one could divide all totals by eight to roughly get the "excess deaths".

Invalid.  COVID-19 kills a lot of people that would otherwise have gone on living.  Official counts are a much better indicator than your method.  Excess deaths are counted by comparing total deaths from year to year.

If a disproportionate number of deaths are of old people, that does not change the total number of deaths.  And some younger people die too.

15 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Especially since it is well known that vaxxes don't stop or eradicate the virus.

 

But they do slow it down and reduce the risk.

 

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15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Keep in mind, the bad parenting redress that you mention is an individual case and I would agree with your conclusion. Meaning you are not advocating a mandate on all parents interfering with their parenting. Individual cases are dealt with individually.

But here the focus is on "mandate", a one size fits all mandatory edict by the monopoly on force (ultimately backed by guns). Very different from an individual response to an individual case.

Requiring someone to mask or to vaccinate is much less drastic than taking away their children.  Not masking or not vaccinating endangers many more people than those in one's household.

15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So … is being afraid of taking a vaccine an "actual aggressive action"?

No, but going around unvaccinated might be.

15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Isn't there a difference between the 

  • risk in breathing out air that may well contain dangerous viruses 
  • vs.
  • risk in breathing out air that contains dangerous viruses

Similar to the difference between recklessly shooting a gun that may be loaded with either blanks or live rounds and recklessly shooting a gun that is loaded with live rounds.

15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

the unvaxed are being treated as guilty before being proven guilty.

The guilt or innocence lies not in whether one is actually infected, but in the extent to which one is increasing risk.

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:
17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So … is being afraid of taking a vaccine an "actual aggressive action"?

No, but going around unvaccinated might be.

So a requirement to vaccinate is force applied to someone to go against their feelings which are based on their thoughts in running their life. Then the question is "who is qualified to apply that force?"

1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:
17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Isn't there a difference between the 

  • risk in breathing out air that may well contain dangerous viruses 
  • vs.
  • risk in breathing out air that contains dangerous viruses

Similar to the difference between recklessly shooting a gun that may be loaded with either blanks or live rounds and recklessly shooting a gun that is loaded with live rounds.

The problem here is that the gun is aimed at someone. In both cases it is reckless.

To be more specific I would say the conflation is with: shooting up in the air vs. shooting at someone specific being seen as the same thing. It's like people see the two events as the same aggression. One is reckless and the other is aggression.

2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:
17 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

the unvaxed are being treated as guilty before being proven guilty.

The guilt or innocence lies not in whether one is actually infected, but in the extent to which one is increasing risk.

But that judgement can't be made in a vacuum. as you said:

On 2/4/2022 at 12:40 PM, Doug Morris said:

We need to consider the degree of risk, the degree of directness of the risk, and the nature of the countermeasures.

In the case of children the risk is less that the flu. In the case of people who don't go out, it is far less than those in crowded areas. And the risk is highest in older people with comorbidities. So increasing risk, does not take into account "for whom".

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21 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

So a requirement to vaccinate is force applied to someone to go against their feelings which are based on their thoughts in running their life. Then the question is "who is qualified to apply that force?"

If refusal to vaccinate does indeed rise to the level of initiation of physical force, and the geographical area within which this occurs has a basically legitimate government, then that government is qualified to apply that restraining force.

27 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

shooting up in the air vs. shooting at someone specific

Shooting up in the air is still aggression, against anyone being endangered thereby.

28 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

So increasing risk, does not take into account "for whom".

The aggression is against anyone who is being sufficiently endangered.

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:
2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So a requirement to vaccinate is force applied to someone to go against their feelings which are based on their thoughts in running their life. Then the question is "who is qualified to apply that force?"

If refusal to vaccinate does indeed rise to the level of initiation of physical force, and the geographical area within which this occurs has a basically legitimate government, then that government is qualified to apply that restraining force.

This is all in regards to a mandate to vaccinate. As in everyone has to get vaccinated. As in everyone has to agree to have their body modified in a way. The person is not infected and spreading it. They are simply not vaccinated.

The repeated problem with "risking to a level" is that it is undefined, perhaps even undefinable in the moment. (only in hindsight). It is the perfect tool for any authoritarian government.

I am still arguing that the position that you end up supporting, is that: ALL the unvaxed should be treated no differently than they are infected and spreading it.

I suspect that you are arguing something to the effect that a government has a  right to force feed a prisoner that is on a hunger strike. It is for their own good after all.

The general problem with the argument is that a mandate for Covid vaccination is a "common good" argument. The ultimate common good, being your individual rights, in this case your body sovereignty, is being ignored. The argument put forward is that a team of experts is better at running your life than allowing the individual to choose what choices they will make. As if those who don't conform are all mentally retarded.

Another problem with a mandate in regards to Covid is that the vaccine does not prevent transmission, only deals with symptoms. As far as I know the vaccine is not capable of eliminating the virus and of course, some have natural immunity. There is currently no way to know if someone is in fact immune and there is no way to know who is susceptible, even amongst those who have been vaccinated.

2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:
2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So increasing risk, does not take into account "for whom".

The aggression is against anyone who is being sufficiently endangered.

Which implies that different people should be treated differently i.e. individually. It is an argument against a mandate which is one size fits all.

 

2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:
2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

shooting up in the air vs. shooting at someone specific

Shooting up in the air is still aggression, against anyone being endangered thereby.

Yes, I was just emphasizing that there is a difference between a "may well happen" vs. "will happen".

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19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The repeated problem with "risking to a level" is that it is undefined, perhaps even undefinable in the moment. (only in hindsight).

OK, so we need to define the levels involved more precisely before applying this.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I am still arguing that the position that you end up supporting, is that: ALL the unvaxed should be treated no differently than they are infected and spreading it.

The point is that they may become infected and spread it.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

I suspect that you are arguing something to the effect that a government has a  right to force feed a prisoner that is on a hunger strike. It is for their own good after all.

No, there is no such right to force feed.  However, there is a right to restrain a prisoner who is endangering the other prisoners' food.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The argument put forward is that a team of experts is better at running your life than allowing the individual to choose what choices they will make. As if those who don't conform are all mentally retarded.

No, the argument I am making only applies to endangering others, not to running one's own life.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Another problem with a mandate in regards to Covid is that the vaccine does not prevent transmission, only deals with symptoms.

Not true.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

As far as I know the vaccine is not capable of eliminating the virus

As far as I know no one has claimed the vaccine is capable of eliminating the virus.  The point is that it reduces spread and therefore reduces risk.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:
21 hours ago, Doug Morris said:
22 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

So increasing risk, does not take into account "for whom".

The aggression is against anyone who is being sufficiently endangered.

Which implies that different people should be treated differently i.e. individually. It is an argument against a mandate which is one size fits all.

There is more difference in the degree to which a person is endangered than there is in the degree to which a person is guilty of endangering.

 

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17 hours ago, Doug Morris said:
On 2/5/2022 at 6:33 PM, Easy Truth said:

I am still arguing that the position that you end up supporting, is that: ALL the unvaxed should be treated no differently than they are infected and spreading it.

The point is that they may become infected and spread it.

Yes, that is what you are emphasizing and I am emphasizing the opposite: that they might not be infected and not spreading it. As in: The fact that the unvaxed are more likely to get the disease, means they have the disease (or treat them as if they do). There is in fact NO direct connection to infecting others.

I suspect it's a viewpoint based on a background in statistics. The idea that the highly probable is the existent.

And because there is a possibility that they are not infected, other probabilities have to be taken into consideration too which I think you agree. Otherwise, what is forgotten is that they are human with a right of self determination, a right to their body.

Furthermore, there is a probability that the vaccine does not work or will harm in some unknown way. The fact is that even though I have taken the vaccine, I am not sure how it will effect me in the long run. And certainly children, with the low probability of getting the disease are being given an experimental thing. These other probabilities are being discounted, blown off as you say.

This is not opposing "the right to try" but the "right to be unmolested or forced to". It does not extend to them being diagnosed and infected and sneezing over the food at the supermarket. At that point, they are infected. This is simply a right of refusal to a purported possibility to prevent the disease attacking them, and the key word is "possibility".

18 hours ago, Doug Morris said:
On 2/5/2022 at 6:33 PM, Easy Truth said:

The repeated problem with "risking to a level" is that it is undefined, perhaps even undefinable in the moment. (only in hindsight).

OK, so we need to define the levels involved more precisely before applying this.

Fine. Let us play with some percentages. What is the chance of dying from Covid? And then what is the chance of getting Covid? What is the chance of getting Covid from someone unvaxinated? And based on all that, what is the chance of dying because of an unvaxinated person. I will bet you, it is VERY SMALL compared to the actual and or potential disruption in lives and loss in productivity that mandates and or lockdowns have caused.

In addition, the potential harm of the vaccine has to be taken into consideration too.

I am leery about these kinds of arguments because they have their limitations as they may be utilitarian. Furthermore "risk level" is going to be based on a "vote". Not objectively.

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5 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

what is the chance of dying because of an unvaxinated person. I will bet you, it is VERY SMALL

Don't bet the ranch.

5 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

mandates and or lockdowns

I am not defending lockdowns at all.  I am saying that mandates, which are much less disruptive, may be justified depending on the technical details of a particular disease.

5 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Furthermore "risk level" is going to be based on a "vote". Not objectively

Why?

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