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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

risk is being created, not a count of total deaths.

Risk is quantified by counting deaths and opportunities to die.  Do the arithmetic or go home.

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21 hours ago, Grames said:

Risk is quantified by counting deaths and opportunities to die.  Do the arithmetic or go home.

So we need to compare number of non-alcohol-related traffic deaths divided by number of sober miles traveled with number of alcohol-related traffic deaths divided by number of drunk miles traveled.  Nobody's offered anything like that yet.  

More people die while not serving as military or police than while serving as military or police.  It would be ridiculous to draw a conclusion from this while blowing off the question of denominators.

 

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On 1/20/2022 at 5:11 PM, Doug Morris said:

Operating a motor vehicle is not physical force.

But people die every day in auto accidents.

 

You said in this same post that we have to consider the actual risks involved (the odds of death or permanent bodily damage) and I totally agree with that.  And if you were to point out that the odds of dying on any particular car ride are ridiculously low then I would also agree with that.

But if the logic is that "it could save just one life" then we must outlaw cars.

On 1/15/2022 at 7:44 AM, Doug Morris said:

COVID-19 is serious enough that the risk of it goes beyond the norm, at least to some extent.

Not for me it isn't.  My chance of dying if I were to catch COVID (as a 30-odd heavy smoker and drinker) are something like 0.001% to 0.0001%, according to John's Hopkins University.  I don't remember whether there are 2 or 3 zeros before the 1%.

 

In terms of the risks I routinely consider in the course of living my life (such as how likely I am to die in any given car ride) that is a risk I simply do not consider.  If I were to consider risks like that at all then I wouldn't have a job or a life; I'd be spending the rest of my mortal days quarantined in a little plastic bubble in my basement.

 

Quote

More people die while not serving as military or police than while serving as military or police.  It would be ridiculous to draw a conclusion from this while blowing off the question of denominators.

Exactly!  Yes!

 

Now - how many people have caught COVID and survived it just fine?

 

On 1/13/2022 at 10:48 AM, Easy Truth said:

In some ways, one could say that spreading germs is necessary, it is a necessary condition of survival. Without freedom to spread germs one cannot survive. Now if the germ has a high mortality rate, and high has to be declared in a non objective "voting" fashion, the policy will be determined by that. (unless someone can propose an objective measure) Right now a child or the young have a .03 percent chance of dying of it. If we voted on the danger, would this be dangerous?

I'd actually like to explore this a bit more, probably in its own thread.

 

I've been saying that I wouldn't have any problem with a forced quarantine for something like Ebola or Rabies.  Not of absolutely everyone, of course, but of anyone who has been proven to be a carrier.  And it also occurs to me that because actually dangerous diseases like that have such a high mortality rate, it could not be in perpetuity either: within a fairly short time frame any disease like that would naturally burn itself out.  Whereas with COVID the Chinese are still in lockdown to this day.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

If someone puts a sometimes toxic substance into the water supply which, for 99.9% of the people, creates a 0.00000001% chance of death, but for 0.05% of the people, creates a 1% chance of death, that person has committed an egregious violation of people's rights.

 

That's a one-in-one-hundred chance of death for every one in twenty thousand people.

 

Egregious?  I would bet you actual money that they case for making all Peanut Butter illegal because of the danger it poses to those with peanut allergies is a much stronger case.

 

How about $20?  If you can show that this is a more serious danger than the one posed by the existence of peanut allergens then you just name the account and I will pay you $20.  How does that sound?

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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On 1/2/2023 at 1:09 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I had COVID a couple of months ago.  I spent three days sick in bed (which definitely sucked) and then I was fine.  I was living with three guys in their 20's at the time, all of whom also caught COVID and not one of whom was bedridden for more than 24 hours.

A vaccine is supposed to prevent you from getting sick or reducing the severity. But a vaccine is also meant to help eradicate an illness completely, so even if you conclude that not getting a vaccine in some instances doesn't rise to the level of initiation of force, not getting a vaccine reveals how little you value public health and quality of life in modern society. 

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Just now, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Yeah.  The "public" does not have any health.  I don't value the "public good" either.

Public health refers to the general health conditions of a society, as an abstraction. It's better for everyone, you included, if diseases are eradicated. Not because you owe it to anyone, but because it makes you better off. Call it urban hygiene if you want, in the same way having sewers is valuable, which helps stop the spread of disease. 

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11 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Public health refers to the general health conditions of a society, as an abstraction. It's better for everyone, you included, if diseases are eradicated.

Yeah; not only could I make the same case for the validity of the "public good" but I could also point out that my odds of dying from COVID, if I were to even contract it, are so low as to be laughable.

 

Your signature is rather interesting in contrast with this point.  "I must not fear.  Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration."  I was also very fond of Dune.

I wonder if and how that very quote applies to this specific situation?

 

Now, far be it for me to use a music video in lieu of a proper argument (which I've been trying not to do thus far) but is there no relation between the tenets of Objectivism and one's own sense of health and well-being, or from the former to any given claim of imminent danger?

 

Are you made of spun glass?

 

 

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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Looks like you didn't bother to read the rest of the paragraph, so there's nothing really more to say. The point of vaccines is not "not dying" but "not getting sick". And "not getting sick" has added value in the same way that your toilet leads to the sewer rather than the street. 

 

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37 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Not because you owe it to anyone, but because it makes you better off. Call it urban hygiene if you want, in the same way having sewers is valuable, which helps stop the spread of disease. 

Check your motives!!! "Not because you owe it to anyone????". Boy, how magnanimous. The underlying argument is IN FACT, "you owe it to the public".

"Makes you better off" is being used in a collective sense, meaning your type would be better off. Really, maybe an 89 year old person would agree with you that his age collective would be better off. Harrison should be the final arbiter of what makes him better off. The argument you are putting forth can be considered both a utilitarian and an altruistic one.

As a pedantic point, connection to a sewer is not necessarily a public issue as it can be done privately too. I suspect you are making a case for "objective value". The problem is that you are ending up making a case that "you" should do it even if you don't believe it is best for you and that is where it has the altruistic basis. Although, maybe Harrison is too stupid to make such judgments. Therefore, we need the philosopher kings to force him to do what is right.

If you start with making the case that "I wish you had done it, it would make me safer", that would be more rationally self interested and you might be able to build on that. Changing the wording of "public good" to "urban hygiene" to "expert opinion" works in other forums but shouldn't work here.

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In the concrete example of covid jabs the efficacy of reducing transmission was never tested , so reasoning based on the 'urban hygiene' was moot from the beginning. Not to mention that the 'safety' testing showed levels of reaction that in the past would have deemed them 'unsafe' , more deaths were reported in the inoculated group then the control group.

The safety and effectiveness was propaganda from jump.

We don't yet know what all the long term effects from the jabs are , but the evidence so far is pointing toward health damage that will be greater than that of wild infection.

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On 1/4/2023 at 11:58 PM, Easy Truth said:

"Makes you better off" is being used in a collective sense, meaning your type would be better off.

Me? Because we were only talking about my argument. I'm using it in the egoistic sense, that it would be in your rational self-interest. 

On 1/4/2023 at 11:58 PM, Easy Truth said:

As a pedantic point, connection to a sewer is not necessarily a public issue as it can be done privately too.

I don't know why you thought I was talking about publicly owned things. 

On 1/4/2023 at 11:58 PM, Easy Truth said:

I suspect you are making a case for "objective value". The problem is that you are ending up making a case that "you" should do it even if you don't believe it is best for you

I do believe it is best for me as well. The case I am making to you is the case I make to myself.

On 1/4/2023 at 11:58 PM, Easy Truth said:

Changing the wording of "public good" to "urban hygiene"

I said public health, not public good. I suspect the whole issue here is that you misremembered what I said as "public good". 

Besides, I was talking about how the purpose of vaccines is not only to help prevent you from getting sick, but to eradicate a disease entirely or get as close as possible to that. Eradicating a disease is pretty nice for myself. I imagine eradicating a disease would be pretty nice for you as well. The only way to eradicate a disease is for us to cooperate with vaccines. Health involves a network of people, and cooperation among those people over a long period of time. The wider point is that if you don't want to cooperate, okay, do your thing, but vaccines are the sort of things that people in a rationally self-interested society would want. 

 

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I said public health, not public good. I suspect the whole issue here is that you misremembered what I said as "public good".

Or maybe there is some deeper relation between the concepts of public health and public good.

As Ayn Rand pointed out, there is no such thing as a public good.  There are things which are good for individual people but the public, as such, has no interests.  In the same way and for the same reasons I would say that the public has no health, either; only an individual can be healthy or sick.  There can be many healthy individuals and few sick ones or there can be many sick individuals and few healthy ones.  In either case the public, as such, does not have health; it simply does not apply.  It's like asking what the color blue sounds like.

 

As crude and obnoxious as it was when I asked if you are made of spun glass, that's why I did not ask about your neighbor three houses down the road; I asked about you.  You, personally; that's what ought to matter most to you.

If you are ninety years old, morbidly obese or HIV-positive then (although I wouldn't have used the words "spun glass" when sober) you are at risk from COVID and probably should get vaccinated, along with whatever other precautions might help to protect you from it.

If you are not made of spun glass then you have no good reason to be in the slightest bit concerned about COVID.

 

3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Besides, I was talking about how the purpose of vaccines is not only to help prevent you from getting sick, but to eradicate a disease entirely or get as close as possible to that. Eradicating a disease is pretty nice for myself. I imagine eradicating a disease would be pretty nice for you as well. The only way to eradicate a disease is for us to cooperate with vaccines.

I can't believed I missed this the first time around.  Well, I can, but I'm kicking myself thoroughly for it.

 

We cannot currently eradicate COVID-19.  Even with total cooperation from absolutely everyone we still could not currently do it.

It's a strain of Coronavirus, which is the same class of viruses which cause the common cold.  As such it is one of the most infectious things known to man (it is literally as widespread as the common cold) and all of our modern medicine and technology is currently incapable of eradicating it.  If we could eliminate COVID-19 then we would also be able to eradicate the common cold.

 

And that would be great.  I, for one, probably would get vaccinated if it meant an end to the common cold; you're right about that.  But COVID will be with us until or unless we make some major advancements in probably more than one field.  Just like there's a cold and flu season, there will now be a COVID season (in which new variants will spawn at least once a year) probably for the rest of your mortal lifespan and mine.  And there is absolutely nothing which any of us can currently do about that.

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44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

In the same way and for the same reasons I would say that the public has no health

There's a difference between public as a collective noun, versus an aggregate or average condition of a region or population. 

44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If you are not made of spun glass then you have no good reason to be in the slightest bit concerned about COVID.

This is only one aspect of vaccines (the chance of dying or severity of illness), but part of the goal is the vast reduction of illness is being spread, in much the same way that sewage systems aren't just for the disposal of garbage, but cleanliness of an environment on a large scale. In the short term, opting into a vaccine is merely a question of you falling ill for 3 days and preventing that, but on a long-term large-scale, opting into a vaccine is a question of your concern about the aggregate or average condition of health and hygiene in your environment. 

44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

If we could eliminate COVID-19 then we would also be able to eradicate the common cold.

 Of course it gets complicated, and it might take a decade even. These things take time. Polio is almost eradicated from the world, and everything prevented by MMR is absolutely a nonissue, not even a thing you talk about. You might not get the absolute elimination of viruses that evolve quickly and rapidly, but you can approach eradication. Given the modern world and modern technology, yes, the common cold could be eliminated one day, except that might require more medical advancement. 

44 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Just like there's a cold and flu season, there will now be a COVID season (in which new variants will spawn at least once a year) probably for the rest of your mortal lifespan and mine.  And there is absolutely nothing which any of us can currently do about that.

Flu vaccines. 

In general, the technology of vaccines is reliable, and although there are new ways of doing vaccines, rational support of vaccines (ie appreciation of science/reason for the development of technology, voluntary cooperation for a common value like health, the application of medicine to improve general flourishing in the world around you) is the way to go. 

Edited by Eiuol
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On 1/4/2023 at 10:00 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Egregious?  I would bet you actual money that they case for making all Peanut Butter illegal because of the danger it poses to those with peanut allergies is a much stronger case.

People know that peanut butter contains peanuts and can avoid it.  People are entitled to presume that no one has poisoned their water.

To have an appropriate analogy or comparison, consider a case where someone slips peanuts in some form into an allergic person's food without warning them.  That would be an egregious violation of rights.

 

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On 1/7/2023 at 2:19 PM, Doug Morris said:

People know that peanut butter contains peanuts and can avoid it.  People are entitled to presume that no one has poisoned their water.

To have an appropriate analogy or comparison, consider a case where someone slips peanuts in some form into an allergic person's food without warning them.  That would be an egregious violation of rights.

 

Sure, that would be an egregious violation of rights, but I don't believe it's a correct analogy to COVID.
COVID is like peanut butter in that it is very deadly to a very small number of people.  It is unlike peanut butter, however, in that when you're carrying it, you are carrying it (the only way to wash it off your hands is to stay in quarantine for 2 weeks; it's not something you can simply deal with before going on with your daily business) and more importantly that many people don't even know whether or not they're carrying it.

Do you have asymptomatic COVID at the moment you're reading this?  Do you even know?  I don't at the time I am writing this.
How can you go into work tomorrow when there is a chance that your fingers might well be coated with peanut butter (you don't know that you don't) and you may as well work at a candy factory?  But how can you know if you're clean, after you've already spent two weeks getting rid of it; maybe you didn't have it originally but simply contracted it the day before you were hoping to leave quarantine?  Best to just stay inside forever.

 

That is the logic we've been presented with and I say fuck that to every kind of Hell that has ever been invented.

 

On 1/6/2023 at 9:29 PM, Eiuol said:

Flu vaccines.

Of which we need a different one every Flu season because the virus which causes it mutates so quickly.

 

The Flu is different from Measles, Mumps and Rubella but similar to COVID in specifically that way.  If we could ever eradicate COVID and the common cold then we'd also be able to eradicate the flu.  And sure; that technology might be on the horizon (it's always difficult to gauge how far off any given technology is) but we do know for a certainty that it isn't here yet.

On 1/6/2023 at 9:29 PM, Eiuol said:

In general, the technology of vaccines is reliable, and although there are new ways of doing vaccines, rational support of vaccines (ie appreciation of science/reason for the development of technology, voluntary cooperation for a common value like health, the application of medicine to improve general flourishing in the world around you) is the way to go. 

Of course.  And it is right to give Polio vaccines to children, since children are the main demographic which Polio preys upon.  I even agree that those senior citizens (or spun-glass-people) who can receive a COVID vaccine, and live amongst other senior citizens, probably should receive the COVID vaccine.

Actually, I think the COVID vaccine is probably good for everyone.

The reason I haven't gotten it is because the government tried making it mandatory for everyone, until the Supreme Court struck it down.  After being legally forbidden to work (FOR WORK!) for what was initially supposed to be two weeks, and then all the other openly fascist steps that the Minnesota government took to eradicate COVID, when Joe Biden declared that his "patience was running thin" for the unvaccinated I decided I would remain unvaccinated.

Not because there's anything at all wrong or dangerous about the vaccine - because I'm a grown adult and fuck you; that's why, and there ought to be consequences for the kind of tyranny that we all had to endure ever since the discovery of this virus.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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15 hours ago, tadmjones said:

I don’t think it is rational to consider politics in making a choice about your health and possible medical interventions.

That statement is way to broad. I assume you are saying that government should not preemptively intervene in a decision that should be left between each and their doctor, or their judgement. Because a policy of non intervention is part of a political philosophy too.

The fact that it is right or wrong to give a vaccine to children should not be coerced by any government. Some will argue that at some point (in the emergency) it would be right to use that kind of force. But the "at what point" is not objectively clarified. Or maybe similar to "the age of consent", it will be determined by vote.

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On 1/3/2023 at 7:32 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Not for me it isn't.  My chance of dying if I were to catch COVID (as a 30-odd heavy smoker and drinker) are something like 0.001% to 0.0001%, according to John's Hopkins University.  I don't remember whether there are 2 or 3 zeros before the 1%.

This is a separate question from the question of whether you are physically endangering others.

 

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On 1/8/2023 at 9:03 PM, tadmjones said:

I don’t think it is rational to consider politics in making a choice about your health and possible medical interventions.

Nor do I.  And the fact that we're always told to "follow the science" is part of what bothers me so much about this subject.

Epidemiology can tell us however many people might become infected with something if we force all innocent civilians into house arrest or if we don't - theoretically.  The COVID projections did not end up proving very useful in that respect.  Epidemiology on its own cannot tell us whether we have the right to lock everyone else in their own homes for months on end, nor whether living under such conditions is a life worth living.

This ties into the ultimate good of total safety as well.  If I, in my personal life, were to make every decision for myself purely on the basis of safety then I would certainly not end up with a "life" that was worth enduring.

 

To paraphrase the Croods - living is not the same as simply not-dying.

 

On 1/9/2023 at 12:42 PM, Easy Truth said:

Some will argue that at some point (in the emergency) it would be right to use that kind of force. But the "at what point" is not objectively clarified. Or maybe similar to "the age of consent", it will be determined by vote.

Yes.  That's why I think that question probably deserves its own thread.

If we were talking about some objectively dangerous disease then quarantining those who've been proven to be infected, by force, might not be a totally invalid idea.  COVID obviously does not qualify as "objectively dangerous" but what does qualify; where the line for that belongs is a question which deserves an answer.

 

On 1/9/2023 at 4:19 PM, Doug Morris said:

This is a separate question from the question of whether you are physically endangering others.

Which others?

If I go out into society while I'm carrying COVID I'm not endangering healthy people between 20 and 40 years old; I'm not endangering people between 40 and 50 who aren't fat; I'm not even endangering children - and most communicable diseases DO endanger children!  There's a very small number of the very old and the very fat whom I am endangering.

Did you know that something like 250,000 kids died of pneumonia in 2019?  At a yearly rate that's slightly higher than COVID deaths and yet the world did not end.

 

My OWN life wouldn't be worth living if I made all my decisions on the basis of MY OWN safety, let alone the safety of some random 96-year-old dude two states away whom I'll never even meet.

 

You do get that point, don't you?  Is THAT much clear?

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