[ExI] UN worried about police brutality against protestors

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Dec 24 03:53:38 UTC 2021

On Wed, Dec 22, 2021 at 6:08 AM John Klos via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> People who ignore science and ignore precautions in a pandemic don't just
> put themselves in peril. They are a potential risk to anyone around them.
> They are unilaterally making decisions for others.

### Really? Did you think it over before committing this to the keyboard?

Let me upack the logic here for you. Let's assume that a population of
well-informed individuals who are at risk of a deadly infection if they
leave their homes but are safe if they stay in (but can still starve to
death, suffer a heart attack, get restless and unhappy and prone to
drinking themselves to death, etc.). Let's assume they are free to choose
whether to stay at home or venture out.

Obviously, every single individual who ventures out knowingly assumes the
risk of infection, therefore every single individual they meet is also an
individual who knowingly assumed the risk of being infected. Not a single
person who chooses to avoid infection can be infected by them, since the
avoidants are all, every single one of them, staying at home. This means
that every single person infected is somebody who knowingly accepted the
risk of infection before leaving home. In every single dyadic interaction
that results in a new infection, the infecter and the infectee both made
the decision for themselves, and are paying the consequences, in a
bilateral decision. Since we posit well-informed individuals, their
decisions weigh the individual costs and benefits of staying vs. venturing,
and are therefore individually and collectively efficient, and therefore
morally superior to enforced lockdowns, which discard individual opinions
in favor of political grandstanding and witless moralizing.

Obviously, this situation is not analogous to environmental pollution,
where the polluter affects the lives of non-polluters. A more apt analogy
is that of driving on a public road, which involves some risk of killing
another driver, or being killed by another driver (we try to reduce that
risk by various means but it remains non-zero). All drivers assume a
certain risk of dying when they get on the road, a risk they can entirely
avoid by staying at home. Yet, we normal people don't accuse all drivers of
"tremendous amount of selfishness and a criminal lack of self reflection".

> The same kind of logic is used to rationalize waste, pollution, abuse of
> natural resources, et cetera: why should I have to care about my effect on
> anyone else? I will do what benefits me, no matter the consequences to
> myself or others.
> I feel sorry for those that believe their right to possibly infect others
> supercedes others' right to avoid infection. Only a tremendous amount of
> selfishness and a criminal lack of reflection can lead to such beliefs.
### It's easy to get on the moral high horse and spout about "logic", it's
much more difficult to actually think things through, isn't it, John?

Being too lazy to think is bad enough when it happens in an individual but
it gets much worse when lazy, witless moralizing results in a virtue
signaling frenzy that plunges the whole world in turmoil that cost tens of
trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

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