Update and Introduction
The record shows that way back on May 5, Ethics Alarms published the post titled “The Pandemic Creates A Classic And Difficult Ethics Conflict, But The Resolution Is Clear, Part I: Stipulations.” That resolution was that the lockdown was wrong, indeed tragically wrong, and that a clear-eyed, unbiased examination of the facts made that conclusion inescapable. This, I note again, was in May. Nobody believed that we would still be strangling American society, commerce, education, culture and life as December approached.
I knew the analysis had to be lengthy, so it was planned as a two part post. One reason for this was that the information, data and scientific analysis was contradictory and still coming in as I began the post, and I needed time to review and sort it all out before beginning Part II. Incredibly, after seven months, the information, data and scientific analysis is still contradictory and still coming in. It is also, as this most recent episode demonstrates, still being unethically manipulated to mislead the American public. This is happening even now, after the election, although much of the manipulation of facts was designed and executed by the Axis of Unethical Conduct—Democrats, the “resistance” and the mainstream media– to derail the Trump Presidency, and ensure his defeat on November 3. (Congratulations, by the way! It worked!)
In Part I, I listed ten stipulations that drove my analysis. I assumed, being a fallible human being, that some would prove mistaken; I definitely assumed that some of them would no longer be accurate by now. I was wrong. Here are the ten:
- This is an ethics conflict, not an ethics dilemma.
- Many, too many, of those involved in the problem are going to approach it as an ethics dilemma…
- It is a cruel trick of fate…that this crisis is occurring in an election year…
- We still do not have adequate information to make a fully informed decision.
- Making important decisions without perfect information is what effective leaders have to do.
- No one can rely on “experts.”
- Experts have the biases of their own field and its priorities.
- The projections and models have been wrong more often than not, but are still being hyped as a valid basis for planning.
- The news media has politicized the lock-down, and most of it is actively lobbying for the lock-down to continue.
- We have to accept that the ethical system we have to employ here is Utilitarianism, the most brutal of them all.
As you can see, these haven’t changed.
While waiting for both some more definitive data and the time to do a competent analysis before completing Part 2, I posted a Prelude to Part 2. the next day, on May 8, the date Nazi Germany surrendered. It was a thorough fisking of a New York Time op-ed that perfectly represented the AUC’s arrogant and dead wrong attitude toward the pandemic, and that also pointed to the sinister un-American and totalitarian-leanings underlying the Left’s enthusiastic embrace of the lockdown and its consequences. The last paragraph of the “Prelude” pointed the way to what would be (and will be) the principle underlying the conclusion of the argument I started to unpack in May:
“Freedom has always had a price. On this 75th Anniversary of V-E Day, it shouldn’t be hard to understand that lost lives can be acceptable when the most rational, responsible policies involve unavoidable risk.“
As attentive readers noticed, Part 2 never appeared. (Kudos to long-time commenter Michael Ejercito for repeatedly chiding me on this.) I have been constantly revising a draft, changing directions many times as new data arrived, followed by newer hype and distortions. Then came the Johns Hopkins report, the discussion of which today becomes Part 2, because it is a “smoking gun.”
And that means that what was Part 2 is now Part 3, still in progress, but I promise, Michael, coming soon.
Now here’s the post….