Is this an Ethics Train Wreck, defined as a situation where everyone involved in in the wrong? If it isn’t, to paraphrase Tommy Lee Jones’s burned-out sheriff in “No Country for Old Men,” it will do until a real one shows up.
We begin with the impetus for the protest. Truckers, alone in their cabs, pose no danger to anyone whether they are vaccinated or not, masked or not. Social distancing is enough when you’re alone inside a moving truck. The pandemic restrictions are increasingly obnoxious and irrational—unethical in short, “following the science” of experts who have been wrong (or lying) so often it would be funny if it hasn’t been so disastrous. Ethics Alarms is on record as holding that most protests are pointless and unethical, but not all. There is ample justification for truckers to protest what is, for them, oppressive government edicts.
BUT…this protest is violating the law, as well as inconveniencing and harming citizens who are not at fault for the policies the truckers are protesting. The truckers have paralyzed traffic, disrupted business and unsettled residential neighborhoods, as truckers parked their vehicles in intersections and across busy thoroughfares. “Someone is going to get killed or seriously injured because of the irresponsible behavior of some of these people,” Jim Watson, Ottawa’s mayor, said as he declared the situation a state of emergency. I don’t see how anyone can dispute that conclusion, and sympathy with the truckers’ position shouldn’t translate into acceptance of their mode of protest, Continue reading