Do National COVID Mandates Fulfill the Public Good? (Epoch Times)

by Scott Masson, Epoch Times, Aug. 28, 2021
https://www.theepochtimes.com/do-national-covid-mandates-fulfill-the-public-good_3968290.html

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Commentary

A crisis has now darkened Western democracies just as surely as long-benighted dictatorships. Wherein does it lie? In the disdain with which its proud technocrats dismiss conscience. Conscience is no quantifiable thing; it has no weight or measure, and it cannot be listed among a nation’s assets. Science can’t prove it exists.

Yet conscience is no mere trifle. Conscience distinguishes humanity from the brutes of creation. It is the little spark of celestial fire that motivated the obedience of our nations’ greatest heroes in their darkest hour. It is the voice of God in the soul.

Over the past 18 months, our fundamental freedoms have all been assaulted by a virus. [NB – or more precisely, by the restrictions imposed on us by the alleged virus] The public incursions against freedom have been protested, but the small private matter of conscience has received scant attention.

Anti mask protest: Psychologists explain why some refuse ...
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https://www.mackinac.org/covid#cartoons

Why? Because it is the casualty of “friendly fire”—by friends who never acknowledged it.

Conscience was caught in the politicians’ war on COVID-19 and its variants. They confessed their faith in science to defeat it. Progress demanded it. Computer models predicted the threat to the control of “the system” of public health to be so terrible that to defend their Technopoly, as coined by Neil Postman in his book of the same name, politicians seized extraordinary emergency powers to aid science in its certain victory.

This unwavering faith in science was completely irrational, if not unscientific. Science itself tells us that viruses are not living organisms. They cannot be killed. They also mutate. All the gains from rushing the slow safety protocols of science to contain last year’s virus were swiftly lost in subsequent variants.

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As the unflagging determination to win the war continues, the illogic of the position grows. That is because it never was a fight about science—it was a fight to defend the pride of the idol of technocracy and extend its dominance. That means more control for the technocrats.

The Pfizer vaccine now fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is a marvel of speed and deployment. But its success rate of 39 percent against the dominant Delta variant would have never got it to trial a year ago. The FDA’s Aug. 23 approval seems more a participation trophy for “speed and application” than for actual success.

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But my concern is not to observe this evident absurdity. It is to note the moral consequence of fighting an extended, vain war against an immortal and invisible enemy, with no defined exit strategy.

For it is now abundantly clear. Approving a failed vaccine while mandating passports allows for a permanent group of second-class citizens even after a state of emergency has ended. And it normalizes mandatory vaccinations for everyone, even when they are not useful.

This month, Quebec, B.C., and Ontario will require vaccination passports for non-essential activities, while the federal government is planning to mandate vaccinations for commercial air, train, and cruise ship passengers as well as for all federal employees. We’d be naïve to think it’ll stop there.

Consciences are being crushed in the mission creep. Why do I cite conscience as a problem?

When politicians waived the legal liability of the vaccine manufacturers, they also demanded the medical community set aside its ethics, first through a sustained “campaign” of pressure to “take the shot” and now through mandates. If the campaign of pressure defied the bedrock ethical principle of informed consent established in the Nuremberg Code, then the mob’s call for mandates on doctors and patients to defend our idol of technocracy is in defiance of our very essence as human beings.

Martin Luther once noted that “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” The great civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. echoed his words. In his autobiography, he writes:

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expedience asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ … The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.”

The worth of individual conscience is the great legacy of the West, and its blessings have spread with the Nuremberg Code, and in political defences of conscience.

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Anti-lockdown protest arrest, Australia

But we are on the eve of its eclipse.

We are rejecting the lesson of history. Individuals ignore their conscience at the peril of their own souls, and when technocratic science is given the lead over the conscience of the nation, so much greater is the ruin. This can however be avoided.

English playwright George Bernard Shaw described a Native American elder’s account of his own struggles with conscience: “Inside of me there are two dogs.  One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, ‘the one I feed the most.’”

The moral goodness of the freedom of association, the freedom of peaceful assembly, the freedom of thought and expression, and the freedom of conscience and religion are enshrined as fundamental rights in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They have been set aside these last 18 months under the auspices of an emergency. The good dog has been deprived of his food.

The question I would ask Canadians and our politicians is: What sort of nation is being preserved when fundamental civil liberties have been cast aside and the inviolability of conscience has been despoiled as a medical necessity, a casualty of war? What sort of country will we return to, and what will our children inherit when the freedoms our Charter calls “fundamental” give way to appeals to what is safe, or politic, or popular, rather than what is right?

It is indeed a time of crisis.

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Ungekrzte

"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity ... the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This immaturity is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) "Have the courage to use your own understanding," is therefore the motto of the [European] Enlightenment. "Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet [or vaccine], and so on--then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind ... should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts. "Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the immaturity which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas [e.g., Leftist ideology, identity politics] these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use--or rather abuse--of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting immaturity. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from immaturity by cultivating their own minds." - Kant, "An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment"

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