STRANGE IDEAS OF LIBERTY

Posted: 2022-01-04

Don't listen to the anti-vaxxers; listen to the evidence

There are some strange notions of liberty out there. Many are demanding their ‘freedom’ to go about their business without being vaccinated or having to wear masks or maintaining social distance, and demand being allowed to go to parties, pubs and sporting events without restrictions. Many of these same people believe that the virus is a hoax or plot to control their lives.

 

The anti-vaccine and anti-mask brigades are often the same people who in Northern Ireland were complicit in denying freedom to women, Catholics and gays. At Westminster MPs protesting against covid restrictions have generally been the same MPS who voted in favour of the third reading of the bill to restrict the freedom to protest if it is too noisy or deemed to cause 'serious disruption'. Not a single Tory voted against it. 

 

Then earlier in December the Nationality and Borders bill passed its third reading. Under it any asylum seeker who 'knowingly arrives' without 'leave to enter' could be jailed for up to 4 years. 

 

So it seems that many so-called libertarians who cry freedom are highly selective in the freedoms they champion. Apparently, some people are not worthy of the freedoms they seek: maybe its Catholics who are discriminated against, women who seek some measure of control over their own bodies, gays who want to love each other, protesters who are fighting for real freedoms or immigrants/refugees seeking to escape even worse tyranny. Apparently, these so-called 'libertarians' think that their freedom is more important than anyone else’s. In which case, it is entirely phoney and entirely selfish.

 

It is also immoral in another sense. There is an ethics of belief which states that it is wrong to believe something without evidence because beliefs lead to actions and/or influence the actions of others. There is no evidence that the virus is a hoax and tons of scientific evidence that it is real. There is also ample evidence that keeping your distance and wearing a mask in confined spaces reduces the risk of it spreading. And these precautions are not just for the benefit of yourself but also for others. So the anti-virus, anti-vaccine brigade are denying others their freedoms while foolishly upholding a false and selfish notion of their own.

 

Brian McClinton, January 2022