Humans are not merely accidental by products of nature trying to survive. And even if we were, according to that materialistic vision of humanity, we would certainly not be in anything together. Athiest philosopher, Ayn Rand, was correct when she said (in view of her belief that God does not exist) that “selfishness is a virtue.” In other words, our individual survival would be the most important value for anyone whose beginning and end are merely dust. If, however, we are creatures made in the image of God with freedom of the will, then besides being a great reason for actually caring about other people, we have a foundation for two of the highest values for human existence which are very closely linked- free association and free informed consent. One definition from Google of free association is “the forming of a group, political alliance, or other organization without any constraint or external restriction.” This is one reason why socialism or communism as political systems are bankrupt and evil. They both make the so-called collective good a higher value and force people to be part of their group without free association. Interestingly, both of these forms of government are often led by atheists who love the philosophies of Marx, Darwin, and the like. Indeed, most governments use fear, power, lies, and even the truth (at times though rarely) to control and enforce compliance to it’s rules- rules which they tell us are for the collective good of their subjects but are usually more about money and power. If, however, humans are free creatures, then free informed consent and free association should be a primary and foundational basis for just about any human or governmental decision.
Government mask mandates are currently part of this discussion. Even if masks work to help reduce the spread of disease (although the efficacy has been debated) is not cause enough to infringe upon free informed consent principles. I personally believe that government mandates requiring facemasks to walk around in public are just a first step precursor to mandating and possibly even forcing vaccinations without free informed consent. And even though we have thousands of laws on the books that seem appropriate enough like wearing clothes in public, following traffic laws, wearing seatbelts, etc. the mask mandates and forced vaccinations are not the same. Why? We can discuss the government’s limits for legislating and enforcing laws another time but one reason why they are different is because it is a healthcare issue. You may think a person is selfish or even wicked for not wearing a mask because you think he/she is simply disregarding the life of others. Even if that is true, people should be allowed free informed consent about healthcare decisions for themselves. One of the most widely recognized and foundational human and civil right is free informed consent for healthcare. Several years ago, the Nazi government did experiments on people in concentration camps. The people in the concentration camps were not selfish because they didn’t want to be there against there will or because they didn’t want to be used as lab rats. They did not give free informed consent to the government to force them into the camps or to experiment on them. Even if the results of the experiments actually provided good solutions for a better human existence, this is not the kind of world we want to live in. It would be better for the human race to go extinct than to have a world where free informed consent and free association are removed by the government to further its idea of the so-called greater good.
What about in a so-called pandemic? Should the government be allowed to take actions which remove free consent or free association from the people in order to save the people? Especially not! And this is one reason why the Supreme Court in California and New York recently ruled against the state governors who were trying to mandate shut downs of churches for public health concerns. USA Today reported yesterday that the court’s majority opinion, “Even in a pandemic, the Constitution [a foundational document guaranteeing free association] cannot be put away and forgotten….The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”
But you say that “my decision affects others and we are all in this together.” This canard and emotional appeal to our responsibility in promoting the greater good has been a primary tool used by the state to force submission to the state. The canard has been used to administer dangerous mercury containing vaccines to the unsuspecting hoi polloi. To send young men into combat in clearly unjust wars, to lock down businesses and commerce so as to effectively damage and hinder people’s free pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. But aren’t non mask wearers selfish? Maybe so but that is none of your business. Folks who don’t wear masks may very well be selfish and uncaring but that is not the point and distracts from the important issue. This false utilitarian understanding of the greater good has been used by totalitarians and governments around the world to promote the worst kinds of forced subjugation and is a major excuse for overreaching regulations.
Thus, we may live next to each other, but we are not in this together. What exactly are we in this together for? Mere survival under authoritatian rule? I warn again- free association and free informed consent are more important and higher values than what the government tells us is the greater good. Indeed, the removal of free association and free informed consent from medicine especially, but also any other area of life is one of the worst forms of slavery. Allen Stevo writes, “Just as rape is sex absent the ability of free association, and slavery is employment absent the ability of free association, public health is medicine, absent the ability of free association. No free man deserves rape, slavery, or public health in his life. No free man allows rape, slavery, or public health in his life. Rape, slavery, and public health might not sound like equivalents to you, but that’s only because you’ve been convinced to not pierce the surface of the fallacious term “public health” and their “We have the best of intentions,” exterior.” If you truly care about your neighbor, stop wearing a mask as much as possible- (unless it is unavoidable in order to put food on your table). God forbid it comes to that as it sure is close.