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Letter: Absolute freedom is no freedom at all

Letter: Absolute freedom is no freedom at all

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Letters to the editor, mailbox, mail, letter

It's very tiresome watching so many Idahoans striving to deny, reverse or delegitimize scientifically-validated measures to combat Covid-19. Despite what anti-vaxxers claim, Covid-19 kills people. It is not "just a cold." But relatively easy and effective counter-measures (vaccinations; masking; social distancing; sanitizing) abound, regardless of what science-denialists senselessly insist.

Our community-at-large has every right to protect ourselves by requiring compliance with anti-Covid measures. Many anti-vax folks and their partisan enablers say they don't want to submit to government "tyranny," as it jeopardizes their personal freedoms. I ask them: Do you follow driver licensing and traffic regulations? Do you pay sales tax when you buy things? Do your kids go to school, public or private? Do you follow code when you build or add-on to a house? In these — and in many other instances — we comply with laws written to help our community meet common needs in a safe, reasonably ordered, effective way. Yet in these acts of compliance we accept the restriction of personal freedom that is inherent in any rule or law. It is what we accept as the cost for a reliably civilized life.

Absolute freedom, ironically, is no freedom at all because we'd be consumed with constant fighting just to stay alive. As Hobbes argued, the state of human nature is a war by all against all. Do we really want to collapse into that level of violent desperation? On the other hand, survival is a persuasive reason to follow sensible precautions against a deadly virus, and to insist that all members of the community take those precautions for the sake of our common existence. Refusal to believe the empirical evidence of the virus is not an acceptable justification to deny, defy or subvert the community's efforts to protect itself.

Grenville E. Day

Twin Falls


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