Alastair Cavendish

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Why I am Not a Lockdown Sceptic

by Alastair Cavendish In times of stress, which occur with increasing frequency these days, I find myself turning to Lockdown Sceptics almost as a guilty pleasure. One ought, of course, to challenge oneself with news sources that do not simply reflect one’s own views. The echo chamber and the hall of mirrors have become characteristic metaphors to describe the news media, which produce sounds and images as distorted as they are familiar. On Lockdown Sceptics, however, I can at least be certain of finding sanity, courtesy, and commitment to evidence, qualities which are in short supply elsewhere. The alternatives are to retreat even further from human society, or to listen to a smug voice on the BBC wondering out loud how people like Toby Young can sleep at night with all the blood on their hands. All the same, I am not a lockdown sceptic myself, any more than I am a racism sceptic or a rape sceptic. Lockdown, like racism and rape, is an evil thing, and I am unequivocally against it. If this seems like an extremist position, consider the question as a variant of the trolley problem, which has been a staple of philosophy classrooms since Judith Jarvis Thompson and Philippa Foot wrote about it in the 1970s. The student is asked to imagine that s/he is...

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June 2024
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