Three Mistakes in the Moral Reasoning About the Covid-19 Pandemic
Orri Stefánsson, philosopher at the Institute for Futures Studies and decision theorist, dissects the moral reasoning about the Covid-19 pandemic.
(This text is part of the Institute for Futures Studies Working Paper series. Download the Working Paper here: Three Mistakes in the Moral Reasoning About the Covid-19 Pandemic)
The response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the public discourse about the pandemic, can be used to illustrate three common mistakes in moral reasoning. The first of these mistakes involves a failure to realize that trade-offs are unavoidable when it comes to public decision. The second of these is a failure by public officials to weigh different interests against each other in a democratically legitimate way. The third is a mistaken application of the notorious “precautionary principle”. I suggest that these three mistakes have a common source, namely, a failure to engage in holistic (all-things-considered) reasoning.