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Rebuilding the Garden of Eden

· Politics Economics Institutions,Technology and Future

Freedom - Restraint - Responsibility - Order

With freedom comes responsibility, and to afford freedom's for some we must often restrict the freedoms for others. These seem to be general philosophical principles that most people would agree with.

So in a discussion of freedom within a pandemic, who must we restrain for the freedom of others? And to what degree should we restrain them?

Do we restrain the unvaccinated, or do we restrain the elderly and vulnerable? If the unvaccinated and the vulnerable are both at increased risk of dying in the Pandemic, then is it best to restrain them, a small subsection of the population, such that the majority can continue to live.

It is a prerequisite when living in a system such as we do, to have constraints enforced. As only with certain constraints can we organise into such large communities.

Without traffic lights for example, travelling to and from somewhere would be both slow and dangerous.


Personalising your enforcement

However, the next logical step within a countries traffic system, would be in transparent enforcement of the rules. No longer needing speed camera's and police patrols, as laws can be enforced through analysis of your data. If your phone is unlocked by you whilst you're driving the car, you receive a fine. If your GPS tracks you going 10km over the speed limit in an area for more than a minute, you're fined. Thus through direct surveillance of the individual, can we ensure absolute societal adherence towards the laws. 


Surveillance State

Let's say we collectively object to absolute surveillance. Instead of enforcing traffic violations through direct surveillance, the next logical step is to take away the freedom for people to drive and mandate the use of self-driving cars.

My assumption with all these legislative changes is that preservation of life is the goal (reducing road death tolls). If it can be proven that the chance of accident or death reduces by 99.99% where only self-driving cars are allowed on the road, can we justify forcing people to be driven around?

If we take absolute surveillance and the justification of saving lives to its logical conclusion. In order to preserve someone's life, could we and should we restrict a person's spending? To stop them from ordering uber eats, or to stop them from spending alcohol, or gambling, all in the name of 'saving their life'?


 Garden of Eden

Does the act of preserving life provide a cogent justification for restricting personal freedoms. If so, then to what degree do we as humans want a system without any danger, without any risk?

It seems as we are moving toward a data driven, automated world, we are in essence creating a framework where there is less variability in human behaviour, such that we are assured of the safest possible community.

The question then arises, is our need for safety perhaps derived from the archetypal idea of the 'Garden of Eden'? A paradise, a protected community where we can thrive without the earthly fear of death. 

Is this basic human need for safety being used as an unconscious lever by the ruling class to justify building the metaphysical walls for society, such that through well-constructed laws and an autonomous surveillance system we can regulate into existence the most 'perfect' and 'safest' society.

The first freedom described in literature was was the bite of the apple from the tree of knowledge, which granted Adam and Eve the freedom from the instinctual determination of their actions. To choose whether an action is right or wrong, and not act purely on desire, appetite, fear or domination.

If we are moving towards, or hold a utopian vision of this 'safe society', where the chance of death begins to rival that of the 'Garden of Eden'. Is there a requirement for humanity to metaphysically unbite the apple. To forget the knowledge of good and evil. To fall back into an instinctual state, where we cannot differentiate between right and wrong, and as such act purely on desire, appetite, fear, and domination.