Harry Reid memorial service: Chuck Schumer quotes 2 Nephi


Recommended Posts

12 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

1.  I would respectfully submit that this is too absolutist a position to take.  A more accurate position is that during the periods when they are used properly, masks partially work (with “work”, in this case, defined as “limit the wearer’s ability to spread disease”—I think it’s been common knowledge for over a year now that mask don’t significantly protect the wearer).  People on both sides talk about masking as if it’s supposed to be some sort of mystical rite that if used at all renders one wholly invincible for a day (or, by contrast, renders one essentially “infected” or “unclean” if it slips out of place just once.  But really, it’s a choice one makes every minute of every day, during dozens or hundreds of discrete physical encounters or near-encounters with people and things; and “safety” isn’t an all-or-nothing characterization but a spectrum depending on the aggregate of all of those encounters.

Think of it this way:  If I were to say  (and I’m sorry for the PG-13 nature of this analogy, it’s just the one that came most easily to my filthy mind) that “prophylactics don’t have a 100% success rate, so in my 100 sexual encounters a day I’m not going to use a prophylactic for a single one of them”—you’d say that was obvious nonsense.  But the argument you deploy above kind of seems to be a variant of it—“since I can’t limit my transmissibility risk to 0%, there’s no point in me inconveniencing myself for the sake of lowering it to 75 or 50 or 25%.

Now, if someone wants to say “I believe that the reduction in risk of transmissibility offered by a mask, in conjunction with the potential consequences to a person who gets infected from me, are not worth the personal sacrifices it would require for me to wear a mask at all”—that, I think, shows that some thought has gone into the decision; and I could respect that (I say “could” because so far it’s a hypothetical—I don’t recall dialoguing with *any* anti-masker who was willing to acknowledge that masks do anything at all.  So far they all seem to stick with “it won’t do ANY good”, which  strikes me as the result of an over-simplified calculus).

2.  Agree.  I suspect that my own mask is no more than 20-25% effective, if that.  But ultimately, wearing one costs me very little.  And while I don’t care what people think of my virtue, I do care that people feel comfortable around me.  In the past I’ve cited Romans 14 and Mosiah 10 in defense of “modesty culture”, arguing that females in the Church should inconvenience themselves to a degree for the sake of not becoming a stumblingblock to their fellowsaints and in the name of bearing one another’s burdens.  Having personally done that, I’d feel a bit hypocritical refusing to wear a mask to Church when for me, the cost to my convenience and health is so very low and I know that there are people in my ward who’s feel safer if I wore one.

As you say—it’s an individual decision, and good folk will apply different praxes for different reasons.  I just reserve the right to comment and criticize when some folks openly cite to/advocate a decision-making process that has some noticeable flaws.  :) 

(Though I note that as a conservative Church member, I don’t think we—as conservatives—have ever bent over backwards to assuage the consciences of those who chose to decree that a particular bit of prophetic counsel.  We didn’t buy their assertions that it was “just his opinion” or that even aspiring to obedience was unnecessary and even harmful.  We haven't done that regarding the counsel about young men having a responsibility to qualify themselves to serve missions, or for young women to limit themselves to one pair of earrings, or for teens to avoid R-rated movies, or for young couples to have as many kids as they can, or for the Church membership to read the Book of Mormon through in a given year or participate in a social media fast or make a series of Facebook posts about gratitude.  No, our counsel as conservatives has been “if you can’t, you can’t; but most of us can actually do more than we think we can, and if you can, then you should try.”  We have pointed out that while we strive to love everyone, the church is a subculture and subcultures define their membership by who aspires to a set of standards.  Jumping when the prophet says “jump” (or at least agreeing that we should jump, and encouraging and helping others to do so even when our own legs fail us) is a standard the Church has long maintained.  Other Church members are always going to notice whether I seem eager to conform or eager to justify my failure to conform.  And (within reasonable bounds), that is as it should be.)

And, for what it’s worth—given what I took @JohnsonJones to be suggesting about anti-maskers and potentially trying to lump them into Harry Reid territory, I thought I was actually defending them with my comment about them being deceived!  :D 

I almost hesitate to go into this because, in a way, I somewhat agree with the idea that it doesn't hurt to wear a mask. Somewhat*. Where I fully agree is that it not only doesn't hurt, but is imperative that we follow the prophet's council. And it's become such a huge political issue that I'm not sure anyone can really approach it without severe bias in the mix. I know I have bias.

(*I say somewhat because I think there is, indeed, harm in everyone pretending that the butt-naked emperor's new cloths are anything but butt-nakedness. But...that's a different discussion.)


It strikes me as spurious math to translate the fact that a mask might catch, say, even 75% of the virus particles (cloth masks don't...but...) to that meaning one is 75% more protected from the virus when masks are being worn. The virus, as per my best understanding, is not airborne. It transfers by touch. Snot, saliva, etc., get on the hands, the hands touch other surfaces, others then touch those surfaces, and then touch their eyes, mouth etc. The percent of effectiveness masks has is only a percent of effectiveness in the overall equation. If someone is symptomatic, then the phlegm, snot, sneezing, coughing, etc... The cloth masks stop a percent (the amount is debatable, but it seems likely it's not a large percent) of that. But particularly with the sacrament. If someone has the virus, then the sacrament, which involves touching and mouths, is a sure-fire way to pass the virus. It's more like wearing a prophylactic during the dinner date but then taking it off for the dirty deed.

I don't know how the parts per whatever of virus to surface area affects the chances of catching it. If someone sneezes without a cloth mask and spreads a million parts of the virus onto a surface vs a someone who sneezes with a mask and only spreads 2.5-thousand parts...does that mathematically equate to a 75% less chance of catching it from that surface? I think not. There comes a point where the chance of catching the virus from the amount of virus hanging out on the surfaces is pretty much 100%. Not wearing a mask may double, triple, quadruple the amount of virus hanging around (maybe...), and it doesn't change the chance of getting sick if the amount of virus hanging around is high enough. The conclusion that lessening the viral load by some percent means the chance of getting sick is lessened by some percent is a spurious one.

That wearing a mask increases the chance of not passing the virus by some percent is likely somewhat true (with a proper mask, certainly true)...but mathematically, just based on how it's passed, me sitting there breathing, a-symptomatically, with no other interactions has such a low chance of passing the virus anyhow, that we're talking moving the safety measure, in that case, from something like 1% to .8% chance from the mask-wearing difference alone. Essentially from nil to nil. Yes, that's 20% less risk of passing it. But in the grand chance of passing it it's practically meaningless. Whereas being around someone who's symptomatically carrying the virus the chance of getting the virus (particularly with the Omicron variant) is extremely high, and the wearing of a mask lowers that risk from very high to...very high minus some exceedingly small point of some overall percent.

(Note...all the numbers I'm throwing out are merely examples for reasoning's purpose. I don't know what the actual numbers are or what the actual correct mathematical conclusions are. But I know they aren't what mask-advocates are saying they are because the logic doesn't work.)

Additionally, (as best I know) everyone's getting Omicron. Period. Masked, vaccinated, etc. We're all getting it. If that's true, then what are we protecting ourselves against, exactly? I understand that being vaccinated typically means the results of catching it are less severe. So there's protection there. But masking doesn't affect how severely one gets it.

This seems to be playing out in what's being seen. Areas that mask and have mandates and are stringent about it are getting just as sick as those who don't. There doesn't seem to be much value to masking or locking down. In theory, both might have benefits. In practice, they just don't seem to make a difference.

Anyhow, I'm sure the argument could go on...and to, really, no great benefit. I don't feel I need to convince you that the wearing of masks is dumb (though I would dearly love to convince places that mandate it of that). I would, however, hope you'd accept that the reasoning some have in thinking they're dumb isn't simply because they're "deceived". It is not that simple. It's not as simple as, "well if I breath out X amount of virus without a mask and only Y percent of that with a mask that's Z% less risk to my neighbor, and that's a small price to pay". Smart, intelligent, thoughtful, people have good reasons to consider masks dumb. When you throw in the political oppression aspect, they have good reason to resist. Does that mean they should resist the prophet? No. But that doesn't mean they're straight up deceived.

Edited by The Folk Prophet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Vort said:

I was joking. Traveler's response to your statement seemed almost a restatement of your words, so I thought I'd give yet another restatement and remark on how different all our near-identical answers were.

So saying the same thing differently three times is the point of the posts.

Edited by mirkwood
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, mirkwood said:

So saying the same thing differently three times is the point of the posts.

I'm saying that I'm repetitive, that I'm redundant, that I say the same thing over and over again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.