Someone I know shared one of those “you have a right not to wear a mask, but businesses have a right to not serve you” / “you are free to make a choice, but that means accepting the consequences of your actions” cliches; this was my response.
If someone points a gun at you and says “drop your pants or I’ll shoot”, you have a right to not drop your pants and accept the consequences of your actions.
This is an empty tautological statement (any reaction or response to an action you take is a consequence that you face), and being technically true masks the actual problem, it excuses the guy with the gun and ignores his wrongdoing.
It also equivocates between a single business having some weird rule (putting cloth over your face does NOT stop a virus–you know this!) and the government mandating that all businesses enforce the rule–very big difference!
The biggest problem with mask mandates is how it enforces participation in a big lie. For people who value honesty, who believe truth is real and transcendentally important, the fact that this is required to do most things in the public space–including getting food for one’s family–is not merely a minor inconvenience.
Allowing big lies to stand invites more big lies and contributes to mass psychosis. It’s easy and most convenient to just put on a mask and participate, and for those who believe this life is ultimately meaningless and just about avoiding suffering, grabbing pleasure when there’s an opportunity, and generally passively accepting things as they seem to be, it makes sense to just put on a mask and get on with the ever more limited conception of “life” that we’re being boxed into.
For those who believe that things like truth and beauty are truly real and significant, existing beyond the life and death of any individual or civilization, we can at least recognize that unthnking (anti-thinking) compliance with big lies is wrong.
Even if we fail to muster up the modicum of courage required to stand against social ostracism and verbal abuse to do so in deed, we can at least recognize that we ought to, and by doing so can retain some honesty and goodness in the core of what we are.