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Defeasible Reasoning and the Coronavirus Counterculture

Fiscally speaking, the good people of our nation are dying. Some are dying to get back to work and earn a paycheck and others are dying to receive funds from the federal government as their businesses die from stagnation amid coronavirus quarantine. I would be remiss not to mention that some and very few at that, statistically speaking, are dying from COVID-19, but God bless them nonetheless because no one wants their loved one to succumb to it.

As this weekend ends week 6 (day 42 on Sunday) of social distancing, quarantine, and shelter in place orders, I’m compelled to put my perspective on paper. I have been a good American and a good citizen of my community by staying home. I respect your right to stay home and consider yourself safe, but I also respect a person’s right to peacefully assemble and protest with or without masks.

For you folks who think protesting is stupid, and for those of you wishing coronavirus on the protesters, shame on you. They have presented defeasible arguments and are Americans exercising their Constitutional rights to do so. For those who don’t understand defeasible reasoning, here is the definition:

Reasoning is defeasible when the corresponding argument is rationally compelling but not deductively valid. The truth of the premises of a good defeasible argument provide support for the conclusion, even though it is possible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false.It usually occurs when a rule is given, but there may be specific exceptions to the rule, or subclasses that are subject to a different rule.”

Happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. Ask yourself about the freedoms this country provides for you and your children and determine whether you’re taking anything for granted. Understand that some folks are indebting themselves to the government in exchange for continued quarantine and a safety net for their livelihood.

Being a person who doesn’t go along just to get along, makes me curious about acceptable norms in a post-shelter-in-place world and herein lies more defeasible reasoning. Some of our friends and neighbors are ready and willing to risk their exposure to the “invisible enemy” because they’re willing to work in its midst just as many essential workers are doing now. Isn’t it just as important for their businesses and households to thrive because every worker is essential to someone, and always to our society, as they do their part?

There is a distinguishable difference between people who are dependent on their government and people who believe their government should serve its constituents. The new normal should be decided by society, not government.

A counterculture is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era.”

The coronavirus era will leave an irrevocable mark on the world, but which culture you subscribe to will forever define you as a person. I’m afraid of the virus, but haven’t worn a mask to date. I’m a hugger and a handshaker, but I won’t do it to keep us both safe. I have no intention of attending anything where a large crowd might gather in the foreseeable future, but I will do it when I have more information. Perhaps our culture will simply be defined by a mask, but do not infringe upon my liberties in order to make it the status quo.

We’re lucky that our Hamilton County Council was prudent to save tens of millions of dollars in order to make payroll for the Sheriff’s office and jail thanks to a few pragmatic fiscal conservatives. I’m hopeful that municipalities and townships will nix all costly inflated projects in favor of paying their bills and debt load. School districts should find the irony in their big empty buildings (and the timing of our property tax bills) by resigning themselves to making better, tech-savvy choices in the absence of students due of the huge new batch of homeschooled kids. Logic dictates our local government use budget as a verb today. This is another example of a defeasible argument in a COVID culture.

In closing, to all the essential workers in healthcare, grocery stores, first-responders, housekeeping staff, restaurant employees and many more, please know that most of us have done our very best by staying home to keep you and ourselves safe and appreciate everything you’ve done to date to support us! Your effort will be remembered historically in our culture, but many are ready to join you in the fight to support our community's and country’s economy.

The Fiscal Conservatives of Hamilton County is an multi-partisan organization of Hamilton County, Indiana residents who are volunteers focused on fiscal policy and fiscal issues. It is free of outside control by any individual, organization or group. It exists to distribute opinions on issues affecting Hamilton County residents. Opinions expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of all members of the FCoHC or its board members.

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