The perversion of principles
Over the last few decades we have seen sound liberal principles become distorted and perverted until they are not worthy or recognisable principles any more. Such perversions have run roughshod over core societal principles. It’s almost as if a computer has been poorly programmed to understand ethics and has produced an utterly inverted set of new rules. At this point, we may need an entire ‘systems reboot’. This has happened through many areas of medicine and wider life. In every case a sensible balance has been lost seemingly from a desire to virtue signal. It can be a fine and subjective line between virtue and virtue signalling. The latter is most clearly distinguished from the former by its public declarations and willingness to court evil.
Examples of this come from the embracing of euthanasia in Canada with the result that 3% of deaths in Canada are now medical killings. Some of these are people simply wanting to avoid poverty or afraid of another lockdown. This seems like a slope rapidly moving from slippery to immoral black ice. Another example might be the relaxing of laws around theft in California which has contributed to a city now famed for having faeces and syringes on the streets and a population fleeing the resulting crime. Aside from these examples, the WHO has also become a prime virtue signaller.
One example of WHO virtue signalling is their repeated pronouncements on violence against women. What action have they taken? They have set goals, collected data and called for “leaders to address violence against women as a priority” but even they admit that their promotion of lockdowns made the situation worse.
A comprehensive recent example of WHO double-think was an announcement which said, “2.3 billion people globally—more than 1 in 4—use polluting fuels for cooking, leading to millions of deaths each year. This puts women and children particularly at greater risk of chronic diseases, while also contributing to climate change and perpetuating gender inequity.” The WHO gets to clothe itself with the virtue of being against chronic disease, sexism and climate change when all it was really doing was blaming the poorest for their cooking choices. Don’t be mistaken that the WHO is going to offer any help to these people. In 2017, the WHO spent more of its $4.4bn budget on travel expenses than fighting AIDS, malaria and TB combined. But have a heart – business class travel to jamborees like COP 27 don’t pay for themselves! Recent budget increases have been channelled towards their covid response and their latest demands for an extra $31bn would all be dedicated to ‘pandemic preparedness‘ (previous concerns about this definition here), not helping the world’s poorest.
The WHO’s virtue signalling has started to cross other ethical lines. There is a principle that women should be free to make reproductive choices. There is an inevitable balance in this between the rights of the woman and the rights of the unborn child and where this balance lies is culturally sensitive. This principle has been perverted by the WHO into a recommendation that “abortion should be fully decriminalized”, that it should “be available on the request of the woman, girl or other pregnant person” and a recommendation “against laws and other regulations that prohibit abortion based on gestational age limits.” On request abortion, far beyond when the foetus would be viable if born and in fact right up to the end of pregnancy, represents a big shift in morality. There may be rare situations, such as failure in brain development, where late abortions might well be justified, and are already legal in the UK. However, abortion on demand at any gestational age shows a total disregard for this balance. It’s as if, because those who fought for the right to choose were lauded as liberal heroes, others have assumed that they too would be lauded if they could extend the limits on abortion.
There is a principle that children should be educated about reproduction and sexual relationships before girls become fertile themselves. Again there is a balance between ensuring children are educated in advance of any need for that knowledge against giving them age inappropriate information. This principle has been perverted by the WHO into a plan to inform to 0-4 year olds of “enjoyment and pleasure when touching one’s own body,” to teach 6 year olds about sexual intercourse, 9 year olds about pornography and 15 year olds about “transactional sex (prostitution, but also sex in return for small gifts, meals / nights out, small amounts of money).” The principle of safeguarding children from adult content has been overridden here. Again, it was liberals who were lauded for ensuring children were given sexual health education and others seem to think they will be similarly praised for extending it.
There is a principle that free speech should only be restricted if it could result in direct physical harm to others. There is a grey area here between being protected from real world harm and being protected from what you choose to be offended by. This principle has been distorted so that even speech that causes “potential harm” has been censored. The WHO wants all member states to sign a treaty committing to conducting “regular social listening” and combating “misinformation.” It seems most governments are very ready to do this with doctors and others who raised concerns about the harms of covid policy were censored with the help of a well funded pseudo-anti-terrorism unit. However, the WHO have repeatedly spread misinformation themselves about covid such as saying spread was through droplets that fell rapidly to the ground and labelling the results of a study showing aerosol transmission as incorrect before conceding this was wrong in December 2021. In April 2021 they were telling people how to make cloth masks, complete with sewing lessons whereas in March 2020 they were correctly saying, “masks can give you a false feeling of protection and can even be a source of infection.”
The World Health Organisation seems to have lost any critical discernment it may have had regarding the essential difference between virtue signalling and being virtuous. What might be the unforeseen circumstances if such misinformation spreaders are given such wide-ranging supra-national powers? Liberal principles are being distorted in medicine, law enforcement, public health, reproductive rights, education, and freedom of speech. Handing power to the WHO in this way is not the answer.