Is anthropogenic global warming a falsifiable theory

Readers' blog

Letters to the editor on "" I am concerned about how lawyers are now relativizing the protection of life "Jürgen Habermas.»No basic right is unlimited. They can collide with one another «Klaus Günther". Exchange of ideas between Jürgen Habermas and Klaus Günther


Allowing people to drive is also about risking the lives of some for the sake of everyone else. - Alix Kokula


If the preservation of life has absolute priority, then even if there is only one individual to be protected, everything should be subordinated to him, right? What if it were about 100 people? By 1 percent of the population? No, I cannot accept this thesis. I'm 87 now and I wouldn't want the whole country to be paralyzed because of me! We once learned: the individual is important, but the big picture is more important. - R. Wittig


A very smart and balanced article. For many of my age (70) it is also quite uncomfortable. He asks important questions, especially of my wealthy generation. We are protected beyond measure by politics. For us the economy stands still. Will we be sufficiently grateful? What contribution will we make after the crisis? We have to give something back. But our children don't have to be grateful to us that we financed their studies. That is the duty of the parents. Should our children now primarily pay the burdens for the crisis through no fault of their own with their taxes? Can we old people do without? Let us deal responsibly with our prosperity! - Andreas John


The discussion by Jürgen Habermas and Klaus Günther tries to answer whether the protection of life has top priority or whether it is legitimate to weigh up with other basic rights such as the right to dignity mentioned in Article 1 of the Basic Law. As intellectually stimulating as the presentations are, the discussion unfortunately does not provide a handout for the politicians who have to decide on easing the isolation of residents in old people's homes. The Covid-19 virus and its particular danger to the elderly have caused the politically responsible to massively curtail the basic rights of people in old people's homes in order to give priority to the protection of life. You are hitting a population group that can no longer fight for their rights alone and for whom there is more than one life-threatening risk in this crisis situation. With the exit ban, the right to freedom was massively restricted. With the ban on visits, which forbids any contact with relatives, the right to self-determination was undermined and the mental and spiritual health of the elderly was endangered.

A restriction of fundamental rights is only appropriate if it achieves its target - in this case the protection of life. This is obviously not the case with the isolation of old people in homes: 30% of those who died with Covid 19 are residents of old people's homes. It is therefore clear that the massive measures have failed to achieve their intended purpose. Why is that? It was not taken into account that the nurses were allowed to continue to have contacts and thus became multipliers in old people's homes. There was a lack of effective hygiene concepts, protective clothing, disinfectants and weekly tests by the staff to isolate infected people as quickly as possible and to prevent them from spreading in homes. Basic rights were easy to curtail. Why was the necessary missing despite pandemic plans and exercises? Discussion of the reasons for this failure is urgently needed. - Prof. Dr. Sabine Kloth


Is the state entitled to weigh survival against, for example, the rights of others? In any case, this has been the new standard in Germany since May 6th. Example: The Prime Minister Armin Laschet spoke on May 6th. with pride from his dashboard, with which he would like to have the areas of society in NRW key figure-driven in the holistic control. With this technocratic approach, his irritation is only too understandable if the virologists do not finally provide a final key figure in order to be able to include the corona-related life risk aspect in the quantifying, pre-structured weighing for the control. This control logic in NRW seems to be based less on legal theory than on game theory. In order to achieve a possible optimum weighing up, there are systematic relativizations that clearly undermine the legal-theoretical standard developed in the exchange of ideas between Jürgen Habermas and Klaus Günther. Thought through to the end: If the balancing logic as such is made absolute, fundamental rights are obsolete. - Reinhard Koine


Protection of life or freedom? I did not understand all aspects of the correspondence between Jürgen Habermas and the legal theorist Klaus Günther. They seemed pretty much in agreement to me. Nevertheless, he has helped me to better understand my prioritization of the protection of life - and thus myself. Life as a physical one cannot be replaced by anything. There is no alternative in itself. The loss of life is final. The damage caused by deprivation of liberty, be it psychological, social or economic, we can either deal with and deal with in solidarity and individually, or we can not do it. We have a choice as individuals and as a society. And we should use these constructively. - Dr. phil. Beate West-Leuer


The current discussion about the need to weigh up fundamental rights against each other suffers from a fatal error: the right to life noted in Article 2 of the Basic Law, which is now supposed to come to terms with the conflicting interests of other fundamental rights, does not exist. Human life is a fact that simply cannot grant itself a right to this very fact and thus to itself. If one suspects this nonetheless, this would assume that the living had reason to consciously decide in favor of their continued existence and thus against a negation by themselves and then, as it were to protect themselves from themselves, have a right to the Fact of their life endowed. However, there is no apparent reason for such an assumption.

If the Basic Law assumes the dignity of the human being as an inherent fact to which there is no need to assign or establish a right, how much more must it be the much more obvious fact of human life than inherent in and thus take it for granted and then regard this fact as inviolable as well as human dignity without granting a right to it? Human dignity is a human creation, it is not the fact of life, it is what he is born into. Life is conceivable without dignity, dignity without life is not. The constitutions of the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse took this into account a long time ago. There it says: "Life and health, honor and dignity of the human being are inviolable" (Hessen), or "Human life is inviolable" (Rhineland-Palatinate). - Bernhard Langlotz


The debate initiated by Wolfgang Schäuble against the primacy of the “right to life” and for a “mutual restriction of fundamental rights” calls for opposition. The contradiction must justify the primacy of the 'right to life' and at the same time argue against the possibility of relativizing this primacy to the 'other basic rights': A basic right as the 'right to life' has a special position that is derived from the direct reference to the existence of the individual, on his concrete bodily being, which is only possible as a living being. The content of this basic right is thus largely determined: life is or it is not. This dichotomy carries over to the 'right to life: there is a' right to life 'or there is none, there is never a right to a little life. A 'right to life' cannot be restricted or relativized by anything else. It only experiences a restriction in the sense that one's own right to life is limited to the right to life of others. In such a clear existential relationship, the 'right to life' is also not open to any modifying discussion in society as a whole.

Such a discourse could only be about how the 'right to life' could best be satisfied, but not about what life and what non-life actually is. This special position results in a natural advance of the 'right to life', which must be justified in terms of form and content. The formal requirement is based on the fact that the 'other basic rights' must presuppose physical life for their work; their effectiveness is dependent on a recognized 'right to life'. The priority in terms of content arises on the one hand from the resistance of the 'right to life' to changing interpretations (life is always clearly life), on the other hand it results from the inevitable bond to the existence of the individual: in emergency situations everyone will be open to themselves 'Right to life' must and be called before he claims the 'other basic rights' for himself. - These 'other basic rights' are different: they focus on the individual only as a person, as a socially acting subject. In terms of content, they have a certain openness: while life is or is not, what freedom means, for example, can mean different things.

The relevant interpretation of the term must be decided in the social discourse. The 'other basic rights' can thus be put into perspective and against each other, and can and must be weighed up against each other in the event of a conflict. - It follows: The 'right to life' and the 'other basic rights' describe two ranges of values ​​with completely different formal and content-related properties. This means that they cannot simply be related to one another or weighed up against one another, although in reality, as the corona pandemic shows, they can certainly conflict with one another. This dilemma can only be solved by referring to the natural precedence of the 'right to life', which was derived above from its existential ties to the individual, and placing this 'right to life' hierarchically above the 'other basic rights'. The dilemma, on the other hand, cannot be resolved if the discussion ignores these different value ranges. We would then either have to detach the 'right to life' from its existential reference and convert it to a right oriented towards the requirements of society as a whole (analogous to the 'other basic rights'), as Wolfgang Schäuble does.

However, this would relativize this 'right to life' in a way that is difficult to bear and become the subject of a social discourse about what life actually is and what is not. Not only would the primacy of a 'right to life' be lost, a 'right to life' in general would not survive such a discourse. Conversely, if we were to take the 'other basic rights' out of the social context in which they necessarily exist and bind them to a respective individual corporeality, i.e. if each individual as the last instance would fill them with content, then these 'other basic rights' would be immediate mutate into mere claims that open gates and doors to the arbitrariness of the individual. They too would not survive such a turn. - Dr. Roland Schürmann


Life is not above other human rights. It is the fear of death that drives people to such conclusions. However, the end of life has a right to dignity. But it is death that stands above all worldly things. That is why he is seen in various cultures as an advisor for human life. Obviously, the fathers of the Basic Law were also guided by this after the experience of the atrocities of the Nazi regime: “Human dignity is inviolable.” A great model for humanity and peace that extends far into the future. - Walter Moritz


I think it would be bad if fundamental rights collided; they should add up. What helps the patient who has just been deprived of a life-support device - without having wished it in advance for such a situation - but who now still has the right to freedom of assembly? Macabre, nothing but that. For me, the inviolable dignity of human beings includes, without limitation, first and foremost the right to life itself. What else? If the Basic Law sees it differently, it should be changed as soon as possible. - Ulf May


Habermas is at the age where the coronavirus can quickly send you from life to death. As a philosopher he can of course deal better with the meeting of life and death than the lawyer Günther, who is also younger. Whether the old, sick person, who has been catapulted into a life-threatening situation by the virus, wants to die or still want to stay alive, can only be decided in his own dignity. It is, so to speak, his very own highest authority as a living God only comes afterwards. For about 3 months we have been experiencing a condensation of impressions from a human life. The sad climax is currently the death of mostly old people and the confrontation of younger generations with it. Death and human dignity suddenly appear in a context that must be alien to younger people in particular. You now have a chance to see that human dignity is more important than the limited resources of a certain amount of doctors, nurses, medical equipment, intensive care beds, etc.

The external view of the pandemic, on the other hand, is dominated by bans on going out and meeting, as well as travel and vacation restrictions. There lies the interface to the possibilities of providing medical help in order to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the pandemic from overwhelming everyone and everything. The external framework conditions for mastering the pandemic, in turn, must not come into direct conflict with the unrestricted right to dignity. That is where the social problem lies. Politics doesn't have it easy there. You have to apply a variety of measures here in order to find a balance that protects the health of the population and prevents the danger of a collapsing economy. Politics has to adapt to the judgment of epidemic and medical experts without neglecting other important areas of politics. The economic consequences in the country, in Europe and around the world, which cannot yet be properly assessed, are the next round in the fight against the treacherous pandemic. The big question is whether humanity learns anything from it. -Klaus Reisdorf


Thank you for your enlightening exchange of views on the question of fundamental rights. You move the proportionality of the restriction of basic rights in dealing with the corona pandemic. I am moved by the proportionality of the resources that we are currently using. stuck in the health system. Because what is the healthy development of our children, the human closeness and affection, the cultural and religious life, the functioning of the economy ..., all these are essential resources of our society, which the shutdown has paralyzed for the functioning of the health system. You say very clearly: "No society can invest all of its resources in the health system."

But where did we end up with our "highly complex and expensive medical care system" if its ability to act depends on the number of ventilation places and the development of a vaccine? Where did we end up with our belief in science when human affection and closeness are no longer recognized as essential for health? It is not to be expected that the corona pandemic will remain an isolated incident. How do we want to deal with our resources in the future? How does scientific medicine get out of the impasse into which it has maneuvered? I specifically say scientific medicine, because among my medical colleagues I have seen people and humane behavior. - Christiane Steigerwald


I am surprised that both authors do not differentiate more clearly between life and protection of life. On the one hand, both terms and their meanings belong together, on the other hand, living conditions or Change the conditions of existence without restricting life itself. Changed living conditions can have a positive influence on our experiences: through new challenges, a change of perspective and a reflection on core values. The currently prescribed regulations restrict our freedom of movement, but not the quality of life as such. The principle of proportionality points out that selective arguments limit or even make it impossible to make decisions.

If there were a rigid axis between life and living conditions, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for example, would not have been able to speak of good powers that made him expect the future with confidence. Such a view does not exist in a vacuum, but is interwoven with basic conditions and their classifications. Incidentally, life is initially defined up to the point of irreversible death. Whether we call a state afterwards death or regard it as another dimension of life is a question of faith. In this area of ​​tension, upcoming decisions should be made, not one-dimensional, but flexible and elastic. In this respect, I cannot unreservedly share Mr Habermas' criticism of Boris Palmer's statement. Okay, he should have been more cautious about what his approach is, but in principle clinging to life circumstances does not automatically lead to the maintenance or specification of life qualities. - Christoph Müller-Luckwald


The exchange between philosophy and legal theory - Habermas / Günther - expected with great pleasure and interest. After a thorough reading, key points emerged (finally): Basic rights should also be weighed against each other according to the principle of proportionality. It is difficult to weigh up because the boundaries between avoidable and unavoidable consequences cannot be clearly determined and subjective rights must be included. The latter could refer to an example given by Sartre in 1946: A pupil has to decide whether he can continue to look after his old, lonely mother or whether he can contribute to the eventual liberation of many by participating in the war. Such a decision requires the best of knowledge and conscience and ultimately a clear yes or no from the responsible, insofar lonely person. That is also true today. - Dr. Gero Kofler


Your opening credits to the Habermas / Günther conversation triggered something for me that goes far beyond Corona. The economic interest groups justifiably point to the "considerable social, physical, mental and cultural damage as side effects" of the quarantine policy. Remarkable, because were and are not often enough the worldwide side effects of your own neoliberal economic activity? But what if the policy of rearmament, the blockade of unpleasant states and the threatening gestures lead to a new war in Europe? Have we even considered what side effects this would have? In contrast, the current pandemic and its so loudly lamented side effects would only be a mild breeze of the most harmless kind. A new war would even make a conversation between Habermas and Günther superfluous, because it would certainly come too late. Fortunately, war is unthinkable, as unthinkable as a pandemic or a climate catastrophe - we just have to close our eyes very, very tightly. - Klaus Landahl


What about the human dignity of the lonely elderly people who are currently vegetating and declining in many homes, that is, visibly losing their quality of life? What about the human dignity of the mentally unstable people who are afraid anyway and who shouldn't let anyone get closer than 1.5 meters? What about comfort, touch, empathy (e.g. by hugging), which probably save more lives and contribute to a healthy immune system, more resilience and more life satisfaction?

Here, as almost always in the current reporting, it is only “expected” that nobody has to be denied a ventilation place (although ventilation, if I understand the autopsy results correctly, does not always help); the "collateral damage" in people who die from the consequences of despair, fear, loneliness is simply accepted (because the causes from which they then die are collectively accepted and are "usual" anyway). Apart from the collective message to children, among others, that the other person could primarily be a carrier of the evil virus and therefore dangerous. And that maybe you are to blame if you visit grandma and grandpa: “Don't bring Corona to grandma” (sic). - Dr. Katharina Zöller


I have seldom read such enlightening lines about the depth of the meaning of our Basic Law - thank you very much for this exchange of ideas! The reading triggered a thought in me that could serve to further deepen the topic: Since the creation of our constitution shortly after the liberation from the Nazi dictatorship, the importance of the calculation of probability for the risk assessment of our networked social life has increased enormously. Mr. Günther emphasizes that "depending on how well a society equips its health system and keeps it functioning, ... it (shifts) the line between unavoidable and avoidable fatal consequences of 'general life risks'" ". However: The number of traffic fatalities due to missing or stricter speed restrictions on our roads is in any case not burdened by "considerable forecast uncertainties" (K. Günther), but mathematically reliable knowledge of the probability calculation.

The politicians who have hitherto prevented all parliamentary initiatives to introduce a maximum speed on German autobahns and justify this with the (speeder) “freedom for free citizens” would have to explain to the relatives of an accident victim “that he will die for the sake of the freedom of others (had) ”(K. Günther). The "flat curve" of the epidemic spread of the corona is a mathematical variable that most citizens and politicians consider to be a plausible justification for a massive restriction of civil liberties. Can our top law enforcement officers actually allow innumerable human lives to be sacrificed on the altar of pathological PS madness? To expand this question, I only allow myself to point out the impending climate catastrophe and the unscrupulous ignorance of those responsible for the economy and politics. Mr Habermas is right when he demands equality before the (basic) law: Democratic citizens “cannot agree to any policy which, contrary to their equality, jeopardizes the lives of some for the interests of all others”. This also applies vice versa! - Viktor Rintelen


It would be difficult to shape everyday political life with Habermas's demand for unrestricted protection of life. The basic rights and in particular the right to the protection of life apply in principle without restriction, but are constantly subject to certain restrictions. This arises from the fact that fundamental rights keep colliding with each other. How else could it be justified that we accept more than 4,000 deaths in road traffic every year although these are "in principle" avoidable. Countless similar examples can be found. Here Prof. Günther has a much more realistic view of things. It is important to maintain proportionality. Ultimately, life is always about a weighing process and it is necessary to make respective political decisions in such a way that each right is “interpreted as part of a comprehensive political and moral theory of the constitutional order”.

This is the only way for the state to remain able to act, even if fundamental rights are restricted in individual cases. We are grateful to Prof. Günther for contrasting the moral rigor of Mr. Habermas with the reality of life and the need for the state to remain capable of acting. It is the old contradiction between theory and practice that has to be resolved again and again in a free social order. That never works without z. Partly painful friction, but if the spirit of the constitution is preserved, then these legal conflicts have to be endured. Unfortunately, there cannot be a solution that is satisfactory for everyone. Overall, I would like to thank the editors for this intellectually engaging discussion, I would like more of it. - Dr. Martin Klupp


God knows I am neither cowardly nor lazy when it comes to challenging philosophical and legal discussions - but with this text I had to unbuckle in places. Gentlemen: how fewshould read that ?! At one point roughly in the middle of the text, the dilemma is brought to the (practically comprehensible) point: “... you would also have to explain to the first patient, who can no longer be ventilated as a result of the relaxation, that he is for the sake of the freedom of others to die. ”This dilemma could be solved by giving each individual the choice instead of a general decision: freedom or security. Anyone who opts for freedom receives an entry in their identity card that entitles them to visit restaurants, football stadiums, carnival meetings, discos, ..., ....

In return, he declares his waiver in the event that he falls ill with Covid19 and the intensive care beds / ventilators become scarce. Sounds harsh and would therefore take some getting used to for the members of my guild. Seen in the light of day, this form of triage would be less questionable than others, and it would also relieve us doctors. And such a regulation allows each individual to set the priorities for his life himself, where a generally valid regulation - this shows the long text by Habermas / Günther - will always remain controversial. - Dr. med. Christian Rudolph


The exchange of ideas between Jürgen Habermas and Klaus Günther has its starting point in statements in the political arena, which relate the - desired or rejected - "easing" of the corona measures to a fundamental relativability of the right to life or to its balancing with other freedoms . The conversation begins with Jürgen Habermas' concern about the fact that the state weighs the lives of individuals against the well-being of large social groups and ends with the assumption, which is obvious to a discourse theorist, but ultimately not elaborated, that it can be done on the basis of a democratic will-formation not have a policy that jeopardizes the lives of some for the interests of all others.

The discussion, which is based on the normative hierarchy of fundamental rights, suffers from the fact that, on the one hand, it does not distinguish too little between concrete goods and abstract risk considerations in its fundamental rights consideration and, on the other hand, that politicalToo much of the process of this risk assessment is lost. If one analyzes the constitutional jurisprudence on the “relativability” of the right to life and its relationship to the guarantee of human dignity, in the present context the “final rescue shot” or the case law on abortion cited in the exchange of ideas comes to mind, but rather the decision on the Aviation Security Act the year 2006. In its verdict on the unconstitutionality of the authorization basis, which allowed the shooting down of a passenger aircraft misused as a weapon, the Federal Constitutional Court relied less on the right to life in Article 2 (2) of the Basic Law than on the guarantee of human dignity in Article 1 Para. 1 GG based.

The decisive factor was that the passengers of the hijacked aircraft find themselves in a hopeless situation in which they can no longer influence their living conditions independently of others. If in this situation the state takes the last resort of shooting down the machine, it is pursuing the goal of saving the lives of the potentially threatened victims on the ground, which it is even obliged to do according to the protective content of Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law ; at the same time, however, the aircraft's passengers become pure objects of government action. “Such treatment disregards those affected as subjects with dignity and inalienable rights.By using their killing as a means to save others, they are reified and at the same time deprived of their rights. "

From this it follows that, according to the normative order of the Basic Law, there is of course no justification for sacrificing the life of one in the interests of the well-being of another (or a majority of others). Since a person endowed with an inalienable dignity is always an “end in itself”, it can never be permissible to deprive him of his right to life in order to achieve another purpose without this being based on a freely responsible decision by the person concerned.

However, this principle applies to a conflict situation in which specific persons and specific legal interests are facing each other. In the current crisis, the aforementioned case law is to be transferred to the "triage" - which fortunately has not materialized in Germany so far - in which the treating doctor has to decide which sick person should be rescued with the help of the ventilator and which person not due to the lack of another device more can be saved. Our constitutional order - rightly - does not offer a normative solution to this dilemma, because any weighing up between the value of one life and the value of the other would affect the human dignity of those affected, would make one patient the object of the other patient's chances of survival.

Such conflict situations are not at issue when there is a current dispute about which “loosening” are to be responsible for and which role the affected fundamental rights play. In the case of the state decision to allow restaurants to be reopened, for example, specific persons are not degraded to objects whose death is accepted by innkeepers in the interests of economic survival. Rather, such state decisions are based on abstract balancing between risks (with regard to the infection process) and advantages (with regard to the exercise of basic rights by certain groups of people or the general economic situation). However, such considerations are in principle an everyday process of state standard-setting. Every regulation of the road traffic regulations, every fire protection regulation or every pollutant limit value draws a line between the risks that are still tolerated and those that are no longer accepted. It is often completely clear and not infrequently also statistically verifiable that a stricter regulation would result in a lower number of deaths, while a more lax regulation would lead to more deaths - but would also result in lower burdens for individuals or the general public. No such decision fundamentally calls into question the normative significance of the right to life.

If you look at this, the current discussion is astonishing, especially in the light of other debates that have only recently taken place in this country. It is worth remembering the political zeal with which well-known political actors fought against diesel driving bans, although it has been proven that the waiver of such a ban leads to a higher number of deaths. When weighed up against the freedom of diesel drivers, the right to life of those living next to busy roads was evidently of little importance. With similar unanimity, a general speed limit on German roads has been prevented for decades, although it cannot be seriously denied that this measure would have saved many thousands of lives over the years. The examples show: it is part of everyday political business to accept statistically predictable death rates in order to enable other advantages for individuals or the general public. In principle, the subject of democratic decision-making is where the limit of the risk that is still acceptable is drawn. Only in rare cases does jurisprudence intervene to enforce the state's duty to protect the right to life.

The measures to contain the corona pandemic also do not follow a fundamentally different scheme. They are neither based on an absolutization of the protection of life, nor do they relativize the fundamental importance of Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law. Rather, they draw - every day anew and on the basis of a very uncertain scientific knowledge - limits of the risk to be tolerated. Of course, there can and must be a dispute about how the risks for life and health on the one hand are weighed up against the risks for various legal interests and economic development on the other. However, nothing is gained with fundamental statements about the “absoluteness” of the protection of life.

It is therefore correct that the exchange of ideas ultimately raises “democratic decision-making” to the standard of criticism. In fact, in our role as citizens, we all have to decide - as I said: every day anew - about which risks we are prepared to take for our (all) life and health and which other disadvantages we accept - or not. Thispolitical process - and not the abstract order of fundamental rights - should be the subject of the debate.“Worrying” is nevertheless indicated, because, as in any political debate, it is also currently the case that the influence and perceptibility of the positions are by no means evenly distributed.

So it is to be thought that in our education system the success in school of (comparatively) motivated high school students in the final year is obviously more important than the goal of getting the previously disadvantaged students from poorly educated families back into classroom teaching as quickly as possible. It is also surprising that the day-care centers that have (finally) been praised as educational institutions in recent years are suddenly only being perceived as care institutions for the children of working parents. And the question of political influence arises even more when the football league and large amusement parks reopen, while children and young people stand in front of closed football fields and youth teams in popular sports fall apart due to a lack of training.

The debate takes on a fundamental rights dimension again, however, when the premise of the democratic formation of wills is questioned, according to which we, as addressees of norms, have to follow rules that we have given ourselves in our role as citizens because they are all of us equallyapproach. Let us assume by way of a thought experiment that the corona virus would definitely only affect people over 70 and that a vaccine would definitely be available in two years. Under these conditions, the veil of ignorance would be removed, which usually forces each individual to take into account the risky consequences of the decision to be made for the political decision-making process ownLife to consider. In the specific situation of the pandemic, this thought experiment would have the consequence that the political majority - namely the entirety of the under 68-year-olds - could decide on easing measures, the possibly fatal effects of which only affect a certain minority.

Under these conditions of an inoperable political discourse, the basic legal system would actually have to step in to protect the inalienable rights of the minority against their objectification by the majority. In reality, the conditions of this thought experiment are not available in pure form for the time being. The experiment shows, however, that the basic right to protect life is less threatened by abstract relativizations than by a situation in which the health risks resulting from the individual decisions are distributed very differently across the population groups. Against theseThere is a risk of fundamental rights protection. - Dr. Tobias Dear


Thanks to ZEIT for this article. It illuminates the depths and heights, breadths and widths of a topic that may appear to many as a dilemma. Günther twists and turns in the dilemma, while Habermas brings the problem straight to the point. It can also be ranked eo ipsodo not give a competing, but only a single uppermost singular value. As already written in the American Declaration of Independence of 1776, this is life first: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.The founding fathers didn't ex nihilo invented; they were inspired by the ideas of the European Enlightenment. They, who wanted to leave the shackles of the old aristocratic Europe behind, did not put freedom but life first in a newly won freedom. What would motorists have given for surviving in spite of their convictions and their martyrdom? What use is freedom to man if he is already dead, if his dignity is gone before the end of his life? It is only in death that we are probably all equal, but in this life we ​​may not willfully jeopardize the lives of some for the sake of others. - Dr. Erich custom


In the discussions about absolute vs. weighted protection of life or young vs. old, I miss the voice of the protected, the very old, the very sick. How much protection of life do you want? Have you entrusted your will to your doctor or a living will? Were you able to find out what intensive medical recovery might mean in the case of severe pneumonia, and what does palliative medical death mean? - S. Eckardstein


The exchange of ideas on fundamental rights, balancing and proportionality ignores the preamble of the Basic Law. The conception of the world and man formulated therein, "Conscious of his responsibility to God and man ..." is the value basis of the fundamental rights formulated below. The term 'human dignity' in Article 1 forms the bridge to enforceable rights. Dignity is embodied "in mortal subjects made of flesh and blood ..." (J. Habermas) who meet in an individualized, globalized world with very different consciousnesses, images of God, the world and people. Practical life demands a legal basis. But philosophers, legal theorists and judges also carry their own personal “preamble”. -A. Morguet

In the discussion about the weighing of interests under the sign of Corona, most recently highlighted in an article by Jürgen Habermas and Klaus Günther that is well worth reading (edition 20/2020), one aspect has always come too short for me: that is the practical constraint of the exponential function. In my opinion, this has a very fundamental influence on how we can shape ethics and norms. All of the articles I have read on this topic so far, however, always implicitly assume “linear relationships” and try to derive a corona ethic with analogies from other areas of morality and responsibility. However, this is doomed to failure on fundamental considerations, as I will explain further below.

To start with, a short parable that should clarify the problem: there is certainly hardly any discussion about the fact that a pistol is regulated differently in gun law than an atom bomb - after all, the damage that a single person can cause with the latter is considerably greater than that resulting from the use or abuse of the former. Ordinarily, a pistol is a pistol and an atomic bomb is an atomic bomb. The effect of the exponential function, which is the basis of the infection process, is now comparable to a situation in which a pistol can become an atom bomb at any time.

Any discussion about weighing up fundamental rights and about safeguarding and restricting (personal) freedom is ultimately based on human dignity as the dignity of the individual. First of all, this is right and important and, regardless of various excesses, distortions and setbacks, has also led to a significant strengthening of humanity worldwide, combined with an ever increasing demand that citizens place on their governments [I am in this argument maybe just a little influenced by Martha Nussbaum's “Creating Capabilities”, which I just finished reading]. There is a rich history and literature on the fundamentals and design of ethics, legal and social norms, and the ongoing discussion about them is of immense importance for maintaining a living democracy.