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Mask Mandates Under Utilitarian Philosophy

It is evident that today’s situation regarding mask and vaccine policy is heavily debated and we must come to a consensus for the betterment of this pandemic. Many argue that there should be a nationwide mask policy to slow the spread of the virus, taking countries like France and China for example, who have had most of the virus under control since 2021. Others argue that a mask mandate is violating their free will, citing the Constitution that it is a violation of their first amendment rights. From a philosophical standpoint, this turns into a question of who’s personal liberty should be prioritized? Under Utilitarian philosophy, we should create a situation that maximizes the well-being of most individuals, and one unmasked person has the ability to affect many people, so therefore a mask mandate is necessary.

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