The things we know for sure come to us from the Scripture — God’s revelation. But this knowledge interacts with a world & culture which is developing according to God’s eternal protocols.
His protocol for culture’s development (no matter which field we study) is experimental and scientific (Genesis 1:28, and God’s example in Genesis 1). We ‘try’ various ventures, to see which will work the best. This is true of science, medicine, architecture — and even trade and business. All of these are subject to God’s ethics, but that doesn’t manifest itself most of the time.*
Commanding ‘stand-in-place’ viral responses from the Governor’s mansion for COVID-19 arises in this context. Does the politician see himself in a God-ordained universe? Is he responsible to God, or merely men? How do we define the latter? Are his decrees judged by anyone, or God — in the end? These considerations play a role in such decisions, even as they develop in the context of social experimentation.
Governors must ask questions such as: What is the comparison cost-benefit between shutting down a society’s economy vs. the cost (or probability) of further infection? Is there not some admixture of these components, without seeing it all one way or the other? What would be the proper (or best) mixture?
But the politicians’ net results will certainly be compaired! And whichever proves itself superior will also be considered more moral — since God-created human lives are at stake. If the net effect of shutting down a state’s economy proves more costly than some sickness and death — then a governor’s activism may be faulted. Or his political passivity may be faulted more! It all depends on his decisions’ long-term outcomes.
All such political decisions thus become a combination of objective (so-called ‘ethical’) and subjective (experimental science & pragmatism) decisions and strategies. One is not completely separate from the other.
In a nation-state like America, where our various states may differ in their decisions, we have a perfect recipe for disposing of errors and seeing superior ideas manifest themselves. The best politicians will realize their ‘divine right’ only goes so far!
Ultimately they will be the slave of quality and the ‘good decision!’ Short-term, they have the power to rule; but long-term — they will only survive by making the best decisions!
*(I’m speaking specifically here of the development of the cultural decision, and not the end product. And obviously, if a clearly immoral means is employed in the process, then Ethics would manifest themselves immediately. But usually, cultural variables and not ethical — come into play in most cultural developments. For example, will a long or short fiber work best for the fabrication of a certain fabric?).