Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 08:12 am
All arguments for seat belt legislation seem to center around whether or not wearing a seat belt reduces automobile injuries and fatalities. I think that is actually irrelevant to a certain degree. It wouldn't matter if seat belts reduce injuries and fatalities by 100%. It's still up to each individual to decide if they want to protect themselves. Otherwise, it's a slippery slope. If we are allowed to mandate our safety to each other then perhaps all risky activities will be outlawed. What's next? We can reduce high blood pressure by outlawing table salt? We can reduce skiing accidents by outlawing skiing?

Can someone explain to me what gives us the right to tell other adults they have to protect themselves?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 6,394 • Replies: 103

 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 08:51 am
@Night Ripper,
Lack of useing seatbelts usually have fatal consequenses, the other things very rarely have fatal consequenses.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 09:03 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;173375 wrote:
Lack of useing seatbelts usually have fatal consequenses, the other things very rarely have fatal consequenses.


You are mistaken. A high sodium diet often has fatal consequences. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, renal failure, stomach cancer, death. All of these things are linked to high sodium diets yet there is no law against it and rightfully so because each person gets to decide how they will treat their body.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 10:57 am
@Night Ripper,
I assume we are talking about the driver and not the guy in the back? Why do we ever make laws to regulate the stupid? If he does not kill himself, he will be seriously damage himself and cause a major expense at the ER.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:19 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173380 wrote:
You are mistaken. A high sodium diet often has fatal consequences. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, renal failure, stomach cancer, death. All of these things are linked to high sodium diets yet there is no law against it and rightfully so because each person gets to decide how they will treat their body.
It is very difficult to achive, only by longer period of time, you can die by this.

And since salt is an essential thing for humans, it's very difficult to outlaw, just because people are stupid and can't control teir intake, it shouldn't be outlawed entirely.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:43 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;173417 wrote:
It is very difficult to achive, only by longer period of time, you can die by this.

And since salt is an essential thing for humans, it's very difficult to outlaw, just because people are stupid and can't control teir intake, it shouldn't be outlawed entirely.


The point is, people are allowed to hurt themselves if they are doing so in an informed manner. If a person knows the risks involved in having unprotected sex then it's their choice to do so anyways and possibly contract HIV.
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:56 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173361 wrote:
All arguments for seat belt legislation seem to center around whether or not wearing a seat belt reduces automobile injuries and fatalities. I think that is actually irrelevant to a certain degree. It wouldn't matter if seat belts reduce injuries and fatalities by 100%. It's still up to each individual to decide if they want to protect themselves. Otherwise, it's a slippery slope. If we are allowed to mandate our safety to each other then perhaps all risky activities will be outlawed. What's next? We can reduce high blood pressure by outlawing table salt? We can reduce skiing accidents by outlawing skiing?

Can someone explain to me what gives us the right to tell other adults they have to protect themselves?


Hi Nightripper,

Here in the Uk, wearing seatbelts has been law for a long time. I would feel less secure if I didn't wear one.
Why do those in power create laws that force people to protect themselves?
The strain on the health service? - The trauma to relatives? etc.
What if we sent soldiers into war without weapons, or firemen into burning buildings without respirators?
The Uk is "health and safety" mad at the moment, it all appears to be OTT, but liability claims are bankrupting companies left, right and centre - That's not good for the companies involved, employment, Inland revenue, govt stats, etc.

Ultimately, if we choose to remain in a country where the laws are not that agreeable - We must comply with them. Emigration is always an option, I guess?

Anyway, have a great day, Nightripper.

Mark...
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:13 pm
@Night Ripper,
Seat belt laws are a result of public safety and reducing their costs. If the health care system were mostly public rather than private in the U.S. it would be more obvious as to why seat belt laws are legislated common sense. Seat belts reduce emergency services costs and medical costs. Saving lives is not the most important thing, but it is a nice byproduct for those who would have been affected.

Now days, there is also another damn good reason to where seat belts--drivers texting while driving. Any time a driver is forced to make a sudden hard break, stop, or swerve, they are at risk of being hit by someone that is totally not paying attention to the road. Wrecked cars imprinted by the front of others is a more common occurrence as a result.

Common sense should just be that, but in many cases, seat belt laws are key in medical liabilities. A driver is at fault in many cases dealing with medical bills and restitution since they put themselves at a risk by not wearing a seat belt. Thus, the seat belt laws are also used in legal cases dealing with injury and property.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:20 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;173434 wrote:
Seat belt laws are a result of public safety and reducing their costs. If the health care system were mostly public rather than private in the U.S. it would be more obvious as to why seat belt laws are legislated common sense.


So you're saying that we should make laws to reduce health care costs? Does that mean you think that people that overeat should be committing a crime? What about people that don't cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze? How about people that don't wash their hands regularly in public? Do you know how much money that costs a year? I don't follow the logic that taking away a persons ability to make their own decisions is somehow a good thing if it'll save money in the long run.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:33 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173437 wrote:
So you're saying that we should make laws to reduce health care costs? Does that mean you think that people that overeat should be committing a crime? What about people that don't cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze? How about people that don't wash their hands regularly in public? Do you know how much money that costs a year? I don't follow the logic that taking away a persons ability to make their own decisions is somehow a good thing if it'll save money in the long run.
It's very difficult to make laws against human nature, for thousands of years we have had to over eat for protection against poor harvest, winter and general starvation. But yes, it should indeed be nessesary, as it is clearly evident that humans can't control themselves.

The seatbelt law, does not contradict any natural human behaviour.
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:37 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173437 wrote:
So you're saying that we should make laws to reduce health care costs? Does that mean you think that people that overeat should be committing a crime? What about people that don't cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze? How about people that don't wash their hands regularly in public? Do you know how much money that costs a year? I don't follow the logic that taking away a persons ability to make their own decisions is somehow a good thing if it'll save money in the long run.

Realism , realistic results that can be legally enforced, is the reasoning. I'm sure if they could make gluttony illegal they would.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:43 pm
@xris,
xris;173441 wrote:
I'm sure if they could make gluttony illegal they would.


That's what worries me. Some day it will be technologically possible. The same reasoning that applies to seat belts, turning the state into a nanny, applies to a lot of other areas. I personally don't care about wearing a seat belt but I'd rather fight over something I don't care about before the same principle is applied to something I do care about. Let's outlaw everything with sharp edges too.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:56 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173443 wrote:
That's what worries me. Some day it will be technologically possible. The same reasoning that applies to seat belts, turning the state into a nanny, applies to a lot of other areas. I personally don't care about wearing a seat belt but I'd rather fight over something I don't care about before the same principle is applied to something I do care about. Let's outlaw everything with sharp edges too.
I hope we are guided by a reasonable acceptance. The public response to laws usually regulates the proposed excesses. In a country where we all pay for each others failings, we need to exert a certain understanding on each others actions. It has been argued that obesity , smoking etc should carry responsibilities. Freedom to be careless must be penalised if you want your neighbours to carry the expense. One mans freedom is another's burden. Its not like your being forcible castrated to avoid over population.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 12:59 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173437 wrote:
So you're saying that we should make laws to reduce health care costs? Does that mean you think that people that overeat should be committing a crime? What about people that don't cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze? How about people that don't wash their hands regularly in public? Do you know how much money that costs a year? I don't follow the logic that taking away a persons ability to make their own decisions is somehow a good thing if it'll save money in the long run.


I really wouldn't call not wearing a seat belt to be a crime committing act, much like parking in a no parking zone is not committing a crime or not having a properly registered vehicle. The are just public laws that are instituted to generate money if the ordinances are not adhered to.

You can't compare the acts of not washing hands or covering mouths when sneezing to the act of not wearing a seat belt. Not wearing a seat belt is like not using proper knife handling skills. You can get away with it at times, but when human error happens there is always the "if I had only... ." Not washing hands and covering mouths just leads humans to do what they do--pass germs and get sick. Washing hands and covering mouths is just a sign of respect and etiquette used to make others feel better about their chances of not coming in contact with germs and viruses.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:16 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;173449 wrote:
I really wouldn't call not wearing a seat belt to be a crime committing act, much like parking in a no parking zone is not committing a crime or not having a properly registered vehicle. The are just public laws that are instituted to generate money if the ordinances are not adhered to.
I have to strongly disagree.

The most common exuse to do something unlawful/idiotic is: "the others are doing it too!" ..see?
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:23 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;173361 wrote:
All arguments for seat belt legislation seem to center around whether or not wearing a seat belt reduces automobile injuries and fatalities. I think that is actually irrelevant to a certain degree. It wouldn't matter if seat belts reduce injuries and fatalities by 100%. It's still up to each individual to decide if they want to protect themselves. Otherwise, it's a slippery slope. If we are allowed to mandate our safety to each other then perhaps all risky activities will be outlawed. What's next? We can reduce high blood pressure by outlawing table salt? We can reduce skiing accidents by outlawing skiing?

Can someone explain to me what gives us the right to tell other adults they have to protect themselves?


Night Ripper. Slippery slope is a fallacy you know.

I agree with seat belt laws. Paternalism at its best. Sometimes the moral thing to do is to step in and discourage stupid people from doing stupid things.
Mister Turnip
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:29 pm
@Jebediah,
There's a difference between discouraging people and forcing people. To discourage people from ignoring their seatbelts, private organizations could put out PSAs. I see PSAs all the time discouraging me from smoking cigarettes. But cigarettes are still legal. The problem with making seatbelt use the law is that, by definition, you're forcing people to do it. The law is the arm of the government, and its main means of force. There's nothing wrong with discouraging people from doing or not doing certain things, but when the government forces you to act a certain way, and takes away your right to make deliberate, rational decisions... then the government has overstepped its boundaries and is acting on illegitimate authority.

Of course, I'm a libertarian, so I would say all that.

Edit: Also, Slippery Slope is only a fallacy when the predicted chain of events is unlikely to occur or is highly improbable. The problem here is that (in the case of seatbelt laws) the government is legislating on the maxim "citizens should be lawfully obligated to exercise a concern for their personal safety." So logically, it's NOT a Slippery Slope fallacy to say that the government could just as easily regulate table-salt use and over-eating and all that, because were the government to do these things, it would be legislating based on the same underlying maxim.
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:51 pm
@Mister Turnip,
Mister Turnip;173462 wrote:
There's a difference between discouraging people and forcing people. To discourage people from ignoring their seatbelts, private organizations could put out PSAs. I see PSAs all the time discouraging me from smoking cigarettes. But cigarettes are still legal. The problem with making seatbelt use the law is that, by definition, you're forcing people to do it. The law is the arm of the government, and its main means of force. There's nothing wrong with discouraging people from doing or not doing certain things, but when the government forces you to act a certain way, and takes away your right to make deliberate, rational decisions... then the government has overstepped its boundaries and is acting on illegitimate authority.


Small fines are a discouragement. They tax cigarettes heavily which is very similar.


Quote:

Edit: Also, Slippery Slope is only a fallacy when the predicted chain of events is unlikely to occur or is highly improbable. The problem here is that (in the case of seatbelt laws) the government is legislating on the maxim "citizens should be lawfully obligated to exercise a concern for their personal safety." So logically, it's NOT a Slippery Slope fallacy to say that the government could just as easily regulate table-salt use and over-eating and all that, because were the government to do these things, it would be legislating based on the same underlying maxim.
Yes, and "perhaps all risky activities will be outlawed" is highly improbable.

A may lead to B, and B to C, and C to D, but there is no reason to assume that this will continue all the way to Z. Perhaps at D to E, people will say "enough is enough".

If you stick with the hard-core interpretation, you would be against many many things that save lives. Government regulation of auto safety? Maybe the will force us to wear crash helmets when we go for a walk. Testing of new drugs by the FDA? Maybe that will lead to children having to get their lemonade recipe's approved before they can run a lemonade stand.

I think it's clear that the government should work to keep the people safe, and that they should not go too far. But denying one end of the scale is not helpful.

I can easily see them taking the protection thing too far, but if it isn't too far at seat belts, and the actual law that will be used as precedent is not too broad, then we should have the seat belt laws and argue against salt restrictions if that is something we do consider banning.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:54 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;173456 wrote:
I have to strongly disagree.

The most common exuse to do something unlawful/idiotic is: "the others are doing it too!" ..see?


No one ever says they are not going to wear their seat belt because every one else isn't, and no group of people care enough to base friendships based on wearing or not wearing seat belts.

My point: you need to be clearer to what you are strongly disagreeing with. I never said anything about excuses and I fail to see the connection between what you quoted and what you wrote.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:16 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;173472 wrote:
Yes, and "perhaps all risky activities will be outlawed" is highly improbable.

A may lead to B, and B to C, and C to D, but there is no reason to assume that this will continue all the way to Z. Perhaps at D to E, people will say "enough is enough".


Perhaps. The question is, what principle will stop it from continuing all the way to Z? If the difference between A and Z is only one of degree and not of principle then what makes you predict it would ever stop? I'm looking for some kind of principle that differentiates seat belt laws from healthy diet laws and government controlled breeding.
 

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