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Laws That Only Affect You

 
 
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 04:45 pm
What do you think about laws that only effect you such as drug abuse and suicide? It's not like Burglary or murder; your not affecting someone else. This question mostly pertains to the American Judicial system for that is only only one i am somewhat knowledgeable.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,380 • Replies: 11
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2010 05:28 pm
@Purplesawdust,
Purplesawdust;158100 wrote:
What do you think about laws that only effect you such as drug abuse and suicide? It's not like Burglary or murder; your not affecting someone else. This question mostly pertains to the American Judicial system for that is only only one i am somewhat knowledgeable.


But do they affect only you, or only primarily you? Drug abuse does affect society, at least somewhat. And suicide at least affects your family, and it might encourage others to commit suicide too.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 07:19 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;158104 wrote:
But do they affect only you, or only primarily you? Drug abuse does affect society, at least somewhat. And suicide at least affects your family, and it might encourage others to commit suicide too.


Even if I sneeze, that could somehow affect you from the other side of the planet. Everything "affects" everything if you treat the word banally. I've never understood your pedantic attacks at the letter of arguments but your ignorance of their spirit.

He's obviously asking about victimless crimes. Your suicide may cause some tears for your family just like my eating animals might cause some tears for PETA members. However, in either case, the problem is with someone else because I'm not physically hurting another person. That's what the OP meant but I'm sure you knew that. You just can't resist pedantry.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 07:43 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;158390 wrote:
Even if I sneeze, that could somehow affect you from the other side of the planet. Everything "affects" everything if you treat the word banally. I've never understood your pedantic attacks at the letter of arguments but your ignorance of their spirit.

He's obviously asking about victimless crimes. Your suicide may cause some tears for your family just like my eating animals might cause some tears for PETA members. However, in either case, the problem is with someone else because I'm not physically hurting another person. That's what the OP meant but I'm sure you knew that. You just can't resist pedantry.


I agree with you (not about pedantry, of course). We have to, and should, draw the line between how, and to what extent what we do affects others. But that still leaves the question of not only where to draw the line, but of how to draw the line. The locus classicus of this issue is John Stuart Mill's great, Essay on Liberty. Mill talks about what is called "paternalism" (although he does not use that term, himself) which is the notion that sometimes, competent adults need protection from themselves. The mandatory wearing of seat-belts while driving is the classic issue. If only the driver is affected if he does not wear a seat-belt, and he is hurt or killed as a consequence, why should there be a law mandating seat-belts ( or motorcycle helmets)? The counterargument is that it is not true that the wearing of seat-belts concerns only the driver himself. If he is hurt then that diverts resources from society. He must be rescued by an ambulance that might be required elsewhere. Seat-belts are not merely a safety measure for the driver himself, but in the event of a driving crisis, seat-belts help hold the driver steady, and enable him to steer the car more safely, and that, of course, affects other drivers. And if because he does not wear a seat-belt he has an accident with another driver, that other driver will be hurt because the person did not wear his own seat-belt.

That a line has to be drawn is, of course, true. But, as I said, how and where to draw that line, is a philosophical and/or social issue, too. Don't you agree?

One man's pedantry is another's understanding the issues more deeply.

By the way, why do you discount the hurt and sorrow a child or a spouse of a suicide may suffer? And why would anyone think it is pedantic to concern himself with that? Emotional hurt, and what is much more important, emotional harm can be as bad, and sometimes worse, than physical hurt or harm. Hurt may be passed over, but harm is a different thing. (Or do you think that the distinction between hurt and harm is also pedantic).
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HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 12:19 pm
@Purplesawdust,
Purplesawdust;158100 wrote:
What do you think about laws that only effect you such as drug abuse and suicide? It's not like Burglary or murder; your not affecting someone else. This question mostly pertains to the American Judicial system for that is only only one i am somewhat knowledgeable.
Most laws can affect me, just a matter of time and situation, ofcause there are laws that may never remotely affect me, but I don't really see what is asked.
0 Replies
 
Shadow Dragon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 05:06 pm
@Purplesawdust,
I'm against laws like that. It's not the government's job to babysit the populus. If someone is suicidal, then it's their responsibility to get help from family/friends or private organisations that offer aid. The same goes for drug addiction. Trying to police these things is just a waste of resources that could instead be used in other areas, like education.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:00 am
@Purplesawdust,
Allow me to repharse my former statemen.

Imo there's 2 causes of suicide, the depression and the terminal ill.

- For depression I find it reasonable to be illegal, because it most likely can be cured 100% or to an extend which is satisfactory. Often this suicide will make others mimmic your behaviour, as it is a deep primadorial instinct to mimmic behaviour, which will inspire others to do what you do as solution to such a problem.

- for the terminal ill I don't find it reasonable, as I consider it legal torture of the victims, they often suffer immense pain, far greater than what terror and other regimes inflicts upon victims.

As for drugs, it is very unhealhty, it will often destroy the drug addicts. In worst case they will die if the drug is respitorial affecting.
Further such drugs are often very expensive and will cause drug abusers to steal, such drugs are often taken in social relation and will cause others to jump on the band wagon ..etc..etc.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:31 pm
@Shadow Dragon,
Shadow Dragon;172669 wrote:
I'm against laws like that. It's not the government's job to babysit the populus. If someone is suicidal, then it's their responsibility to get help from family/friends or private organisations that offer aid. The same goes for drug addiction. Trying to police these things is just a waste of resources that could instead be used in other areas, like education.


Although idealistically I agree with you, practically it is the governments job to do exactly this. Government functions as a codified cultural restraint. In a small scale society (band level) the babysitting is done by necessary reciprocation, whereas as the population grows, one is able to "misbehave" without people s/he directly relies upon knowing. Anarchist theories forget the social animal nature of humans in their tendency to be romantically idealistic. So in my heart I agree with you and the OP, in my head I completely disagree.
0 Replies
 
Mister Turnip
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 01:51 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;173411 wrote:
Allow me to repharse my former statemen.

Imo there's 2 causes of suicide, the depression and the terminal ill.

- For depression I find it reasonable to be illegal, because it most likely can be cured 100% or to an extend which is satisfactory. Often this suicide will make others mimmic your behaviour, as it is a deep primadorial instinct to mimmic behaviour, which will inspire others to do what you do as solution to such a problem.

- for the terminal ill I don't find it reasonable, as I consider it legal torture of the victims, they often suffer immense pain, far greater than what terror and other regimes inflicts upon victims.

As for drugs, it is very unhealhty, it will often destroy the drug addicts. In worst case they will die if the drug is respitorial affecting.
Further such drugs are often very expensive and will cause drug abusers to steal, such drugs are often taken in social relation and will cause others to jump on the band wagon ..etc..etc.

First, just because depression can be "cured" 100% (what does that even mean, by the way?), or to a "satisfactory" degree (satisfactory to who?), doesn't mean that suicides-as-a-result-of-depression should be outlawed. If we apply your logic here to other areas, it leads to absurd consequences. Obesity can be "cured 100%" by healthy diet and exercise, but does that mean we outlaw liposuctions and gastric bypass surgery? You might say yes, but I say no. People should be allowed to do what they want, provided it doesn't tread on other people's rights.

Second, you claim that the suicide of one person leads others to mimic said suicide. Says who? Please provide justification for your claim. ...And even if it were true that people commit suicide because people before them committed suicide, then it still wouldn't be a reason to outlaw it. People swear, and this in turn teaches others to swear. Do we outlaw swearing? Again, I'm only trying to apply your reasoning to other areas.

No response to your comments on the terminally ill.

And as far as your comments on drugs go, again I'm going to have to ask for some justification. Drugs are expensive, yes, but so are other things which people greatly need--like prescription (legal) drugs for example. But do people with prescriptions steal to get the money for them? Maybe so, but I'd need to see a study first.

Lastly, you use the same bandwagon/mimicking-behavior argument for drugs that you did for suicides. See my comments on that above.

All in all, I respect your desire to keep a populace safe and healthy... but my intuitions tell me that the best way to do this is to let people make their own decisions and reap what they sow. Then the "less fit," if that's what you want to call them, will get weeded out.
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HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:27 pm
@Purplesawdust,
Mister Turnip

If find your basis of comparison out of proportion, and if you knew just a little about history, letting people to goven themselves will only lead to chaos and anarchy, or to ganster/warlord behaviour, we need the goverment to kick our butts and keep us in place.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 06:31 am
@HexHammer,
I've been thinking on this one...

The OP lays as a precondition to its question that both suicide and drug use don't affect others. This is incorrect; they do - some barely, some hardly, some horribly and some catastrophically. But I think I get the point and have been dwelling on it. I'll beg your indulgence to work through how I feel on these two issues, their legality and salient ethical points.

DRUG ABUSE[INDENT]I've been looking around for support or evidence to answer the question: Is drug abuse a victimless crime? From what I've seen, there's a very strong correlation between drug addiction and criminal behavior; as for causal, it doesn't appear that a causal relationship exists (at least not that I can discern). Show one person who uses and/or is addicted to an illicit drug who isn't violent (or has not perpetuated crimes against others) and that causal relationship falls apart.

On the one hand, illicit drugs - in many cases - alter ones' behavior and impair judgment - often radically - removing or altering decision-making and perceptional systems that prevent violent behavior. Its also true that wherein there is a physical addiction, one is more likely to commit crimes against others to steal resources to satisfy that addiction. Again, not automatic but statistically increases the likelihood.

Conversely, many use illicit drugs without having committed any crimes at all. We also have to admit that when we say "drugs"; this covers an awful bit playing field - from the most innocuous to the most likely to induce violence against others. I should admit here that I don't buy the "Because its illegal its wrong"-argument. To make a responsible decision one must necessarily base their decision upon observable effects; effects of which that person deems wrong.

I see a correlation in many cases; but not cut-and-dried. The question along these lines is: Is that correlation sufficient to - in our minds and based on observable evidence - therefore deem that currently-illicit drug use is ethically wrong? Does sufficient evidence exist that drug abuse is not a victimless crime?

My View: There's enough off of a correlation between the use of some illicit drugs to warrant an "Ethically Wrong" judgment. I also believe that many that are currently illegal (U.S.) shouldn't be as there isn't enough of a likelihood that they'll lead to violence against others.
[/INDENT]SUICIDE[INDENT]I can't imagine how, mechanically, suicide can be addressed as a legal issue. Are we going to imprison corpses?

Ethically or Morally it becomes complicated. I can easily see how one might construe the impact to others, as a result of ones' suicide (or attempt) to have unethical or immoral consequences. On the other hand many view the right to end ones' life as an option that should remain protected.

My View: Suicide as "legal" or "illegal" is just a dumb idea. Ethically, I believe that if there is any action/decision we have at our disposal that should or must be protected, it would be what we are at liberty to do with our bodies. It is my life; should I decide to end it, not only should no one interfere or force my existence, a compassionate and responsible society would assist my efforts.

There are caveats and complicating conditions that can effect this judgement, however. (More here)
[/INDENT]Thanks
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Shadow Dragon
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 07:01 am
@Purplesawdust,
On the drug use part, going beyond my personal distaste for the government getting too involved in personal actions, is that any law that proves to be ineffectual and/or has a negative affect on society should be removed. As shown by the prohibition era during the twenties, completely banning drugs simply doesn't work. Despite using strict laws, the amount of drug use has remained relatively stable. So in the end, ass the "war on drugs" has accomplished is to blow billions of dollars and to give nonviolent offenders long prison sentences (which btw is the biggest reason for prisons being overcrowded).
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