Sun 31 Jul, 2016 01:02 pm
Drugs and Freedom
There should be consistency in ethics, although human society requires a degree of pragmatic latitudinarianism. Contradictory ethics is another matter.
There is a problem in how to deal with drug use and abuse. It is tempting to stand back, and leave people to decide for themselves, on the basis of ours being a free society with people responsible for themselves. But that in fact equates quite exactly with anarchism, if our ethics are consistent. If indeed a drug is harmless and we know it absolutely, then it may well be used with no ethical concern. Such certainty seldom exists, and it may be expected that some naive or careless users will become ill. If then society is anarchistic, there is no inconsistency. He may be left to live or die, and his family will or will not suffer accordingly. For an authoritarian society, in which people are servile, it would be consonant for it to ban some drugs while allowing or even encouraging others that induce submissive behaviour. Then happiness pill.
It is altruism that has all the difficulties. Normally it does look after those who are ill or incapacitated, and dependent families. Therefore freedom is non-starter. Citizens of altruist society can only be free to do what is socially responsible. And that has great ramifications.
It seems that when a person buys a piece of land, that is his/her sovereign space. Who has the authority to dictate what can and cannot be done on your sovereign patch of space as long as what is being done does not infringe on the rights or safety of others?