If you vote your personal morals are you voting against personal freedom

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  • #26
rachmaninoff said:
You mean, if I strongly suspect them to be suicidal? I certainly wouldn't given them their gun then, for obvious reasons. The fact that he/she owns it really makes no difference. And how is this relevant to this discussion about assisted suicide? There is no comparison between terminally ill people with painful, degnerative disease, and otherwise healthy, clinically depressed suicidal people. Idiotic comparison, really.

my bad, you're right about that. I thought this was about clinically depressed suicidal people.

Here's my life experiance:

My grandmother had congestive heart failure among other things, and was in and out of the hostipal for a long time. She was on life support for about a week when my grandpa (with support from the family) decided that she can't live like that so he asked to pull the plug. I was in a wierd mental state during all of this, kind of like overpowered by the weight of the situation to the point where I just didn't know how to react. I was beside myself, and I don't think I would've ever been able to make the decision to take her off life support or not. I want to say that it was the right choice because she wasn't totally responding to other people and she was relying on life support so it didn't seem like she was going to pull through. So I would say that it's okay to pull the plug for cases where the person in question can't even really respond to the other people and outside world, and can't live without life support.

As far as terminally ill patients in a state of constant physical pain who can respond to other people and voice their desire to die, I can see it both ways and I would rather not decide. This is a very diffacult delima. If I had to make a desicion, I would sympathize with the patient, because that person knows how much physical pain they feel and not thier friends and family. It's kind of rude to say "buck up and deal with the pain, we want you around regardless of what you think". Then again, I'm a very sensitive person, which makes me look very insensitive at times.

As far as clinically depressed people, I would say heck no!

Oh yeah, as far as the main question at hand... I would say that my answers to the situations above is how I would vote, and they are alligned with my morals. I would want everyone to react to me the way I would react to the above situations. If I said I wanted to die because I was terminally ill and in constant physical pain, I would mean it, but I would try my darndest to deal with it as long as I could until I reached that point. Something in me says that I will never say something like that though no matter what happens, but then again, I've never felt anywhere near the kind of pain that it would take, and it's not just the ammount of it, but also if there is no hope of ever relieving it. That would be the deciding factor for me, I'd deal with it for as long as I could, but I dont' know if I'd ever make the choice to die. This would also apply to mental pain and anguish over the loss of a part of my body or paralysis, but it wouldn't be as bad in that case for me, because I would still have hope (with stem cells and prosthetics) to overcome the mental part, but if I had no way of zoning out physical pain (even with drugs), thats a different story and I can't say what I would choose, but I would like my choice to be respected in that case.

If I were clinically depressed and suicidal, then I wouldn't want others to respect my choice to die. I've been depressed before and it sucks, and I've had suicidal thoughts, but they were never serious and they were only for the reason to making the people I know feel sorry for me (how rude I was to think that!!! How even more rude I would be to do that). Most people who are suicidal just don't believe they will ever feel better, but they will at some point, garunteed (I believe).

If I was in the situation my grandma was in, I'd want the same thing done to me that was done to her. She put up a good fight, but things just wouldn't have gotten better for her if she stayed on life support.

I got the feeling that I'm wasting my time writing all of this. I don't think I'm providing good conversation about what you really want to talk about.

I just don't think that when a person votes for their personal morals (which are freely chosen), that they contradict thier own freedom. I don't really get the connection there. Why would you not be free when you vote? Why would you vote for something that contradicts your freedom?
 
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  • #27
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
Philosophical rigor is generally not practiced in political discussions. The vast majority of the time, when people say they don't want other's "personal" morals being imposed on them by law, they really just mean that they don't want a given set of religious values influencing legislation.
You are right this may not be the correct forum because it is a philosophical question.

That said, I posted it here because I specifically wanted the input of politically active/interested people on voting principles.

I don't consider personal morals to necessarily be religious morals.
 
  • #28
Skyhunter
honestrosewater said:
Thanks, I was catching on to that.
If someone hasn't already mentioned this, it has been established that individual rights are not absolute, or
The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins​
as Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. put it.

I'm kind of interested in how many people, when the question before them is what laws we should have, use the laws we currently do have as their argument (as if the question has already been settled in their favor), in order to avoid admitting that they're taking as much of a personal moral stance as others.
Is there any difference between a fist and a law in the case of personal freedom?

I would argue that in order to have unlimited personal freedom, personal freedom must be universal, and therefore any act that infringes upon personal freedom would be an act against personal freedom.
 
  • #29
Archon
Skyhunter said:
Is there any difference between a fist and a law in the case of personal freedom?

I would argue that in order to have unlimited personal freedom, personal freedom must be universal, and therefore any act that infringes upon personal freedom would be an act against personal freedom.
I really think that the key word here is "personal" freedom. One has to make a distinction between freedoms (like suicide) that allow individuals to do what they wish without harming or restricting others, and freedoms (like murder) that result in harm to others. The former are "good" freedoms that should be allowed, while the latter are "bad" freedoms that must be dealt with in law. In my opinion, anything that falls into the first category shouldn't be restricted by laws.
 
  • #30
Skyhunter
Archon said:
I think part of the reason why laws making murder (for instance) illegal are reasonable and valid is that the morals upon which they are based are shared by such an overwhelming percentage of the population. Very few people believe that outlawing murder is the wrong policy. But a great many more people believe that outlawing such things as abortion is wrong. In general, people will overwhelmingly support laws which contribute to the stability of society, while a large portion of the population will object to laws which, from their point of view, do nothing but limit and restrict society.
I could apply the principle of universal personal freedom as the guiding principle in most cases. Abortion is different, because there are to lives that are intrinsically tied together. Not being a woman I lack experiential knowledge, and therefore would feel inadequately qualified to impose my beliefs on them, even if I believed they were murdering their child.

I don't know anyone who is pro-abortion, and most of the people I know who call themselves pro-life, are in favor of the death penalty and support the Iraq war.... :confused:
 
  • #31
Archon
Skyhunter said:
I could apply the principle of universal personal freedom as the guiding principle in most cases. Abortion is different, because there are to lives that are intrinsically tied together. Not being a woman I lack experiential knowledge, and therefore would feel inadequately qualified to impose my beliefs on them, even if I believed they were murdering their child.
This is a good point. Maybe the best policy is to let women decide the issue of abortion, since they are the one's being affected.

I don't know anyone who is pro-abortion, and most of the people I know who call themselves pro-life, are in favor of the death penalty and support the Iraq war.... :confused:
You live in the Bay Area and you don't know anyone who is pro-abortion?!? :bugeye:
 
  • #32
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This is a good point. Maybe the best policy is to let women decide the issue of abortion, since they are the one's being affected.

I think I should have a say in wheather or not my son lives or dies.

You live in the Bay Area and you don't know anyone who is pro-abortion?!?

His point is people don't call themselves "pro-abortion" rather "pro-choice" because it sounds nicer and reflects more on what they believe.
 
  • #33
Skyhunter
Archon said:
I really think that the key word here is "personal" freedom. One has to make a distinction between freedoms (like suicide) that allow individuals to do what they wish without harming or restricting others, and freedoms (like murder) that result in harm to others. The former are "good" freedoms that should be allowed, while the latter are "bad" freedoms that must be dealt with in law. In my opinion, anything that falls into the first category shouldn't be restricted by laws.
It is not a question of good or bad, the question is whether if by voting for your personal morals, you are voting against your personal freedom?

Here is a fictional scenario;

A person believes that rap music is harmful to society, so they support candidates who feel the same. A law is finally passed that bans rap music. But then the same law is used to ban country western music.

As it happens this person was a country western music fan and now cannot listen to country western music anymore because the same arguments used to infringe the personal freedom of people who produce and listen to rap music can be in turn used to infringe upon the personal freedom of the producers and listeners of country western music.

Next, the courts would have to decide what is moral music and what is not moral music. All because a large group of people voted for their personal morals and against their personal freedom.
 
  • #34
Skyhunter
Archon said:
You live in the Bay Area and you don't know anyone who is pro-abortion?!? :bugeye:
Do you know someone who thinks abortion is a good thing?
 
  • #35
Skyhunter
Entropy said:
I think I should have a say in wheather or not my son lives or dies.
I agree, but do I have the right to force the mother to bear my children?
 
  • #36
honestrosewater
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Well, I'm skipping through the posts a bit - I didn't know what I was getting myself into. But I think I've gotten the idea.

Yes, people make compromises or sacrifices in prioritizing their values. If protecting personal freedoms is more important to you than banning rap music, and you're prudent enough to realize the conflicts, you put up with rap music in order to protect personal freedoms. But you're still voting based on personal morals; One just trumps another. There are many examples of this, especially from the SCOTUS. Obviously with laws deemed unconstitutional being repealed but in other cases as well.

I don't understand what unlimited personal freedoms are worth. If the government cannot restrict people's freedoms under any circumstances, it cannot protect personal freedoms either. Unless you're using Archon's good v. bad distinction.? If personal freedoms aren't a ticket to do whatever you want to, where do you make a distinction?
 
  • #37
Skyhunter said:
It is not a question of good or bad, the question is whether if by voting for your personal morals, you are voting against your personal freedom?

Here is a fictional scenario;

A person believes that rap music is harmful to society, so they support candidates who feel the same. A law is finally passed that bans rap music. But then the same law is used to ban country western music.

As it happens this person was a country western music fan and now cannot listen to country western music anymore because the same arguments used to infringe the personal freedom of people who produce and listen to rap music can be in turn used to infringe upon the personal freedom of the producers and listeners of country western music.

Next, the courts would have to decide what is moral music and what is not moral music. All because a large group of people voted for their personal morals and against their personal freedom.
No, wait ...

This is a possibility???

We can ban Rap AND county and western???

Can I move back now?

I'll even vote Bush if this happens!!!
 
  • #38
918
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Skyhunter said:
If you don't believe in the right to have a medically assisted suicide, then don't get one. However don't prevent me from getting one if I want.
I agree with the conclusion, but not with the argument. How about this:

If you don't believe in the right to murder people, then don't murder any. However don't prevent me from murdering one if I want.

As I said, I agree with the conclusion in the original quote. I've had it up to here with the government legislating morality and everything else too. I propose this simple test. If you can't bench press the books in which the laws that apply to you are written, then you are not free.
 
  • #39
Personal freedom, persona freedom, personal freedom...
 
  • #40
SOS2008
Gold Member
24
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The Smoking Man said:
No, wait ...

This is a possibility???

We can ban Rap AND county and western???

Can I move back now?

I'll even vote Bush if this happens!!!
:rofl: Come on now, I could tolerate any music before I could vote for Bush.

There has been something recently about limitation on the volume of music played in cars in New York? Breast feeding is now being debated. I think these examples are more useful in terms of what's considered offensive, and not clearly injury to person or property.
 
  • #41
Archon
Entropy said:
I think I should have a say in wheather or not my son lives or dies.
Skyhunter responded to this nicely:
Skyhunter said:
I agree, but do I have the right to force the mother to bear my children?
You should have a say, but if you want the mother to bear the baby, especially given the risk of childbirth (not that large in America today, but it still exists), the final decision should not be yours.

Entropy said:
His point is people don't call themselves "pro-abortion" rather "pro-choice" because it sounds nicer and reflects more on what they believe.
I wasn't entirely awake when I posted this. I just interpreted "pro-abortion" as meaning "pro-choice." I agree that "pro-choice" probably describes more people who support keeping abortion legal than does "pro-abortion."
 
  • #42
Archon
Skyhunter said:
It is not a question of good or bad, the question is whether if by voting for your personal morals, you are voting against your personal freedom?

Here is a fictional scenario;

A person believes that rap music is harmful to society, so they support candidates who feel the same. A law is finally passed that bans rap music. But then the same law is used to ban country western music.

As it happens this person was a country western music fan and now cannot listen to country western music anymore because the same arguments used to infringe the personal freedom of people who produce and listen to rap music can be in turn used to infringe upon the personal freedom of the producers and listeners of country western music.

Next, the courts would have to decide what is moral music and what is not moral music. All because a large group of people voted for their personal morals and against their personal freedom.
I said earlier that I think all laws are, in some sense, based on morals. Thus, every law restricts those people who, for whatever reason, don't share the belief that, for instance, killing others is wrong. Once we accept that every law is restrictive of personal freedoms to some people, we have to categorize the laws into two groups: those that restrict personal freedoms for the sake of society's survival, and those that restrict personal freedoms for no useful purpose. I agree with the first type, and not the second.
 
  • #43
Hurkyl
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we have to categorize the laws into two groups: those that restrict personal freedoms for the sake of society's survival, and those that restrict personal freedoms for no useful purpose.

Then what do you do with those laws that restrict personal freedoms for a useful purpose, but without that purpose being society's survival?
 
  • #44
Archon
Skyhunter said:
Do you know someone who thinks abortion is a good thing?
Not personally, but there are obviously many such people. At least some of the people who are pro-choice support the possibility of abortion not as a freedom like any other for women, but because they feel that it is a good thing. Why would anyone at all support abortion if they thought it was evil? This would make it no different from supporting murder.
 
  • #45
Archon
Hurkyl said:
Then what do you do with those laws that restrict personal freedoms for a useful purpose, but without that purpose being society's survival?
What sorts of laws would these be?

I guess "society's survival" was too specific. The categories in their full generality are found in post #29.
 
  • #46
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0
You have the right not to read this:

I want to quote some people, but i think it would be more fun to just say this:

Moral freedom Act

Mutual Respect of Personal Freedom to judge morality for one's self.

You're boundaries are one arm span across (including a balanced lean) and as high as you can reach (including but not limited to tippy toeing).
http://images.postersupply.com/EUR/jpgs/1155-9003.jpg [Broken]
Any projectiles cast outward from your designated airspace and penetrating the airspace of another individual is strictly prohibited without prior clearance from the individual (unless a waiver is signed in sport or other activity that the inherent risk requires so).

What remains as a part of one's biology is one's choice. Prior to birth, an embryo is not considered unto itself an individual, but a part of the mother's biology. Therefore an embryo has no right to make decisions as they do not possess the ability to do so.

The suicide clause:
Suicide is legal. To make it illegal is pointless as there is no way to hold one accountable for such an act.

Qualification for Assisted suicide: A person must apply for this prior to entering vegetative state (similar to organ donation / will). If no such paperwork is available, then see Schedule A: (schedule A: Age vs. disease = likelihood of recovery within certain timeframe): if outside the chart, the individual relinquishes the right to live to the family who will ultimately make a decision subject to renewal ever 24 months.

I have a right to my ideas, you have a right to reject them.
 
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  • #47
Skyhunter said:
If you don't believe in the right to have a medically assisted suicide, then don't get one. However don't prevent me from getting one if I want.
Back in High School I presented a mock bill for physician assisted suicide. The students in my class passed it unanimously. Oddly I was only one of two in the class that voted yes on someone elses mock bill to legalize marijuana.

SOS said:
Suicide is illegal in the U.S., and the validity of this law has been questioned. You really can't stop someone from taking their own life, and afterward you certainly can't punish the person.
There are very few states where suicide is illegal. The problem comes when a person attempts but fails. Even then in almost all states it isn't illegal. BUT a person who attempts suicide is considered mentally unstable and a danger to themselves and others so they are taken into custody and checked into a institution. They don't go to jail or get charged with a crime. The only "punishment" they receive is to be held until it is deemed they are not a danger to themselves and others and they are possibly sent a bill for the cost of their stay at the institution.
I actually just had a student attempt suicide today and had to write a report. There is nothing in the California penal code pretaining to suicide except assisted suicide.

Entropy said:
I think I should have a say in wheather or not my [child] lives or dies.
Agreed.

The Smoking Man said:
No, wait ...

This is a possibility???

We can ban Rap AND county and western???

Can I move back now?

I'll even vote Bush if this happens!!!
Almost tempting isn't it?

Skyhunter said:
If you vote your personal morals are you voting against personal freedom?
I don't think that anything aside from logical ethics should be involved in law. Any "morals" or "values" not based on logic have no place.
 
  • #48
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
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SOS2008 said:
There has been something recently about limitation on the volume of music played in cars in New York? Breast feeding is now being debated. I think these examples are more useful in terms of what's considered offensive, and not clearly injury to person or property.

Actually, it can get rough living in Manhattan below the 12th floor. Some of the streets are like steel-walled canyons, and noise inside of them is magnified greatly. It's almost impossible to live peacefully in some parts of the city, which is the reason for the noise ordinances. Honking was already outlawed in many neighborhoods; that loud music should be is no real development.
 
  • #49
Moonbear
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loseyourname said:
Actually, it can get rough living in Manhattan below the 12th floor. Some of the streets are like steel-walled canyons, and noise inside of them is magnified greatly. It's almost impossible to live peacefully in some parts of the city, which is the reason for the noise ordinances. Honking was already outlawed in many neighborhoods; that loud music should be is no real development.

There are similar noise ordinances in neighborhoods all over the country. At it arose very much in line with the discussion that has been held here regarding one person's rights ending where another's begin. When someone is blasting their car stereo so loudly that you can hear it from inside your house, even with the windows closed, and those windows begin to rattle, the residents start demanding such ordinances to maintain peace and quiet within their own homes. Nobody is telling anyone they can't listen to the stereo in their car or is dictating their choice of music, they're just saying that there is an upper limit to the volume so that you are not forcing others who do not share your taste in music from listening to your music too.

However, I don't think such an example relates to the topic of this thread. Actually, noise ordinances are a good example of laws that are NOT based on morality.

What's interesting is that such local laws, which are usually nothing more than misdemeanor offenses punishable with a fine, address things like public safety, health codes, and just generally keeping peace (in the sense of quiet or calm).

In contrast, federal laws that are felony offenses are the ones that most often tread into moral ground. The overarching theme is similar as with local laws, that you're protecting one person from another person infringing upon their rights. For example, one adult murdering another adult is an infringement of the murdered adult's right to life. A law such as the one against murder is pretty universally accepted. Where the moral controversy arises is three-fold. 1) What are the rights of the individual that must be protected? 2) What constitutes infringement of these rights? 3) What is the definition of an individual?

The controversial issues are those that are ill-defined for one or more of the above three categories. For example, in the abortion debate, there is disagreement as to whether an embryo or fetus is an individual (#3), and even if agreement arose that it is an individual (I'm not endorsing this view, just presenting this side for the sake of example), then there still remains the issue #1 regarding mother vs. fetus where one could claim that either choice, legal or illegal, would infringe upon rights of one or the other.

This is unlike the car stereo laws where you don't have to limit the radio listener's right to choose to listen to music in order to maintain the home-owner's right to choose not listen to that music, or a law against speeding where the threat to public (and even the driver's) safety clearly outweighs the individual's personal preference to drive with the pedal to the metal (they are not being stopped from driving or getting from place to place, just limited to how fast they get there).

In the moral issues, they tend to be all-or-none on both sides. You can't tell a fetus to develop somewhere else, or to do it with less impact on the mother, and you can't tell a woman. Despite the appearance that the controversy is that of those with certain religious beliefs infringing upon the rights of a pregnant woman without those beliefs, it is actually the controversy over whether an embryo/fetus has rights, and if it does, are the rights of the fetus or the rights of the woman to be given more weight?

In the earlier example given of assisted suicide, it is a different issue, and that is of a more technical nature...how do you know with certainty that the person doing the assisting is really complying with the wishes of the person they are assisting? Somehow determining the wishes of the dead person makes the difference between it being assisted suicide or murder. Even with video evidence or written notes, etc., it is hard to know if someone was coerced into making such statements. If there could be no ambiguity, then I would agree that it then is not an issue that requires legal intervention and gets relegated to issues such as practicing religion where your choice to do or not do does not infringe upon someone else's choice to do or not do.

So, there are some cases where morality cannot be avoided in making laws. Indeed, the most fundamental rights we have are based on moral values. What constitutes a right that requires protection is a moral question. I don't think it's possible to maintain a civilized society without some degree of law-making based on morals. If we were entirely without morals, we would have NO laws (we would not care about the safety of others, we would not care if people had rights, we would not care if something one person did interfered with something another person wanted to do or how they resolved it) and anarchy would result. The other extreme is no better, where we lack any freedom. It comes down to what are universal or fundamental views of morality vs. what are individual or small group views of morality that are not consistent across society.
 
  • #50
Skyhunter
Archon said:
I said earlier that I think all laws are, in some sense, based on morals. Thus, every law restricts those people who, for whatever reason, don't share the belief that, for instance, killing others is wrong. Once we accept that every law is restrictive of personal freedoms to some people, we have to categorize the laws into two groups: those that restrict personal freedoms for the sake of society's survival, and those that restrict personal freedoms for no useful purpose. I agree with the first type, and not the second.
Would not the best society be one where every individual enjoyed maximum personal freedom?

In order for everyone to enjoy maximum personal freedom, everyone must respect, and not infringe upon the personal freedom of others. This principle is the foundation of social morals, as opposed to personal morals which are naturally based on personal beliefs.

With this as the guiding principle, as opposed to the hypothetical argument about society’s survival, we can therefore create a standard to measure whether or not a law is just.
Outsider said:
Moral freedom Act

Mutual Respect of Personal Freedom to judge morality for one's self.

You're boundaries are one arm span across (including a balanced lean) and as high as you can reach (including but not limited to tippy toeing).
http://images.postersupply.com/EUR/jpgs/1155-9003.jpg [Broken]
Any projectiles cast outward from your designated airspace and penetrating the airspace of another individual is strictly prohibited without prior clearance from the individual (unless a waiver is signed in sport or other activity that the inherent risk requires so).
I could live with something that.
TheStatutoryApe said:
Back in High School I presented a mock bill for physician assisted suicide. The students in my class passed it unanimously. Oddly I was only one of two in the class that voted yes on someone elses mock bill to legalize marijuana.
Prohibition is an example of a moral law based upon speculation of harm to society.
TheStatutoryApe said:
I don't think that anything aside from logical ethics should be involved in law. Any "morals" or "values" not based on logic have no place.
I agree. Morals and values are not stagnant, like the rest of the universe they are in a constant state of flux. Therefore laws based on personal morals, or the common values of society are doomed to become obsolete. As society evolves, so must its institutions, otherwise its institutions, instead of being uplifting and good for social evolution, they become detrimental to social growth.
 
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