View Poll Results: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

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  • Everything should be permitted that doesn't "harm others"

    32 68.09%
  • We should have some societal standards based on morals

    10 21.28%
  • We should have more standards than what we have now

    4 8.51%
  • Other

    5 10.64%
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Thread: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

  1. #51
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Illegal drug use is harmful to others.
    So is legal drug use not equally harmful? I would contend that it's the illegality that's the problem, not the drug use itself. Certainly, if you don't use drugs wisely you might cause harm to someone else but that's true of many things and it seems incorrect to chose this one category. Should tobacco be illegal? Should alcohol be illegal? Should Oxicontin be illegal?

    Prostitution is harmful to others
    So, if I don't pay the girl, does that make it OK? Or is it really only a problem when, say, the girl is enslaved, in which case it is harmful and I believe a serious crime.

    Addiction to substances is harmful to others
    I think this is the same as point one.

    This is only a discussion and no disrespect is intended. Obviously, my opinion is diametrically opposite of yours.

  2. #52
    Sage

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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    I think what others tend to neglect too is the impact it would also have on legal drugs (prescription drugs). If people are legally entitled to do whatever they want to their own bodies then what should stop anyone from obtaining any legal medications? What should keep someone from having to get a prescription for blood sugar/blood pressure/thyroid medications? We have the current medical model and prescriptive checks and balances because it would be a travesty to public health to allow individuals to self diagnose and self treat or to say that they are self entitled to every medication at their elective choice. The ethical and legal implications of legalizing illegal substances and the ethical belief that you can do whatever you want to yourself has many more implications than just legalizing very harmful illegal drugs.
    On the other hand I am.asthmatic. treated just fine with the old OTC inhalers. $20 a pop, lasted about a month each.

    Now I have to use prescription meds, as the OTCs were discontinued due to CFC propellents.

    $60 for a clinic visit, $45 per inhaler, last 2-3 weeks.

    I've had asthma all my life. I am quite familiar with my condition. I fail to see why I have to pay someone to tell me I have asthma and allow me to have medication for it. A check from time to time on general principles or when something changes mayne, but every single time for 40 years now?

    And consider this: one of pots side effects is relaxation of smooth walled muscles, reducing blood pressure and other effects of stress. How much money does your pharmacy make off of drugs for high blood pressure, acid reflux and other stress related illnesses? How many of those drugs have serious side effects?

    How much disinformation would you pay for to protect those profits? (If it was you and you weren't the decent person you clearly are?)
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  3. #53
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    I am not magically enlightened. I do not posses some all knowing sense of right and wrong that extends much beyond what I personally like or dislike. This makes me quite normal. I know for certain that I do not have the moral authority to decide right and wrong for anyone else. But, objectively, no one really likes to be harmed. Harming others is something we can universally decide is immoral. Anything else is subjective. And we have no right to force our subjective tastes on others. That, after all, causes a lot of harm.
    Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

  4. #54
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    I am not magically enlightened.
    I'm magically enlightened, what do you need to know?
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

  5. #55
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    I haven't looked into it enough to say for sure how this approach might work in a country like the US, but I suspect people would find the following highly relevant. Some excerpts:

    "In 2001 Portugal became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. [NB from Ian: the drugs are still 'illegal', but are essentially decriminalised]

    ...

    Critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to “drug tourists” and exacerbate Portugal’s drug problem; the country has some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. The recently realised results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, suggest otherwise. The paper, published by Cato in April 2011, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

    ...

    Following decriminalization, Portugal has the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the EU: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%, Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

    The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%. Drug use in older teens also declined. Life time heroin use among 16-18 year olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%.

    New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003.

    Death related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half.

    The number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and the considerable money saved on enforcement allowed for increase funding of drug – free treatment as well.

    Property theft has dropped dramatically (50% - 80% of all property theft worldwide is caused by drug users)."
    The truth may be out there, but lies are in your head. ~Terry Pratchett

  6. #56
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Quote Originally Posted by iangb View Post
    I haven't looked into it enough to say for sure how this approach might work in a country like the US, but I suspect people would find the following highly relevant. Some excerpts:

    "In 2001 Portugal became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. [NB from Ian: the drugs are still 'illegal', but are essentially decriminalised]

    ...

    Critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to “drug tourists” and exacerbate Portugal’s drug problem; the country has some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. The recently realised results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, suggest otherwise. The paper, published by Cato in April 2011, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

    ...

    Following decriminalization, Portugal has the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the EU: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%, Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

    The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%. Drug use in older teens also declined. Life time heroin use among 16-18 year olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%.

    New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003.

    Death related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half.

    The number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and the considerable money saved on enforcement allowed for increase funding of drug – free treatment as well.

    Property theft has dropped dramatically (50% - 80% of all property theft worldwide is caused by drug users)."
    if we legalize marijuana,use will definatly go down,alot of people like to use it just because its illegal.dont worry though when we legalize it hippies will find a new way to protest "THE MAN"
    “[The metric system is the tool of the Devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I likes it!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson”

  7. #57
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    With regards to the actual OP: I voted for 'other'.

    In my opinion, laws should be enacted which maximise the quality of life of the population as a whole, while ensuring a reasonable minimum standard for quality of life of each individual in the population. Several 'moral stances' match up with that guideline (eg "killing people is bad!") and several don't (eg "sodomy between consenting adults is an abomination!"). However, whether a stance is 'moral' or not shouldn't really be considered when looking at laws, except as useful background information - both because the populace's opinion of a law may well affect how easy it is to enforce, and because memetics indicates that many morals are in the general consciousness because they lead to a strong society.

    Of course, that's not a precise science by any means - for example, as the above link demonstrates, it may be worth decriminalising something negative on the basis that it will actually help more people overall. That's why an empirical approach to lawmaking is vital, rather than a moralistic one.

    An interesting topic, though - thanks for bringing up the issue! I've been thinking about it for quite a while (it ties in with other long-running thoughts of mine on the purposes of punishing criminals) but have never actually written much on the topic - certainly for a good few years now (I wrote one or two good things in pro/anti-gun forums elsewhere, several years back... might have to dig 'em up and see if I still agree with them!). What I've written here isn't exact, either, but it's a step in the right direction
    Last edited by iangb; 03-21-12 at 07:30 PM.
    The truth may be out there, but lies are in your head. ~Terry Pratchett

  8. #58
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"? If something doesn't "harm others" should it be legal and permitted? Should we have societal standards? Should we have some legal morals? Do people have a right to do all things they wish so long as others aren't harmed?
    Your poll question is faulty.All laws are based on morals.If something is illegal it is because enough people thought it is wrong and therefore should be against the law.

    Moral - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior :
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  9. #59
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    I'm magically enlightened, what do you need to know?
    Slept at a holiday inn, did you?

  10. #60
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    Re: Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    Moral question: Should we permit everything that doesn't "harm others"? If something doesn't "harm others" should it be legal and permitted? Should we have societal standards? Should we have some legal morals? Do people have a right to do all things they wish so long as others aren't harmed?
    Generally yes. Otherwise, we would be bordering on theocracy. Societal standards to seem to change with time, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but I think the only way to preserve any semblence of liberty is to keep a live and let live approach.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

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