View Poll Results: Is it the proper role of government to pass laws to protect you from yourself?

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  • Yes, if the government passed laws to protect me from myself, it then protects everyone else too.

    4 5.48%
  • No, people are responsible for the consequences of their own actions.

    55 75.34%
  • IDK/Other

    14 19.18%
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Thread: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

  1. #51
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    Self-interest is a fundamentally natural trait of living things. Living things tend to want to survive and thrive. Therefore their behaviors are inherently competitive. You need to shake yourself of this idea that something fundamentally natural is "disgusting."
    Some competition is. But when you pretend that it's all competition and no cooperation merely because you're coming out on top, that makes you a selfish prick and a liar.

    No, it's about recognizing that the only way to learn and grow is to notice and acknowledge that our own personal actions have personal consequences (naturally), and that if we don't like those consequences, we can change our actions.
    Which is a fine philosophical argument, but is still continually invoked to claim that poor people deserve to be poor.

    You're straw manning.
    I don't think you know what that is. I did not set up a caricature in order to discredit your ideas. I criticized your ideas for their inherent flaws. Don't deflect by incorrectly invoking a logical fallacy that I did not do.

    It also doesn't allow any person to choose if they want to be associated with all those schemes. If a person wants nothing to do with you or your ideas, he should be able to opt out, foregoing both the work/sacrifice as well as the rewards. You know what forced work is, right?
    And yet your philosophy never manifests as opting out. It manifests as reaping the rewards while discharging the obligations. It's like the morons who don't want to pay for schools because they personally don't have children attending them. They want to reap the benefit of an educated society but not have to contribute to paying for it. It's a small-minded and self-centered mentality.

    It's up to each person to decide if they feel morally obliged to help others, and how they think it's most appropriate to try to do so. You can't legislate a sense of morality into people. You can only restrict their freedom or property for your own ends.
    No, it's not. It's not up to each person to decide if they feel like being moral. It's right to help other people. It's wrong to hurt others for selfish benefit. Period. That's what's right and wrong. A philosophy rooted in selfishness, which this form of modern American libertarianism is, is wrong. Pretending that selfishness is a moral choice is wrong.
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  2. #52
    Sage

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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Some competition is. But when you pretend that it's all competition and no cooperation merely because you're coming out on top, that makes you a selfish prick and a liar.
    I never said everything about life is competitive, I said that competition is natural. It's not reasonable to regard self-interest or competitiveness in general (pejoratively you call it selfishness) as "disgusting."

    Which is a fine philosophical argument, but is still continually invoked to claim that poor people deserve to be poor.
    No one is trying to declare what one person deserves or doesn't deserve. They're trying to defend people's freedom to make (and learn from) mistakes. It's up to the individual to devise a strategy to succeed, just get by, or survive. Some will thrive and some will flounder. Are there benefits in cooperation, charity, assistance, and other things you believe in? Of course there are. But institutionalizing them as mandatory takes the personal decision-making out of it and thus robs it of its real benefits. It just makes people more resentful, actually.

    And yet your philosophy never manifests as opting out. It manifests as reaping the rewards while discharging the obligations.
    How so? You're completely wrong, FYI, but I'm interested to know why you think my philosophy does this (e.g. with a real-world example).

    It's like the morons who don't want to pay for schools because they personally don't have children attending them. They want to reap the benefit of an educated society but not have to contribute to paying for it. It's a small-minded and self-centered mentality.
    Well everyone pays generally for everything we decide to do at a federal level. If that's someone's real and only basis for opposing government-funded education, then yeah I'm inclined to agree, that's fairly moronic.

    No, it's not. It's not up to each person to decide if they feel like being moral. It's right to help other people. It's wrong to hurt others for selfish benefit. Period. That's what's right and wrong.
    But it's up to the individual to discover and believe that. It's up to parents to instill that. It's not up to you to impose your charitable notions onto him. You (pretending for a moment you're the government) taking money from a supremely selfish adult to go help others with it... still reflects zero sense of morality on the selfish guy's part. He's not deciding anything. He's still just as immoral (or perhaps I should say amoral). How is he more moral just because you took his money and helped someone else with it?

    A philosophy rooted in selfishness, which this form of modern American libertarianism is, is wrong. Pretending that selfishness is a moral choice is wrong.
    You're starting to sound a bit dogmatic.

    Look, if you really believe cooperation is in everyone's best interests, then why can they not be permitted to choose cooperation on their own? Similarly, those who do not choose cooperation will not (and should not) reap those same benefits. Why is that wrong? They freely chose not to cooperate, which you warned against, but you would not allow them to have to face those consequences?

  3. #53
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    I am astonished at the degree people demand the government control people to the finest detail. Of course, that also means demanding the government control you - ie protect you from yourself.

    Way back at the start of this country, a French philosopher named Torqueville toured the USA marveling at this new concept of uneducated people running their own government. While he saw this new concept of almost unrestricted personal freedom as amazing, he predicted it would not last. In his opinion that due to human nature, people would vote to outlaw anything a person does not like or do. Since there is almost nothing everyone agrees on, then ultimately almost everything would be regulated, outlaws or restricted. In short, he predicted Americans would become the most regulated, watched and constrained people with endless new laws and regulations.

    What is your opinion of the proper role of government?
    I think the strong absolutist personal freedom and responsibility arguments have several problems.

    1. If and when people fail to successfully fend for themselves, and some inevitably will fail, we would be forced to watch people self-destruct and most people cannot stomach that.

    2. Our current foreign policy MO often involves assistance to people in other countries. It creates a huge conflict in a lot of people's minds when we are able and willing to finance development and humanitarian efforts in other counties while not helping people at home.

    3. In the late 1700s people had nearly unlimited access to land and other vital resources often for free, depending on where one was willing to live. In 2013 you can't just chop down some trees on a river bank, erect a log cabin, plant a garden, hunt, fish, barter with neighbors and call it home.

    4. Very often one person's personal freedom affects to freedom of others. For example, you might think you're free to not wear a seatbelt when driving. However, if you're thrown from your car in an accident and don't survive, the taxpayers then have to provide for your family in some cases. If you have an adequate life insurance policy great, but even when people do many survivors don't managage the proceeds properly and in a few years the taxpayers coud be on the hook again. Plus, with every claim, paid premiums have to go up on other future policy holders so your freedom to not wear a seatbelt is costing some other insured's more money than they woud otherwise have to pay.

    I think the operative word in balance. Anything taken to an extreme is probably not a good thing. I like freedom and personal responsibility but taken to an extreme that coud mean everybody is responsible for their own private firefighter service. If their house catches fire and didnt buy into a private firefighter service or they let their membership lapse, burn and maybe die and there's a good chance ther neighbor's house gets destroyed too or at a minimum loses value possibly just before a sale because there's now a heap of ash and chared debris next door.
    Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011

  4. #54
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    I am astonished at the degree people demand the government control people to the finest detail. Of course, that also means demanding the government control you - ie protect you from yourself.
    What is your opinion of the proper role of government?
    To help me vote in this poll, could you please explain something for me?

    Would an example of the government passing a law to protect oneself from themselves be a law against drunken driving?
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  5. #55
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Ah, personal responsibility in a world run by irresponsible people.

  6. #56
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    Uh, ok... Is somebody here suggesting everybody pay for the uninsured through the government? I know I didn't. Here I am talking about personal freedom and responsibility, you know, the topic of the thread, and you're off on health care reform.
    No, I'm saying nobody pay for the uninsured AT ALL! I'm for personal responsibility in all things, this is just where we've ended up in this particular discussion.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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  7. #57
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    Then name one specific area...
    or I will....
    dental care
    For 50 years I did not take good care of my teeth...I went years without visiting a dentist....
    No, the piper must be paid.
    And I am not the only one...Should dental care be included in the ACA ?
    Should dental care be affordable for all ?
    Yes, I agree with the responsibility premise, but many of us are not that responsible
    And , I question the statement " .......government has no business..."
    The vote was "I do not know - other".
    Then let those people die. Problem solved.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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  8. #58
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    No, I'm saying nobody pay for the uninsured AT ALL! I'm for personal responsibility in all things, this is just where we've ended up in this particular discussion.
    We generally dont' pay for the uninsured. So I'm not really sure why you care so much. Perhaps you should take this beef up with the proponents of obamacare.
    Quote Originally Posted by LowDown View Post
    I've got to say that it is shadenfreudalicious to see the rich and famous fucquewads on the coast suffering from the fires.

  9. #59
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    We generally dont' pay for the uninsured. So I'm not really sure why you care so much. Perhaps you should take this beef up with the proponents of obamacare.
    The problem is, we generally do pay for the uninsured. People with no money show up to hospital emergency rooms and they are legally required to care for them. The taxpayer should not be on the hook for the irresponsible.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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  10. #60
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    Re: Do you believe in personal freedom and responsibility?

    Murky question. I am a general advocate of personal responsibility, but allowing any result to occur as a result is unacceptable. One example being that individuals should not be left to die for lack of resources.

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