View Poll Results: What's Better - Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?

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  • Greater Freedom of Choice

    2 100.00%
  • Greater Freedom of Opportunity

    0 0%
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Thread: Which Is Better? Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?

  1. #1
    Sage
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    Which Is Better? Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    They're not the same thing. All too often, maximizing freedom of choice takes away from maximizing freedom of opportunity.

    For instance, look at smoking: measures allowing greater freedom of choice would take away anti-smoking initiatives such as very high tobacco taxes, but those anti-smoking initiatives have also greatly lessened the rate of smoking - which means more people are healthier, better able to work and provide for their families.

    Another example are seat belts: if we get rid of seat belt laws, yes, we could still wear seat belts - it would be a matter of choice. But it's been shown that enforced seat belt laws increase the rate of seat belt use, which certainly decreases serious injuries and death.

    This isn't to say freedom of choice is a bad thing - of course not! It's simply that ensuring maximum freedom of choice may sound good on the individual level, but is not always good for the society as a whole. That's why I say that when it comes to regulations, we need to be careful not only about over-regulating, but we also have to be careful about under-regulating.
    As for regulating smoking, high taxes on tobacco products does not prohibit anyone from smoking. It just provides an incentive to quit.

    Seat belts are another matter. you can be fined for not wearing them. Of course, you can also be dead, but no one seems to worry about that.

    Laws aimed at making people healthier or preventing injuries and death can only be justified if poor health and bodily injury impacts people who weren't in on the decision to smoke or not buckle up. Impacts, for example, like higher premiums for health care, or more taxes for same. Were we willing to simply allow the unbelted driver die beside the road, then we would have no justification for requiring seat belts.

    But, then, most of us don't want to live in such a society.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Which Is Better? Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?

    I agree that the choices offered in the poll could either cancel each other out; could be so closely related that it would be silly to choose between them--like what is more important for human life? The heart or the lungs?--or they could be so unrelated that no rational comparison is possible.

    What benefit is there in the opportunity to choose if there is only one choice? That kind of thing.

    Ultimately, however, a society that values liberty will always produce more choices/options and much more of all kinds of opportunity.

    EDIT: This was mostly in response to Glen's post and they got switched in order when transferred to this new thread. But if you read mine after his, it makes more sense.
    Last edited by AlbqOwl; 05-01-14 at 05:57 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Which Is Better? Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?

    Choice and opportunity are not the same thing. All too often, maximizing freedom of choice takes away from maximizing freedom of opportunity.

    For instance, look at smoking: measures allowing greater freedom of choice would take away anti-smoking initiatives such as very high tobacco taxes, but those anti-smoking initiatives have also greatly lessened the rate of smoking - which means more people are healthier, better able to work and provide for their families.

    Another example are seat belts: if we get rid of seat belt laws, yes, we could still wear seat belts - it would be a matter of choice. But it's been shown that enforced seat belt laws increase the rate of seat belt use, which certainly decreases serious injuries and death.

    This isn't to say freedom of choice is a bad thing - of course not! It's simply that ensuring maximum freedom of choice may sound good on the individual level, but is not always good for the society as a whole. That's why I say that when it comes to regulations, we need to be careful not only about over-regulating, but we also have to be careful about under-regulating.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

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  4. #4
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    Re: Which Is Better? Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?

    Moderator's Warning:
    Which Is Better?  Greater Freedom of Choice, or Greater Freedom of Opportunity?OK, moved posts from other thread to this one. But for some odd reason it put them above Glen's post. Weird. I'll ask other mods to see if anything can be done to fix that.
    I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer. ~ Kal'Stang

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