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    I hate it when I hear this. Why are so many people obsessed with banning relatively harmless things that they don't like? Things like drugs, prostitution, gambling, porn - activities which are, in and of themselves, harmless to others. Instead of trying to meddle with other peoples lives, why don't you let them live as they please?

    As for those who contend that these activities are, in fact, harmful to society, I can do nothing but laugh. The harm, such as drug killings and overdose, sex slavery, underground gambling rings etc., all arise from the fact that these activities are either illegal or semi-legal.

    Finally, I invite anybody to please explain how these activities, when regulated by the government to ensure safety, have the capacity to do any real harm.
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban_This_Filth
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    +1 OP, what's your opinion on guns?
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    Yeah ok, lets make heroin legal... that's not gonna harm anyone. While we're at it, no point having any age restrictions on it, afterall it only harms the user...

    /sarcasm
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    (Original post by Selkarn)
    +1 OP, what's your opinion on guns?
    This is, in my opinion, the trickiest issue for a social libertarian - especially since I live in America, haha. The difference with guns, I think, is that they do, in fact, have the unique capacity to harm other people. Countries need to strike a balance between the liberty to defend oneself and the right to live without fear of harm.

    (Original post by Barden)
    Yeah ok, lets make heroin legal... that's not gonna harm anyone. While we're at it, no point having any age restrictions on it, afterall it only harms the user...

    /sarcasm
    Why not? Why shouldn't people capable of making their own decisions (ie adults) be allowed to do so?

    Also, heroin is much more harmful to the individual when it is illegal. The supply is not regulated, so there is no way to control the dosage or to make sure it is pure. In addition, drug violence directly stems from illegality.
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    (Original post by Wucker)

    In addition, drug violence directly stems from illegality.
    I'd like to see your sources on that. Meanwhile, I could cite an endless number of cases and incidents where someone has been high on drugs, and harmed another innocent person. That's drug-related crime, regardless of illegality.
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    we should force crystal meth to school children then tax the meth by 500% for any further purchases they make afterwards and if they can't pay we should sell their bodies to columbian males, because this is legal and it doesn't harm us - only them.
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    (Original post by silenceinspace)
    I'd like to see your sources on that. Meanwhile, I could cite an endless number of cases and incidents where someone has been high on drugs, and harmed another innocent person. That's drug-related crime, regardless of illegality.
    It is pretty common sense. The reason that over 30,000 people have been killed in Mexico in the last 4 years is that drug cartels are willing to kill and be killed for the massive profits they garner due to the very high risk premium on illegal substances. As for people killing while high on drugs, why do you think they are killing and robbing? For drug money, because drug prices are high, and because drugs are illegal. Of course, it would be impossible to stop all murderers on drugs, like it would be impossible to stop murder in general, but that isn't a particularly forceful argument for illegality.


    (Original post by Broderss)
    we should force crystal meth to school children then tax the meth by 500% for any further purchases they make afterwards and if they can't pay we should sell their bodies to columbian males, because this is legal and it doesn't harm us - only them.
    Hyperbole, logical fallacies, and a basic misunderstanding of my argument. Fascinating.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    I hate it when I hear this. Why are so many people obsessed with banning relatively harmless things that they don't like? Things like drugs, prostitution, gambling, porn - activities which are, in and of themselves, harmless to others. Instead of trying to meddle with other peoples lives, why don't you let them live as they please?

    As for those who contend that these activities are, in fact, harmful to society, I can do nothing but laugh. The harm, such as drug killings and overdose, sex slavery, underground gambling rings etc., all arise from the fact that these activities are either illegal or semi-legal.

    Finally, I invite anybody to please explain how these activities, when regulated by the government to ensure safety, have the capacity to do any real harm.
    I think if you made all of the above activities legal, there would be a lot of damage to the society. But again, if you made them completely illegal it would still bring a lot of harm to the society, but not as much in the first case, where all of the "activities" are legal.

    BUT.....if you made them semi-legal or something along those lines, it's possible to maintain a relatively low crime rate compared to the fully legal / illegal scenarios, which I guess would be an optimum setting for societies and hence why we function that way. IF you think about it or examine the past century, this will be evident and this concept will make sense to you.
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    (Original post by CoolDude)
    I think if you made all of the above activities legal, there would be a lot of damage to the society. But again, if you made them completely illegal it would still bring a lot of harm to the society, but not as much in the first case, where all of the "activities" are legal.

    BUT.....if you made them semi-legal or something along those lines, it's possible to maintain a relatively low crime rate compared to the fully legal / illegal scenarios, which I guess would be an optimum setting for societies and hence why we function that way. IF you think about it or examine the past century, this will be evident and this concept will make sense to you.
    I perfectly understand the concept to which you are referring, that is, decriminalization. The issue with decriminalization is it, in effect, allows the cartels that run gambling, prostitution, and drug rings to continue to dominate the market while preventing legitimate regulation from the government and legitimate competition among business.

    It is, at best, a half-step.
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    Again, I'd like to see your sources on that statistic. Thanks.

    And I never mentioned robbing. Actually, I never mentioned killing, either. I said "harming." But let's just say that the harm is actually murder. An example is Joan Vollmer, wife of William S. Burroughs, who was murdered as they were on drugs and attempting to act like William Tell. [Information was taken from Women of the Beat Generation by Brenda Knight.]
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    Why shouldn't people capable of making their own decisions (ie adults) be allowed to do so?
    Perhaps some people feel that not all adults are capable of making their own decisions? Children are often considered incapable of making their own decisions because they might not think about or understand the consequences of their actions. But in my opinion, anyone "capable of making their own decisions" in this manner wouldn't be taking heroin recreationally in the first place, even if they were an adult.

    Sure, it's only harming them, it makes no difference to me or you. But some people care that other people don't harm themselves either.

    Now you might say "It's their life; it's none of your business whether they're harming themselves or not". But then, you could say exactly the same about children too. It's none of my business whether an eight year old child is working as a prostitute either; but obviously I'm going to say that legal measures should really be preventing this sort of thing.

    But at the end of the day, as I said, it doesn't really make any difference to me whether these things are legal or not, so I'm not going to go round actively campagining for their prohibition - I have better things to do. But even still, if you asked me "In your opnion, should X be banned?" I may still answer "yes".
    Even if I don't attempt to make them illegal doesn't mean I don't believe they should be.
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    legalise guns.
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    (Original post by silenceinspace)
    Again, I'd like to see your sources on that statistic. Thanks.

    And I never mentioned robbing. Actually, I never mentioned killing, either. I said "harming." But let's just say that the harm is actually murder. An example is Joan Vollmer, wife of William S. Burroughs, who was murdered as they were on drugs and attempting to act like William Tell. [Information was taken from Women of the Beat Generation by Brenda Knight.]
    Plenty has been written on the benefits of legalization. Drugs have never been legalized, just decriminalized (in Portugal), which resulted in a decrease in drug rates.

    Other so called vices, such as Prostitution, have been legalized, which has decreased violence against prostitutes and the spread of disease such as aids.

    Sources:

    http://www.fff.org/freedom/0998d.asp

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10080

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6178793.stm
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Perhaps some people feel that not all adults are capable of making their own decisions? Children are often considered incapable of making their own decisions because they might not think about or understand the consequences of their actions. But in my opinion, anyone "capable of making their own decisions" in this manner wouldn't be taking heroin recreationally in the first place, even if they were an adult.

    Sure, it's only harming them, it makes no difference to me or you. But some people care that other people don't harm themselves either.

    Now you might say "It's their life; it's none of your business whether they're harming themselves or not". But then, you could say exactly the same about children too. It's none of my business whether an eight year old child is working as a prostitute either; but obviously I'm going to say that legal measures should really be preventing this sort of thing.

    But at the end of the day, as I said, it doesn't really make any difference to me whether these things are legal or not, so I'm not going to go round actively campagining for their prohibition - I have better things to do. But even still, if you asked me "In your opnion, should X be banned?" I may still answer "yes".
    Even if I don't attempt to make them illegal doesn't mean I don't believe they should be.
    I certainly don't disagree that many people are irrational, foolish, or incapable. What I do disagree with, though, is the sentiment that the government should be the judge. People do stupid things (such as rob, launder money, beat their spouses etc.) even if they are illegal, but you are only adding to the problem if you make harmless things illegal as well. In addition, what you put down to "stupidity" can easily be seen as a lifestyle choice, one that you, and most people, don't agree with. Even so, what gives you, or anyone, the right to make that call?

    The reason why this doesn't apply to children is that you can make a much more generalized, and scientifically backed, statement regarding their relative inability to care for themselves. This is why children live with their parents, and have lived with their parents throughout human history - they are dependent on others.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    I certainly don't disagree that many people are irrational, foolish, or incapable. What I do disagree with, though, is the sentiment that the government should be the judge.
    I'm not saying that the government makes a perfect judge, exactly. But I think that often, they can make a better judge than individuals themselves.

    People do stupid things (such as rob, launder money, beat their spouses etc.) even if they are illegal, but you are only adding to the problem if you make harmless things illegal as well.
    I don't really understand this. What problem would it be adding to?

    In addition, what you put down to "stupidity" can easily be seen as a lifestyle choice, one that you, and most people, don't agree with. Even so, what gives you, or anyone, the right to make that call?

    The reason why this doesn't apply to children is that you can make a much more generalized, and scientifically backed, statement regarding their relative inability to care for themselves. This is why children live with their parents, and have lived with their parents throughout human history - they are dependent on others.
    True; but even if children are depedent on their parents, you could still use the same argument. What if the parent has consented to allowing their child to behave a certain way? What if a particular parent says "I want to raise my eight year old child as a prostitute"? If it has been approved by the parent that the child is dependent upon. You could once again ask: who are we to make the call that this is a stupid way to bring up a child, rather than a valid "lifestyle choice"?

    In such a case, the reason we might protest against such a decision is because we think the parent is just as incapable of making decisions as the child - otherwise they wouldn't be making such decisions. The same goes for adults who make certain decisions about their own lives; we might think that, like many children, they too are incapable of reasoned decision making. What if an adult decides to take heroin without even knowing fully what its effects are?

    Aside from children, there are many adults who are clearly not the best decision-makers. Some adults might be considered "mentally handicapped", and are never allowed to make their own decisions. But how do we decide which adults are capable of making their own decisions and which ones aren't? Well, we examine the decisions that they are making. Ultimately, someone has to step in and say "Your decision making skills aren't good enough".
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I'm not saying that the government makes a perfect judge, exactly. But I think that often, they can make a better judge than individuals themselves.



    I don't really understand this. What problem would it be adding to?



    True; but even if children are depedent on their parents, you could still use the same argument. What if the parent has consented to allowing their child to behave a certain way? What if a particular parent says "I want to raise my eight year old child as a prostitute"? If it has been approved by the parent that the child is dependent upon. You could once again ask: who are we to make the call that this is a stupid way to bring up a child, rather than a valid "lifestyle choice"?

    In such a case, the reason we might protest against such a decision is because we think the parent is just as incapable of making decisions as the child - otherwise they wouldn't be making such decisions. The same goes for adults who make certain decisions about their own lives; we might think that, like many children, they too are incapable of reasoned decision making. What if an adult decides to take heroin without even knowing fully what its effects are?

    Aside from children, there are many adults who are clearly not the best decision-makers. Some adults might be considered "mentally handicapped", and are never allowed to make their own decisions. But how do we decide which adults are capable of making their own decisions and which ones aren't? Well, we examine the decisions that they are making. Ultimately, someone has to step in and say "Your decision making skills aren't good enough".
    The problem it would be adding to would be the problems inherent in the "vices."

    As for the whole children adult dichotomy, the reason that, while a child may a dependent, the child is still a person. If the action of a parent harms the child, then the state should act to protect them. This is not inconsistent at all with what I have been saying, I am arguing in favor of actions that do not harm others.

    Finally, we shouldn't decide which adults are capable of making their own decisions. When the government (ie "we") begins to lay down moral judgements, which is what you are suggesting, the endpoint is dictatorship. After all, the same point could be made for the criminalization of sodomy (which was illegal in some U.S. states until 2002. After all, if you are I or anyone happened to think that it is a morally wrong, deviant, dangerous life choice that will ultimately lead to AIDS and hell then, by your logic, it would make sense to ban it.

    That idea, that need, that unreasonable urge to shape the lives of others is precisely what I oppose.
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    We NEED to ban... pointless threads.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    As for the whole children adult dichotomy, the reason that, while a child may a dependent, the child is still a person. If the action of a parent harms the child, then the state should act to protect them. This is not inconsistent at all with what I have been saying, I am arguing in favor of actions that do not harm others.
    I'm also talking about actions which don't harm others (e.g. if an eight year old child wants to become a prostitute) but any parent they're dependent upon gives their consent at the same time, or decides not to interfere with the child's decision - not about instances where the parent is directly harming the child.

    Finally, we shouldn't decide which adults are capable of making their own decisions. When the government (ie "we") begins to lay down moral judgements, which is what you are suggesting, the endpoint is dictatorship.
    But we have to decide that some adults aren't capable of making their own decisions. For example, I have a relative who was unfortunately born mentally handicapped. If you saw him, there's no way you'd let him make his own decisions. If he decides to play with a knife, he'll probably end up stabbing himself. If he decides to sit near the stairs, he'll probably fall down them and injure himself. If he decides to go outside by himself, he'd probably either lose his way home, or get run over by a car or something. This is of course, a more extreme case; but the point is, he's an adult who would probably be dead by now if he were left to his own devices. He's not allowed to make his own decisions because he clearly doesn't have the capacity to do so.

    There are other people who, even if they're not so obviously mentally handicapped, will still probably end up dead, or otherwise with serious problems if they're left to their own devices - especially when it comes to things like drugs. So where do you draw the line? How do you decide who is capable of making their own decisions and who isn't? We can't (and don't) allow every adult to make their own decisions, because some simply don't have the capacity.

    After all, the same point could be made for the criminalization of sodomy (which was illegal in some U.S. states until 2002. After all, if you are I or anyone happened to think that it is a morally wrong, deviant, dangerous life choice that will ultimately lead to AIDS and hell then, by your logic, it would make sense to ban it.
    I don't think it would make sense to ban it if only you or I thought that sodomy would lead to problems. It would only make sense if the vast majority of people thought this, and it was the general consensus amongst society that it would lead to problems (as is the case with various drugs).

    We already ban things like incest, even though that doesn't harm anyone else, not because one or two people disagree with it, but because the society as a whole disagrees with it. (I'm talking in particular about incest which does not result in children being born - e.g. gay incest, or incest where one of the participants are infertile etc.)
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I'm also talking about actions which don't harm others (e.g. if an eight year old child wants to become a prostitute) but any parent they're dependent upon gives their consent at the same time, or decides not to interfere with the child's decision - not about instances where the parent is directly harming the child.



    But we have to decide that some adults aren't capable of making their own decisions. For example, I have a relative who was unfortunately born mentally handicapped. If you saw him, there's no way you'd let him make his own decisions. If he decides to play with a knife, he'll probably end up stabbing himself. If he decides to sit near the stairs, he'll probably fall down them and injure himself. If he decides to go outside by himself, he'd probably either lose his way home, or get run over by a car or something. This is of course, a more extreme case; but the point is, he's an adult who would probably be dead by now if he were left to his own devices. He's not allowed to make his own decisions because he clearly doesn't have the capacity to do so.

    There are other people who, even if they're not so obviously mentally handicapped, will still probably end up dead, or otherwise with serious problems if they're left to their own devices - especially when it comes to things like drugs. So where do you draw the line? How do you decide who is capable of making their own decisions and who isn't? We can't (and don't) allow every adult to make their own decisions, because some simply don't have the capacity.



    I don't think it would make sense to ban it if only you or I thought that sodomy would lead to problems. It would only make sense if the vast majority of people thought this, and it was the general consensus amongst society that it would lead to problems (as is the case with various drugs).

    We already ban things like incest, even though that doesn't harm anyone else, not because one or two people disagree with it, but because the society as a whole disagrees with it. (I'm talking in particular about incest which does not result in children being born - e.g. gay incest, or incest where one of the participants are infertile etc.)
    I think the fundamental area of our disagreement is that you think government should step in and ensure that people make what are, in your mind, "correct" decisions, while I believe it should be left up to the individual. In addition, I do not believe we should ban things just because the majority of people wish it to be so. Back to the sodomy example - the reason it was banned in the first place was because the vast majority of people opposed homosexuality, did that make its illegality good or just in any way?
 
 
 
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