"People ought to be protected from their own stupidity"

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Suetonius
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Is the exercise of government power justified by the perceived 'stupidity' of human beings, and the need to protect people from making 'stupid' choices? Discuss.
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That Bearded Man
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Not just stupidity, it could be bad luck as well. Either way, the state has a responsibility to ensure all members of society have a decent living, this includes protecting them.
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Suetonius
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
Not just stupidity, it could be bad luck as well. Either way, the state has a responsibility to ensure all members of society have a decent living, this includes protecting them.
From where do you derive this personal view/perception that people are stupid? From whence does the state derive this "responsibility"? Why the state?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Suetonius)
Is the exercise of government power justified by the perceived 'stupidity' of human beings, and the need to protect people from making 'stupid' choices? Discuss.
Yes. Its the reason I view libertarian dreams of legal heroin and euthanasia as stupid.

One only has to look at obesity, drug and alcohol abuse or even conflict around the world to realize that a large proportion of our species are idiots.

I agree with TBM, the state does have a duty to protect its citizens from harm (though we differ on what we consider harm).
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Suetonius
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Yes. Its the reason I view libertarian dreams of legal heroin and euthanasia as stupid.

One only has to look at obesity, drug and alcohol abuse or even conflict around the world to realize that a large proportion of our species are idiots.

I agree with TBM, the state does have a duty to protect its citizens from harm (though we differ on what we consider harm).
But there are numerous credible studies connecting obesity, drug and alcohol abuse to factors other than a person's level of intelligence. This would in fact suggest that the contrary of your position is true. Do you even have any experience in these issues, or are you just relying on things you've "look[ed] at...around the world"?

Regardless, I find it very amusing how both of you feel your own cognitive abilities are sufficient enough to decide these matters for other individuals.
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democracyforum
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(Original post by Suetonius)
Is the exercise of government power justified by the perceived 'stupidity' of human beings, and the need to protect people from making 'stupid' choices? Discuss.
give an example

You mean people who drink and eat as much as they want ? and smoke too ? refuse to get an education ?
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DiddyDec01
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We should let people make their own decisions no matter how stupid. It is survival of the fittest. We don't want to breed a nation of stupid people who can't make decisions for themselves.

We want creative free thinkers who break boundaries and do what no other person have ever even considered doing.

Smokers do our nation a favor, they die early and provide huge sums off money for the government. We should be celebrating smokers.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Suetonius)
But there are numerous credible studies connecting obesity, drug and alcohol abuse to factors other than a person's level of intelligence. This would in fact suggest that the contrary of your position is true. Do you even have any experience in these issues, or are you just relying on things you've "look[ed] at...around the world"?

Regardless, I find it very amusing how both of you feel your own cognitive abilities are sufficient enough to decide these matters for other individuals.
Of course evidence suggests that factors such as social class play their part but coming from a benefits background myself I don't believe that's a reasonable excuse.

Stupidity and intelligence are two different things, plenty of intelligent people make stupid decisions.
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Suetonius
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
We should let people make their own decisions no matter how stupid. It is survival of the fittest. We don't want to breed a nation of stupid people who can't make decisions for themselves.

We want creative free thinkers who break boundaries and do what no other person have ever even considered doing.

Smokers do our nation a favor, they die early and provide huge sums off money for the government. We should be celebrating smokers.
Well I agree with your second paragraph, but I don't know why you think the world operates according to Social Darwinism ('survival of the fittest'). Why do you think this?

Also, why is smokers' deaths providing huge sums of money for the government a good thing?
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Suetonius
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Of course evidence suggests that factors such as social class play their part but coming from a benefits background myself I don't believe that's a reasonable excuse.

Stupidity and intelligence are two different things, plenty of intelligent people make stupid decisions.
Well I didn't necessarily mean social class. Do you not think there could be thousands of different factors contributing to an individual's alcoholism/drug abuse etc.? To say it's because they are "idiots" - which is the term you used, and in the technical sense means absence of intelligence, hence why I linked you do that article - is a massive oversimplification. Also, I can't see why those traits are necessarily bad things/stupid choices.
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xOHarriet
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Bring back natural selection! Leave the idiots to it.
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DiddyDec01
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(Original post by Suetonius)
Well I agree with your second paragraph, but I don't know why you think the world operates according to Social Darwinism ('survival of the fittest'). Why do you think this?

Also, why is smokers' deaths providing huge sums of money for the government a good thing?
The world doesn't operate according to social Darwinism, but it should.

The death of smokers is not what provides the money, it is the taxes that smokers pay on cigarettes. But the deaths are a bonus because it will mean the NHS do not have to look after them in their old age nor will they need very much of a government pension. They won't be around long enough to use it.
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Old_Simon
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No. We should let Darwin take its course and hope stupid people die out.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
No. We should let Darwin take its course and hope stupid people die out.
They don't, they have 20 kids. You can't even use eugenics.
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