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Freedom versus Security OR Pursuit of Happiness versus Negation of Harm
KamarAntivillainIn The BasementRegistered Userregular
This is pretty much the only interesting debate in politics or moral philosophy for me, so I like to bring it up every now and then (even though the threads usually die quick). Most of the issues where both sides have a point exist because of different views along this spectrum.
To clarify, I'm talking about things like the gun control, porn control, alcohol and drug control, age of consent laws, certain parts of the criminal justice system, state secrets, that sort of stuff where we try to find a balance between the risk of harm and the freedom to take those risks to enjoy our lives more.
It's also an area where even intelligent individuals tend to be inconsistent. I won't mention specifics because I don't want this to be an argument about specific views (yet).
Where do you stand? It's pretty hard to decide X number of deaths per year is worth Y amount of happiness in the rest of the population. Personally I favor a high-risk approach, give people drugs and guns and violent video games and porn and stuff they want, regulate--without banning--the ones with proven risk to people other than the user. Then educate us into not using dangerous shit or at least being moderately safe with our freedom. Seems like it worked pretty well with tobacco.
But I can understand people wanting to keep guns, violent rape and cartoon child porn, torture and violence 'porn' games and movies, dangerous drugs like cocaine or heroine, dangerous extreme and fighting-based sports, keep all that crazy shit away from people (or at least some people) too immature to handle the stuff in a psychologically and/or physically healthy way. Risk assessment for a lot of these things is damn near impossible given the variables involved.