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Personal Freedom, personal responsibility and social control.

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Where do you stand on this?

One extreme example is the Bloomberg and soda issue. Banning the sale of soda over 16 oz to "protect" the individual from him/her self. To assist the individual in the fight against obesity.

Seatbelt laws. No argument in that they do save lives. But once again the government is butting in and affecting one's personal freedom. Good reason? A just reason? Or is there no good reason to impinge upon one's personal freedom?

Smoking in public places? To what extent is it our responsibility not to pollute another's environment? Does the right to smoke "trump" (sorry couldn't resist) another's right to breathe non smoke filled air?


As a society do we practice personal responsibility and accountability? Do we take ownership of our responsibility for our own actions? Do we care about others or do we really just care only about ourselves? As a society are we ethically and morally conscious or are we corrupt when it comes to behaving in a considerate way? Do we need to be governed into social responsibility through mandates and legislations?

Or can we mind our own business and our own personal affairs without impinging on the personal freedoms of others?
And take back our personal freedom and behave ethically and responsibly and act on our own innate goodness?




personalresponsibilitycalvinandhobbes.gif

Should we err on the side of personal freedom and liberty and not allow the government to control our behavior? As the founding fathers intended. Is individual liberty a fundamental right or a gift? And must we/should we preserve it at all costs?
 

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diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I think there has to be balance. The limitation of soft drinks to 16 oz is absurd. I mean, the person can just buy two if they want more. We can't control other people's diet choices.

Seat belts and car seats for children seem like good things to me since it's proven to result in fewer deaths.

Smoking has been banned inside in most places already. I don't see how it can be banned outdoors totally. I hate it and I avoid any places that allow smoking. That's my personal preference, and I can control my exposure, usually.

Some people do the right thing and others only care for themselves. I do think there have to be some general laws for safety, yet I am a strong proponent of freedom to make personal choices in most cases. For example, medical freedom is especially important, and I don't want the government to interfere as that is between my doctor and me.
 

distracts

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Smoking in public places? To what extent is it our responsibility not to pollute another's environment? Does the right to smoke "trump" (sorry couldn't resist) another's right to breathe non smoke filled air?
For me this one is pretty non-negotiable - I am allergic to cigarette smoke and if exposed for just a short time my eyes start swelling, and if exposed for longer I get hives.

For things like the soda thing and the seatbelt thing - it mainly just affects the people doing or not doing it, and others only in tangential ways. So I have much less problem with not regulating those things. Sure, wearing seatbelts reduces deaths - but were the deaths of the non-seatbelted people, or were they from people hit by the non-seatbelted-people flying through the air like projectiles? Because I'm pretty sure it was the former and, eh, sucks for them, but not really the law's problem.
 

telephone89

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Interesting topic! To me, I think the government/regulators can/should do what they can to protect the public, but also to make things better for us.

In the example of pop - obesity is a personal condition, but it also puts a strain on the health system. That's tax dollars being spent to care for the obese population - even from childhood now. Idk if the government actually cares that we are healthy (same with smoking), but I know they care about reducing the burden of cost of caring for us. And I don't think that's actually a terrible thing! It makes everything more efficient - should it work. I'm doubtful the pop thing will, but I see the intention. A healthcare system that isn't burdened by preventable issues means better care for other patients.

With the smoking thing, where I live you can generally smoke outdoors, but you have to be X meters from the door. They are introducing completely plain packaging on cigarette containers, and previously/currently have the really gross pictures of lungs and whatnot on them. The government taxes tobacco pretty highly. All of this IMO is a way to make it more uncomfortable to participate in the activity, thus trying to limit how many people partake, thus eventually lessening the burden on the system. Do I think the government cares that I hate walking through smokey smokers to get to my office? Not a chance lol. But I do think they are trying to slowly limit how many people are interested, because when it's pouring rain or -20C or snowing very few people want to go walk 5m away from the door for their smoke.
 

lyra

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Limiting food doesn't work, there's no point. I get the idea, but pass it on to the rest of us by lowering the cost of fresh produce. Won't happen. Seatbelts/carseats, yes of course. Limiting smoking anywhere in public places also yes. People are not adhering to the laws we have about that strictly speaking. If I'm at a store, I don't want to get secondhand smoke from employees (can't legislate other people) anywhere where I'm allowed to park my car. There's one grocery store that put the "smoking zone" right in front of the accessible parking. Hate it. We have plenty of freedom where I live, but it's something we grow up knowing we don't have to fight for it. Seems totally different attitude in the US, looking at it from the outside. Maybe we just put up with more and complain less, idk.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I think Trump voters should not be required to wear seatbelts. :Up_to_something:
 

redwood66

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I wonder if the market would have eventually worked itself out with regard to smoking indoors in public places. As people become aware of the negative aspects of smoking and others (like me) who would usually never frequent locations that allowed it, would those public places forbid it on their own? They always could. Sure it probably would have taken longer as it usually does. I don't know anyone close to me that smokes and my workplace has only a handful now of about 300 employees, yeah I went back to work part time. In fact smoking is at a record low.

 

Gussie

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...that they are endowed by their Creator certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, LIBERTY, and the Pursuit of Happiness...

Liberty is God given, not a gift from any government. There are of course limits. But I will happily drink my Big Gulp if I want to. Maybe two of them!

I used to send my son to school with a flavored water pouch. No sugar in it (not that it was anyone's business even if it had sugar!). The teacher sent me a note saying it wasn't allowed for snack time. Mama Liberty Bear came out, lol. I quickly proceeded to let her know that I was the parent and I was paying high tuition for private school because of what I believe to be an overreach in public schools when it comes to individual rights. It really had nothing to do with the drink box btw, just the fact that the school was stepping beyond what I believe their role was. I may get flamed for this but I will side with individual rights almost always. I am, however, for a revamp of gun laws. Just mho. Peace.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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i dont like big government (im very unhappy with the government of the day in my country)
i don't like a ton of stupid regulations that just make red tape

however sometimes the purpose of government is to make the tough unpopular deiscions for the common good.

seat belt laws are good
if someone dies from not wearing one someone else is going to be traumatized having to clean up the mess

but im not a fan of the nanny state
laws on how big a drink you can buy are beyound redicoulss
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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...that they are endowed by their Creator certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, LIBERTY, and the Pursuit of Happiness...

Liberty is God given, not a gift from any government. There are of course limits. But I will happily drink my Big Gulp if I want to. Maybe two of them!

I used to send my son to school with a flavored water pouch. No sugar in it (not that it was anyone's business even if it had sugar!). The teacher sent me a note saying it wasn't allowed for snack time. Mama Liberty Bear came out, lol. I quickly proceeded to let her know that I was the parent and I was paying high tuition for private school because of what I believe to be an overreach in public schools when it comes to individual rights. It really had nothing to do with the drink box btw, just the fact that the school was stepping beyond what I believe their role was. I may get flamed for this but I will side with individual rights almost always. I am, however, for a revamp of gun laws. Just mho. Peace.
lunch box shaming by school teachers is horrible
there has been a lot of it here
good for you biting back
 

MeowMeow

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 27, 2009
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778
I'm a huge fan of laws that help with safety. Like the seatbelts and even am fine with the smoking one because smoke irritates my breathing. But laws like the soda one I find stupid. What's next? Will they start controlling our food intake to "protect" us from ourselves? And I am not even a huge soda drinker either. Usually a single can or the smallest size available if we go out to eat. So it's not even that I want to protect my 64oz sodas from being taken. I just think it's a bit too far.
 

Tartansparkles

Shiny_Rock
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Feb 23, 2017
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I'm not in favour of the nanny state but what counts as 'nannying' may be depend on what you are already used to. Seatbelts have been mandatory for as long as I can remember. Smoking is not permitted in any public building (i.e only allowed in your own home or outside (but some buildings also have exclusion zones to prevent people from gathering). I'm in favour of both of those.

We have also introduced minimum pricing for alcohol, I'm also in favour.

Question: in the US is it legal to drive while using your mobile/cell phone? (I watch a lot of US TV, people always seem to be using their phones while driving). That is illegal here, and again, I'm in favour.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I'm not in favour of the nanny state but what counts as 'nannying' may be depend on what you are already used to. Seatbelts have been mandatory for as long as I can remember. Smoking is not permitted in any public building (i.e only allowed in your own home or outside (but some buildings also have exclusion zones to prevent people from gathering). I'm in favour of both of those.

We have also introduced minimum pricing for alcohol, I'm also in favour.

Question: in the US is it legal to drive while using your mobile/cell phone? (I watch a lot of US TV, people always seem to be using their phones while driving). That is illegal here, and again, I'm in favour.
It's very sad we have to legislate common sense. But you know what "they" say about common sense. It isn't very common at all. :(

As Matata linked it varies from state to state. It is, I hope, illegal to hold a mobile device while driving in all states. I know it is illegal in NY and NJ.

I too am against a nanny state but some things just have to be legislated for public safety.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I think Trump voters should not be required to wear seatbelts. :Up_to_something:
Haha I will go one further. I think they should be required to *NOT* wear seat belts. But only when driving on roads with other Trump supporters. :P2
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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30,523
Haha I will go one further. I think they should be required to *NOT* wear seat belts. But only when driving on roads with other Trump supporters. :P2
I don't think Trump wear seat belts. :bigsmile:
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

This, to me, is the cornerstone of personal responsibility vs social responsibility and there should be a marriage of the two so to speak.

I find this an interesting read fyi.

 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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I think if you can't ban alcohol and you can't ban drug taking, how are you going to enforce people drinking soda/soft drinks.... if they are restricting the size you can buy all people will do is buy several smaller sized ones.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
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I think if you can't ban alcohol and you can't ban drug taking, how are you going to enforce people drinking soda/soft drinks.... if they are restricting the size you can buy all people will do is buy several smaller sized ones.
That's the point, they want to make it more expensive. But it just becomes another tax on people with less money, rich people never care if they have to buy 3 $3 sodas, it means nothing to them
 

the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
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i dont like big government (im very unhappy with the government of the day in my country)
i don't like a ton of stupid regulations that just make red tape

however sometimes the purpose of government is to make the tough unpopular deiscions for the common good.

seat belt laws are good
if someone dies from not wearing one someone else is going to be traumatized having to clean up the mess

but im not a fan of the nanny state
laws on how big a drink you can buy are beyound redicoulss
I agree with your latter bolded statement; the problem is the slippery slope created with your first bolded statement. It becomes easier and easier to legislate the ‘big gulp‘ when politicians legislate individual liberties “for the common good”. ‘Common good’ is subjective, and is sadly abused by short-sighted lawyers & politicians tinkering with individual liberties while attempting to garner votes and stay in power. It’s the same reason you hear so many 2A-supporters push back on more gun legislation because - little by little - it’s chipping away at individual rights ... one big gulp or firearm at a time.

The example of the ‘big gulp’ and people’s ability - recommendations even - to circumvent that ‘law’ as noted above to just buy several smaller drinks is theoretically no different than what criminals have done and will continue to do when it comes to breaking the law - they either ignore the law and/or find another way to get/do what they want, including firearms.

Going back to the original question in this thread about personal responsibility & accountability vs. government overreach, I’m all for less government overreach, laws, and regulations. If individuals/businesses will not be responsible & accountable on their own for their actions when those actions negatively affect other/s, there are ways of dealing with that via the criminal & civil courts. We don’t need more laws, regulations, etc. ... we need enforcement of existing laws; we need courts - judges and lawyers - that won’t interpret the law based on political leaning or dreams of grand payout$ and free advertising in the media; we need prisons sized, staffed and enabled to enforce that punishment; and we need citizens to 1) respect the findings of courts and juries when issuing decisions and punishments based on the law, and 2) be rightfully punished for trying to sue others when their own personal choices result in negative consequences (such as consuming mass amounts of crap resulting in disease/obesity, etc).

Individual‘s negative choices should be punished individually ... not result in punishment or diminished rights of innocent, law abiding citizens for the subjective “common good” with more legislation ... whether it’s a soda or a Smith & Wesson.
 

the_mother_thing

Ideal_Rock
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I may get flamed for this but I will side with individual rights almost always. I am, however, for a revamp of gun laws. Just mho. Peace.
I won’t flame you, but if you allow one right to be further legislated, why not your child’s drink pouch? Why not the big gulp? Why not the portion size a restaurant may serve?
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I may get flamed for this but I will side with individual rights almost always. I am, however, for a revamp of gun laws. Just mho. Peace.
@Gussie I agree with you.

We need to fix holes in the system and also close loopholes in the laws. Stricter and complete background checks on anyone wanting to own a firearm. And IMO no one needs nor should be allowed to own assault rifles, bazookas, etc.

Many mass shootings were carried out by people who were known to be mentally disturbed yet somehow they acquired the firearms despite the law stating people with mental illness should not have the right to own firearms.

There should be a federal database to track all gun sales and an assault weapons ban. Period.

The USA has more gun ownership than any other country and we have the most mass shootings and gun related deaths of any other country.

Fewer guns, better records, common sense restrictions on purchases would still allow for law abiding citizens to own guns but with much less gun violence overall.


It's tragic that American politics generally and gun control specifically is such a partisan issue. That we cannot all come together and fix this with common sense in favor of making our country safer and better.
 

facetgirl

Shiny_Rock
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Jun 20, 2008
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I have no issue with packaging restrictions. As long as I can purchase it and have the choice to consume it, I'm fine. I do see many items containing a whole lot of sugar in super sizes that probably are excessive. At some point if we know something is harmful when consumed in large quantities, I think we have a responsibility to each other to at least put a warning on label on it about the impacts or restrict excessive packaging. It's still up to the consumer and they still have a choice to purchase.

Seatbelts are an entirely different story in my view. I wear a seatbelt to protect me and anyone else in the car. You are actually preventing yourself from becoming a projectile in the car in the case of a bad crash. I guess its a similar argument in my head about smoking. Second hand smoke is a killer too.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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My thinking is libertarian so.... I'll end my part of the conversation right there.
 

Gussie

Ideal_Rock
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I won’t flame you, but if you allow one right to be further legislated, why not your child’s drink pouch? Why not the big gulp? Why not the portion size a restaurant may serve?
I'm not anti gun, in fact, I am a gun owner. I just think there should be stronger checks on who may purchase. I don't believe in an absolute free for all for the 2nd amendment.

While I understand the slippery slope argument and agree with it to an extent, I hardly consider drinking a Big Gulp in the same light as purchasing an AR15 without a rigorous background check. I have a hard time with all sins being equal too. :think:
 

Matata

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Individual‘s negative choices should be punished individually ... not result in punishment or diminished rights of innocent, law abiding citizens for the subjective “common good” with more legislation ... whether it’s a soda or a Smith & Wesson.
Missy's questions are deeply rooted in philosophy and the greatest minds of our time are still debating the slippery slopes of personal freedom and whether and how to establish limits on it. The best we can do in this discussion is scratch the surface of a deeply complex issue.

We have limits on free speech, freedom of religion and other inalienable rights to the extent necessary to maintain a functioning society, what some call the "common good" which you claim is subjective. Lots of things are subjective. "Innocent law abiding citizens" who have never had a traffic ticket or exceeded the speed limit are still expected to follow the speed limit and I don't view that as a punishment. What constitutes "innocence" is subjective. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

I'm in favor of allowing us to harm ourselves in any way we desire and to live our lives as we choose as long as our choices do not harm or impinge on the rights of others and as long as we accept responsibility for the negative results of our actions. All of that is subjective yet we manage through trial and error to establish limits that may be fair to some while unfair to others. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

An individual wants to own a gun. Personal choice, individual right. Said gun owner is an "innocent law abiding citizen" and takes every possible precaution to keep that gun out of irresponsible hands and still through a robbery or other means, said gun falls into the wrong hands and is used in the commission of a crime. Said gun owner should be held responsible for that crime. If someone is killed, said gun owner should be charged with murder. Said gun owner should bear the financial responsibility for whatever negative consequences were inflicted on the person harmed by the gun. Such is the nature of pure individual freedom and its consequences.

What about those who bring themselves to harm by exercising their right to personal freedom then expect government to pick up the pieces? Some broad examples -- those who don't wear seatbelts, drink and drive, take addicting drugs, engage in risky hobbies such as race car driving, mountain climbing. ignore warning labels and don't have personal insurance to cover injuries they sustain by exercising their right to individual freedom without government interference. Should government pay for their health care when they are injured exercising their individual right to engage in potential self-harming behavior (innocent law abiding citizens are funding that health care)? Is that fair to those who don't engage in risky behavior to pay for the health care of those who do?

To what extent should government/society be expected to compensate for our freedom of choice in cases where we choose to absolve ourselves from negative consequences of our actions on either ourselves or others? That to me is the crux of the issue. Not whether we should have such freedom, but how do we exercise freedom responsibly within the context of our society. For starters, we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, in short, sometimes we have to give a little to get a little.
 
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