Monday, April 5, 2010

drugs, whores, slaves, organs, and suicide

It's my body, not yours.

While the GOP may be an ally fighting ObamaCare for fiscal and economic reasons, they include the religious-right. So they have a poor record defending freedom with one's body. The 'social conservatives' tell you "No drugs", "No abortion", "No prostitution". The pièce de résistance was in Footloose, where they told Kevin Bacon "No dancing". This is one concept that classical liberals could relate better with the left on: telling government to butt-out of our life choices, whether it be doctor-patient relationships or bong rips. Of course, the dilemma arises when one supports socialist health care... because then our poor health choices become a burden on the state, justifying state control of our bodies (yet another reason to oppose communist health care). This leads to recent legislation like banning trans-fats, tanning beds, fish pedicures, and salt. Every activity that is made illegal presents greater tax burden for enforcement. Many of the social-conservative topics are controversial, because they touch some very grey moral topics. Let's examine:

Drugs - "Drugs lead to crime." "It's 'bad for society'."
Any 'black market' activity brings crime with it, since all participants avoid the justice system. If all drugs were legalized, would drug use increase? Experience elsewhere says no. Even if usage increased, crime associated with it would decrease since users could rely on police protection. Criminalizing things that correlate with violence is a concept contradictory with free choice and personal responsibility for one's actions. Time to outlaw rap music! Barry Manilow, here we come.
Even legal drugs are stymied by regulation. The FDA is completely unnecessary, considering that people are fully capable to weigh the risks-benefits of putting substances into their own body. Without the FDA, pharmaceutical costs would drop tremendously and there would be far more treatments available on the market. Those who were dying and desperate would have more options and be willing to take more risks. Pharma companies that lie about their products or testing would be sued out of existence.

Prostitution - "It's an abuse of women" "It spreads disease."
The abuse of women comes from the inability of prostitutes to seek police protection. Those who don't wear rubbers are dumb, whether they sleep with a hooker or a slut at a bar... and those who sleep with people who sleep with people without rubbers are just as dumb. For married folk, that's a different story. If a husband/wife cheats and gives their spouse an STD, they are more strictly accountable for violating their contract. However, the prudish laws against "the world's oldest profession" pose the greatest danger to women who participate.

Slavery - "Gasp! Racist!" "How could you support freedom and advocate slavery?"
Before you gasp, understand that I'm not talking ethnic-based slavery, or kidnapping and slave trading. Those are acts of force, violating individual rights. However, if a person is over their head in debt or has no means to provide for their family they should be able to enter a contract of indentured servitude of their own free will. They could include clauses in such a contract to prohibit abuse, set terms of expiration, or conditions for release. Such transactions were known of in the Roman Republic, a civilization of greater longevity than our short-lived USA.

Selling Organs - "It's exploitation."
It works for sperm. If markets were allowed to work for things like bone marrow, and rare blood-types... there would never be a shortage. Just imagine what it would do for kidneys. Or eyeballs. Or anything. If a man would be willing to give an arm and a leg (literally) to ensure his child is provided for, why should he be denied that choice? So long as it is voluntary, there would not be a flood of harvesting poor people's organs. Most people like their bodies intact.

Suicide or assisted-suicide - "Suicide is wrong." "Ending life is murder."
Dr. Kervorkian. I think a lot of us supported him, because we understand not wanting to be a burden on family. We understand not wanting to live a slow painful death. This is one area where religious magical, mystical mythology of purgatory causes unnecessary suffering for sick dying people, and it's a shame. If someone is depressed, hopefully they will find help... but ultimately, no one should be locked up for attempted suicide so long as they don't try to destroy other life or property while doing the deed.

It's my body, not yours... so butt the hell out.

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