Liberty Endangered by the Abuse of Liberty

The issue of human rights has been in the news a lot recently. Particularly for minorities. I suspect my inclusionist views on people having them are already well-known to frequent readers. However, I also make a clear distinction between possession and use: a legal right or liberty is a method not a goal.

Immigrants, prisoners, religions, ethnicities, genders. These groups, and others with equally indistinct edges and qualities, are often held up as needing fewer or greater rights. I have in the past, and probably will again, argued that everyone should receive the same broad package of rights and liberties for being human; and that any change in that treatment must be only on the basis it necessarily stems from a difference relevant to the issue in question. For example: everyone has the right to health care but certain ethnicities are more likely to suffer from specific conditions, so people of that ethnicity might have greater entitlement to screening for the condition if there is a limited resource.

One of the counter-arguments to this granting of rights and liberties to all people is that people will use them. Depending on the perspective of the speaker this might be couched as the need for government to combat terrorism or for normal people to be spared offensive political views, but fundamentally the argument is that if people are not prevented from doing something (or not forced to do something) some of them will choose the alternative the speaker does not wish them to.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

– George Bernard Shaw

Which is not to say the argument is without some weight. There are situations where curtailing someone’s liberty (stopping a child wandering onto a railway line for example) is better than not. But – necessary curtailments aside – it is not the job of law to restrict the exercise of basic rights and liberties.

It is the job of the individual to restrict themselves.

There is a difference between having the right to do something and doing something because you have the right. For example, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, among other things, states that the government cannot pass laws which restrict free assembly. That does not mean holding a political rally in the middle of a free-way because the government are not allowed to stop you assembling is responsible, moral, ethical, or sensible.

Each individual should have the broadest rights and liberties possible, to protect them in all the circumstances we dread to think or have not even conceived. But they should assume also the commensurate duty to treat them as a protection against injustice, not a flag to be waved at every opportunity.

Free speech protects the expression of legitimate opinions; it doesn’t justify abuse.

Free assembly protects the expression of legitimate social action; it doesn’t justify forcing other’s away.

Freedom protects our inner self; it doesn’t justify restricting anyone else’s.

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23 thoughts on “Liberty Endangered by the Abuse of Liberty

  1. There’s the rub, freely swinging your arm so as not to connect to someone’s chin. And, as with all things human, the metaphorical chin is not exactly in sharp focus, nor is the question of who exactly brought the two into proximity.

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    1. The boundaries are definitely nebulous, and partisan. That is why we need a legal system, both to act as an outside arbiter and to provide a framework of some clear situations in which something is (not) acceptable.

      I feel that not doing things just because you can is a reasonable candidate for narrowing the areas of difficulty without unduly giving up freedom though.

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  2. liberty is simply the non initiation of force. in contracts and daily relationships, doesn’t mean liberty from morality. unfortunantly the government and the judicial system is guilty of violating this non initiation of force, against people in general. only a lawyer would complicate a simple precept, no offense, not sure what your post is saying exactly in some areas so bare with me, no one has a right to the goods or services of another without freely given consent, saying someone has a right to something is exactly what your saying, right to home, health care, means the inititiation of force against others to provide it either in services or money (taxes) without their consent. liberty does not allow for this neither does morality which is glamorized theft. yes no one has a right to exercise their rights when they are trampling on the property rights of another like camping out on their yard during the protests or whatever. squatting as it were. also allowing corporations to use govenrments to get special priveleges that others do not get like subsides and tax breaks regulations that give them an edge over another competitor this too is initiation of force your allowing one group of people to interfere with the liberty to contract or not contract in business dealings of others. that is a no no in non aggression (or at least the pursuit of peace which is not the same as concession or yielding to evil men so they don’t throw a tantrum) understand?. liberty doesn’t mean immoral, just free to act as one wishes without the need for permits licenses etc to exercise a right your born with (right to travel, right to keep and spend the fruits of your labor as you see fit the right to do with your property as ou see fit without a permit, home improvements stuff like that, the right to say no to contracts the right not to have a gun in your face (literally or figuratively) to extort a concenssion of a right to another who wishes to steal it under color of law or real thugs without badges. see? gov is good when they stay within bounds of real law it only when they go outside and violate rights to get concessions or property of another without giving due and just compensation and who using criminal law/rules toget around it using rico laws to get around the precept of innocent until proven guilty principle to steal homes cars boats planes you name it, so if people themselves are acting immorally like you say blocking roads stuff like that they are only copying what they see gov doing all the time (of course I do not condone regardless of what gov does I will continue to stay within moral bounds thank you very much and not do anything to harm the rights of others to the best of my ability after all just because people in gov are acting immoral doesn’t mean I have too to). noah didn’t immolate the people around them and in fact his good conduct condemned them because he showed by his good conduct they could be good too if they wanted to and were not victims of birth or environment this made them even more culprable for punishment by God…

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    1. It would be pleasant to live in a world where everyone freely acted for the good of all; however, I feel – while it might be possible in the future – society has to allow the use of force to curtail freedom in certain circumstances.

      For example, if someone is violent due to a chemical imbalance society needs a right to curtail that person’s liberty to treat their illness if the person doesn’t voluntarily submit.

      I agree that rights and liberties are abused; the point of my post was that instances of abuse do not make the existence of those rights and liberties inherently wrong. Where people, organisations, and societies are abusing a right they should curtail their behaviour.

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      1. that’s cool, of course I refer to inititiation of force, if someone is initiating force it is proper for authorities to repel it for the sake of the victims who may be unable to defend themselves. I just see that to often people get a gun and a badge or are called judge or congressmen or whatever abuse their freedom and power to intiate force against people(using taxation and regulations and inflationary money) who themselves are not initiating it against anyone. servants of the public have a strong tendency to forget they have a privilege the people in general have rights but they have twisted it and turned it around, Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, this is something all govenrments due. But sometimes people do not understand what rights they do have and so act accordingly. people do not exercise restraint becaue they forget others have rights too. but if people do not understand what rights they do have by birth (from God or nature) then they do stupid and injust stuff like initiate force against others violating their negative rights. but sometimes I get the impression some people don’t care about rights only about outcomes and do not care about who they harm. peace officers have their place police do not for repelling the initiation of force,. (police I gather maybe you can correct me (but be honest no sophistry) are adminstrators of contract law not true law right? after all if all men are equal no one has a right to ban a substance like raw milk or tell another how to live or what activities they involve themselves (as long as the are not initiating force against others without a bonifide contract) or decide that a person needs permission from another man to do as he pleases with his property (eventually they will have you needing permits just to live/breath or eat at this rate) anyway gov is the biggest initiator of force the only difference is they don’t go to jail/or pay fines or get 39 lashes, just be careful who you give your loyalty too, as Jehovah is determined to do away with all governments Daniel 2:44 I think the best of law, just not pretend laws. Jehovahs laws are easy to understand and benefit all who obey them. I would love to see all people come to accurate knowledge and serve Jehovah too, I have gotten to know him fairly well, and I don’t see a mean god ready to strike lightening against wrong doing (like a abusive parent looking for every fault so he or she can spank in anger)he is merciful and gracious and loving but he will not forever tolerate those who oppress their fellow man, shed blood and bear false witness or spread lies (like the evolution thing) or God is using governments like the usa or united nations as a tool to bring peace, these are lies, they sully Gods name because these people bear heavy blood guilt.and they implicate God as a blood thirsty murderer of children.(by the way compared to the angels and God we are all children) I Just think I needed to clear the air that God of the bible is not supporting human gov orusing them to bring about his purpose for a paradise earth where rightoueness is to dwell. lhis kingdom ruling in heaven will accomplish that. if you have further questions or wonder about things jw.org. answers the big questions most humans ask. check it out it covers just about anything you can think of . hey and thanks for the reply hope I did not ramble on to long I am a real talker even in real life.

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        1. Law regulates interactions: if there is only one person in a place, there is neither need nor basis for law, only ethics. Therefore, all law is contract law because it stems from an agreement.

          Banning of substances is a tricky issue: if all citizens are capable of making a properly-informed decision then the government should leave the choice to them; however, if a substance can be harmful then the resources needed to enforce the proper testing, labelling, &c. needed to support that informed consent might be such that a restriction or even ban is justified to leave resources for other worthy social endeavours.

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          1. so what you are saying most people should be protected from themselves? while I commend gov for trying to protect people’s health whenever they try to regulate other peoples lifestyles (that do not harm the property of life another) do you think it is the place for government to tell people what they can and cannot put into their bodies? (I do not use drugs or anything and I don’t advocate people do but in the exercise of free will I don’t believe in forcing people to do as I believe they should do you?) Even Jehovah does not force people to obey him especially if it is a personal matter. But as for resources is it the place of a group calling themselves gov to do or ban or regulate others when the average joe cannot do without going to jail or paying fines? I don’t mean things like fraud (intitiation of force involved here) or murder or rape, this is not about violations of rights of one person against another, it is about gov taking on the task of regulating (manageing or mothering) people against their will on issues that are strictly their own business. I think it is okay for gov to give warnings, and let people know the risks of saying drinking raw milk or not using a seat belt or helmet (and yes you should take full responsibility for your decision such as pay more insurance for not wearing seat belts for not trying to reduce the risk) do you think governments have a right to protect people from themselves? it doesn’t bother you that when enforcing rules on peoples private lives and their exercise of free will that government is using severe force like armed thugs breaking down doors for having raw milk or for a joint and shooting them? do you think it proper for police ot break down doors find nothing wrong and steal the people’s money and property anyway? what exactly do you think the role of government is? and I wonder about your statement if all citizens were capable of making a properly informed decision, that made me kind of chuckle, (not against you) because the gov is full of ‘citizens’ so what makes them so special and informed and better able to manage other peoples lives when they cannot manage their own properly? I am just asking not trying to argue I want to know what you think about it being inside and all. you see the wheels I do not.

            I recall jesus had something to say about this, but that can wait for another time.

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            1. Shooting people for selling raw milk is excessive force. However, the inappropriate method of enforcement of a rule does not invalidate the rule itself.

              Society must have the power to regulate people against their will; which you have yourself acknowledged by saying the authorities have a right to use force to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

              I am merely extending that right to the situation where people cannot protect themselves fully by reason of incomplete knowledge. Even if someone has theoretical access to all the health data on raw milk, that is no guarantee they will have the background to understand it. Even if they are fully capable of making a properly informed choice on that issue, that does not mean they have the background to understand the actual risks of not using a seatbelt. And so on…

              If there were to be a single individual with the background to understand each issue fully, they would have to spend so long studying evidence they would not achieve very much. So, even with an inconceivable improvement in both the education system and portable internet access, there will still be a need for society to regulate as well as warn in areas where the risk is deemed great.

              You are correct that the government is formed of citizens, so no member is automatically more able to make a correct decision than any other member of society. However, it is the job of government to make these decisions, so – where you or I would only have the time around our job to gather and examine evidence – they have a greater amount of time to reach the right decision.

              The authority of the government to investigate also gives them – at least in most circumstances – access to more evidence and the resources to seek answers.

              Therefore, while anyone could reach an informed choice, a member of the government is in a much better starting position to do it.

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              1. interesting, so you think it is right to ban something because some people might choose to use something they don’t understand fully? while most people will understand it? you don’t put much faith in most people who are old enough to make informed decisions. hum I believe that most people will have enough information about something and will make the decision to use or not use, just because someone understands fully the risks doesn’t mean they will decide not to do it, an example I have in mind is jumping off cliffs into deep water (where they may drown or meet up with a great white shark head to head (a real scenario by the way) or they might decide that swimming in shark invested waters is a risk they aer willing to take because the love of surfing is greather then their fear. like I said there is no way to guarantee anyting when people watch over themselves but that in no way means they should have free will and it’s conseqences denied. if God had said well eve was inexperienced and adam just so loved her I better interfere with the free will to listen to a snake (after all she did not know it was satan and not some other spirit) because if they make the wrong decision they will sentence their children to a life of living he** nah he allowed them full use of their free will, yes they died for it and their children inherited thorugh no fault of their own the same death sentence. there are conseqences to any decision, but would you rather gov become blood guilty or guilty if they tell you that you should do or not do something and you obey and you are harmed by it? you see when gov is in the business of managing people beyond preventing intitiation of force, they have taken on the liability for the results of those decisions, if it leads to death, destruction or physical or spiritual harm then those in gov are now guilty for the results. if say someone wears their seatbelt simply because they are being forced and as a result get into a accident slip on ice into a lake and drown because they could not get the seatbelt off, does that mean gov is responsible and liable for damages and possibly jail time for those who voted for forced seat belt laws? I would say yes, are not parents held responsible for the decision they make in regard to their children and the children harmed by it as they are the authority? you see you have shifted the responsibility to people in government (in the eyes of people but also Jehovah is watching too and he sees the results) from the backs of adults whom would be able to manage themselves if it were not for the constant hand holding by gov. does this make any sense? sure if you find some individuals need more help then others wouldn’t it be better to help them get the education needed or guidance need by say a overseer? rather than punish or restrict the majority who are able to manage themselves even if you disagree with some of their decisions? am I getting through to you? gov is notorious for good intentions but it almost always leads to moral hazards. and as for collective knowledge do you think only people in gov have access to this? don’t you think people who form associations cannot also pool their expeireinces and knowledge together to come to well informed deciisons too? and it is possible if you get a bunch of people calling themselves gov are any better in their collective minds? I mean they look for guidance by experts but how do we know they are experts and aer being totally honest? since gov gives money and power to people who work with them would that now taint their conclusions to fit what will give them more power and money? If god himself gives warning and people choose to ignore it, does he decide well they make bad decision I better prevent them from exercising the free will if it leads to their harm? no he doesn’t. he allows our free exercise even if he disagree with a decision (except like I have to keep repeating the initiation of force against another) the reason gov has such a back lash to contend with and over run courts and high cost of business is because they are trying to play god, they cannot neither do they have the wisdom, the power or the right to do so. it is beyond their ability. Jehovah allows it yes temporarily so as to have some stability and order but eventually it will have to go when he is ready. understand? as the us empire is the 7th world power of bible prophecy. like what is happening in furgonson, police are right in what they are trying todo because the protestors are commiting initiation of force against others like property damage stealing and possibly assault, then yes this is their job and Jehovah approves to some extent because they are trying to get order restored. but like anything it can get out of hand and I am sorry some people are so desperate for relief from overreaching and oppressive authority (or they are just oppertunitists creeps who want to steal and rob)that they become violent themselves and gov is forced to repel that force. sad day indeed but not all people who disagree with gov will act this way there are peaceful ways to show where you stand, because gov is supposed to get their authority from the consent of the governed so the best way to show non consent is to withdraw that consent remain neutral and be peaceable with all men as far as it depends on you. I hope you know what I mean.

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                1. Of course it is right to control a substance or activity because someone might not make a good decision: not giving loaded guns to three-year-old children would be a clear example of a sensible restriction, and I fully support the authority of government to enforce it.

                  Given the complexities of food safety, vehicle dynamics, and many other issues that could lead to harm or even death, I view the government’s authority to control of other activities and substances as a legitimate.

                  Ultimately, society is the abrogation of some personal power for a greater benefit for all. There will always be situations in which an individual could make a better decision on the nuanced facts than a society has set as a general case, but I believe it to be highly unlikely that individual will have both the time and reason to make a better decision in every single case.

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                  1. was speaking of adults not children, ultimately parents rae responsible. I am sure customers are to dumb to not buy cars that have a nasty habit of killing people and not enough sense to use the courts to file a tort, I think that is what that is called) or businesses are so inept or unconcerned they do not mind killing their customers or mind to destroy their own business by lawsuits and bad publicity either. remember gov are there to protect life liberty and property which means their job is punish wrongdoers, that would include people who have with malice harmed others, you think? And we wont entertain the idea that people will do their own research if they want to protect themselves, maybe? I mean we all have brains and if we do not use them they go blank, they do not guide us properly. while gov was mandated for a limited sphere those with money have circumvented the spirit of the gov to monopolize markets using safty issues that may or may not be legit, to stifle competition, to get a pass on the harm they do, so now every demand or initition of force the violates a individuals rights is hidden behind the cloak of safty or what ifs, what ifs is like pie, it is never ending. we are the gov we know what is good for you, (I am sure you really believe what you said I do not doubt that) but really how many people in power has used this good for community to oppress their people in the name of a greater cause whatever that may be at the time?

                    power can really cloud ones thinking, maybe it is because it is so profitable or maybe because it stokes people’s ego, maybe it is becaue they really are niave and think the benefits outweigh the harm to society I don’t know. I do know this, God’s kingdom which I hold dear, does not make laws or rules that stifle the honest hearted and intelligent just to protect the stupid, you cannot punish the good in order to punish or control the bad. do you agree? when God’s rulership holds full sway there will be no room for oppressive governments of any kind you can say good by to n.korea gov or chinas or usa, or Russia, and all of them as they do not solve the problems needed and cannot secure justice because to many people in gov have different opinion of what is right and wrong, good or bad beneficial or not. Only God knows that.

                    I am curious about something, if gov is so knowledgeable about how to protect people properly without violating rights or to them justified reason, how many of them those who make laws and enforce them know chemistry or auto mechnics? how many of them have actually studied a physics book or electronics book? or even read a philosophy book? how many have actually read a dictionary? you see if you don’t remove the rafter from you own eye (speaking collectively here) how can you remove a straw from someones else? If your life is a mess how can you help others? if you break the law on a regular basis how can you manage to properly enforce the laws against others? admit it people in gov break their own rules and laws all the time, in fact I bet not one of them in congress or house or in any dept really knows or understands all the laws they pass, yet they find no qualms in enforcing them selectively when expedient? how have you fared? what have you seen? what can you tell me to make me believe human rulerships are above par and trustworthy or have good intentions/motives most of the time? because I just don’t see it. I only see hypocrisy abuse of power, lies, harassment of citizens for minor offenses, theft of private property in the name of enforcing the law breaking that very law, and wondering why they are getting the blow back. please believe me I don’t advocate rebellion not at all, but I don’t have rose colored glasses on and I bet you don’t either, am I right? I am sure you see we need something more than man can do? what do you think it would take for that to happen? you seem like a really cool guy because you have been conversing with me and I thank you. I probably will not be able to keep conversing because I don’t want to irritate you and because I have other things I must attend to, unless you really really really want to continue and re not just being nice. But if you want to really know anything about what God’s kingdom is all about answers to lifes big questions, and want information using videos and articles on raising children or whatever strikes your fancy jw.org. check it out remember jw.org doesn’t bite.

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                    1. The issue with leaving it for the customer to make the decision is customers suffer injury or death before the impact of a flaw of which they were unaware (which in the case of cars, &c. might also spill out onto others).

                      So, I prefer the approach of government regulating before the fact to protect citizens to relying on market forces to drive businesses toward safe practices.

                      And relying on market forces assumes companies will not simply close down when they have too much of a negative reputation and restart under a different brand.

                      Having worked in law on and off for decades and knowing several police officers quite well, my experience of the enforcement arm of government in the United Kingdom is more positive than your experience of law in your area seems to be.

                      Your point about whether or not members of government know chemistry was exactly the issue I was highlighting about each person making their own decisions on everything: can a person be fully informed on everything? At least it is the job of government to be informed so they have the time others spend working to do the research, and ministers are appointed for an area so don’t need to make the decision for everything.

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                    2. unfortunantly in usa this is not the case even people in gov are not prophets are they? they cannot foresee everything better can they? what makes them so special that others cannot form their own associaitons, wait they do! they are called guilds or clubs, it is a shame people think that somehow being in positions of authority like gov makes them some how better able to manage things then other people calling themselves clubs, or assocaitons or orgnaizations. sorry honey to be the bearer of bad news but gov is no different then any other group, people are people and if schools would give students basic classes in chemistry and science and how things work (or wait they do!) then the need for gov management beyond protecting against the initiation of force, is no better, they do not have some miraculouse knowledge others cannot access, so if the need for gov to manage peoples life ends then what do we need gov for other than repelling initiation of force and giving justice to victims via courts? you have been in gov so long you cannot see the full effects of law imposed on people in general because your too high, come down to earth for a while and live like the average person, and try to make a living the way they do and then come back and tell me you think gov is still superior to the average joe to know what is best. of course you couldn’t do that there as to many people in authority know you and give you a break or give you immunity, how about the usa where know one knows you, then you can come back to me and others and give a honest report., or second best would be to interview the common man and see how regulations have affected them for good or bad. remember if you take on the ruling over another your responsible for the bad results. if someone is harmed physically or economically or intellectually by the laws that are past and you help support then your liable for the damages. just thought I throw that out to you, this I do notice the good does not outweigh the bad if I do good a million times but sin only one (like steal or something) then I get punished and my good deeds of a million times will not be used to give me a pass. that only works in gov. you really have to much faith in people in office, this is dangerous to you and everyone else. by the way any person can go to the library and learn about science fields I do, and that is why scaremongering about pesticides and other so called dangers do not scare me, I understand enough about these things to see the fabricated crisis, while the average joe is to trusting of gov to let them decide what is harmful or not, and many times they are wrong, so please be careful you are in a dangerous position. I don’t want you to be harmed because you put your trust in the wrong system. kay? I don’t know about your country but the people I positions of authority put to much trust in “authority” in different fields who are paid for by the corporations who stand to benefit if the gov passes legislation based on phoney science. maybe it is different in your country, not sure. never lived there,

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                    3. I don’t dispute the information is available to everyone.

                      However, I do feel finding all the information yourself on every issue is more onerous than some restriction.

                      And I am not sure if most people want to bear the burden of working out everything themselves: while schools do offer teaching in science, can you honestly tell me every student in the US is avid to take advantage of it?

                      If you genuinely want to live in a country where someone who dies because they didn’t choose to learn enough science when they were at school to survive has only themselves to blame then that is your choice. But I suspect most people will prefer a government that protects and supports over one that merely stops other countries invading.

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                    4. instead of bans and forcing people to comply with what you think it best how about just give warning? that way you have given them fair warning they can decide whether to do research and wheter to eat that food or buy that thing or jump that cliff. it is not gov job to protect you from yourself only from others who commit fraud or murder. by the way why do you feel that gov can use legislative power to ban something people want (like they banned body boards at new York beaches to protect people from themselves) is a good thing? what if they decide you are doing something harmful to yourself and tell you cannot do it anymore under the threat of fines, jail or being tased by police? what if is something you have a right to do since your life belongs to you? or is this not about protection but about revenue gathering? or about ownership rights rather than protection? just something to think about don’t you think? right now I am studying electronics on my own, books are available on any subject, I also read about chemistry, do I plan on a career in these things? of course not, I am a curious soul my friend curious soul, lets just hope the gov doesn’t try ot protect me from my curiousity since I might try or learn something that I am willing ti implement at my own risk. I am sure if people would be left alone they would eventually realize their life belongs to them and they are ultimately responsible for what happens all gov and advisors and experts and nutritonists and scientists can do is warn, not force. remember gov is supposed to be against the initiation of force not the initiator. I like making my own decisions and I am quite capable of listening to experts and make my own decision and if they don’t like the decision I made despite all the research and understand I gathered that is their problem not mine, your life is yours and mine mine, if there are those who you think cannot decide for themselves okay but don’t not try to hinder those who can while protecting those who cant. don’t you agree? am I making any sense at all.? you will have to convince me of the high moral ground of gov beyond protection of initiation of force and fraud, because I just don’t see it. if all are equal then no one can claim higher ground for ruling over others regardless of the reasoning. regardless if they are raised to believe they are special and have devine rights to rule because they have special abilities or knowledge over others. remember anyone can go to the library and read on any subject under the sun, the gov doen’st have a monopoly on that, just a monopoly on force/violence. anyway just some thoughts hope you did not feel I am attacking you I am not, I am attacking fact/ideas/arguments if I may use that term loosely. being one of jehovahs witness I have gathered some interesting experience in how decisions and responsibility to others works. we go door to door we try to help people understand God’s will and kingdom t the best of our ability if they refuse we move on our responsibility is over, (to we do return visits if they so choose) God does not expect us to force others to do what we think they should even God doesn’t force people to not harm themselves he gives warning explanations why his way is best but ultimately the person decides, so I ask you if God himself (who does know everything without mistakes) doesn’t force people to comply (in their own best interest) then what right do people in any organization gov or otherwise have to do so? think about this if you use force against your fellow (fines arrest jail time whatever) on subjects even Jehovah doesn’t rule against, then your saying you have more rights and wisdom then god, if he wont prevent people from say body boarding in the ocean (most people with half a brain knows there are risk you would haveto be a moron not ot)then what right do you or I have to use force to stop them? Just warn them and tell them they do at own risk. leave it at that. that way gov can concentrate on real issues like rape murder violence being done by corporations against people stuff like that. they can then be true sheperds of God’s people (we are everywhere you know) and not wolves in sheeps clothing. kay?

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                    5. Being able to read about any topic, and having sufficient information in all situations to make a good decision are two very different things.

                      I don’t accept your argument that those who are unable to make good decisions all the time do not deserve protection because it inconveniences people who can.

                      The right of government is based on our transfer of individual rights to a selected group to obtain more useful group rights. So, they do have greater authority because we have chosen to grant it to them.

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                    6. where did I say that those who need protection should not be so if it inconvenicnes others? you misread it, I said to not deny people the right to decide what to do with their lives by banning something to protect the few who may need it. wow all I can suggest is that you read jw.org about how Gods kingdom will replace human governments and yes it will be by force. only way to get rid of the wicked people. it is wicked to think that a group calling themselves whatever has a right wisdom or ability to rule over others properly and justly or even lovingly. It just means that one has fallen for the lies satan has spread. it is he who says some people are more entitled to rule over others to use force ot gain some sort of utopia. your special, you have special resources others do not have, you have special training, you have access to special people so your the best to rule. this is a lie. human beings are human beings and one cannot change this. not with special schooling, special legislation, or force or violence.one can never achieve a ability to rule over their fellows better than that fellow can over himself. please be careful of this is can lead ot a pit for you your friends and the people you claim to be protecting. proverbs and jeremiah talks about this.

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                    7. You said: “don’t not try to hinder those who can while protecting those who cant”. I am interested in how we are supposed to design a system that identifies whether someone can do something safely or not, that is not a layer of government.

                      So, the Jehovah’s Witnesses support the violent overthrow of the United States? Not the belief of supporters of a loving deity.

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                    8. no, to answer your question, I think maybe your just not getting it. maybe another time another place you might understand it, don’t know but you just don’t seem to grasp the concept that because a person or group doest something contrary towhat you believe in their best interest does’t mean they are retarded or need intervention, it just means they do not consent to what you want, in other words they do not consent to your way of ruling that is all does’t mean they do not understand the risks involved or want ot violate the rights of another they are just living life as they see fit and if people in gov don’t like it or agree regardless of justifiable reason they have no right to interfere provided they are not commiting fraud or assault on others or stealing their stuff. remember what you said that the government gets its authority (not in exact words of course) from the consent of the governed, . now what I am saying is what people are saying all over the net and I grasp what it is they are saying, I am acting more as a neutral middle man so to speak and I have listen to people in power side of the story for many decades now I am getting the other side of the story, both from those who did not get the media attention, people in general and other lawyers economists and the like. and they made some valid points that I think people in government would benefit from. unfortnantly instead of acting like sheperds of the flock or even servants like they are, they act like masters. this is not what government was set up to do in the beginning of time. while the masses go to jail for breaking the law people in gov do the same or worse and are not jailed punished at all. doesn’t that bother you this double standard? or are you happy with the status quo.? and I am surprised at you making any suggestions that Jehovahs witnesses are violent in any way, haven’t you been listening? I am saying we advocate respect for the rights of others, no where does that mean violating your rights to decide what you think is right or best and acting accordingly. if that action violates God’s laws then he will see to it, but Jehovah witnesses are witnesses, witnesses do not take the law into their hands, I am just so shocked you even suggested such a thing, I have never lifted a finger even against person unless it was purly self defense and I had to do that only once as a child. unfortnantly people in gov/corporatons sometimes and religious leaders etc cannot say the same thing. I hope the best for you man I truly do, you seem like a pretty decent guy and I am sure you truly believe in what your doing, if you truly believe your life actions are moral and upright continue on, I will not use the power of gov to stop you even if I disagree with you.

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                    9. In a perfect world, maybe we could all have all the information we need to make choices beamed instantly into our heads while the government used their infinite resources to find every instance of abuse before it happened.

                      However, until we have that there will have to be some compromises. And I prefer a small reduction in my liberty to children dead due to improperly labelled foods.

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                    10. I wasn’t referring to corp responsibility, but rather to personal choices, by the way I want to thank you for the conversation, I would like to recommend a website that is wonderful, it has the bible in over 500 languages, articles, publications to download for free, videos on jw what we do how bible studies are done, videos for children who like to learn about the bible, articles specific for children JW.org. I was talking to a friend today and she was telling me about her older daughter at school (she was homeschooled for several years) and she was amazed how the kids in her classes were so unable to comprehend stuff or learn even the basic comprehension, she said she was flabberagasted (not exact words) by their ignorance inability to think through problems or understand what they read now this got me thinking, I have been hanging around wise and smart people so long (over 30 years) and avoided immoral people for so long that I did not realize the extent of the problem. I had no idea that children we being dumbed down so badly when I was young we did not need to be held by the hand, we could stay out until the lights came on playing or going to friends houses and we could climb trees and get scrapped up we knew not to talk or go with strangers, we knew that if we did something bad we were going to bepunished, we knew we would pay for our mistakes like pay for the broken window with our ownmoney, we had to do our homework, we had to obey our parents,and you name it, and yet no one cried lawsuit. but nowadays it is like wow, I can’t believe the difference. I see adults acting so dangerously and wonder where is their sense of self preservation, has it gone? or at least concern for their fellows whom they might harm by their actions? is the schools to blame? the teachers? the local government? the parents? the clergy? who should be teaching the people to love their fellows as much as they love themselves. or at least to love God’s laws and moral standards.? wow my generation was certainly not like now. I see you have your hands full in dealing with these backlashes. not that I condone nanny statism or anything but man talk about being between a rock and a hard place for government sometimes.

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    1. The first definition of ‘abuse’ in the Collins 20th Century Dictionary is ‘to make a bad use of’. So I would say it is possible to abuse a right where there is more than one standard, e.g. the use is legally permissible but morally flawed.

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