General Question

arnbev959's avatar

Should people be protected from themselves?

Asked by arnbev959 (10893points) December 23rd, 2008

Should the government pass laws that may limit freedom, for the sake of keeping people from doing things that might harm them?

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20 Answers

RandomMrdan's avatar

not all people…but I’d agree some people do… ouchy

RandomMrdan's avatar

or this guy yikes.

Staalesen's avatar

I think highly of personal freedom, but I do belive there should be laws that under very strict circumstances could be invoked to prevent people from directly harming themselves or other…
More like a court order or something, but no laws that can easily be applied to the entire population.

augustlan's avatar

Generally, no. I do agree w/ Staalesen about court orders to protect those who might not have all their mental faculties about them.

nocountry2's avatar

Personally I think we have too many laws preventing people from using their heads and getting to do stupid shit like sue McDonald’s for making hot coffee or fatty hamburgers.

Staalesen's avatar

Mayne a law preventing lawers from taking stupid cases ? :p

nocountry2's avatar

Ha…perhaps. I just think it is human nature to adapt, and if we have laws that enable people to over-rely on other people thinking for them, it’s extremely degenerative for society as a whole.

augustlan's avatar

@MrDan: Those videos hurt just to watch!

Staalesen's avatar

I agree, the less people do for themselves, the deeper in the mud society sinks.
and I think that the best “law” should be common sence..

buster's avatar

They already do if they involuntarily commit you to the psych ward.
You threaten to kill yourself and someone calls the cops of you go to the emergency room you get 72 hours in the looney bin.

laureth's avatar

It depends on how it would affect everyone. For instance, you could say that making people wear helmets while riding a motorcycle protects people but limits freedom, which is true. On the other hand, it seems like people with massive head injuries not covered by insurance are a drain on all of us.

Sometimes, I wish we let everyone who paged Charles Darwin to answer his call, but that’ll never happen.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Mr. Dan, I could not even make it all the way through that video, it hurt too much! That being said, I have no idea how we would ever be able to enforce a law against face plants. Maybe forcing anyone walking, riding a bike, or a skateboard or scooter or motorcycle, or doing anything else that may result in landing face first on a solid surface, to wear a face mask?

I don’t think that common sense can be legislated, no matter how much we may want to or how hard we may try. Our current lame duck passed enough laws limiting our freedom in the name of his “War on Terror” let’s quit while we’re ahead.

El_Cadejo's avatar

They already do. War on Drugs anyone?

Lightlyseared's avatar

Why did they have to call it a “war” on drugs? Couldn’t they have thought of a less violent name?

El_Cadejo's avatar

because drugs are evil and no better than the terrorists we’re fight in the middle east!~

Bluefreedom's avatar

I think the public should be protected from some people rather than a person being protected from themselves. Here are just a few of the individuals that I was thinking of:


Lightlyseared's avatar

Well according to a book of useless facts I got today, work kills more people each year than drink drugs or war. So why don’t we have a war ok work?

scamp's avatar

@RandomMrdan OWWW!!

wundayatta's avatar

I think it is ok to take away people’s right to do something when doing that thing costs the rest of us.

Helmets on motorcyclists.
Helmets on bicyclists.
Baby seats for babies and toddlers.
Anti-pollution laws.

And yes, maybe some day, laws making it more expensive or even illegal to take in too much fat, alcohol, drugs, or tobacco.

All these choices currently raise your taxes, but it’s in indirect costs. Health care, lost work, etc, etc.

If someone showed you that these measure would reduce your tax bill by five percent, what would you think? What if it were ten or fifteen percent?

Meribast's avatar

When people harm themselves, usually others ending up paying a cost.

We’d be much better off in trying to improve people’s lives to the point where they would have no desire to harm themselves, than picking up the pieces afterwards.

People who don’t care about themselves don’t usually care about others either.

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