Morality

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by dbermanmd, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    He does it for sh**s and giggles.

    When I refer to failed morality legislation, I am talking about things that only harm the person involved, not rape. Rape obviously affects the victims L, L, and pursuit of H. But statutory rape involves a lot more gray areas. Is a 17 and 18 Year old OK? 17 & 19? where's the cutoff?
    Now a 16 YO is a little easier to make the case that they are harmed by a "predator", esp. if that person is over 20. Either way, to prove "criminality" you have to show that harm was done. I don't like the whole line in the sand aspect of that, but there are clear case of stat. rape that should be punished an some that clearly should not.
    Keep in mind that 100 years ago, it was normal for a man to select a teenage wife complete with dowry and etc, (Though never the reverse). Look up Johnny Appleseed's love life! Nowdays you even have cases of women teachers and their 17 YO students.

    And yes pot will be legalized in our lifetime. Probably for financial reasons. Instead of spending billions a year in a futile attempt, the government will make billions on the taxes. Much the same as alcohol prohibition. Alcohol prohibition increased use, increased its potency, spawned organized crime, created corruption in government. It's no different with pot. Legalized pot would also reduce the number of kids who go on to harder more dangerous drugs, since the pot supply would not be in the hands of those who supply the truly dangerous drugs, as it is now. Any prohibition will always create a black market, wether drugs, prostitution, or even abortion. The public should only support prohibition of the really dangerous stuff, not the stuff that half of Americans have tried.



    No prob Doc!
    It's the only use I get out my degree in Neuroscience!
    I really don't see what you're baiting for here though.
    Its pretty universally accepted that morality is subjective, and that it affects how we decide to write laws, but that it can't really be "legislated" since it is subjective. (Much like religion).
     
  2. livelychick

    livelychick Missin' My Prius

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ Mar 23 2007, 12:32 PM) [snapback]410929[/snapback]</div>
    I think this is a good discussion. I used to feel this way about seat-belt laws. (Wait...before I go down that path, that's not about morality--that's the government deciding what I should do on a daily basis...)

    Anyway, nice point about only things that harm the person involved. I think there are two parts to this discussion: we can all agree that we currently legislate morality as it applies to crimes against others.

    And we do legislate morality in other areas too, including drug laws and (in some states) consensual-sex-b/t-adult laws. Your argument is that these will fall to the wayside as we progress as a society.

    But, isn't there a ripple effect with most everything we do? Prohibition was really supported by women who were tired of their men drinking too much and the issues that came with that (violence, etc.), and there weren't as many protective laws out there to address the actual CRIMES at that time.
     
  3. dbermanmd

    dbermanmd New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(livelychick @ Mar 23 2007, 12:43 PM) [snapback]410933[/snapback]</div>
    is morality the validation or invalidation of the facts?
     
  4. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    Women didn't have much political power at that time and I'm not so sure that was the real force behind prohibition.
    Always look for the money. I believe the tea barons were pushing the idea, hence the term "tea-totteler (spelling?). It competed with tea consumption.

    With pot, the real intent was to eliminate competition from various industries including:
    Dupont (plastics) wanted to corner the rope market previously dominated by hemp
    Alcohol and drug companies alike feard competition from another drug that could be grown by ANYONE.
    So it was sold to the public by playing up racism of Mexicans and Black.
    Americans were using it medicinally, but had no idea it was the same drug as the "killer weed from Mexico".

    NOTE: it is possible to have good debates, while igoring third parties. (NOTE US politics!)
     
  5. livelychick

    livelychick Missin' My Prius

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ Mar 23 2007, 12:55 PM) [snapback]410939[/snapback]</div>
    Tee-totaler...from "temperance."

    And from my studies, the temperance movement came from social progressives of the time (most of whom were women), pushing to make societal changes. You're right--women didn't have a lot of political power, but man, when they put their minds to something (collectively), it happened. The end of slavery was largely impacted by women, too.

    The legalization of pot issue is one that I'm on the fence about, and I admit it. I see both sides.
     
  6. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    And future studies of the Iraq war will attribute it to Bush, who is just the front man/sposperson. Its the money behind the men/women, not themselves who push policy. Social progressive women in the days of prohibition had to have financial and political backing to create change. Who were they?
     
  7. livelychick

    livelychick Missin' My Prius

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    Frances Willard and Mary Hunt. The whole women's suffrage movement wound up being married to temperance. The connection there has always been lost on me, but that's why the amendments are one after the other.

    At the time, government wasn't as infused with corporate greed, thus the need for huge infusions of cash wasn't necessary to affect change.They truly "worked the crowds," calling upon the wives of politicians to help drive their messages home.
     
  8. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    "At the time, government wasn't as infused with corporate greed, thus the need for huge infusions of cash wasn't necessary to affect change."

    To think there was not corruption back then is a little naive (no offense). ALL power breeds corrption and always has. Surely the movement had to have the media on board? And the politicians (all men at the time)? Women's suffrage, obviously a good thing (except maybe to a couple of posters here), probably was supported on one side of the ailse vs. the other and may have tipped the balance at that time (i don't know).

    And the tee totalers of the time were not morally superior either. MANY, many women (and men) were hooked on opiate "Cure alls" at that time, probably even those in the temperance movement. Maybe the producers of those snake oil products were helping the movement?

    Very little has EVER been done in this country without the invisible hand of corporate interests.
     
  9. livelychick

    livelychick Missin' My Prius

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ Mar 23 2007, 02:24 PM) [snapback]411013[/snapback]</div>
    None taken. That's why I said that it wasn't AS infused with corporate greed, meaning that there was some, just not as rampant.

    As I said, they did get the men on board (they had to to have anything pass), but it was through their wives and/or preachers. The women were paid to speak, and had a large following. And I do think since suffrage and temperance were rolled up together (I still don't get that), that's the way the prohibition amendment was ratified. Like prohibition was pork. I haven't researched enough to know, though, hence why I said "think."

    I haven't seen any evidence about opium addiction/sales being the cause of the temperance movement. Hell--it started in the early part of the 19th century, and is still going on.

    At the time of the ratification of the amendment, though, it was about progressives legislating their own morality. Of course, it's been 13 years since I took my last Women's Studies class, but that's what I recall.
     
  10. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    Back to Berman's point that murder is a fact, not necissarily a morality, I'm afraid that i have to agree with him, on some level. Taking one of his favorite lines, would you kill Hitler? More generalized, would it be moral to go back and shoot a destructive leader, who was responsible for millions of innocent deaths? I think most people would agree that it would be the right thing to do, but under our laws that would be premeditated murder and you would be tried and convicted for it.

    There are certainly many instances where some laws uphold certain moral choices - murder, drug use and sex, to name a few. However, in most cases you can most likely postulate a situation where the law and the morals don't agree.

    What about drug use? Take a cancer patient who uses pot to help manage the pain. She buys it on the street, thus making it an illegal drug, but her intention and use of the drug is completely moral, if illegal.

    Legislation, as it stands today, is brought about by one of two things. Either corruption from big companies trying to gain an advantage, or from public outcry's against something. The outcry's generally start as a moral question, and while laws are passed, they are passed to address the outcry, not the morality behind it. For example, there are those who say abortion is Immoral and should be banned altogether. There are those who say it's the women's body, she should have the right to chose. Which one is more morally acceptable? Your answer to that question stems from your personal belief about the beginnings of life. While some laws have been made, there is no way to legislate this in such a way as to address the morality of the issue - people's moralities differ.

    Morality comes down to a personal choice, often influenced by group dynamics. You can't legislate it because it's slightly different for everyone. The best you can hope to do is allow your laws to be guided by the prevailing moral sentiment of the population being governed.
     
  11. livelychick

    livelychick Missin' My Prius

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Mar 23 2007, 03:32 PM) [snapback]411097[/snapback]</div>
    Allowing your laws to be guided by the prevailing moral sentiment of the population being governed IS legislating morality.

    What it seemed like Berman was stating is that all murder is equal. The "whys" don't play a part. Our laws do not view all murder as equal; they differentiate based on the "whys" of the murder. Even premeditation itself does not ensure a capital murder charge due to extenuating circumstances. Therefore, using our lovemuffins reference, said person who assassinated lovemuffins may be brought up on manslaughter because the law has recognized there is a moral difference between, let's say, a murder for pocket change and a murder to prevent slaughter.
     
  12. IsrAmeriPrius

    IsrAmeriPrius Progressive Member

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    A murder, by definition, is a homicide; however; not all homicides are murders. Some homicides are excusable or justifiable, while others, such as manslaughters and murders are criminal.
     
  13. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(livelychick @ Mar 23 2007, 02:42 PM) [snapback]411105[/snapback]</div>
    Maybe we just have different ideas of what "legislating morality" comprises of. To me, such a statement implies a broad sweeping type of legislation that attempts to say that people will be punished for doing "something wrong", regardless of what that is. On the other hand, the laws we have are very specific. while many of them are guided by morals, as i pointed out, they aren't perfect and by themselves don't indicate morality. While murder is a bit gray due to the different legal definitions that can be used, drugs are by far the best example. Sure, it's wrong to use them, illegal to buy them on the street. does that mean it's immoral for a cancer patient in a lot of pain to buy them to help her deal with the pain?

    To me, legislating morality implies a two way street - morals are made into law, and laws reflect the morals. If we truly legislated morality, you should be able to take a law (any law) and from it say exactly what is good or bad, without these gray areas that are illegal but not bad.
     
  14. Darwood

    Darwood Senior Member

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    Making it illegal to burn flags is turning morality into legislation.
    Clearly, no one is actually hurting anyone else, only making an nice person of themselves by desecrating a flag.

    There used to be laws agains adults having homosexual relations in their own homes. (Some southern states might still have these in the books). Clearly legislating morality.
     
  15. Lywyllyn

    Lywyllyn New Member

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    Could a moral legislation be actually good? I can't think a good example for strictly moral legislation that easily support my line of thought below, so maybe you can help me out here by finding something suitable, but the seatbelt line made me think of something.

    The law says you have to wear a seatbelt. Why? Is it because when those who don't and are involved in an accident the end up using more life saving services and time then those who do? Is it because insurance companies end up paying for those who did not take the precaution to wear it? (see more severe injuries, more cost etc) Thus insurance rates go up for me even though I *do* wear a seatbelt? So is it moral to protect me from foolish decisions or is it more of a control and benefit decision, iaw, seatbelt law keeps me from being too injured (or dead) and thus I can continue to be a productive (read tax revenue creating) consumer.

    sorry if I derailed this thread ... I just had to ask
     
  16. airportkid

    airportkid Will Fly For Food

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lywyllyn @ Mar 23 2007, 05:02 PM) [snapback]411213[/snapback]</div>
    Interesting question. It was a big issue when CA made helmets mandatory for motorcyclists. The argument was that absent helmets, taxpayers would be paying for more hospital care for uninsured motorcycle accident victims.

    I question the validity of that assumption, as follows: absent helmets, the fatality vs treatable injury ratio is higher than with helmets. Ergo, helmets INCREASE the hospital care, not decrease it, because more victims survive their accidents. Now, a factor here is the number of victims who escape unscathed where absent the helmet they would have been put into the hospital, and this of course pushes the ratios closer to parity. But I'm not convinced it pushes the ratio to the favorable side of parity, and I wonder if anyone has done any studies of the matter.

    Mark Baird
    Alameda CA
     
  17. Three60guy

    Three60guy -->All around guy<-- (360 = round) get it?

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    Morality has always been in a state of flux.

    When I was young it was absolutely immoral for a man and woman to live together without first being married. Heck, today it is almost normal for men and women to live together without the needed marriage certificate. Morality is a moving target and anything we think is currently right or wrong may change over time.

    Just thought it should be stated and not assumed.
     
  18. Lywyllyn

    Lywyllyn New Member

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    Okay here is one:

    COPA: Child Online Protection Act, a 1998 law that "made it a crime for Internet site operators to let anyone under 17 have access to sexual material"

    I think this is prime example of legislating morality. So in light of this example, I think such legislation is really aimed at removing people from responsibility of their own actions or inactions. In this case, not being a guiding and sometime guarding parent, out of either sheer unwillingness or uncaring attitude will become a reinforced and acceptable parenting method, because this law aims to remove responsibility of needed parental oversight.

    ... ?
     
  19. Denny_A

    Denny_A New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dbermanmd @ Mar 23 2007, 10:11 AM) [snapback]410787[/snapback]</div>
    A bit late to this thread. Interesting how political it became at times.

    The US Constitution sets out our basic rights...OR.. legislates morality. We have the right to live our lives without being "forced" to do anything against our own best interests. Ergo, we as individuals also do not have the right to use force or coercion on another.

    Therefore, morality consists in respecting the rights of others whilst others are "obligated" to honor your right to be free to choose the actions which you take in your own self-interest.

    Obligation not honored (i.e, using force on another) is resolved by gu'mint. Murder, felony, larceny, et al......thru the justice system. Gu'mint has only 2 functions, right? Provide for defense against external forces, and to provide for defense from use of force from within. Most so-called "morality legislation" is likely unconstitutional.

    Oh, yes I fogot..... and gu'mint must protect some of us from GREEDY CAPITALIST CORPORATIONS! :blink:
     
  20. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Darwood @ Mar 23 2007, 11:36 AM) [snapback]410929[/snapback]</div>
    i know eagle was the one who originally brought this up... but i want to address this.

    i see this as a valid discussion point but i guess i have a hard time seeing where morality ties in to drug use. aside from availability/legality issues, street drugs carry the same principle as rx drugs... chemicals that alter the body's function. the effects are vastly different but the principle is the same. is alcohol use immoral too? or is just the letting it get out of hand part the immoral bit?

    and this is so wildly OT that i debate with myself even bringing it up but... ah hell.

    to say that legalizing pot would reduce the number of kids who go on to harder drugs, for whatever reason, is a hard statement to make. we don't know if pot is having an effect on that, or if these kids are more likely to experiment more anyway. or if it's both, as is the most likely case. age of first use, etc, are also very important factors. influence by dealers, certainly plausible but i see that as less likely than individual differences in openness to experimentation.
     
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