Can Society be too Liberal?
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15-03-2015, 12:33 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 10:06 AM)Blackout Wrote:  
(15-03-2015 09:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  It is not contradictory. Maximizing personal freedom in the context of a society means compromise, it does not imply unlimited freedom.

Your right to swing your fist stops at the tip of my nose.

Then what you are proposing is not to maximize personal freedom but to find a middle ground between personal safety/security and individual freedoms.

How do you define what is harmful to others? And harmful to whom specifically?

We negotiate it. That's what democratic societies do.

And 'maximizing' is the proper term.
When we set up a system we define its functions so as to maximize this variable, minimize that variable, etc.

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15-03-2015, 03:42 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
I find the mantra of "maximise human happiness minimise human suffering" as frivolous and leading to abuse of power.

If 100,000 people are unhappy with prostitution being allowed in society and only 10 people are happy with prostitution then our society happiness score is 100,000 - 10 = 99,990. However if we make prostitution legal then we end up with a score of -99,990 so we are certainly not maximising human happiness by making prostitution legal.
But this mantra doesn't take into account the impact on a person of the event. A person who is unhappy about prostitution might be unhappy because of an idealistic view of the world, a view where they think prostitution is never acceptable for anyone. This is the view where they believe that prostitution is immoral and they personally are not happy if immoral behaviors are tolerated within society. For them it is irrelevant that they themselves can choose to avoid partaking of prostitution. The "maximise happiness" argument doesn't account for this. It allows a majority to rule over minorities based on frivolous idealistic views. I don't accept that it is government's duty to enforce such frivolities.
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15-03-2015, 04:09 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 03:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I find the mantra of "maximise human happiness minimise human suffering" as frivolous and leading to abuse of power.

If 100,000 people are unhappy with prostitution being allowed in society and only 10 people are happy with prostitution then our society happiness score is 100,000 - 10 = 99,990. However if we make prostitution legal then we end up with a score of -99,990 so we are certainly not maximising human happiness by making prostitution legal.
But this mantra doesn't take into account the impact on a person of the event. A person who is unhappy about prostitution might be unhappy because of an idealistic view of the world, a view where they think prostitution is never acceptable for anyone. This is the view where they believe that prostitution is immoral and they personally are not happy if immoral behaviors are tolerated within society. For them it is irrelevant that they themselves can choose to avoid partaking of prostitution. The "maximise happiness" argument doesn't account for this. It allows a majority to rule over minorities based on frivolous idealistic views. I don't accept that it is government's duty to enforce such frivolities.

No one has suggested that mantra in this thread.

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15-03-2015, 04:29 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 04:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  No one has suggested that mantra in this thread.
Thanks for pointing that out.
As you may have noticed, I didn't include any quotes of anyone's comments in this thread either and I didn't suggest that anyone had suggested this mantra.

Just offering my opinion, on topic of this thread, not directed at anyone in particular.
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15-03-2015, 04:31 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 04:29 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(15-03-2015 04:09 PM)Chas Wrote:  No one has suggested that mantra in this thread.
Thanks for pointing that out.
As you may have noticed, I didn't include any quotes of anyone's comments in this thread either and I didn't suggest that anyone had suggested this mantra.

Just offering my opinion, on topic of this thread, not directed at anyone in particular.

Are you suggesting that is a liberal mantra? Consider

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15-03-2015, 04:47 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2015 04:52 PM by Blackout.)
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 12:18 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(14-03-2015 10:47 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  It can be the government's place, depends on the government and the governed. Last time I checked most modern societies had laws against murder,
Murder is a threat to a functioning society so that is government's business.
However homosexuality, prostitution, polygamy, bare breasts, abortion are no threat so not government's business.

And why do you get to define what's a threat or not? And why is something either a threat or not? Can't something be both a threat or a benefit depending on the context?

Let's take a look at prostitution --> Imagine a society where most prostitutes are abused, coerced and raped (this doesn't differ much from real life situations) - Prostitution may not be a threat to outsiders, but it certainly is for prostitutes themselves

Let's take a look at abortion - Imagine that abortion leads to non sustainable birth rates that are endangering the survival of our species. Is it still not a threat to society?

I really need to understand this - You people always define threats and non threats according to liberal conceptions based on individual rights, but there's more to it and more perspectives.

[I'm actually pro-choice and pro-regulation of prostitution + taxation, I'm simply trying to figure out what people mean by "threat"]

Oh and all of those things are government's business because it's the government that allows them and regulates them. Marriage, for example, grants privileges to participants (like inheritances, child custody rights, adoption, etc.) and the state grants those privileges when the contract is signed. Abortion is the state's business because, if we're using public healthcare, it's ran by the state and abortions are provided by the state.

<

@Stevil, b sides human happiness not being a right - You can pursue happiness, but it's not a right. Human suffering is also inevitable, we all suffer, so erasing it is an invalid goal

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15-03-2015, 05:25 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 04:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Are you suggesting that is a liberal mantra?
It could be deemed as a Utilitarian mantra, although possibly not all utilitarians would chant it. However it is an opposing alternative to a more Liberal view (IMHO)

Trying to put labels on positions and trying to squish people's views and opinions into these discrete boxes is almost a futile excercise in itself.

My "liberal" veiwpoint (for example) is one of diversity, tolerance and a government focused on being an enabler of society rather than a shaper of society. No doubt my "Liberal" view is in opposition of many other people who also feel comfortable with the "Liberal" label.

Anyway, I felt an interest to express my view, distinguishing my view of "Liberal" from an often spoken mantra that I am sure many people have heard of before. I see benefits in a more liberal approach rather than a controlled approach in an attempt to maximise happiness.

Although it was unexpected that I was challenged as to why I am offering my opinion on a forum based on opinions, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify it further.
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15-03-2015, 05:40 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 05:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(15-03-2015 04:31 PM)Chas Wrote:  Are you suggesting that is a liberal mantra?
It could be deemed as a Utilitarian mantra, although possibly not all utilitarians would chant it. However it is an opposing alternative to a more Liberal view (IMHO)

Trying to put labels on positions and trying to squish people's views and opinions into these discrete boxes is almost a futile excercise in itself.

My "liberal" veiwpoint (for example) is one of diversity, tolerance and a government focused on being an enabler of society rather than a shaper of society. No doubt my "Liberal" view is in opposition of many other people who also feel comfortable with the "Liberal" label.

Anyway, I felt an interest to express my view, distinguishing my view of "Liberal" from an often spoken mantra that I am sure many people have heard of before. I see benefits in a more liberal approach rather than a controlled approach in an attempt to maximise happiness.

Although it was unexpected that I was challenged as to why I am offering my opinion on a forum based on opinions, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify it further.

It's just that you put it out there without any context.

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15-03-2015, 05:43 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
Quote:And why do you get to define what's a threat or not? And why is something either a threat or not? Can't something be both a threat or a benefit depending on the context?

Chas doesn't decide, it's been decided by society over a period of time.
Society agrees that murder is bad and so it is made illegal. Society also accepts that murder can be good in some cases and so we legislate for that too. ie: Self defense, capital punishment etc..

Quote:Let's take a look at prostitution --> Imagine a society where most prostitutes are abused, coerced and raped (this doesn't differ much from real life situations) - Prostitution may not be a threat to outsiders, but it certainly is for prostitutes themselves

That's not the same. Violence, coercion and rape and separate entities from 'prostitution'. Prostitution is selling yourself for sex. Rape is rape. Punching someone in the face is punching someone in the face.

Society says that rape and abuse is bad and so we legislate against that.
That's a different issue to prostitution because being raped harms the victim against their will, aka violates them. Where as prostitution is about a person's right to choice what they do with their own body.

Quote:Let's take a look at abortion - Imagine that abortion leads to non sustainable birth rates that are endangering the survival of our species. Is it still not a threat to society?

And so would be legislated against. However abortion isn't bringing birthrates down (to a level where we're gonna die out) and so your point is invalid.

Quote:You people always define threats and non threats according to liberal conceptions based on individual rights, but there's more to it and more perspectives.

Define 'you people'.

Quote:Oh and all of those things are government's business because it's the government that allows them and regulates them.

No, it's society saying that this is what it wants the government to do.
We, ie Chas or myself, can offer arguments as to why we believe the homo's should be allowed to marry. This is in an attempt to change public opinion which would eventually reflect in society at a government level and be legislated accordingly.

This is how society works. We're , ie: Chas or myself, are not saying we're God and this is how it should be done (well I am but I'm sure Chas isn't), we are saying "this is the way I believe it should be done". You're misinterpreting Chas and others and trying to make something out of nothing.

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15-03-2015, 06:00 PM
RE: Can Society be too Liberal?
(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  
(15-03-2015 12:18 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Murder is a threat to a functioning society so that is government's business.
However homosexuality, prostitution, polygamy, bare breasts, abortion are no threat so not government's business.

And why do you get to define what's a threat or not? And why is something either a threat or not? Can't something be both a threat or a benefit depending on the context?

Let's take a look at prostitution --> Imagine a society where most prostitutes are abused, coerced and raped (this doesn't differ much from real life situations) - Prostitution may not be a threat to outsiders, but it certainly is for prostitutes themselves.
Then perhaps you are conflating Prostitution with abuse, rape etc?

Just like any workplace there is the threat of abuse, rape etc and these events can cause serious instability to society. So government needs to address these threats. In a legitimate vocation/business the government and police force can intervene, can inspect and investigate reports of abuse. If you make prostitution illegal then a woman can't report a crime unless she is willing to incriminate herself.

It wouldn't be up to me to define what is a threat or not. It would be upto the government to justify their laws, to explain to us why they are necessary, to convince us of the real threat to society if the activities aren't outlawed.

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  Let's take a look at abortion - Imagine that abortion leads to non sustainable birth rates that are endangering the survival of our species. Is it still not a threat to society?
This is a very unlikely scenario, you are suggesting that almost everyone decides to stop having children? Let's phrase this in another way. Let's say that almost everyone decides to have protected sex and hence decides to not get pregnant and then humanity gets close to extinction. Do you think that the government ought to force people to get pregnant?

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  I really need to understand this - You people always define threats and non threats according to liberal conceptions based on individual rights, but there's more to it and more perspectives.
Firstly, I don't know what you mean by "you people". I don't belong to a club. I'm not a card carrying liberal. I don't subscribe to the Liberal Monthly magazine.

I don't even care about "rights". All I am worried about is a government making frivilous laws. On many occasions I find myself in the minority, I don't want to be forced to conform to social norms or forced into a majority rules society. I value diversity and tolerance. I see a risk when government can oppose diversity.

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  [I'm actually pro-choice and pro-regulation of prostitution + taxation, I'm simply trying to figure out what people mean by "threat"]
I have never paid for sex and I have never been paid for sex. It's an industry which I have no interest in. I can easily avoid paying for sex and I can easily avoid being paid for sex. I don't see the prostitution industry as a threat to me or society. I don't see it as my business to stop others from participating.

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  Oh and all of those things are government's business because it's the government that allows them and regulates them.
We differ in opinion on this. I see government's purpose as a governing body to help a stable and fruitful society. I don't see it as the government's perpose to decide what we (as adults) are allowed to do.

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  Marriage, for example, grants privileges to participants (like inheritances, child custody rights, adoption, etc.) and the state grants those privileges when the contract is signed.
A Will can be the driver regarding inheritance, it doesn't have to be marriage. In NZ a defacto relationship by law can ensure your partner has legal rights to half your property. A person can deny their marriage partner access to their property by signing prenuptuals.

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  Abortion is the state's business because, if we're using public healthcare, it's ran by the state and abortions are provided by the state.
If it is a funding issue then sure, but what if a person chooses to go to a private clinic?

(15-03-2015 04:47 PM)Blackout Wrote:  @Stevil, b sides human happiness not being a right - You can pursue happiness, but it's not a right. Human suffering is also inevitable, we all suffer, so erasing it is an invalid goal
Yes, I agree with you. I don't support a society based on attempting to maximise human happiness and minimising human suffering.
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