This is REALLY good!
The general subject is one I hold very highly. Also I was amused at Penn talking about how he doesn’t do or like drugs. Back in 2002 my roommate and I were sitting around our apartment in Portland drinking beers and talking about pot legalization (neither of us bother with the stuff much, but we do like beer) and our lament was that Pot legalization back then was doomed to fail because it was “In the hands of the stoners”. Thankfully now lots of non-stoners are coming forward against drug prohibition.
Also like Penn I’m more concerned about the freedoms of the people I like the least than the freedoms of the people I really like. Hell I live in Massachusetts and I HAVE lots of guns. I HAVE lots of guns because I and my wife have good jobs and we can afford all the nonsense it takes to BUY guns, keep guns, and keep up with the stupid laws, as well as select where we live on how they treat gun owners.
Also like Penn I think more freedom makes us ALL better, and it makes us all better because as a whole we are mostly good people, and even the more obnoxious people out there won’t cause much trouble if you take the .gov boot off their neck.
Meanwhile the “Progressives” seem to LOATH their species. Not only do they make outlandish claims about us destroying the world, but they claim that we are nothing short of a few laws away from horrible Anarchy of a Cormack McCarthy level.
I don’t like Cormack McCarthy, his books are no fun to read, not realistic, and I suspect he’s a horrible person. Also I want him to be free to write more lame books.
I agree with your overall premise, but disagree with the foundation for it.
“Also like Penn I think more freedom makes us ALL better, and it makes us all better because as a whole we are mostly good people”
So, if it can be demonstrated that we AREN’T “mostly good” people, then we don’t deserve freedom?
I disagree. I don’t think it matters one whit whether we are a “mostly good” people or not. Freedom means the freedom to make bad decisions as well as good ones, to be greedy as well as charitable, to be a sober, serious, responsible person, or a strung out junkie.
The problem is that along with the freedom to make bad choices comes the responsibility to deal with the consequences. It is your choice to be a strung out junkie, and it is your responsibility to deal with the consequences of that, including homelessness, unemployment, and starvation.
In a free society, would there be charitable organizations to help take care of people like that? I submit that history tells us there would be, but were there not and people like that simply died under a bridge in bad weather, the right to choose to live like that, and the responsibility for them to accept the consequences of their choices, remains unchanged.
The ONLY legitimate role of government in this respect is to protect the liberty and rights of others. When that junkie steals from another, harms another, trespasses on another’s property, it is the government’s role to arrest, prosecute and punish them, not to try to prevent them from being a junkie in the first place.
Anyway, I’m rambling. My point is that I agree with your overall point, but I don’t think our freedom or liberty should be in any way linked to our relative “goodness” or “badness”…that is irrelevant.
No, you are right philosophically, and I don’t disagree with you on this.
But I think for the sake of discussion focusing on how people ARE mostly good does vastly more to get people with authoritarian leanings to relax their grip a bit more.
Just like how I like to focus on guns saving lives, and more lives are saved every year than those that are harmed and that we’re SAFER with guns than without them, rather than focusing on the 2nd Amendment.
Same with pointing out how worthless the TSA is as a security agency, rather than focusing on our 4th Amendment.
Yes, freedom has NOTHING to do with good or bad end results. Yes the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Yes, blue shirted agents have no right to search my effects and body without express cause, even if that means a terrorist gets on a plane and kills innocent people.
Still, while this may not always be the case, these are VERY radical concepts, and the people who are pressing against our freedoms are the EXACT people who give ZERO shits about the Bill of Rights. Some through malice, others through indifference.
The people who look at the Bill of Rights with Malice, are those who dream of death camps for those who they hate.
For those with indifference, they are concerned about safety and their quality of life.
That’s why I focus on those other, albeit watered down, arguments. Yes my right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed, but even without those words we’re still better when people have pistols and ARs.
Yes, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, but even without that the TSA is assaulting us, harassing us, costing us BILLIONS of dollars for ZERO gains in safety.
And yes, Freedom needs no moral justification. Still even if it did, that’s the way to go because people are as a rule good, and more freedom raises all of our quality of life.
What I think you’re doing, Weer’d, is beating the anti-rights folks at their own game. It’s a weakened, “watered-down” argument, because it’s essentially arguing from emotion instead of focusing on facts.
Example argument: “TSA screenings violate the 4th Amendment.” It’s a fact, but nobody cares unless they’re already engaged in the pro-rights movement. Saying “TSA is worthless as a security agency, subjects millions of innocents to violative (that’s a word, right?) searches, and has failed to stop a single terror attack” is also factually correct, but including inflammatory words like “worthless,” “innocents,” “violative,” and “failed” make an emotional connection. People start to show the outrage they should have shown with the first argument, because now they’re emotionally engaged.
Now, it’s a better argument than an anti could make, because it’s not using emotional arguments to push a lie. It’s still factually true, but the emotional aspects engage people the way dry facts won’t.
Face it, dry facts get us riled up because we’re ALREADY emotionally invested in freedom. Pushes to strip our freedoms piss us off! We need to get uninterested people as invested in freedom as we already are, and emotional arguments (based in fact) help do that.
Crap…. Closing [/strong] tag didn’t work….
Fixed it for you.
Also great point about adding emotional appeal. Also its bringing the argument to the audience. If absolute freedom was the object of desire we’re looking at libertarians anyway and I’m preaching to the choir. The people (who don’t fantasize about death camps) who are concerned about gun control, or terrorists, or limiting speech, are more concerned about “Safety” and “Quality of Life” than the US Constitution or individual Liberty.
So I’m bringing the argument to them. They don’t care about absolutes of individual liberty, so why waste time talking about that. Meanwhile it turns out those things we oppose not only will give us more freedom, but also more haplessness and better quality of life for ALL. Even people who don’t participate in the pet issue.
That will win a LOT more people over!
I’ll go with people are mostly good. It has two effects for me. One being its a fundamental truth and the other being it makes living easier if you don’t become jaded.
Yes there are no shortage of people that make a good example of what bad is. There is a larger< if not huge, group of people that are great examples of what good is. Majority should rule.
So yes I think I have the same right as everyone else to be whatever. But I've maintained its a personal choice is to be stupid its on you and I should not have to pay for it unless I feel charitable. That's very different from being asked to help those that have suffer a disaster not of their making or choice. I will not wish on anyone the responsibility for those that have abdicated their responsibility.
Let those of no responsibility starve, its their freedom and their choice.