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Old 01-22-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
monster
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Balancing Society and Freedom

It seems to me that in order to live together as a society (as the majority seem to want), there are some freedoms we must surrender -some rules we need to accept- to make it work. Every rule is a loss of freedom, right?

And it seems to me that most of our political diffeences are based on where the line between freedom and societal necessities lies. We tend to take things on a case by case basis and sweat the petty stuff.

I want to look at the bigger picture. I want to find a Factor X. I want to say "if a behaviour of A is detrimental to X% of the population who are forced to experience that behaviour, then there needs to be a rule against that behaviour."

Do you think it's possible there is an X-factor? If your neighbors in your terrace/townhouse fuck like banshees and keep you awake with the noise, maybe you are 100% of the affected population. If they do it in the elevator, you might drop to being only 5% of the population, and you might not care if you prefer the stairs anyway...... or you might be disabled and rely on that elevator...

Do you think there is an X Factor and if so, would you care to hazard a guess as to what % of the affected population needs to be pissed off by a behaviour in order for it to be "outlawed"?
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:41 PM   #2
Juniper
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Unfortunately some folks find it necessary to ban behaviors that don't actually harm other people in order to protect the ones doing the behavior--save them from themselves. Lawmakers might outlaw screwing in the elevator simply because they believe it's dangerous, not because anybody is particularly offended.

And I don't believe that any percentage of the affected population needs to be pissed off -- I'd say, a percentage of the people who find themselves in charge of making rules have to be pissed off, and to hell with the rest of us.

But then, we live in a democracy, right? So how can that be?

Wait . . . no, it's a republic. People are always getting that mixed up.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. No freedom for you! Come back one year. Next!
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:48 PM   #4
Lamplighter
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I like the idea of trying to sort out where to draw the line between "You may" and "Thou shalt".
And it seems to me one of the first parameters is the "world view" of a given situation.

The couple in the elevator may very well be in their own very tiny world, but as the number of children using the elevator grows,
their parents become involved, and suddenly their world gets bigger.

Likewise, the fellow making a purchase at the liquor store is at first in his own tiny world.
But when the accident happens and a pedestrian ends up in the ER, that world expands,
and when that patient's bill can not be paid, that world suddenly becomes much larger.

So society starts reasoning that rules are needed about who can purchase liquor, who can drive a car, who must have insurance,
and what penalties need to be imposed if someone does not comply with these rules,
Also, society reasons there will always be some scofflaws,
so society must contribute and taxes are imposed.
And with taxes come more rules about who pays and how much.
So the world expands yet again.

So factor-X is a variable, not a constant to be applied in worlds of all sizes.
And the basis for factor-X is sometimes $, sometimes self-protection,
sometimes based in ethics or religion or each individuals own world-view.

Now since factor-X is a variable and it's basis is also a variable, we also need factor-Y: "power or influence"

I now throw this to the other Dwellars
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:26 AM   #5
sexobon
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It all starts with "We the People ..." Everything after that is negotiable. That's why we have a system of checks and balances where X = legislative, Y = executive, and Z (don't forget about Z) = judicial. An X factor can be formulated based upon the principle of triage - doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Sometimes; however, the needs of the many are outweighed by the needs of the few; or, the one. It all depends on how close to depriving that someone of their inalienable rights everyone else tries to go.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:40 AM   #6
DanaC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter View Post
I like the idea of trying to sort out where to draw the line between "You may" and "Thou shalt".
And it seems to me one of the first parameters is the "world view" of a given situation.

The couple in the elevator may very well be in their own very tiny world, but as the number of children using the elevator grows,
their parents become involved, and suddenly their world gets bigger.

Likewise, the fellow making a purchase at the liquor store is at first in his own tiny world.
But when the accident happens and a pedestrian ends up in the ER, that world expands,
and when that patient's bill can not be paid, that world suddenly becomes much larger.

So society starts reasoning that rules are needed about who can purchase liquor, who can drive a car, who must have insurance,
and what penalties need to be imposed if someone does not comply with these rules,
Also, society reasons there will always be some scofflaws,
so society must contribute and taxes are imposed.
And with taxes come more rules about who pays and how much.
So the world expands yet again.

So factor-X is a variable, not a constant to be applied in worlds of all sizes.
And the basis for factor-X is sometimes $, sometimes self-protection,
sometimes based in ethics or religion or each individuals own world-view.

Now since factor-X is a variable and it's basis is also a variable, we also need factor-Y: "power or influence"

I now throw this to the other Dwellars

Fantastic post!
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
Lamplighter
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Why thank you, Ma'am... your comment made my day !
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:59 PM   #8
piercehawkeye45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplighter View Post
Now since factor-X is a variable and it's basis is also a variable, we also need factor-Y: "power or influence"

I now throw this to the other Dwellars
I see the balance of society and freedoms as an attempt to reach this ideal equilibrium within society. Most issues are not black and white and taking a stance on either extreme is usually hurtful to everyone. No rules will cause people to abuse their freedoms and conflicts will inevitably arise because everyone has different interests and tolerances (It's Always Sunny actually had a very good episode on this). Too many or too extreme of rules will usually cause backlash in other forms. Plus the fact that utopias can not exist.

I disagree with using any factor x or y since it will be completely different for each issue since there are so many other factors involved. An argument could be made that alcohol negatively affects 80+% of the population at one point of everyone's lives and therefore should be illegal. But looking at the prohibition era, that policy failed because the culture at the time would not allow it.

So I try to look at it not so much as how many people are negatively affected by whatever and therefore should be banned, but what realistic actions can be taken to minimize the negative effects of whatever.

My favorite example of this is gun laws in the US. One argument for pro-gun control in the US is that gun control has worked successfully in many European and other countries. I was just in Singapore, where guns are banned, and gun violence is nearly zero. But, looking deeper, in most of these countries the gun culture is completely different than in the US. The ban was easily accepted because guns were not so prominent within the population to begin with. In the US, our gun culture would not allow a successful ban to take place since so many people would get guns illegally. And then, any action to crack down on illegal guns will sacrifice everyone's freedoms in other areas not to mention the funding involved.

Successful policies always depend on the initial conditions. I see it more as an art than an equation. Just because something is banned does not mean it will go away and sometimes a ban will introduce new and larger problems. Look at gang funding with illegal drugs for example. Also, when you throw in natural changes in social views, each generation looks at the world differently, it gets even more complex.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Plato makes this point in the Republic - Law is an agreement between the week to prevent them from suffering the liberty of the strong.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:00 PM   #10
Griff
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Sometimes I don't believe in this thing called society.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:02 PM   #11
jimhelm
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difference between oral and anal.

oral makes your day, anal makes your hole weak.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:41 AM   #12
OnyxCougar
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I don't think the X% of population is all that has to be taken into consideration to determine the "X factor". In practice, in the United States, it is absolutely the "Y factor to event ratio" - Y factor being the power wielded by the person the event happened to.

If a woman in a grocery store gets shot by her estranged husband, it's a five minute item on the local news. Her family buries her, the dude gets caught and arrested, goes to jail, or shoots himself in the head in the store. Done.

If a woman happens to be a congressperson, and gets shot at ALL, it's national news for WEEKS. This will cause all kinds of debate about gun control, the role of federal mental health care and cost, the role of colleges and universities "reporting" behavior that "seems off" to local authorities.

There have been countless comments just on the cellar about "when {event}happens to someone IMPORTANT something will change".

So asking for the X factor MUST include the Y factor as well for meaningful discussion.
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Last edited by OnyxCougar; 02-03-2011 at 10:42 AM. Reason: brain going faster than fingers.
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