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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Freedom and Responsibility

    We should, in life, be able to have the freedom to make out own decisions about our well-being so long as we do not infringe on the rights of others to make similar choices. Why then, are there laws in place that restrict our freedom? Case in point: Compulsory seatbelt laws.

    Here, I'd like to show you something rather ironic, in two parts:

    http://www.dailynebraskan.com/vnews/...d?in_archive=1

    The above is a link to an article written by a young man (Derek Kieper) about the right to exercise judgement about whether to wear a seatbelt or not.

    I am in agreement with him in this case: we should all have the freedom to make our own decisions. However, we must also accept the consequences of our actions.

    Now here's the interesting part. Have a peruse of this:

    http://www.journalstar.com/articles/...9784029686.txt

    That's right - the same gentleman that wrote the first article, met his tragic end.

    Derek exercised his freedom of choice and also paid the consequences.

    Why then, do I agree with his choice? Because it was his free, rational choice. It didn't endanger the life of anyone else around him.

    Personally, while I advocate the right of choice, I always have and always will continue to wear a seatbelt - that's my choice. Yet, I do no agree there should be a fine for failure to comply.

    Look at the real reasons the law were implemented. It's not to save lives - Derek's first article showed you the stats of the low number of deaths attributed to those not wearing seatbelts. Quite simply, it is pressure from insurance companies. They don't want to give the payouts for injury/death. People pay their premiums, they continue to make a profit. That, is the real reason that our freedom of choice is encroached upon.

    Your thoughts?
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  2. #2
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    Frankly speaking I feel like unleasing a few of Bill's rockets. I suspect this thread is a troll.

    I have not bothered to read the other sites.

    Issues to consider:

    a)
    Health workers who have a lot worse job to patch a person up. And by the way doctors and nurses hate people who take unnecessary risks and make their job more burdensom.

    b) The extra cost imposed on the community due to the extra injuries.

    c) in death the community loses out again as it has expended a large amount of money to make the person a "whole" person, i.e., educated and taxpayer.

    d) the trauma to one's family. Parents never forget. Children left without parents etc.

    Go and commit suicide quietly and cleanly instead, have your hole dug out, coffin paid for, etc etc. Full therapy for anyone who may love you blah blah.


    Summing up a very stupid act of selfish libertarianism. LIke some did at a chess comp.

  3. #3
    CC FIDE Master Duff McKagan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    Frankly speaking I feel like unleasing a few of Bill's rockets. I suspect this thread is a troll.

    I have not bothered to read the other sites.

    Issues to consider:

    a)
    Health workers who have a lot worse job to patch a person up. And by the way doctors and nurses hate people who take unnecessary risks and make their job more burdensom.

    b) The extra cost imposed on the community due to the extra injuries.

    c) in death the community loses out again as it has expended a large amount of money to make the person a "whole" person, i.e., educated and taxpayer.

    d) the trauma to one's family. Parents never forget. Children left without parents etc.

    Go and commit suicide quietly and cleanly instead, have your hole dug out, coffin paid for, etc etc. Full therapy for anyone who may love you blah blah.


    Summing up a very stupid act of selfish libertarianism. LIke some did at a chess comp.
    You might have let a rocket off but its going to another planet! Are you thinking on some karma-level or something? Health workers will have to clean up other injuries anyways. Not wearing a seat-belt is not guaranteeing death and the point is... its the individuals decision after they have taken everything into consideration!

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    'Sorry for bleeding on you AC and ruining your best suit. I'll go off and die somewhere more discreet, if that's OK with you..'

    Git.
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  5. #5
    CC International Master Rhubarb's Avatar
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    Bruce,

    It is illegal to ride a bicycle without a helmet.
    Bicycle riders pose no physical to threat car drivers.
    Car drivers occasionally (accidentally) kill bike riders.
    But they are less likely to occasionally (accidentally) kill bike riders if said bike riders are wearing helmets.

    Now, if you were a car driver, would you prefer to run over someone and kill them or would you prefer to run over them and not kill them because they were wearing a helmet, even though in both cases it is not your fault?

    The slight reduction in civil liberty could save an innocent person from a life-time of heartache.

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kegless
    Bruce,

    It is illegal to ride a bicycle without a helmet.
    Bicycle riders pose no physical to threat car drivers.
    Car drivers occasionally (accidentally) kill bike riders.
    But they are less likely to occasionally (accidentally) kill bike riders if said bike riders are wearing helmets.

    Now, if you were a car driver, would you prefer to run over someone and kill them or would you prefer to run over them and not kill them because they were wearing a helmet, even though in both cases it is not your fault?

    The slight reduction in civil liberty could save an innocent person from a life-time of heartache.
    Greg,

    Obviously I would prefer to not kill them. However, it should be the responsibility of the bike rider to equip protective gear in order to protect themselves from any accidental eventualities - conduct a rationalised risk assessment for themselves. They could also choose to wear protective gear on their knees and elbows.

    Think of it in this respect. If a fast bowler bowls a ball to a batsmen and hits him in an unprotected area if the batsmen has failed to equip a box, of course you'll feel bad as a bowler. But you'd also be foolish to blame yourself.. it's the batsmen's responsibility to make sure they're protected if they put themselves in such a situation. The same goes for wearing mouthguards in football. None of these things are compulsory. They are the responsibility of the party who could be at risk.

    I am all for educating and communicating the risks to people. However, they need to make their own decisions about their personal safety. Otherwise, I will claim it's revenue boosting.
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    <camera close-up of slightly deranged TV presenter>

    "They bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting in to. I say, let 'em crash!"

    - Airplane (1980)
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  8. #8
    CC International Master Rhubarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    Greg,

    Obviously I would prefer to not kill them. However, it should be the responsibility of the bike rider to equip protective gear in order to protect themselves from any accidental eventualities - conduct a rationalised risk assessment for themselves. They could also choose to wear protective gear on their knees and elbows.

    Think of it in this respect. If a fast bowler bowls a ball to a batsmen and hits him in an unprotected area if the batsmen has failed to equip a box, of course you'll feel bad as a bowler. But you'd also be foolish to blame yourself.. it's the batsmen's responsibility to make sure they're protected if they put themselves in such a situation. The same goes for wearing mouthguards in football. None of these things are compulsory. They are the responsibility of the party who could be at risk.

    I am all for educating and communicating the risks to people. However, they need to make their own decisions about their personal safety. Otherwise, I will claim it's revenue boosting.

    Bruce, it appears you have wilfully ignored my point. I wasn't just talking about the teenagers who take risks with their lives (the more education here the better); but the completely innocent car drivers who have to live with the fact that the vehicle they were in control of took a human life (even though it wasn't their fault).

    If you still can't see why the risk of this happening to a decent human being shouldn't be minimised, there's no point in discussing this further.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kegless
    Bruce, it appears you have wilfully ignored my point. I wasn't just talking about the teenagers who take risks with their lives (the more education here the better); but the completely innocent car drivers who have to live with the fact that the vehicle they were in control of took a human life (even though it wasn't their fault).

    If you still can't see why the risk of this happening to a decent human being shouldn't be minimised, there's no point in discussing this further.
    Perhaps I just don't understand then Greg. If it happened to me and I wasn't at fault, what am I supposed to think? 'That's a shame, if only he'd been sensible enough to put on a helmet'. How can it be on my conscience at all? I don't think it would have any majorly negative effect on me at all really (or certainly no lasting effect, except for the memory of it.. the most it may do is remind you to be safer yourself), perhaps I'm sorry to say... it's rather the same scenario if an accident happens right in front of you. You pull over, check if people are alright, perhaps call an ambulance if required and look after things as best you can. Yet it wasn't you that caused the accident - there's nothing you could have done, despite a tragedy unfolding before your eyes, so how is it different?
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  10. #10
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    Perhaps I just don't understand then Greg. If it happened to me and I wasn't at fault, what am I supposed to think? 'That's a shame, if only he'd been sensible enough to put on a helmet'. How can it be on my conscience at all? I don't think it would have any majorly negative effect on me at all really (or certainly no lasting effect, except for the memory of it.. the most it may do is remind you to be safer yourself), perhaps I'm sorry to say... it's rather the same scenario if an accident happens right in front of you. You pull over, check if people are alright, perhaps call an ambulance if required and look after things as best you can. Yet it wasn't you that caused the accident - there's nothing you could have done, despite a tragedy unfolding before your eyes, so how is it different?
    That would be why train drivers who hit a jumper or homeless person don't need counselling. Or people who survive tragic accidents despite most everyone else around them being killed don't need counselling.

    Getting back to your original message, I don't believe pressure from insurance companies is the reason for the laws regarding helmets and seatbelts. I would think if that was a concern the insurers would simply exclude accidents where the rider was not wearing a seatbelt or helmet.

    So where does that leave motivation? Either the government is trying to force people to behave rationally because it saves the community resources or else....
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Dear Bruce,

    Interesting thread. I will begin by saying I am completely against your position. I believe that 'freedom' is an illusion and that while we like to delude ourselves that we are 'free' in reality there is little 'freedom'. I side with the collective over the individual and believe that the concept of freedom for the individual negates our social being.

    I would argue that a motor car is a cultural construction, much like roads and that the usage of such an unnatural device ought to comply with current best practices of responsibility for society.

    You will need to clarify an issue for me because I thought the original post said .."If one is doing the math, that is more than $138 million spent on seat belt laws. But the kicker is this: It is estimated, by researchers for Congress, that only 6,100 lives are saved per year because of new seat belt wearers. Moreover, the increase in the percentage of those who wear seat belts has leveled off." Unless I am reading it wrong I would say that 6100 lives is clearly worth the $138 million dollars invested.

    Cheers FG7

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Interesting thread. I will begin by saying I am completely against your position. I believe that 'freedom' is an illusion and that while we like to delude ourselves that we are 'free' in reality there is little 'freedom'. I side with the collective over the individual and believe that the concept of freedom for the individual negates our social being.
    Well, while it's a very Marxist view, it is an interesting opinion. However, such attitudes and cultural norms are contingent upon where in the world you reside. If you dilute these experiences and attempt to transcend above and beyond the norms of a subculture you can arrive at a state of being free to make your own decisions and be more objective, rather than being socially conditioned. I much prefer the existentialist views of Sartre that allows us to rise above the confines of a 'social being'.

    I would argue that a motor car is a cultural construction, much like roads and that the usage of such an unnatural device ought to comply with current best practices of responsibility for society.
    You could take this to any extreme you like though.. such as 'all cars must have airbags' or 'must be constructed in a certain way to maximise safety' etc. costing users up to tens of thousands of dollars more, in many cases, something motorists cannot afford.

    You will need to clarify an issue for me because I thought the original post said .."If one is doing the math, that is more than $138 million spent on seat belt laws. But the kicker is this: It is estimated, by researchers for Congress, that only 6,100 lives are saved per year because of new seat belt wearers. Moreover, the increase in the percentage of those who wear seat belts has leveled off." Unless I am reading it wrong I would say that 6100 lives is clearly worth the $138 million dollars invested.
    This was an American article, so 6,000 is a very small % of the population. It also didn't specify the nature of the accidents, i.e. accident severity and, whether it can truly be verified that wearing seatbelts would have made a difference. There are also economic theories based around the premise that 'not wearing seat belts save lives!'
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    Frankly speaking I feel like unleasing a few of Bill's rockets. I suspect this thread is a troll.
    That suggestion seems completely unfounded to me. I think this thread is serious and interesting.

    I have stronger libertarian tendencies than most people in Australian political life and totally disagree with firegoat's potentially self-fulfilling collectivist garbage, but I don't really see the point in fighting for flippant and stupid forms of autonomy like the right to not wear a seatbelt. The enforcement costs (because they involve taxation, which is always coercive and illiberal unless it can be justified) are a more interesting issue but provisionally I agree with firegoat here that $138,000,000 for 6,100 lives (effectively a bit over $20K per life) is a good deal for the State. I'm open to being convinced the same money could be spent better in terms of saving lives, though. If you've got economic theories that say that more lives would be saved without seatbelt laws, let's see them.

    I also think that seatbelt laws protect children who are not in a position to make these decisions for themselves and whose parents should certainly not be given the option of placing their lives at needless risk.

    Also I agree with kegless. It's so hard to feel that you are really entirely faultless when something terrible happens even when it was caused by another person's stupidity or negligence.
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  14. #14
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
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    What of the cost to the taxpayers if not death but dibiltating injury is the result of not wearing seat belts.
    To suggest that a life is not worth the cost of saving it is a sad reflection on our society.

  15. #15
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidea
    What of the cost to the taxpayers if not death but dibiltating injury is the result of not wearing seat belts.
    To suggest that a life is not worth the cost of saving it is a sad reflection on our society.
    In Rosarioland if a public vehicle hits a pedestrian and only injures him well there was a period when they used to reverse back and finish the job because the coffin was cheaper than the hospital. Those were the days. Due to public outcry of course that to stop this practise.

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