Authority

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Lead has been known to be a health hazard for more than a hundred years. The government rules limiting lead were applied to corporations and the like - they defended some people from harm done to them by others.
    But government has grown more intrusive and meddling and authoritarian in some ways, - and blaming the victims for governmental abuses is a shameful way to argue.
    When the rules are imposed upon individual people to constrain their own management of their own lives, that is different from when they are imposed on corporations to prevent them from harming others.

    It's basically the "consenting adult" standard - and apparently just as hard to get through to an authoritarian.
     
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunately for you Iceaura, ad hominem isn't a substitution for fact and reason.

    The fact is seat belt laws are safety laws, just like a plethora of other safety laws, just like stoplights, stop signs, lane markers, etc. There is nothing authoritarian about safety laws, and the fact is you cannot make an informed reason argument for your cause.

    And as our technology evolves, I'm sure there will be new laws and new regulations, because there will be new problems. The invention of self driving cars has already created the need for new laws. As our technology becomes more complex, as our society becomes more technology oriented, we will need new laws to set rules of the road these technologies require. That doesn't mean we are becoming more authoritarian.

    If you are a Luddite, fine. But that doesn't mean everyone else needs to follow you.
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Don't use big words you don't understand, is my advice.
    And with that warning to everyone who has overlooked the matter (these people think that "safety laws" are - simply by virtue of being "safety laws" - not authoritarian), the OP case is all but made. The only remaining question is whether the problem is still getting worse, or has plateaued at its present level (which is certainly worse than it was within living memory - compare the modern childhood with the best memories of your own: if you grew up in a small town or rural, 3/4 of your best memories from childhood are now illegal. Amirite?).

    Imagine if I had posted, early on, the claim that there was a large, active, and effective political population in the US that had convinced itself that any and all "safety laws" enforced by the government were by that classification not authoritarian?

    Because there is nothing you do, say, don't do, or don't say, in which activity you cannot seriously injure yourself. Statistics don't lie. Consider the lengths to which other benevolent institutions dedicated to the well-being of their residents, such as mental hospitals, are forced - forced, by the behavior of said residents - to go, in order to ensure the safety of the human beings in their charge against their own bad judgment.

    Imagine that multiplied to the safety of auxiliary children - and no complaints, mind, because people make the decision to have children voluntarily: "decisions have consequences" we are told. And the government is of course the most competent decider and proper enforcer, of what those consequences should be.
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Seat belts are an interesting consideration insofar as they are industry versus consumer; increasing traffic fines are a result of tough-on-crime policies that have, by and large, resulted in general legal, administrative, and human disaster; urinalysis is a combination of factors, including both the above, and the Southern Strategy.

    As a political matter, there is much to be said about "both parties"; that is to say, Democrats buckled and took part.

    As a political matter, there is much to be said about voters; that is to say, it's what voters said they wanted at the time insofar as it's what won elections.

    As a political matter, there is much to be said about information availability, filtering, and commercial or industrial priorities; that is to say, whether Alex Jones, CNN, or a revolutionary leftist newspaper, everybody has their editorial priorities, though much like I feel the so-called "liberals" felt compelled to compromise with more conservative demands in this or that issue, I would also note that the Spartacist League just doesn't have any influence in the American political discourse, so there comes a point in the Tea Party and now alt-Right period at which it is very difficult to assert equivalence. Nonetheless, these are the market outcomes.

    As to the other part―

    ―it's harder to sketch. I remember an occasion we were flying from FAT to SFO in a Brasilia EMB 130, and as we came in to San Francisco I could look out the window and we were crab-crawling our way in, pointed a ridiculous angle―in excess of fifteen degrees―off our vector. Then the shear hit. The plane dropped a couple hundred feet instantly. My brother was sitting directly in front of me; had fallen asleep without his seat belt buckled. I watched him slide up the fuselage form factor and then back down into his seat, utterly surprised and doing the hilarious sputtering what-what-what-just-happened bit. To the one, I'll call it lucky because it was fucking brilliant. To the other, he was asleep when the little bell dinged and nobody was paying attention to their neighbors. It's not like he felt the rule about buckling his seat belt when the little sign told him to was some manner of oppression.

    My point being that over the years it's astounding what I've heard people describe in terms that make your question rather quite interesting. You're aware, for instance, of some of my theses about "supremacism as equality"; those do arise from having witnessed other people offer up some pretty strange assertions of liberty and equality that have much to do with the question of handing personal power over to authority.
     
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,676
    LOL...you should take your own advise.

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    Yeah, I think you have well established the fact that you don't like safety laws like stoplights, stop signs, speed laws, etc. But that doesn't make them authoritarian. It just makes them reasonable rules of the road.

    If you don't like the modern world, I suggest you go to remote Alaska. You won't have to deal with cars, roads, stoplights, stop signs, and safety belts because there are none.

    Statistics don't lie, and per previously referenced materials, seat belts do reduce injuries and deaths. If you don't like the safety belt laws you have two options. You can move to Alaska or simply not use cars or trucks or you can attempt to change those laws. As has been previously and repeatedly explained to you, if most people agree with you the law can be changed. But they don't, and that's why the laws haven't been changed.

    People are social animals and as such they need rules of conduct in order to function and prevent chaos. Now obviously you don't like rules. But they are necessary in a well functioning society. Rules define how we collectively decide to live together. If we collectively decide we want to change the rules, we can. That's not authoritarian by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. It's called democracy.

    And your "benevolent institution" commentary makes absolutely no sense. Is there a point? If you are trying to say that people who are judged to be a threat to themselves or others can be involuntarily restrained, that is true, and there is a process for that. That rule, i.e. law, protects lives. It's a good law. People can become a danger to themselves for a number of medical and psychological reason and some of those reasons can be lethal. When the brain becomes anoxic, a potentially lethal condition, people don't react rationally and often they become violent.

    The government is the people. We decide. We make the rules. We decide how we live out lives.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Given all of the issues that "we" face today, getting all worked up over seat belts isn't rational.
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    True. But it's about more than just seat belts. It's about right wing paranoia, fear mongering, and misinformation.
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    2,200
    Of course, but it's still a silly thing to oppose.

    When I was very young there weren't seat belts. Later we had seat belts but using them wasn't required. It took a while before, otherwise rational people, used them on a regular basis. Later they were required.

    The two biggest changes in safety were seat belts and greater use of interstates and similar limited ingress/egress roads and changes in alcohol toleration.

    High school kids used to be involved in fatal accidents far more frequently than today (for example). Rural highways with higher speeds than today were deadly. Some people would drink a beer on the way home from work. Seat belts affect no only the driver but their families and others.

    Arguing again seat belts, high speeds on rural roads, and higher toleration for drinking is just stupid.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,166
    The mandatory buckling of seat belts issue makes a nice, neutral, unemotional example of the growing problem introduced by the OP.

    A good test of rationality, in the respondents - can they, for starters, acknowledge the issue, recognize it? Look for yourself, above. This guy, for example, hasn't got a freaking clue what I'm talking about:
    He actually thinks somebody here is arguing against seat belts!

    And look at this guy:
    Think he can find the OP issue here with both hands and a flashlight? Don't bet on it.

    Meanwhile: as people have been pointing out for centuries, in English since Shakespeare encapsulated the matter in "the insolence of office" and the red tape British imperial filing systems used to organize their colonial regulations became a metaphor, the essentially trivial imposition is the fundamental tool of oppression. All the big battles are over things like which seat in a bus you can sit in.

    Sure it's trivial - but that allows clarity, reason, and establishment of principle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,166
    There's another candidate: the third eye tail light, and improvements in tail lighting generally. Last I checked, it had made a bigger net difference than limited-access freeways (whose encouragement of higher speeds and longer journeys by car partly canceled their benefits).

    I would also include improvements in tires.
     
  14. Baldeee Registered Senior Member

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    859
    Here's a different take I've heard on the issues of laws such as seat belts:
    The primary aim of such laws are not to protect the individual.
    The primary aim is to limit the cost to the rest of society of having to deal with the aftermath of any incident.
    It does this by both limiting the probability of such incidents occurring as well as helping limit the damage when they do.
    The cost to the rest of society is also not simply the medical costs but any knock-on effects that might occur (loss of a productive member of society for a period of time, or permanently, insurance premiums etc).
    Thus society as a whole suffers.
    So the laws are designed not to protect the individual but to protect society as a whole from the unconstructive behaviour of an individual.
     
  15. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

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    I have seen countless posts over many years about government and corporations and corporate elites having too much power.

    My question has always been, what do you think should be done about it?
     
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, first the people making these assertions need to be able to offer some meaningful description as to what they mean when they talk about government and corporate elites. Until they offer some meaningful descriptions, nothing can be done. I have yet to meet anyone decrying big government define in any meaningful way what they mean by big government. Not one of them has been able to describe in any meaningful way what "too much government" means in any definitive way.
     
  17. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Because Authority should be taken literally too.
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You're not using a random word generator are you?
     
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Authority is a core human nature.
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    In the first place: actual total cost estimates, or even incident frequency evaluations, are never employed by the people arguing for the more authoritarian laws. Instead, the argument employed is that lives "are saved" (in the case of airbags, even the real numbers on that are carefully omitted); at best, narrowly focused costs that omit major factors are carelessly estimated and tacked unto the main argument: "lives saved".

    In the second: that would be as dangerous an argument to allow, unexamined, as the one about protecting the individual from themselves. Most individual freedoms and liberties incur some cost to society as a whole, on the margin, within a context of a generally free or liberty-tolerant society - and the comparison argued is invariably on that margin, is almost never with the cost of abrogating principles and establishing authoritarian government overall, but with the narrowly defined situation involved. Consider the arguments for allowing police establishment of random roadblocks for catching drunk drivers, for example.

    Or to point to one easily noticed element of this category of omission: the "cost to the rest of society" never seems to include the sum of the costs to the individuals. The various extra hardships inflicted by bumping up from mandatory seat belt availability and insurance liability to actually mandating that they be worn at all times and the police can pull people over failure, for example, are not summed up and included in the calculation of the extra saved cost to "society" from that extra bump in the law. It's as if the individuals targeted or affected by the law were not part of that society.

    The same thing is visible, and being counteracted (it's apparently a bit more visible to the self-described "liberals" who make up the Democratic base), in the drug laws: the cost to "the rest of society" is more and more coming to be understood as including, not apart from, the costs to those targeted or affected directly by the laws.

    That approach should be generalized, imho, and authoritarian arguments treated with extreme suspicion regardless of origin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  21. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    5,878
    Sure, there is danger in the larger picture, air and water quality; but where personal choices are involved, and if it is kept between willing participants, yeah. It's still a difficult question when I consider the possible extremes. I mean, would we allow one person to kill another even if it was their choice to die? That's blunt and crude, and certainly every circumstance has its own motivations, yet it does boil down to the very essence of the matter. Smoking is, for instance, a question of slow death. It's not a guaranteed sentence, but it does increase the odds for disease, pain and early death. Is the government then justified in forcing me to quit for my own good? They have taken it on themselves to buckle me in my seat while I'm driving, where else might they use they same incentive to control other personal risks?

    Some say the purpose behind a nanny state is financial, which might be true.
     
  22. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    5,878
    The problem is they kill the individual for the greater good. You're right though, If smoking didn't generate so much tax revenue, it would be illegal. Our government is addicted to tobacco as is any smoker.
     
  23. river Valued Senior Member

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    8,484
    Authority happens because the we allow Authority to take control .

    Authority gives not one iota what we think .

    Authority all ways thinks they know better ; than we .

    Authority thinks we are stupid and unaware ; We are
     

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