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  1. #121
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Eon View Post
    But at the same time, just because the government says it's right doesn't automatically mean it's wrong. The argument that the government isn't always right doesn't really have a place in debates such as one over mandatory birth control. One that says 'the government knows best' could be backed up by facts showing that the government has access to the best, unbiased research facilities for studies to be performed, and therefore could make a properly informed decision better than the rest of us, yet even that wouldn't be infallible.
    We're not debating whether it is wrong or right. While that was the original subject, the thread has moved from "good theory or bad theory" to "should this be put into law or not." You hinted that yourself when you said "mandatory." How can we not debate what influence the government should have in our lives when we are arguing over whether or not something should be made mandatory in law?

    For the record, that isn't necessarily how things works concerning research. Most research is done independently (although it IS true that a lot of research is funded by the government). I don't think anyone is suggesting that there wouldn't be copious studies done.

  2. #122
    Saizou is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido View Post
    To some extent I believe you must be indoctrinated. I am sure there are many things that you know because science has informed you that something is a certain way that you cannot, in fact, provide evidence for other than, "well, my textbook said so." But neither here not there.
    Naturally, no one can be an expert in all fields of science. Therefore, as you say, there will inevitably arise situations where one has to refer to a textbook, or equivalent publication.

    However, this is still not in any way indoctrination. The information in a scientific textbook has already gone through the most stringent testing in existance, i.e. the scientific method. Every piece of information has been peer-reviewed and experimentally tested many times before it ends up in any respectable textbook of scientific encyclopedia.

    Therefore, every fact and theory in those publications has hard evidence behind it, and has gone through intense scrutiny, where the experts in the field have reviewed it and done their best to disprove the results. It represents the best possible explanations we have at the moment. I don't see how trusting that kind of information can be considered indoctrination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    For one, I already said that I believe sex education is a must. I think we simply disagree on the effect the fear of pregnancy has. I am not suggesting that nobody screws around. If I recall, you're from somewhere in Scandinavia. The average age people lose their virginity in Scandinavian countries is two to three years younger than that in the United States. I imagine this has to do with a combination of differing attitudes about sex (nurture) and sex education. People between the ages of 11-18 do have more sex than their American counterparts. In my opinion, with mandatory birth control and sex education, it is not unreasonable to predict that kids in America would have more sex and start earlier. So, if we already are admitting that these teens who are getting pregnant are being irresponsible, who is to say they'll be any more responsible about using condoms to prevent spread of STIs?
    Well, do you have any evidence that the fear of pregnancy is keeping a substantial amount of teens from screwing around? From what we can see right now it's doing a piss-poor job, so why should we assume that there are a lot of teens who would have unprotected sex if they wouldn't fear getting pregnant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    I'm curious what you think a reasonable implementation would be. I agree with you that, in theory, only people who want to conceive should be able to. Maybe the work-around you're talking about would be the pill, only in reverse. If you want to conceive, you go to a doctor and they prescribe the antidote for the drug-water. But I really don't like the idea of drugging the water. Biological terrorism, anyone?
    You know, drugging the water only means that you put some chemicals into it, and that's already standard practise with all drinking water in purification plants. And the very remote possibility of bioterrorism isn't really relevant here. If someone wants to poison the water supply he or she could do so regardless of what the government dumps into the water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    It's not misleading in the least. Though it is apparent to you (and to most Americans, regardless what you may have heard) that the welfare of the many is not being protected by the war in Iraq, the government still believed that it was and what followed was its due course. My point in using Iraq is to show that the government doesn't always know (or do) what is best. And then draw the connection to the government telling me what to do with my body against my express wishes.
    Just because the government isn't perfect doesn't mean that everything the government does is bad. Rather the actions of the government can be good or bad, and that's determined by the effects they cause, and nothing else. For example, the Iraq war causes bad effects, and therefore it's a failed government policy. Furthermore, the rest of the world knew this even before the war started. It was not based on reason in the least.

    However, my proposal would highly probably cause good effects, therefore it would be a good government policy. Furthermore, it is based on evidence and reason. We have statistical data that indentifies a real problem, and we have a solution that would undeniably address the problem, with no real harm done to anyone. The causal link is crystal clear.

    The fact that it would mean that the government has to tell you want you can do with your body is secondary. A person's rights are actually a means to an end, and that end is to maximize utility (i.e. personal happiness in the case of the individual). They are most certainly not some sort of transcendental arbitrary rules that must not be broken in any situation. Therefore, the guarantee of a right is sensible only as long as it actually causes more utility than not guaranteeing that right would. Naturally, in the vast majority of cases the guarantee does do this, but there are exceptions where the limitation of one person's rights actually is the right ans sensible thing to do. For example, when we lock up violent criminals, we are limiting their right to liberty. However, not imprisoning these criminals would cause great harm to society in general, and their victims in particular. Therefore, their rights must be limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    I've heard this as well and I think the case should be different for minors and adults. In a child's case, the government should step in. Not so for an adult.
    In the case of a minor, we are assuming that the child in question is not mentally mature enough to make a rational decision, are we not? Why should the case be any different with adults who are incapable of making a rational decision as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    Don't be cryptic, give me a more solid situation.
    The topic of the discussion ought to qualify. Consider the following scenario.

    We know for a fact that teens make lousy parents. This is proven beyond all doubt by the statistics. We also know that a child has a right to a good upbringing, which would be one of the inaliable rights I was referring to.

    Now, we also know that a person has the right to liberty, and from that follows the right of self-determination regarding your body. Therefore, we can also draw the conclusion that you have the right to get pregnant if you wish to. This would be the second inaliable right we're talking about.

    However, the crux of the matter is as follows. If a teen gets pregnant, we know that there is a large probablility of the child's rights to a proper upbringing being violated. This is proven beyond doubt. Therefore, if a teen exercises her right to get pregnant, she is also very probably violating the child's rights.

    Now, as it is the government's responsibility to safeguard its citizens' rights, why wouldn't the government be justified in preemptively preventing situations where someone's rights will almost certainly be violated? Especially when the prevention is quite harmless compared to the harm the is prevented? As an analogy, the police can arrest people if they plan to commit a crime (i.e. if they plan on violating someone's rights). I see this as the same sort of situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman View Post
    I'm not trying to solve a problem. I don't have a problem.
    You don't think teenage pregnancy is a problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Just because it's rational to do something doesn't automatically make it correct. I'm lost in the jungle, alone. It's cold and nighttime and I have meager supplies. Add as many other little bits and pieces of situations as you like. Now, in this case, it would be rational for me to hole up somewhere and wait for rescue. People know my rough whereabouts. They'll come looking for me. It'd be my best shot to wait and conserve my energy and protect myself.
    However, if I were to walk for an hour in that direction over there, I might come across a town or a road or a group of travellers or something. Maybe. I don't know. However, if I did walk that way, and I did find help, it would obviously be better for me than waiting for possibly days in my tree for help. I might even get eaten while I wait.
    And what's that supposed to prove? If your goal is survival, the correct choice is obviously the one that brings the greatest chance of survival. As you said, you can't know anything with certainty in this situation, and that's exactly why you need reason in situations like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Bottom line is, no matter how much you use logic and reasoning and all your other superior mental facilities, at the end of the day, you don't know the truth any more than anyone else. There may be a God. And if you can't have an open mind about it, then, yes, you are indoctrinated. Whether it's the official, dictionary-perfect term or not, I can't be bothered thinking about or looking up. You get the point. You're believing a bunch of stuff because people have told you it's true. It's based on "science", which you have read the results of but never tested or seen first hand. It's no better than "faith", which people read about - and some even claim that they have seen it first hand.
    Read my reply to Aikido. I don't have to check it for myself, because the experts in their respective fields have already done so. In fact, it would be impossible for me to check all that for myself in the first place. I might manage it if I lived for a couple of hundred years. Therefore, it is completely disingenious to make that sort of demand. In fact, if you did, then everybody in the world would be indoctrinated by default, thus rendering the entire concept utterly meaningless.

    As for why faith is doctrinaire, it's because it doesn't provide any evindece for its claims. Science does. I may not have checked everything I've read about myself, but it still is possible to do so. This is not the case with religious claims. In religion, there exists an predefined authority whose claims are taken as true by definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    You don't seem to get it. The truth is - You don't know.
    By your narrow definition of knowledge, I'm actually wondering if the the entire concept of knowledge is meaningful at all. Therefore, I ask you to define the requirements of knowing something. I.e. when can you say that you know something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Seriously? Because one person makes an act which kills hundreds of people not even connected to him in the slightest. The other one doesn't. They suggest an idea to people which they are free to believe or not, and which may or may not lead to a premature death for that person alone. Tricky?
    Actually, religion doesn't always suggest an idea to people which they are free to believe or not. In fact, I'd argue that most people are religious because they were raised religious. In essence religious indoctrination begins when children are at their most suggestible age, leading to a situation where people believe in something, not because that have made a rational choice to do so, but because it has been taught to them all their life, and they simply take it for granted. Thus the indoctrination. And I can't see how a person who has gone through all that really has freely chosen to believe in his or her ideology. The deck is so stacked against choosing disbelief that the free will argument goes right out the window.

    Furthermore, the question isn't primarily about religious people in themselves, it's about religious ideology. The religious ideology of the suicide bomber leads him to kill innocents for absurd reasons. The religious ideology of the Jehovah's Witnesses and other similar groups lead them to let themselves (and their children) die for absurd reasons. Now, I'll freely admit that the religous ideology of the bomber clearly is worse, but that doesn't mean that the ideology of the Jehovah's Witness is good. Both cause harm for absurd reasons, and thus both are bad. Not that tricky, is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Disagree. Just like in the novel, "societal benefit" would arguably be achieved by having Thought Police, and little monitors in all our homes so BB could see our every move, and get inside our head, to ensure no one was ever trying to disturb the peace. However, those are not measures I believe are justified.
    The entire point of societal benefit is to maximize the happiness and fulfilment of rational preferences of the individuals that make up society. Any thought police or other such overly intrusive method would obviously be conterproductive to this goal, and therefore not socially beneficial at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by SHerman
    A belief is not insane just because there is no evidence to support it. Maybe I believe there's life on another planet, somewhere out there. No evidence for it, yet. That make me insane?
    Actually, there is plenty of evidence for extraterrestial life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    We'd think someone who thought he was Napoleon was insane because, quite simply, he isn't. Napoleon existed, and he's dead. However, if he thought he had been Napoleon in a past life, people might consider him insane. But even then, I doubt we'd be "locking him up" unless he was posing a harm to anyone else. If he was just walking around and telling everyone he used to be Napoleon, he might not have many friends, but I hardly think that's warrant detention.
    Indeed. Napoleon existed, and he is dead. Therefore, this person believes something that obviously isn't true, therefore he's insane. In the exact same way, religious people believe something that obivously isn't true, but society at large doesn't consider them to be insane. An obvious double standard is at work here.

    And if a crazy person is dangerous to others, he's locked up. In fact, most insane persons are taken into custody and given treatment anyway (or at least we do so over here in Finland).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    No, it's not. It's rational. It works to sustain itself, and protect itself. It's logical and reasonable. Not moral.
    The law isn't some abstract construct decoupled from society at large. Neither does the law possess any sort of survival instinct. The law is nothing more and nothing less than a set of rules that

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    No, I already said that was just an additional argument. Stopping people doing things because it harms society is fine in a general sense, be they religious or not. But it depends on the exact rule in question. Here, the reason for my argument is moral, not "logical", as I've said plenty. That was just an extra kicker. Forget about it if it's easier for you.
    I still can't understand why you kep drawing the distinction between logic and morality. Shouldn't morality be based on reason?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    That's the tricky point, but like I said, I know of several cases where the decision was overturned in the case of minors. I think that's the more recent position.
    Not as far as I know. Do you have any source for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Exactly. It's true for any number of things. What if the government decided it was in "the greater social good" for everyone to be forced to work 10 hour days? Even on the weekends? What if it'd be better for everyone to have to eat a prescribed diet? I don't see McDonald's being a great benefit to society. Let's outlaw it! In fact, everyone must punch in for at least 8 hours of gym work a week. Healthy body, healthy mind. If you fall behind, you get rounded up and shipped off to a camp to get you up to speed.

    Also, family values are important. We need to get back to a more structured family system. Women can no longer work. Children are much happier if their mother stays at home and cleans and cooks all day (the correctly prescribed dietary meal, of course). After men come back from their 10-hour work day, the woman must help relieve the stress in any way she can. After all, we can't have our working men breaking down on us, or society will collapse! In that vein, no more divorce. Broken families are the cause of too many unhappy children. Studies have also shown that the colour red makes people angry when they see it. Anyone seen from now on wearing the colour red will be arrested on sight.....
    I can't see how many of those measures would bring about a net social benefit, and those who would are quite obviously unenforceable. As I explained earlier, social benefit is mainly measured in happiness, and a law that leads to a net decrease in happiness is obviously unjustified. Furthermore, there would be ways to attack many of those problems indirectly, e.g. in your McDonalds example you could tackle the problem by levying an excise tax on fatty foods. Therefore, the necessity of a straight ban of the firm itself is questionable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Just because the government says it's right - even for logical reasons.... doesn't make it right.
    You've got it backwards. It is true that something isn't right just because the government says so. If something is right or not is determined by whether it maximizes utility or not. However, this also does mean that the government should enact laws that do maximize utility and social good, because that's the right thing to do.

    To summarize, the government should do what is right. That's what I'm arguing, not that whatever the government does is right.

  3. #123
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Therefore, every fact and theory in those publications has hard evidence behind it, and has gone through intense scrutiny, where the experts in the field have reviewed it and done their best to disprove the results. It represents the best possible explanations we have at the moment. I don't see how trusting that kind of information can be considered indoctrination.
    I am in agreement that there is an obvious difference between science and religion. But please dont treat science as though hard and fast laws are established and then never subject to change. Naturally there are 'Laws' that scientists believe fall under that category but the vast majority of scientific knowledge is theory. Scientific thought changes all the time, and drastically. Theories are revised, made more specific, changed around or refuted entirely over time. They are not objectively true. I'm not saying its irrational to believe in science, but I am saying that I am sure there are things you think are true that are not. And to my mind, especially considering that you have not done these studies yourself and readily admit that you trust in them, that falls under indoctrination.

    Well, do you have any evidence that the fear of pregnancy is keeping a substantial amount of teens from screwing around? From what we can see right now it's doing a piss-poor job, so why should we assume that there are a lot of teens who would have unprotected sex if they wouldn't fear getting pregnant?
    No, I don't. Likewise, you don't have any evidence to back up the claim that it is doing a piss poor job either. Or at least you haven't presented it, other than to say that is your impression from the other side of the pond.

    I don't think my side is unreasonable to assume. If you can do something from which you stand to benefit (I take sex to be beneficial) without fear of consequences (or lowered risk), you are more likely engage in that action. There is plenty of economic thought that applies here. If you lower the risks involved with sex (ie: remove fear of pregnancy), people will be more likely to have sex and start younger. It is irrefutable that most teenagers really dont want to get pregnant. I do think people are more responsible at 20 than at 14 or 16. To some extent, it's hormonal. Even WITH sex education, people still have unprotected sex. I have no proof to back it up, but I think it is logical to say that younger people (and generally less responsible people) will be more likely to have unprotected sex (and that unprotected sex would increase in absolute terms). Therefore I think that it is reasonable to assume that STI incidence would increase as well.

    You know, drugging the water only means that you put some chemicals into it, and that's already standard practise with all drinking water in purification plants. And the very remote possibility of bioterrorism isn't really relevant here. If someone wants to poison the water supply he or she could do so regardless of what the government dumps into the water.
    I am well aware of that. I do think there is a difference between purifying water and drugging the water in the manner we are discussing. I'm curious: what if there were some other magical chemical we could put in the water that makes people build muscle mass better, or balances hormones to decrease aggression in society, something to that effect. How do you feel about that?

    However, my proposal would highly probably cause good effects, therefore it would be a good government policy. Furthermore, it is based on evidence and reason. We have statistical data that indentifies a real problem, and we have a solution that would undeniably address the problem, with no real harm done to anyone. The causal link is crystal clear.
    There are externalities to everything. But I've already stated that I agree in principle if not execution so please don't engage in straw man arguments.

    In the case of a minor, we are assuming that the child in question is not mentally mature enough to make a rational decision, are we not? Why should the case be any different with adults who are incapable of making a rational decision as well?
    Because then who determines who is rational? You? A comglomeration of scientists? And rationality isn't a boolean. If I, personally, believe in God, are you arguing that I should be put away, or that I am incapable of determining what is best for myself? Maybe I should have my actions approved by someone who is rational 100% of the time. Maybe you could do that for me? Excuse the hyperbole.

    Also, I am sure there is scientific literature backing the legal existence of a minor/adult dichotomy in the legal system that is not discriminatory.

    Now, as it is the government's responsibility to safeguard its citizens' rights, why wouldn't the government be justified in preemptively preventing situations where someone's rights will almost certainly be violated? Especially when the prevention is quite harmless compared to the harm the is prevented? As an analogy, the police can arrest people if they plan to commit a crime (i.e. if they plan on violating someone's rights). I see this as the same sort of situation.
    I don't entirely disagree with you, but I do want to say that the situation as you have presented it makes it seems as though getting pregnant as a teen is a crime. It isn't, and I'm sure you're aware of that. I'm not sure these situations can be considered analogous unless you categorically say, in law, that when a teen gets pregnant it violates someones (the babies) rights and is therefore a crime. Would you say this is an inappropriate way to rephrase your hypothetical?

  4. #124
    Stuyvesant is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido View Post
    I am in agreement that there is an obvious difference between science and religion. But please dont treat science as though hard and fast laws are established and then never subject to change. Naturally there are 'Laws' that scientists believe fall under that category but the vast majority of scientific knowledge is theory. Scientific thought changes all the time, and drastically. Theories are revised, made more specific, changed around or refuted entirely over time. They are not objectively true. I'm not saying its irrational to believe in science, but I am saying that I am sure there are things you think are true that are not. And to my mind, especially considering that you have not done these studies yourself and readily admit that you trust in them, that falls under indoctrination.
    Isn't the simple difference here that science is based on rational thought, whereas religion is based purely on faith? It is true that science, or physics mainly, is largely theoretical. It is, however, based on emipirical evidence. The theories aren't asking people to take leaps of faith. They explanations, or arguements, logically set out, often using evidence to explain them. Indocrination would imply an unquestioning belief in the theories of physics. One of the major tennant of the scientific fields is to question the assumptions.
    Now while there is evidence for the existence of God, and I can understand how one could view religion as a theory to explain the evidence, this is not the crux of religion. Faith without evidence is the point of religion.



    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido View Post
    I am well aware of that. I do think there is a difference between purifying water and drugging the water in the manner we are discussing. I'm curious: what if there were some other magical chemical we could put in the water that makes people build muscle mass better, or balances hormones to decrease aggression in society, something to that effect. How do you feel about that?

    Government have been putting chemicals in the water for decades. Fluorine is an example. It isn't related to the purification, but was added because health departments world wide decided that people, especially children weren't getting enough. At the time it was thought that fluorine aids in bone development, especially teeth. This has since been disproven, but the fluorine remains.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido View Post
    Also, I am sure there is scientific literature backing the legal existence of a minor/adult dichotomy in the legal system that is not discriminatory.
    I don't see how it is possible to have a dichotomy without discrimination. The scientific evidence that was used to determine the age at which a person could rationally make decisions, has to be arbitrary. People in different cultures, or living at different times through history, have matured at different rates. These are not small variations. Only a few hundred years ago people were married at the age of 14. Unless each case is reviewed individually, discrimination will occur. If each case is reviewed individually, there was no point in enacting the law.

  5. #125
    Saizou is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido View Post
    I am in agreement that there is an obvious difference between science and religion. But please dont treat science as though hard and fast laws are established and then never subject to change. Naturally there are 'Laws' that scientists believe fall under that category but the vast majority of scientific knowledge is theory. Scientific thought changes all the time, and drastically. Theories are revised, made more specific, changed around or refuted entirely over time. They are not objectively true.
    Note that I said that science represents the best possible explanation we have at the moment. Furthermore science is by definition objectively true. One of the core principles of scientific empirical studies is that no matter who it is that performs an experiment that person will get the same result as everyone else would. Therefore, scientific results are objective, though it is true that they are not set in stone. However, they do not have to be unchangeable in order for them to be justifiably considered true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    I'm not saying its irrational to believe in science, but I am saying that I am sure there are things you think are true that are not. And to my mind, especially considering that you have not done these studies yourself and readily admit that you trust in them, that falls under indoctrination.
    Your accusation is contradictory. My authority is indeniably nondoctrinaire, as you've admitted yourself. Scientific theories must be disprovable, and many have indeed been disproven. Therefore science isn't doctrinaire, and therefore it's completely backwards to talk about scientific indoctrination, as there is no doctrine in the first place. Explain to me how it is possible to indoctrinate someone when no doctrine exists.

    And the rest of my facts still stand. The scientific method is the most rigorous test of truth that exists. The brightest minds and greatest experts have tested and verified the results this method produces. And there exists hard evidence that supports every single claim that respectable science makes. There is abolutely nothing here that rests on blind acceptance. And I know for a fact that all of these things are true. Surely you must see how this is different from indoctrination, i.e. blind acceptance of the claims of some arbitrary authority.

    Furthermore, I find your demand that I must do these studies myself in order to not be indoctrinated completely disingenious. First of all, it is physically impossible for me to be an expert in all fields of science. In fact, it is impossible for anyone to be an expert in all fields of science. In essence you're demanding the impossible here. Also, if we accept your definition of indoctrination everyone in the world would be indoctrinated, as everyone certainly believes some things that they are unable to verify personally. Logically speaking, that would make the entire concept of indoctrination meaningless. In essence your definition contradicts itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    No, I don't. Likewise, you don't have any evidence to back up the claim that it is doing a piss poor job either. Or at least you haven't presented it, other than to say that is your impression from the other side of the pond.

    I don't think my side is unreasonable to assume. If you can do something from which you stand to benefit (I take sex to be beneficial) without fear of consequences (or lowered risk), you are more likely engage in that action. There is plenty of economic thought that applies here. If you lower the risks involved with sex (ie: remove fear of pregnancy), people will be more likely to have sex and start younger. It is irrefutable that most teenagers really dont want to get pregnant. I do think people are more responsible at 20 than at 14 or 16. To some extent, it's hormonal. Even WITH sex education, people still have unprotected sex. I have no proof to back it up, but I think it is logical to say that younger people (and generally less responsible people) will be more likely to have unprotected sex (and that unprotected sex would increase in absolute terms). Therefore I think that it is reasonable to assume that STI incidence would increase as well.
    The facts can be found here.

    From this data we see that the use of contraceptives has improved markedly since 1995, but the percentage of teens who have had sex actually has declined since then. This directly contradicts your hypothesis that lack of fear of pregnancy leads to more sexual activity. In fact, it would seem that the two aren't even very strongly correlated. In conclusion, while your hypothesis seems sound at first glance, in reality the lessened fear of pregnancy among teens hasn't led to more sexual activity. Therefore, you are wrong on this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    I am well aware of that. I do think there is a difference between purifying water and drugging the water in the manner we are discussing. I'm curious: what if there were some other magical chemical we could put in the water that makes people build muscle mass better, or balances hormones to decrease aggression in society, something to that effect. How do you feel about that?
    If it's otherwise harmless, why not? In fact, if the government had such a chemical, I would argue that it would be wrong for them to not use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    There are externalities to everything. But I've already stated that I agree in principle if not execution so please don't engage in straw man arguments.
    But why do you disagree with the execution when the execution would be quite harmless?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    Because then who determines who is rational? You? A comglomeration of scientists? And rationality isn't a boolean. If I, personally, believe in God, are you arguing that I should be put away, or that I am incapable of determining what is best for myself? Maybe I should have my actions approved by someone who is rational 100% of the time. Maybe you could do that for me? Excuse the hyperbole.

    Also, I am sure there is scientific literature backing the legal existence of a minor/adult dichotomy in the legal system that is not discriminatory.
    Rationality is obviously determined by the rules of logic. And the rules of logic are objective. Therefore, what is rational isn't determined by the subjective opinion of any single person, but by objective reason.

    As for your hyperbole, the problem isn't with irrational actions in themselves. I know full well that everyone acts irrationally sometimes, and I'm not about to engage in some sisyphean struggle to eradicate irrationality. The problem is when irrational thought starts causing objective harm, especially when that harm is preventable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikido
    I don't entirely disagree with you, but I do want to say that the situation as you have presented it makes it seems as though getting pregnant as a teen is a crime. It isn't, and I'm sure you're aware of that. I'm not sure these situations can be considered analogous unless you categorically say, in law, that when a teen gets pregnant it violates someones (the babies) rights and is therefore a crime. Would you say this is an inappropriate way to rephrase your hypothetical?
    I'm not suggesting that teen pregnancy is criminal. I'm just equivocating two situations where government intervention serves to prevent potential harm.

 

 
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