Victimless Crimes = Morals Police = Primitive Democracy?

What would you do if?

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HandsRaised
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Victimless Crimes = Morals Police = Primitive Democracy?

Post #1

Post by HandsRaised »

Literally millions of American's public reputations have been tarnished -- for life -- for "morals crimes" like drugs, gambling and prostitution. No victims or damages are needed to mar your life forever here -- just failing to agree with the prevailing morality will get you in trouble in America -- just like in Saudia Arabia with their "Morals Police".

Do you see the problem here? We're using our public secular institutions to impose moral laws on citizens -- even where no public interest can be shown. We're legislating morality. That's cool I guess -- if you happen to agree with those morals -- but what if you don't. Death awaits anyone denouncing the prophet Mohamed (PBUH) in Saudia Arabia. We're only a little better for imprisioning citizens for self medicating -- or for helping others do the same.

The moral issue here is simply, is it fair to impose "morality" on others -- even when nobody else is directly affected by "immoral" behaviors? Civil Rights surely includes the freedom to be "immoral" -- even if everyone else knows it's really a longterm mistake. God certainly seems to understand and forgive -- but not Civil Societies?

I envision a "28th Amendment" -- to abolish "Victimless Crimes". Let us make our own mistakes without public humiliation -- as an ultimate teacher on our journey to God.

cnorman18

Post #2

Post by cnorman18 »

I would agree, with a few conditions.

First: If you choose to indulge in alcohol or other drugs, and thereby destroy your health, you won't go to jail; but you get no free Government-paid medical care, no welfare, no unemployment benefits, no ADC assistance for your kids, nothing. Not a damn dime, not for you or for any other member of your family that is affected. You're totally on your own and responsible for any damage you cause to yourself or to anyone else. Your family can get assistance only if they kick you out permanently. If they ever let you back in, or give you so much as a drink of water, they have to pay back every cent, that day.

Oh, that doesn't apply to Big Macs and cholesterol, by the way; indulging in those may be unwise, but at present it's legal and society doesn't think it's necessary to enforce healthy behavior there. No "opting out of society's standards" necessary. Pig out and you can still go to County with your heart attack; shoot up, and you get left in the alley with your seizures. People have to eat, but they don't have to get high.

If you blow all your money gambling, the same; no welfare, no food stamps, nothing. Again, not a damn dime. You're the only victim? Fine. Then you're the only victim. Nobody else will be expected to bail you out or feed you. You support yourself or you die on the street. You don't get bankruptcy protection, either; you can't skip out on a debt because you lost everything in a crap game.

Same with prostitution. Whether you're in the business or a patron, if you pick up a disease, you get nothing from the free clinic and nothing from the county hospital. Zero. Buy your own penicillin, or drop dead -- literally. It's not our problem.

If you choose to participate in any of these "victimless crimes," you pay your own way, and if you can't, you can dig your own hole and lie down in it, because nobody's going to pay to bury you either. We'll carefully and respectfully place you in the dumpster with your hat on, and that's all you get.

No public humiliation here, except that which people cause for themselves. If they can't afford to wear clean clothes or bathe -- or eat -- that's their free choice. We'll all respect that, but they shouldn't expect to be welcome anywhere, not even in the 7-Eleven.

If you're on board with all that, I'm with you. But if you're going to advocate people withdrawing from the standards of the society they live in, you can't claim that they are entitled to be supported by that society or that it should repair -- or ignore -- the damage they cause to themselves.

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Post #3

Post by Vince »

**edit** Sorry my post was in reply to cnormans, then I read the thread guildlines and I'm not allowed to do that!


I'm all for personal freedom, but I also think a person should be responsible for his actions. Society has no obligation (and no right in my opinion) to safe guard you against yourself. If you know the risks and engage anyways you are responsible. Social programs are for the unfortunate who could not control the circumstances of their misfortune, not to be used as a safety net for your experimentation.

I agree though with the removal of victimless crimes, these current laws are an infringement on our freedom.

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nygreenguy
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Post #4

Post by nygreenguy »

cnorman18 wrote:I would agree, with a few conditions.

First: If you choose to indulge in alcohol or other drugs, and thereby destroy your health, you won't go to jail; but you get no free Government-paid medical care, no welfare, no unemployment benefits, no ADC assistance for your kids, nothing. Not a damn dime, not for you or for any other member of your family that is affected. You're totally on your own and responsible for any damage you cause to yourself or to anyone else. Your family can get assistance only if they kick you out permanently. If they ever let you back in, or give you so much as a drink of water, they have to pay back every cent, that day.
Ive got to totally disagree. This is no better than sending the people to jail. Alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases and needed to be treated as such. Placing these people in even worse conditions is not better for them, or us.

cnorman18

Post #5

Post by cnorman18 »

nygreenguy wrote:
cnorman18 wrote:I would agree, with a few conditions.

First: If you choose to indulge in alcohol or other drugs, and thereby destroy your health, you won't go to jail; but you get no free Government-paid medical care, no welfare, no unemployment benefits, no ADC assistance for your kids, nothing. Not a damn dime, not for you or for any other member of your family that is affected. You're totally on your own and responsible for any damage you cause to yourself or to anyone else. Your family can get assistance only if they kick you out permanently. If they ever let you back in, or give you so much as a drink of water, they have to pay back every cent, that day.
Ive got to totally disagree. This is no better than sending the people to jail. Alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases and needed to be treated as such. Placing these people in even worse conditions is not better for them, or us.
Not the same thing. If a person wants to have his alcoholism or drug addiction treated as a disease, I'm perfectly OK with having that done at government expense; but if his attitude is "I shoujld be free to do this if I want to, leave me alone," I say leave him alone. Doesn't seem to me that compellling drug addicts and alcoholics to take treatment -- which is essentially arresting them and punishing them -- is a good idea either, and it wouldn't make the "victimless crime" advocates very happy.

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Post #6

Post by Jrosemary »

CNorman wrote:Same with prostitution. Whether you're in the business or a patron, if you pick up a disease, you get nothing from the free clinic and nothing from the county hospital. Zero. Buy your own penicillin, or drop dead -- literally. It's not our problem.
I couldn't tell how seriously you meant your post, but I very much disagree with you. If we were to legalize prostitution, I think our strategy should be to regulate it and zone it. Prostitutes should pay income taxes like everyone else--and should be entitled to all the benefits that come from those taxes. Regulations should include disease-preventing measures, and every prostitute should be able to bring charges against clients who abuse them.
CNorman wrote:If you choose to indulge in alcohol or other drugs, and thereby destroy your health, you won't go to jail; but you get no free Government-paid medical care, no welfare, no unemployment benefits, no ADC assistance for your kids, nothing. Not a damn dime, not for you or for any other member of your family that is affected.
I disagree here too. I'd never punish a child for her parents' mistakes. Granted, I'm not sure how I feel about legalizing currently illegal drugs--although I've heard some good arguments for it--but I think there's a better way to handle excesses than this. As you pointed out, we don't punish people for food excesses that also cost our nation money.

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Post #7

Post by Lux »

Very interesting topic. I sort of wish it was posted as a debate thread.

I'm for legalizing and regulating prostitution. There is not a single more senseless battle than to try to eradicate it. If someone wants to ask for a benefit, be it money, substances, favors or anything else for sex, they can do it as easily as they are attractive and as privately as they are smart and there's not a government in the world big enough to catch them all.

Furthermore, regulated prostitution is not more dangerous than casual sex, and whether it is moral or not isn't the law's concern.

Gambling should also be legal and regulated, in my opinion. I don't see why not... it's a pastime.

When it comes to illegal substances, though, I'm a bit torn. The tobacco industry seems to me like a prime example of just how dangerous legal drugs can be, and how big their producers can get. Here, I see a genuine public concern. Substance abuse is a serious problem for society, not only for the individuals that consume them, and therefore it can be argued that the legal status of certain drugs does concern the State.
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Post #8

Post by Goat »

Lux wrote: When it comes to illegal substances, though, I'm a bit torn. The tobacco industry seems to me like a prime example of just how dangerous legal drugs can be, and how big their producers can get. Here, I see a genuine public concern. Substance abuse is a serious problem for society, not only for the individuals that consume them, and therefore it can be argued that the legal status of certain drugs does concern the State.
When it comes to the illegal drugs, I look at the unintended consequences of the drug being illegal. Look at pot for example. The home grown sources got shut down, but the demand was kept alive.

This cause a huge black market, with lots of money at stake. This caused violence in not only our own country, but in other countries as well.

If the various drugs were legal, the black market would dry up... and you would not have the violent drug gangs trying to control the flow for money
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

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Lux
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Post #9

Post by Lux »

Goat wrote:When it comes to the illegal drugs, I look at the unintended consequences of the drug being illegal. Look at pot for example. The home grown sources got shut down, but the demand was kept alive.

This cause a huge black market, with lots of money at stake. This caused violence in not only our own country, but in other countries as well.

If the various drugs were legal, the black market would dry up... and you would not have the violent drug gangs trying to control the flow for money
This is true, and in the case of pot I think the drug itself is harmless enough that it should be legal, especially considering how harmful it's black market is.

However, for more damaging drugs, I think they should be kept illegal. I don't know what the drug situation is like in the United States, but in countries like Mexico and Argentina it's not at all uncommon for people under the influence of various drugs to become very violent and/or reckless and hurt of kill people. Just look at alcohol - it can and often does lead to DUI, which can lead to the death of innocents. This is even more common in third world countries than in the States. Illegal drugs can have similar but way more severe consequences than alcohol.

With prostitution and gambling people are not usually harmed other than those engaging in it. With substances that impair judgement, any of us could end up being the victim.
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Post #10

Post by Goat »

Lux wrote:
Goat wrote:When it comes to the illegal drugs, I look at the unintended consequences of the drug being illegal. Look at pot for example. The home grown sources got shut down, but the demand was kept alive.

This cause a huge black market, with lots of money at stake. This caused violence in not only our own country, but in other countries as well.

If the various drugs were legal, the black market would dry up... and you would not have the violent drug gangs trying to control the flow for money
This is true, and in the case of pot I think the drug itself is harmless enough that it should be legal, especially considering how harmful it's black market is.

However, for more damaging drugs, I think they should be kept illegal. I don't know what the drug situation is like in the United States, but in countries like Mexico and Argentina it's not at all uncommon for people under the influence of various drugs to become very violent and/or reckless and hurt of kill people. Just look at alcohol - it can and often does lead to DUI, which can lead to the death of innocents. This is even more common in third world countries than in the States. Illegal drugs can have similar but way more severe consequences than alcohol.

With prostitution and gambling people are not usually harmed other than those engaging in it. With substances that impair judgement, any of us could end up being the victim.
I suspect if Pot were legal, then some of the other drugs that people resort to won't be as attractive. Pot has it's drawbacks too... it certainly can reduce people's motivation.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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