Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Live and Let Stupid

            This perspective runs parallel to that of Let Your Kids Fail., The Magic School Bus, and really anywhere I’ve flaunted my Libertarian or Anarchistic opinions. The thesis is very simple: If one cannot prove that an individual’s actions directly affect him or her in a way that goes against his or her rights [see Save $ by Not Killing People to understand how rights come from Natural Law], then there is no legitimate rationale that can be used to float the idea that another’s actions are worthy of being made illegal. I had to include directly because we could argue for years about how every action indirectly affects the entire world, Butterfly Effect, anyone?
            Gay rights is this generation’s big thing. And, frankly, I’m getting really frickin’ tired of hearing about it. If someone could tell me how two men or two women getting together is any more detrimental to American society than the massive amount of sexual activity that happens outside of marriage is, I’d probably shut up for a while, but no one has been able to do that. There are all these holier-than-thou preachers out there Bible bashing the American public trying to get them to see the evils and dangers of gay marriage, and it’s ridiculous. When the preacher-man fulfills Jesus’ rule on how clean he must be before accusing others, he can act as the sword of God and tell them how to live. As for those who are terrified of what gay marriage will make them have to explain to their kids, read what Louis C.K. has to say about that [NSFW]. Let others make their own choices. Babying society because of something one group of people disagrees with is a big, “Screw you!” to the minorities that have lived with worse for generations. Atheists and non-Abrahamic  religions still have the same “under God” in their pledge despite the fact that it directly conflicts with their beliefs.
            I hope no one has assumed from the title that I perceive gay rights to be stupid; I’ve just decided to arrange this piece with the most pertinent example first. Now we get to the stupid. John Stuart Mill wrote a work entitled On Liberty that described how one’s morality should be free from the state and created the Liberty Principle that stated “the state or any other social body has no right to coerce or restrict the individual unless the individual causes harm to others, crucially, the individual's own physical or moral harm is not justification for constriction of their liberty.” Mill himself doesn’t take it as far as I’m going to, but he got the gist of it. Mill wouldn’t condone drug use or lewd behavior because he was kinda uptight, but those are actions which could easily happen in privacy and not affect the mass populace. Yes, I think doing drugs is stupid.
             Since I’m running close to my self-imposed word limit, we’re just going to run through a few examples of what I deem to be acceptable and unacceptable without delving into the rationale. Feel free to comment if you dispute something or want clarification. Drugs in a private place = your body; go for it. Dueling = acceptable between consenting parties. Murder = no bueno. Firing someone even though it directly affects their income = acceptable because earning money isn’t a Natural Right.
            I’m not going to change your mind on gay marriage being right or wrong, but I hope I can explain why you should let the individual decide if they should participate in it or not. What if we lived in a country under Sharia law? Wouldn’t you want to be able to live by what you believed to be right even though the society disagreed with you?

This post is not meant to force my personal opinion of right and wrong on the populace. I am merely interested in providing a viewpoint that shows how an individual's choice to practice what he or she believes is right or wrong can exist alongside another's choice to act in a different manner.

-Jason Rossiter

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