Comment from: Aunt Bann [Visitor]
Aunt Bann

You’ve done it again, Diana! You’ve made me THINK about what you are saying. And I think that I agree with you in many ways. We DO spend far too much time, money, and effort on trying to make everyone conform to a certain way of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, and seem to forget that we are made to be INDIVIDUALS! And being individuals is NOT being exact copies of everyone else.

However, we do still need laws to keep one person or group from trying to take what belongs to another person or group. If we didn’t have laws, we wouldn’t have much order, either, because some people would, as soon as possible, start taking from others and, without punishment, would soon be “ruling the roost” in their corner of the world. That is what Hitler tried to do, and many others have tried. We certainly don’t want that, either. So where do we draw the line between what is mine and what is yours and what is nobody’s? That is where the law HAS to come in and take over, as I see it.

03/31/10 @ 23:33
Comment from: Daddy [Visitor]

Morals come from mores. Where do mores come from? I submit they come from two general sources: Morals, and secondly, an internal belief system, which is not inherent in people. It has to come from outside. So what part of outside do we rely on for our belief system. I submit 3 sources: mythology, philosophy, and mores.Think it over a bit. Daddy

04/01/10 @ 21:36
Comment from: diana [Member]

Thanks, Aunt Bann! :) I just want people to think–they don’t have to agree. When they don’t, as a matter of fact, I often learn, which is sometimes painful, but always worth it.

I agree completely. The law does need to protect us from one another. I don’t get why it would want or need to protect us from ourselves, though.

For that matter, I don’t understand what the point is of making suicide illegal (since the rule only ends up being meaningful if you fail, but if you fail, do you need to be convicted, or do you need HELP?).

Of course, the line is pretty fuzzy in some places, like with abortion. If the pro-lifers are right, the woman who aborts is committing murder, which is infringing upon the rights of another human being; If the pro-choicers are right, then the act is as legally questionable as having an appendix removed. Like I said, I don’t pretend to have all the answers. We already have trouble deciding the fuzzy areas, but some are pretty clear cut.

As a matter of fact, the “moral indignation alone is insufficient to make laws” rule is already a precedent of the Supreme Court, since Lawrence v. Texas. That doesn’t make all our moral-only laws just go away, of course. Even if I’d like them to, I very much appreciate the slowness with which our system is designed to work (even when it aggravates me). Slow change tends to circumvent revolution.

So let’s say we legalize (or “decriminalize") drugs (which of course will NEVER happen in the Puritanical States of America). Will we end up with more junkies? Perhaps. This does trouble me; I wouldn’t wish addiction on anyone. However, we could take the billions of taxpayer dollars we currently use to fight the “drug war” and funnel that money into HELP for these people. And for the most part, the government could control the drugs that go on the market and charge taxes for them, which might more than pay for the clinics I think would be necessary. (Yes, we’d still have a black market, but I’m betting that for most people, knowing one has an unlaced drug is worth the extra money to buy it legally–just like with alcohol.)

I’m sure the argument is more complex than this, though. What else would legalized drugs bring us that I’m missing? Where would they be sold? In WHOSE back yard, as they say? That would be another problem, but I imagine we’d solve it the same way we solve liquor store, casino, and porn shop locations.

I think such laws would diminish our violence problems a great deal, as black markets for drugs would become, for the most part, obsolete. Our cops could better spend their time, presumably.

Driving problems. Hm. Now THIS part is disturbing. Is there not a way to test for such drugs on the spot, though? Perhaps not. Not like a breath-a-lyzer, anyway. I bet there are many drugs whose use could only be detected via a blood test, which DOES mean more money for the state. Not good. Surely there are roadside tests that could be done easily enough to determine presence and clarity of mind and bodily control. (Which reminds me…cops still don’t test for exhaustion, do they? I mean, is it actually ILLEGAL to drive exhausted? Driving exhausted is just as bad if not worse than driving drunk. We have problems now that we CANNOT test for, as far as I know. Not that I want more, mind you.)

I am perhaps babbling. :) Just thinking aloud. I’m not defending a position so much as working my way through it. Thoughts, anyone?


04/01/10 @ 22:21
Comment from: diana [Member]

Hi, Daddy! :)

Apologies for the cross-post. Obviously, I was thinking via the keyboard when you wrote your comment.

I’m sorry, but I’ve read it several times, and I can’t make much sense of it. Would you mind rephrasing, please?

Thanks. Love you!


04/01/10 @ 22:31
Comment from: Daddy [Visitor]

Sorry I was not as explicit as I had wished, Sweetheart. I was trying to say that mores and morals are in orbit around one another. Perhaps a recent example from Tn. might help. I was picking up some milk in Jefferson City, and waited in line behind two women. One white haired , the other considerably younger. The older lady had tobacco juice draining down from not just the corners of her mouth, but all across her lower lip. She was not filthy otherwise, but extremely unkempt and somewhat unclean. The younger woman had the money, and it took her at least a full minute to count 5 bills. She had one tooth in her head, and could barely speak an understandable english . But the striking similarity of the two women led me to believe they both had the same father, who could easily have been the husband of the older lady’s mother. I am surmising, of course, but I could not help myself at the time. My innards went into convulsions as I waited.

If we look at this, we see certain morals that fit the mores of a backwoods society. Let’s say then, for the sake of the illustration, that someone could take them both, clean them up, teach them to handle the affairs of life, put teeth in their heads, and generally make them presentable for ’society’. The mores that produced them would still be in place, and should they be returned to their area of the country, they would be deeply affected by those mores, and would probably return to a state similar to the previous one. So my conclusion is that mores and morals are circular, and cannot be legislated away.

My ‘philosophy’ is that mores stem from the morals of those people who practice them, which comes from their own ‘backwoods’ philosophy. Louis L’aMour
was good at homespun philosophy. Some of it came from the things he saw that worked, and some from the things he saw that didn’t work. This of course has to do with religion as well, which in general is called mythology. Hopefully, you can fill in the rest, and if this doesn’t help, feel free to give me Q and I will attempt A. Love from us both. D

04/02/10 @ 10:45
Comment from: diana [Member]

That’s much more helpful. Thank you, Daddy. :)

If I’m understanding you correctly, then, the mores of the group determine the morals of the individuals within that group. Since we agree that morals are not inborn, then the line of development is as follows:

birth –> saturation with the mores of our culture –> individual morals

I would submit to you that religious beliefs place us within a further subculture which alters how we view the mores of our original group, and if it is successful, alters our individual morals, as well. Would you agree?



04/02/10 @ 11:18
Comment from: Daddy [Visitor]

I think I agree with your conclusion. Then the question of legislating morality gets sticky. If I simply disagree on a piece of legislation because of my mores, I have nothing to stand on. But if my mores fall to my essential beliefs, apart from the mores of the society in general, does the state have the right to regulate my mores, which are based on my mythology? I think not. This is why such as hallucinigens (?) , alcohol, abortions, etc, have no place in the law. Most people, because of their particular mythology, are against the use of one or more of these, and certainly don’t want their taxes to pay for medication or rehab for those who choose to use them. Thus the need to legislate for other reasons.

The only reason, in my estimation, for legislation, is for the proper care of this nation and its citizens. If something is available for one, it should be available for all. If one is denied that care, all should be denied the same care. And government of the people, by the people, an d FOR the people should be for those now living, and considering to the best of our ability those yet to be born as citizens of this country.

That’s where I was headed with this.


04/02/10 @ 19:32
Comment from: diana [Member]

Heh. :) The question of legislating morality is tricky already. I’m just suggesting we move the line where things are tricky.

If the state does not have the right to regulate your mores, based upon your mythology, then you’d agree that polygamy should not be illegal, yes?


04/02/10 @ 19:46
Comment from: diana [Member]

“This is why such as hallucinigens (?) , alcohol, abortions, etc, have no place in the law. Most people, because of their particular mythology, are against the use of one or more of these, and certainly don’t want their taxes to pay for medication or rehab for those who choose to use them.”

I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying here. You think there shouldn’t be laws governing any of these?


04/02/10 @ 19:53
Comment from: Jam [Visitor]

Now, just because the golden rule did not originate from Judaism or Christianity does not mean that the Christian God did not invent it. :)

I think that morality is both objective and subjective at the same time. yay paradoxes.

I do believe in an absolute God who is synonymous with Love. God = Love. Therefore, things which violate love, things which originate from the absence of love–selfishness more so than hate, but hate counts here too–are participating in evil. A woman who gets an abortion due to her own selfishness–I want to kill this fetus because it will ruin MY life–is committing an evil act. Killing someone to spare them from suffering is also evil, I think, because you are denying them an opportunity to face suffering which could be redemptive and glorifying… but that’s another argument altogether.

Even destroying your own body would be evil; while it does not hurt anyone else, you are mutilating what God gave you out of selfishness. And often self-harm harms those who love you even more than it harms you. It is selfish to pretend that you can do what you like to yourself (including drugs) and not end up hurting others. Diana, think about cases where hallucinogenic drugs cause people to kill each other, or steal from each other to afford them, or beat their kids, or whatever. No good comes from hardcore drugs but personal pleasure, which is selfish especially considering that drug use affects everyone who knows and loves you. Mind-altering drugs which cannot be used in moderation (you can stop with just one alcoholic drink, but can you stop with just one shot of heroin?), should be illegal because they DO infringe on others’ rights and safety very often.

Okay, so, there are moral absolutes, like killing is bad, stealing is bad, etc. But there is a subjectivity to morals that is situation based. Is killing altogether bad if you kill to protect the innocent? Is stealing altogether bad if you steal to put bread in the mouth of your hungry child? (Jean valJean’s dilemma.) And so forth. I think a balanced Christianity–the Orthodox, obviously, in my opinion–sees and recognizes this. For example, Orthodoxy sees divorce as bad, and divorce and remarriage even worse. but unlike in the Catholic church, where divorces are not allowed unless you can find some mental loophole with which to invalidate the entirety of the marriage by an annulment (which basically says, “y’all were never ACTUALLY married"), Orthodoxy allows a certain number of divorces due to adultery, etc. They don’t have to invalidate your previous marriage. They just allow for human weakness. But they won’t let you become a serial polygamist either, because they draw the line at some point, and won’t let you go to marriage four, five, six, seven, and so forth…

So, there is a supreme, infinite God, who decides what is good and what is bad. But that does not mean that good and bad is black and white: Orthodoxy allows for gray areas and pastoral decisions based on individual situations. The binary thinking which you rail against does not include all Christian groups. And it is a travesty that Christianity is splintered as it is, but if I were you I would look to the two-thousand-year-old Christianities for a representative sample of Christian thought rather than the barely two-hundred-year-old ones.

04/03/10 @ 18:25
Comment from: diana [Member]

Hi, Jam! :)

I understand (to some extent) what you believe is right and wrong, but my focus is on what should be the basis of our laws, and why. Your beliefs are your beliefs. I submit that you don’t have the right to force them upon others simply on the basis of them being your beliefs (morals).

If there is a good argument to be made for outlawing hard (illicit) drugs based upon the violence and pain they cause, then our laws should be based upon THAT argument. The argument that you believe they are “evil” SHOULD have no bearing on whether they are legal or not.

Of course, the argument that hard drugs cause violence and pain etc is balanced (at LEAST, if it isn’t obliterated altogether) by the argument that making them illegal causes MORE violence and pain, not to mention huge chunks of our tax dollars spent to fund the War On Drugs (and for some reason, after several decades, we’re still losing that war, anyway).


04/04/10 @ 10:00
Comment from: Jam [Visitor]

I got a little lost because I was trying to argue two things at once… the most important was just that morality is both objective and subjective, which was philosophical and not related to law. Then I diverged into talking about drugs which is.

I don’t have numbers to back any of my statements up, but it seems to me that crack babies, DUIs, murders in drug rings, deadbeat moms and dads, unemployment, theft, etc. etc. will be side-effects of hard drugs whether they are legal or not. So the question should not be, to prevent or not to prevent, but rather, how to prevent? If you’d rather just prosecute the murders and thefts as those crimes, and not reach the underlying cause of hardcore drugs, you’re like a doctor who’ll give pain medicine but never put a broken leg in a cast so it can heal… so it seems to me.

Secular laws ought to be based off social contract-type reasoning, I think I agree with you there. but the pursuit of truth should never be negated, and the pursuit of truth includes trying to figure out what is truth, what is good and evil, etc.

04/05/10 @ 12:38
Comment from: diana [Member]

I quite agree, Jam!

My trouble with whether drugs should be illegal or not is that using them is a victimless crime–unless you drive under the influence or have a baby. If you commit violent acts in order to secure more, or whatever, we already have laws against that.

I don’t think making drugs illegal helps much. It helps some, I think (maybe because I like to?). Some people will try things when they’re legal that they wouldn’t otherwise, so the law is at least a mild deterrent. But I’m not worried about people who are interested in trying things; I’m interested in those who cannot control them.

It seems like a contradiction to me that our society adopts the “disease” model of alcohol and drug abuse, but at the same time HOLDS THE USERS ACCOUNTABLE. Wouldn’t the logical path be to either reject the disease model OR find help for drug abusers instead of prosecuting them?


04/05/10 @ 16:24

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