The American government needs a new amendment for its constitution that states, no state or federal government shall pass or enforce any law that prohibits people from harming themselves or behaving in ways considered indecent unless the actions of the individual directly or indirectly hinder another person’s right to the pursuit of life, liberty, ownership or happiness. You might also make an exception that people can harm others if the person being harmed has given full consent because there are some exceptions like euthanasia and selling tobacco where people want to be hurt.
Here are 6 reasons why we need this amendment:
1. Without this rule we have no way to systematically limit what kind of culturally relative laws will be passed that will oppress people. Look throughout history. People were locked in stocks for gossiping. Women have been killed for doing pretty much anything, including eating bananas. Today countless laws are enforced that don’t actually protect anyone. All they do is reinforce cultural norms to the detriment of the individual’s right to the pursuit of life, liberty, ownership and happiness. Women still can’t take off as many clothes in public as men. Blasphemy is still a crime in many countries. Alcohol prohibition was a disaster, and marijuana prohibition is currently destroying countless lives. Censorship laws reinforce an oversimplified explanation of reality that debilitates people’s minds. People who just happened to be naked at the wrong place at the wrong time are being jailed as sex offenders. Curfew laws are blatant oppression. If you look long enough you’ll find countless minor local laws that are just ridiculous and only serve to fill the police coffers.
None of these rules should be brushed off as exceptions and mistakes. They were inevitabilities in a system that has no failsafe to limit the control of moral fanatics, and as long as no failsafe exists you leave open an avenue for laws to be passed in your country that legalize oppression.
2. The cost benefit analysis of these kinds of laws doesn’t add up. It would be one thing if these laws actually protected society from itself, but as it stands they do more to tear society down and hold it back. What happens after a woman gets thrown in jail for smoking a joint on her front porch while not wearing her shirt? How is society protected? Since these are victimless crimes nobody has been protected. The only way society has been affected at all is this woman has been made to live in fear, been black listed with a criminal record and had her money stolen from her by the police to pay unjust fines. Now what happens when this isn’t just one woman? What about when it’s 2 million people? That’s systematic oppression. That’s living in a terror state. There’s no cost benefit analysis here because there’s no benefit. There’s just cost in the form of destroyed human lives.
3. Victimless crime laws waste resources. Every time someone is jailed for a victimless crime the labor they could have devoted to improving society is temporarily eliminated, and the labor used to apprehend and incarcerate these people is wasted when it could have been used to apprehend and incarcerate actual criminals.
Everyone who knows anything about criminology knows that locking up criminals is an ineffective way of reducing repeat offenders. Rehabilitation would be more productive, but at this point rehabilitation isn’t even an option because our resources are stretched too thin by apprehending, prosecuting and locking up people for victimless crimes. If we ever hope to reduce real crime it’s vital that we stop wasting our resources enforcing subjective, victimless taboos.
4. Victimless crimes contradict the Constitution of the United States and the Universal Bill of Human Rights. These documents don’t place conditions and exceptions on the manner or extent to which people can choose to pursue life, liberty, ownership or happiness except to say that our actions may not infringe another person’s own pursuit of life, liberty, ownership or happiness. Victimless crime laws do.
5. One of the big arguments against the idea of legalizing victimless crimes is that society will break down; society won’t break down. People do what’s in their best interest, and it’s not in anyone’s best interest to sleep with every whore in every brothel and shoot up heroin at work. The people who would do such things are in such dire positions in their lives that these actions appear to be in their best interest. If this is truly unhealthy behavior then the causes need to be addressed. These people need to be given what they’re missing in their lives and rehabilitated, not punished and have more of their life taken away from them. This will only push them further past the limit of desperation and increase the chances that they’ll actually harm other people.
Furthermore, most of the people who want to sleep with hookers and do heroin are already doing it. The only difference is that we’re wasting our resources and theirs by trying to stop them when we could just let them do what they’re going to do anyway and get on with solving real problems.
6. It’s not our place to play God. If we allow people to disobey the various mythologies humans have created to explain God then we would be denying the sovereignty those mythological deities have over mankind. While atheists would applaud this step, others fear it. However, even if one of these mythological deities were the real one then by passing judgment for Him we’re playing God. Therefore, it would be more blasphemous to enforce God’s will than to leave judgment to God.
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