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Author Topic:   Smoking Bans
onifre
Member (Idle past 3037 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 76 of 151 (505725)
04-15-2009 10:19 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Straggler
04-15-2009 5:16 PM


Re: The Canadian Side
Hi Straggler,
I, nor very few I know (whether smokers or otherwise), have ever had to have any dealing with any private health insurance company at all. I am not sure that they have much influence on government policy in this area at all.
Then feel very lucky about that. It is a different issue in the states with privatized insurance. Once the private sector gets a hold of it it's all about profit.
But if the government really wanted to prioritise the tax on addicts as a fundraising scheme regardless of health issues it should legalise all widely used addictive substances, license them, regulate them, quality control them, control their sale and distribution and tax the fuck out of all of them.
The tax on cigarttes is more of a way for the government to say "hey, look, we're doing something about it, we care, we're taxing the shit". But what happens is the people buying it, which hasn't decreased in amount, are simply paying more for cigarettes and in turn the government gets their money.
How else do you tink the tabacco lobby gets what they want? - "Fuck it, tax the shit out of our product, people are still going to buy it, what do we care?".
The government is happy collecting the extra tax money, they get to look good in the publics eye by showing how they're "seriously taxing cigarettes" because they're "against smoking and the health risks it causes", and Joe Douche Bag is getting taxed up the ass for a product that legally addicts you to it causing you to need it rather than want it, so you're gonna fucking buy it at any cost.
So I'm not too big an advocate for heavily taxing products, especially addictive products, because it gives all of the power to big buisness. And usually the tax payer feels the burden of government greed.
Legalize the products and tax them fairly, YES. I'm all for that. Which would still be a great tax revenue.
But, tax it heavily to line your pockets with money, while giving the illusion that you are doing it for health reasons, NO. That's bullshit.

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks
"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Straggler, posted 04-15-2009 5:16 PM Straggler has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 77 of 151 (505760)
04-16-2009 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Rahvin
04-15-2009 6:19 PM


Re: The law goes too far
All businesses are subject to government regulation when the government has a compelling interest to protect the public's health.
Of course they do, I'm not arguing against that.
Look, in Missouri there is no smoking ban at all. In Oklahoma there is a ban in restaurants but you can still smoke in bars. In Illinois, there is no smoking inside public places without exception.
We can see that there is a range on how restrictive the legislation is. This isn't an all or nothing issue.
I feel, yes it is my opinion, that the Illinois restriction goes too far because it doesn't even allow for specialty businesses like a cigar bar to exist. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be able to put the line there, just that I don't like where they've decided to put the line.
Even with the known health risks, the people should be able to decide for themselves if they want to have a cigar bar or not. They don't need the government to do that much regulating for them. Some states agree with me, some don't. Its a matter of opinion at this point.
I don't care enough about this to get down to the gnat's ass on exactly where the regulation should be (besides that I'd prefer to enjoy my time here). Actually, it should be up to the state (like it is). The state gets to decide where they want to draw the line and I get to express my dissatisfaction with where they've put it. If its just noise to you, then so be it. I don't have to participate here in the way that you think I should be participating.
I've just expressed my opinion on the issue, which happens to agree with some states and not others. You're acting like this is a black and white issue and yours is the only one that's correct.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Rahvin, posted 04-15-2009 6:19 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 78 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 12:05 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 78 of 151 (505763)
04-16-2009 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by New Cat's Eye
04-16-2009 10:35 AM


Re: The law goes too far
quote:
All businesses are subject to government regulation when the government has a compelling interest to protect the public's health.
Of course they do, I'm not arguing against that.
Look, in Missouri there is no smoking ban at all. In Oklahoma there is a ban in restaurants but you can still smoke in bars. In Illinois, there is no smoking inside public places without exception.
We can see that there is a range on how restrictive the legislation is. This isn't an all or nothing issue.
As Taq mentioned earlier, when it comes to actually making the legislation, more than the logic of teh argument needs to be taken into consideration. Irrational human beings are still voting on the issue, and that means that contradictory views can be held by the law.
I'm well aware that different people will have different opinions on the matter, CS. The reason I've been haranguing you is becasue you seem unaware of your own reasons for holding your opinion.
I've stated my opinion and given my reasons. I've supported my argument with evidence. I've thought about the issue for a little while and come to a conclusion based on more than just my "gut." I'm asking you to do the same, or at least analyze your "gut" reaction and determine why you have that reaction as opposed to other possible opinions.
I feel, yes it is my opinion, that the Illinois restriction goes too far because it doesn't even allow for specialty businesses like a cigar bar to exist. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be able to put the line there, just that I don't like where they've decided to put the line.
But why, CS? Why don't you like it? Why should the law make exceptions for "specialty businesses?" Why shouldn't it cover everyone equally?
Your posts in this thread lead me to conclude that you have an immediate reflex emotional reaction when you detect "government intrusion" into private life. That's very common in America, where anythign remotely resembling socialism and even universal healthcare are demonized as somehow restrictive of "freedom." Even our so-called "liberals" have the same reservations, which is why even the most "socialist" policies we ever dream up don't resemble the policies of actual socialist nations.
But one of the primary purposes of government is to provide for the protection of the populace. Regulating the cleanliness of a private restaurant is "government intrusion," but I doubt you would argue against that particular class of legislation.
I agree that there is a point where the government is no longer reasonably able to intrude on private life. They shouldn't be able to enter our bedrooms, or tell us what job we can or cannot have, or conscript us to military service unless the sovereignty of the nation is in imminent danger, etc.
But I've given my method for determining when I think government intervention is appropriate. By that rational standard, smoking in enclosed public places, or in enclosed spaces with children present, qualifies for government intervention on behalf of public safety.
You haven't given any sort of method for determining whether a given private activity qualifies for government regulation, beyond "I don't like government intrusion" and "that's too far in my opinion." I can't predict from one case to the next what you'll determine to be "too far" based on your completely undefined standard. I'm asking you to show me your line of reasoning so that your standards can be applied to other cases to determine whether your reasoning is sound.
Even with the known health risks, the people should be able to decide for themselves if they want to have a cigar bar or not. They don't need the government to do that much regulating for them. Some states agree with me, some don't. Its a matter of opinion at this point.
This isn't about whether states agree with you or me or Jim down the street. I'm trying to ascertain your reasoning for determining that regulating smoking in bars is inappropriate (or "too far" as you say).
You seem to hold the opinion that regulating smoking in bars in general is fine, but that the law should contain an exception for businesses specifically set up to include smoking on their premises. Why should the exception exist? The health risks posed to both customers and employees remains the same. Other safety hazards are illegal in a workplace/private business, regardless of whether the employees and patrons want to "choose" to be exposed. You can't open a paint huffing bar, for example - even though the employees would know what they're signing up for, and even though paint is a perfectly legal substance, the health risks allow the government to step in. Why is smoking any different?
I don't care enough about this to get down to the gnat's ass on exactly where the regulation should be (besides that I'd prefer to enjoy my time here). Actually, it should be up to the state (like it is). The state gets to decide where they want to draw the line and I get to express my dissatisfaction with where they've put it. If its just noise to you, then so be it. I don't have to participate here in the way that you think I should be participating.
It is up to the state, CS. That's the way the law works.
But if you didn't want to actually debate the subject, why did you bother posting? If you cannot express why you are dissatisfied, isn't that disturbing to you? I don't like having emotional reactions that I cannot understand; I try to rationally analyze them, determine why I'm reacting that way, and determine whether my "gut" feeling can be supported on a rational basis or not. If not, I abandon that opinion, despite my "feelings." You seem to be just fine with having an emotional reaction and letting it lie...that's a recipe for irrationality if I've ever heard one.
I've just expressed my opinion on the issue, which happens to agree with some states and not others. You're acting like this is a black and white issue and yours is the only one that's correct.
No, I'm not. I'm acting like I've provided a line of reasoning and a rational standard for determining whether government interference is justified in any given case, and that you've failed to do the same, effectively making any sort of discussion and debate impossible.
You're welcome to have a different opinion, CS. But at least tell us why you have that opinion. Then we can determine whether your line of reasoning is self-consistent and rational. Perhaps your line of reasoning is even superior to mine, and you can convince me to change my opinion and abandon the standards that I posted earlier. But nothing happens, not even discussion, until you explain your opinion beyond "I just feel this way."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-16-2009 10:35 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-17-2009 9:46 AM Rahvin has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 79 of 151 (505764)
04-16-2009 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Rahvin
04-15-2009 6:29 PM


Re: The law goes too far
Smoking in the home does affect children who are present, sometimes with extreme results. You;re restricted from negligently harming a child - how does smoking, which has been shown to cause underdeveloped lungs, SIDS, and a whole host of other issues, any different?
A fatty diet has been shown to cause type II diabetes and other health problems as well. Should we have police entering people's homes to raid their refridgerator? I completely agree that smoking poses a health risk, but at some point we need to let parents be parents even if that means letting them make mistakes.
But not blanket protection. Reasonable search and seizure is still allowed.
This is what this debate boils down to. What is reasonable? I think an enforced ban on smoking in households with minors present is unreasonable.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Rahvin, posted 04-15-2009 6:29 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 1:24 PM Taq has not replied

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 3037 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 80 of 151 (505765)
04-16-2009 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Rahvin
04-15-2009 6:19 PM


Re: The law goes too far
So you've completely established that your argument is based upon nothing more than your own subjective "feeling" that you "don't like" the government intruding where you don't think it belongs, and you cannot even define any line of reasoning to establish where that line belongs.
The point is that "feelings" and "I personally don't like this" IS how people decide what is right or wrong and vote guilded by these feelings of dissatisfaction.
Whether you "feel" that the health risk is minor or not, actual fucking doctors like the Surgeon General believe otherwise - and they can even show the evidence upon which their professional opinion is based.
Then why don't they simply outlaw the product?
If the health risks are sooo high and they are sooo concerned then why not make the product completely illegal to make and sell?
Why, because the "fucking doctors", whether they are right about the health risks or not, don't decide what becomes policy or law. We the people decide through votes - unless, again, the product becomes illegal - like with pot. Your "opinion" or "feelings" about pot are irrelevant, becuase the product is illegal, but tabacoo is legal, and as long as it is legal then the opinions of the users, which are the main source of revenue for the product - (both for the tabacoo industry AND the government tax on tabacoo) - are of value.
The government already regulates private property on many, many other issues. Do you have a problem with those as well? Should it be legal for you to dump toxic chemicals on your own property? Possess controlled substances inside your home? Leave poisonous cleaning chemicals unlocked and unsealed where your children can easily gain access, as long as it's on your own property? Should the government have no authority inside your home?
Tabacoo is not illegal, so NO the government has no say so as to what you do with the legal product.
Would you run a welder inside your home with your kids around? Would you run your car in your garage with your kids in it? Would you BBQ in your home with your family sitting inside?
NO - this is common sense. So should smoking in your home with your kids be.
Laws to regulate this are supid and need not be inforced. People continue to rely on the government to regulate things that should be common sense and all that does is make us more dependant on the government to tell us what we should do.
It is the same with abortion. It's not that I'm pro killing babies because I am pro choice, I'm pro human intelligence and pro independent thinking. Make your own choice and don't be a fucking idiot about it.
Smoking with your kids in the house is stupid to do, if you are someone who lacks the ability to make that decision then maybe your particular DNA shouldn't exist. Stop making laws to keep people from doing stupid things, fuck'em if they can't be adults about it. If we start allowing government control for these moral issues then we've lost our ability to decide whats right and wrong for ourselves and we might as well stop taking part in a democratic process because we've proven ourselves to incompetent to make conscience decisions about petty matters.
Man up and make your own choices for yourselves and let the government handle real issues, which they seem to need to concentrate on a lot more.
- Oni

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks
"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Rahvin, posted 04-15-2009 6:19 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 1:50 PM onifre has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 81 of 151 (505767)
04-16-2009 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by RAZD
04-15-2009 8:27 PM


Smoking while pregnant
I'm going to reply to both you and RAZD simultaneously here:
quote:
I don't think there is a perfect answer for this question.
Absolutely. That is exactly my point. With regard to this and the other issues under discussion.
I don't expect everyone to be happy or satisfied with a given answer. I just want to understand everyone's reason for providing the answer, so that obviously inconsistent and irrational answers can be discarded.
quote:
In the case of a pregnant woman, Roe v. Wade (from my understanding) established that the government's interest in protecting the fetus increases as it develops, reaching full separate protection when it is no longer part of the woman's body.
Simultaneously, the damage from smoking begins basically immediately, and so the fetus will be harmed even when the government has little interest in protecting it as an individual.
Assuming that you are "pro choice" (which for the record I am) how can we rationally declare that harming a fetus through smoking is "wrong" in any way whilst also advocating a woman's right to choose to eliminate that same fetus?
If she aborts, it becomes a nonissue. An abortion does not harm a child - the child simply never comes to exist. Smoking while pregnant, assuming that the pregnancy is carried to term, does carry a very high risk of harming a child.
Also, remember the standard I'm using here. I think that the government's interest increases as the pregnancy continues, and that the government's interest also increases with the ease and unobtrusiveness of any potential intervention. I also think that the governments interest increases with the probability and impact of harm due to nonintervention.
I'm torn on the issue, and my judgment regarding my sliding scale of interest may be clouded by my purely ethical opinion that smoking while pregnant and beign fully cognizant of the likelihood and severity of harm to the child is immoral. But then, that's part of why I post here - if I have an irrational position, I'd like it to be exposed so that I can self-correct.
I'm just slightly leaning towards government intervention here, because I don't see "quit smoking" as nearly as invasive of the woman's right to privacy as "carry the baby to term." That could be a mistaken opinion, and it's based primarily on the relative impact to the woman's health (ie, pregnancy and childbirth have serious physical consequences and risks, while quitting smoking has serious benefits and no risks), as well as the degree of restricting personal choice (I value the choice to continue to smoke as less valuable than the choice to refuse medical treatment - forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy amounts to all manner of forced medication and medical procedures). I also see smoking as being a hairs breadth away from prohibition even on its own merits, considering the harm it causes the user (if we can justify prohibiting other substances based on their health risk, surely the same should be able to apply to tobacco).
The combination of these factors, I think, adds significantly to the very small interest the government has in protecting the fetus in the earliest stages of pregnancy.
quote:
It's a delicate balancing act.
More than that it is a question that it is impossible to answer on a wholly rational basis.
I don't think it's impossible. I just think it's extremely difficult because of the emotions involved when discussing children, pregnant mothers, and the right of self-determination.
quote:
I think that the high interest carried by the unobtrusiveness of the restriction is sufficient combined even with the small interest in the beginning of the pregnancy to make the government's interest compelling.
Speaking ethically, I think any woman who smokes while pregnant, being aware of the hazards she's posing to her child, is being grossly negligent and is a bad mother. But then, ethics and the law are very different.
Where is the legal "line" that divides the point in the development at which a woman has the right to "harm" her fetus either by means of smoking or abortion?
It's not a line, it's a slinding scale - the interest increases as the pregnancy continues. Personally, I prefer the end of the second trimester as the point where the government's interest becomes compelling. I justify this based on the typical point where brain activity consistent with self-awareness is detected in the fetus (please, if anyone has hard information regarding fetal brain development, please share - I don't recall my source for this, so I'd like to know if I'm mistaken).
Is there any point in the pregnancy where we can rationally say that smoking is "wrong" whilst abortion is not? If we are pro-choice how do we rationally justify a mother's obligation to not harm her baby in other ways before the point we feel that abortion becomes unwarranted?
Again, in the case of an abortion, no baby is harmed - the pregnancy is terminated before the fetus develops sufficiently to be called a "child." To me, it's little different from simply using birth control from an ethical standpoint (in the earliest stages of the pregnancy, of course). With a smokign expectant mother, the assumption is that the mother intends to carry the pregnancy to term, and thus the smoking will have an impact on the actual child.
The distinction is that in one case a child will exist, and in the other a child will not.
(I do not want to drag this thread down the anti abortion route and as previously stated I am broadly pro choice. Again I state my devils advocate intentions)
I'm pretty broadly pro-choice as well, which is why I'm very much on the fence about this. I'm honestly barely able to make a determination one way or the other, which is one reason I'm admitting that my determination may be skewed by my ethical opinion.
quote:
Restricting smoking is relatively much less invasive. It's temporary, it doesn't involve forcing the health risks of carrying a child to term, etc. It even benefits the woman's own health while protecting the fetus. The relative unobtrusiveness of restricting smoking (despite the fact that overcoming addiction will be extremely difficult for the mother) increases the government's interest significantly.
But it is still invasive.
To a degree, but only to the same degree that prohibition of non-prescription use of morphine is invasive, or prohibiting the use of marijuana is invasive. The governments interest lessens as the invasiveness increases, meaning that the government has a greater interest where any intervention would be minor, and less interest where intervention would be severe.
Pregnancy and the possibility of harm to a fetus present one of the better opportunities for a woman to commit to quitting smoking, and I would strongly support programs to encourage this. A recent study (saw in mag in doctor's office yesterday) said that exercise like walking could distract the smoker and reduce if not break the habit, depending on the person. This also had the benefit of making the mother more fit, which also benefits childbirth.
At the very minimum I think we can all agree that programs intended to discourage smoking (especially while pregnant) are in no way a form of government invasiveness and are certainly appropriate.
Not all pregnancies by smoking mothers result in noticeable fetal damage, and there are a lot of people in our generations that had smoking mothers - my mom still smokes a pack a day and she is 89.
Not all people who take heroin will have negative side effects, as well. That doesn't mean that it's not extremely risky.
The issue for me would still be individual choice over a sometime effect.
Technically, washing dishes at a restaurant is a matter of choice on private property, and getting sick from insufficient cleanliness is a "sometimes effect." Mandatory seatbelt use is an individual choice, and getting into an accident is a "sometimes effect."
The variables are the actual probability of harm and the severity of harm should it take place, coupled with how invasive the regulation is.
As an example, forcing restaurants to clean their dishes is relatively unobtrusive, the risk of getting sick from only partially cleaned dishes is moderate to high, and the impact of illness if it happens is moderate to high.
Restricting smoking while pregnant is relatively unobtrusive, the risk of developmental problems due to smoking are low to moderate, and the impact of those developmental problems should the occur is relatively high (since they are typically lifelong, or in some cases life-threatening).
In comparison, restricting abortion is extremely invasive (involving 9 months of emotional distress and forced medical procedures, indluding some risk of injury or death to the mother), and the risk/impact of nonintervention is essentially nil, since no child actually exists yet.
Does this make sense?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by RAZD, posted 04-15-2009 8:27 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Straggler, posted 04-16-2009 2:35 PM Rahvin has replied
 Message 86 by Perdition, posted 04-16-2009 4:58 PM Rahvin has replied
 Message 106 by RAZD, posted 04-17-2009 7:14 PM Rahvin has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 82 of 151 (505768)
04-16-2009 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Taq
04-16-2009 12:08 PM


Re: The law goes too far
quote:
Smoking in the home does affect children who are present, sometimes with extreme results. You;re restricted from negligently harming a child - how does smoking, which has been shown to cause underdeveloped lungs, SIDS, and a whole host of other issues, any different?
A fatty diet has been shown to cause type II diabetes and other health problems as well. Should we have police entering people's homes to raid their refridgerator? I completely agree that smoking poses a health risk, but at some point we need to let parents be parents even if that means letting them make mistakes.
Strawman. I'm not claiming that there should be mandatory investigations into people's homes to determine whether they've been smoking around children.
We don't intrude on people's homes to determine whether their living conditions are safe for their children on other matters, either. Charges are simply brought up and the children removed when it is actually discovered.
For instance, it would be gross negligence for you to leave an open container of Drain-o where a toddler can easily reach it. We don't have police randomly searching homes to find negligent parents who are careless about their household poisons. Instead, if disaster strikes and the child drinks the Drain-o, the negligent parent is then charged. The point is that the deterrent and official condemnation fo the practice result in prevention. Searching people's homes to investigate their living conditions is unreasonable - there is no probable cause to search the household, and it would take far more manpower than most police departments have available.
If smoking near children in an enclosed space were actually made illegal, you might see a few smokers pulled over for smoking in their car with a child, and you might see a few episodes of COPS where, upon entering a home for other reasons, the police find a parent smoking in the same room with children and determine that the household is unsafe. You won't see the Gestapo-style nonsense you're arguing against.
quote:
But not blanket protection. Reasonable search and seizure is still allowed.
This is what this debate boils down to. What is reasonable? I think an enforced ban on smoking in households with minors present is unreasonable.
Why? What is your reason for determining that it is unreasonable? Do you agree or disagree with restrictions on other substances in the home, like cleaning products, prescription medications, general cleanliness, or other things that pertain to a safe environment for children?
If you maintain that leaving Drain-o out where little 3-year-old Timmy might wonder how it tastes is worthy of being counted as gross negligence, what separates smoking near Timmy from being counted as the same thing?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Taq, posted 04-16-2009 12:08 PM Taq has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by SammyJean, posted 04-16-2009 3:17 PM Rahvin has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 83 of 151 (505769)
04-16-2009 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by onifre
04-16-2009 12:17 PM


Re: The law goes too far
quote:
So you've completely established that your argument is based upon nothing more than your own subjective "feeling" that you "don't like" the government intruding where you don't think it belongs, and you cannot even define any line of reasoning to establish where that line belongs.
The point is that "feelings" and "I personally don't like this" IS how people decide what is right or wrong and vote guilded by these feelings of dissatisfaction.
That's not how I decide what's right and wrong. I try to make a point of analyzing all of my "gut" reactions and making a rational determination of what is actually right and wrong. "Feelings"-based morality leads to such nonsense as "homosexuality should be illegal because it makes me squeemish."
quote:
Whether you "feel" that the health risk is minor or not, actual fucking doctors like the Surgeon General believe otherwise - and they can even show the evidence upon which their professional opinion is based.
Then why don't they simply outlaw the product?
If the health risks are sooo high and they are sooo concerned then why not make the product completely illegal to make and sell?
Why, because the "fucking doctors", whether they are right about the health risks or not, don't decide what becomes policy or law. We the people decide through votes - unless, again, the product becomes illegal - like with pot. Your "opinion" or "feelings" about pot are irrelevant, becuase the product is illegal, but tabacoo is legal, and as long as it is legal then the opinions of the users, which are the main source of revenue for the product - (both for the tabacoo industry AND the government tax on tabacoo) - are of value.
I'm well aware of that. But this wasn't ever a discussion of whether any such legislation would garner public support. I suffer no illusions as to the rationality of the common individual - to paraphrase Agent K, "A person can be smart. People are dumb, stupid, frightened animals and you know it."
Rationally, by the way, I find that keeping tobacco legal while banning marijuana is logically inconsistent.
The discussion was whether the government was right to ban smoking in bars, even to the point of outlawing "specialty" businesses like CS's smoking bar, and whether the government would be right to ban smoking in an enclosed space with a child.
That's a very long distance away from why tobacco is legal at all.
Personally, I support a great deal of personal choice, even if those choices are self-destructive. What I don't support are personal choices that negatively impact others.
quote:
The government already regulates private property on many, many other issues. Do you have a problem with those as well? Should it be legal for you to dump toxic chemicals on your own property? Possess controlled substances inside your home? Leave poisonous cleaning chemicals unlocked and unsealed where your children can easily gain access, as long as it's on your own property? Should the government have no authority inside your home?
Tabacoo is not illegal, so NO the government has no say so as to what you do with the legal product.
Tobacco is restricted. It is illegal in the posession of a minor. The government does have a say so as to what you do with the legal product.
Just like morphine is legal...when it's prescribed from a doctor, and not under any other circumstances. Just like Drain-o is legal...until you're negligent with it and leave it out near a curious child. Just like oil is legal...until you dump it down a storm drain.
need I go on? "Legality" is not a black/white determination. In many cases it's determined by context.
Would you run a welder inside your home with your kids around? Would you run your car in your garage with your kids in it? Would you BBQ in your home with your family sitting inside?
NO - this is common sense. So should smoking in your home with your kids be.
Thats the thing though - if you actually did any of those things, and the authorities became aware of it, you could be brought up on charges of gross negligence or reckless endangerment. We already do legislate common snese.
Laws to regulate this are supid and need not be inforced. People continue to rely on the government to regulate things that should be common sense and all that does is make us more dependant on the government to tell us what we should do.
This has more to do with relying on the government to protect us from idiots than being told what to do.
The government can tell you where you can consume alcohol. You can't do it in your car, or on a sidewalk. Restaurants need to cordon off outdoor seating areas if they serve alcohol so that there is a designated space for drinking, and need to obtain a license for serving alcohol. If you give sufficient alcohol to a child as to cause harm, you'll be brought up on charges.
Laws like this are not stupid, and do need to be enforced.
It is the same with abortion. It's not that I'm pro killing babies because I am pro choice, I'm pro human intelligence and pro independent thinking. Make your own choice and don't be a fucking idiot about it.
I'm pro choice as well, but mostly becasue I don't think it has anything to do with "killing babies." I can't rationally call a clump of cells a "baby." I can't regard it as deserving of human rights until it posesses sufficient brain function to make it a separate, self-aware entity.
Smoking with your kids in the house is stupid to do, if you are someone who lacks the ability to make that decision then maybe your particular DNA shouldn't exist. Stop making laws to keep people from doing stupid things, fuck'em if they can't be adults about it. If we start allowing government control for these moral issues then we've lost our ability to decide whats right and wrong for ourselves and we might as well stop taking part in a democratic process because we've proven ourselves to incompetent to make conscience decisions about petty matters.
Thats rather apathetic to the victims. Perhaps we should also stop legislating regarding murder? After all, if you're someone who lacks the ability to determine that killing another human being is wrong, then maybe your particular DNA shoudn't exist. Let's stop making laws that keep people from doing stupid things, fuck 'em if they can't be adults about it. If we start allowing government control over moral issues...
Oh, wait. It is appropriate for the governemnt to make reasonable legal restrictions to protect the rights of all members of a society. You're advocating that we should legally allow one person's right to choose to smoke to trump the rights of anyone around him to choose not to smoke...particularly children, who don't get any say in the matter at all.
This isn't about mroality and ethics. It's about whether the government has a sufficiently compelling interest in public health to override an individual's right to privacy.
Man up and make your own choices for yourselves and let the government handle real issues, which they seem to need to concentrate on a lot more.
Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to work very well. Perhaps the most curious thing about human beings is our tendency to act directly against our own (and especially our collective) self-interest. That's why we need the government to tackle those "real issues" in the first place. And I consider public health to be amongst those "real issues."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by onifre, posted 04-16-2009 12:17 PM onifre has replied

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 84 of 151 (505770)
04-16-2009 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Rahvin
04-16-2009 1:14 PM


Re: Smoking while pregnant
I don't expect everyone to be happy or satisfied with a given answer. I just want to understand everyone's reason for providing the answer, so that obviously inconsistent and irrational answers can be discarded.
When it comes to law I think that the rationality of pragmatism trumps the rationality of ideological consistency. This will inevitably lead to ideological inconsistencies at times but I see no way round this.
Rational ideological consistency should be the aim but pragmatism must be the game. It is on this basis that I make my opposition to applying the same perfectly legitimate principles that are currently in force with regard to the law in public spaces and attempting to blindly apply these equally to private spaces. Or even bodily internal spaces.
We all want to protect people from the harmful smoke of others but the application of the law, the effectiveness and the consequences of this application are necessarily different in different practical circumstances.
If she aborts, it becomes a nonissue. An abortion does not harm a child - the child simply never comes to exist. Smoking while pregnant, assuming that the pregnancy is carried to term, does carry a very high risk of harming a child.
We cannot create legislation that "assumes" or attempts to take into account what a woman may or may not decide to do with the fetus inside her before, quite possibly, even she knows herself!!
If it is deemed that a fetus of X weeks is not worthy of protection from being terminated by abortion then I cannot for the life of me see how any remotely rational or consistent set of laws can also say that the same fetus is worthy of protection from a smoking mother.
Surely either the fetus is a potential person worthy of legal protection at X weeks in the eyes of the law or it is not?
Or are you going to differentiate here on some pragmatic grounds that I have failed to take into account.......?
But then, that's part of why I post here - if I have an irrational position, I'd like it to be exposed so that I can self-correct.
That is why I asked the question. I kind of know what I think but I am not wholly sure why and am not sure that what I think can actually be justified. I like the fact that you have a similar attitude so let's see where we both get to with this.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 1:14 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 5:25 PM Straggler has replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4159 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 85 of 151 (505772)
04-16-2009 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Rahvin
04-16-2009 1:24 PM


Re: The law goes too far
Rahvin writes:
For instance, it would be gross negligence for you to leave an open container of Drain-o where a toddler can easily reach it. We don't have police randomly searching homes to find negligent parents who are careless about their household poisons. Instead, if disaster strikes and the child drinks the Drain-o, the negligent parent is then charged.
Not that I advocate parents smoking indoors around their children and not that I ever did or would (I'm smarter than that.) But I grew up in a household full of heavy smokers. Sometimes the cigarette smoke in the room was so thick you see it like a blanket of thule fog. I never had any health problems and neither did my brothers and sisters that grew up in the same environment, all 6 of us. To this day all of us are still very healthy. I know plenty of others that grew up in households with smokers as well, they're still alive and kicking. Just the opposite actually; I don't personally know of anyone that has or had health problems from there parents that smoked in the house with them.
My point of this is that not every child exposed to second hand smoke is going to suffer the ill effects of it but every child that gets there hands on a open bottle of Drain-o well suffer ill effects from it. Is it really blatant negligence worthy of fines or worse, CPS removing a child from its home just because their parent were smoking in the house around them? I wouldn't really call it negligence unless you could show that the behavior was directly causing health issues with that child.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 1:24 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 5:37 PM SammyJean has not replied

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 3324 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 86 of 151 (505776)
04-16-2009 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Rahvin
04-16-2009 1:14 PM


Re: Smoking while pregnant
Mandatory seatbelt use is an individual choice, and getting into an accident is a "sometimes effect."
I know this is a bit off topic, but it's been brought up a couple of times. Personally, I think mandatory seatbelt laws are bullshit. If a person wants to take the risk and drive unbelted and dies as a result, it's a tragedy, but the person knew what they were getting into. Much like skydiving, if the parachutes fail, you're dead, but we don't outlaw parachuting. (By the way, as Seinfeld put it, if the parachutes fail to open, the helmet is now wearing YOU for protection.)
I do agree that belting in a child should be a legal issue, because the child is not able to make that determination for him/herself, but a fully functioning adult who has enough faculty to get a driver's license should be able to make the decision to endanger their lives or not.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 1:14 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Rahvin, posted 04-16-2009 5:43 PM Perdition has replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 87 of 151 (505777)
04-16-2009 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Straggler
04-16-2009 2:35 PM


Re: Smoking while pregnant
quote:
I don't expect everyone to be happy or satisfied with a given answer. I just want to understand everyone's reason for providing the answer, so that obviously inconsistent and irrational answers can be discarded.
When it comes to law I think that the rationality of pragmatism trumps the rationality of ideological consistency. This will inevitably lead to ideological inconsistencies at times but I see no way round this.
I agree, and that's why part of my standard includes taking the ease and intrusiveness of any proposed intervention into account. Government intervention that is overly clumsy and complicated or disproportionately intrusive into a person's privacy in its application is to be avoided, even when the government would otherwise have a justifiable cause to intervene.
Ethics and law are very different. They occasionally coincide, but there are too many different and competing systems of morality to effectively legislate "right" and "wrong" - such is the nature of subjective value systems. Law should focus on objective realities - protecting citizens from harm, etc.
Rational ideological consistency should be the aim but pragmatism must be the game. It is on this basis that I make my opposition to applying the same perfectly legitimate principles that are currently in force with regard to the law in public spaces and attempting to blindly apply these equally to private spaces. Or even bodily internal spaces.
We all want to protect people from the harmful smoke of others but the application of the law and the effects of this application are necessarily different in different circumstances.
We're talking about multiple different levels of privacy on this thread, and I think it's worth noting the distinction. We've discussed private property like a restaurant, private property in a home, and the privacy of one's own body. I think I;ve listed those in decreasing order of government interest; that is, the government has the most interest in a privately owned restaurant where the privacy and safety of the patrons and employees must be protected along with the rights of the owner, has a lesser interest in a private home where adults can make their own choices but where child safety is still a concern, and very little interest in violating the privacy of a person's body where no other person's rights can be violated.
When it comes to smoking while pregnant, we're talking about the latter. One has the right to refuse or to seek medical treatment at one's own discretion because of the privacy of one's own body. But the government has also established laws restricting what one may do to one's own body. I think it's also important to mention that disallowing use of a substance is (typically) less invasive than the forced usage of a substance, and that disallowing smoking is less invasive than forcing someone to smoke (or forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term).
I think the reasoning behind abortion rights aknowledges that something that may eventually become a human being exists inside of the pregnant woman, but that it begins as nothing more than a parasitic collection of cells that eventually develops into a human being deserving of full legal protection. This means that there isn't much to protect in the beginning of the pregnancy, and the woman has the right to choose what to do with what is essencially part of her own body anyway.
I'm conflicted, though, by the fact that smoking while pregnant carries risks to the child that could eventually be born. If we acknowledge that teh government has nothing to protect in the beginning of the pregnancy, but that it will have something to protect later on if the pregnancy continues and that damage when there is no interest will have an effect when there is an interest...we end up in a tangle, and there's no easy way to find an answer.
I made my judgment based on these facts:
a) There is a significant likelihood of causing harm
b) The harm, if caused, can be slight to severe
c) The restriction is not very intrusive into the privacy of the individual
I believe reason c) is where there can be some discussion over exactly how much of an invasion of privacy it is to require someone to stop smoking. If I were to be convinced that the violation of privacy is sufficiently great, I would need to re-establish my position.
quote:
If she aborts, it becomes a nonissue. An abortion does not harm a child - the child simply never comes to exist. Smoking while pregnant, assuming that the pregnancy is carried to term, does carry a very high risk of harming a child.
We cannot create legislation that "assumes" or attempts to take into account what a woman may or may not decide to do with the fetus inside her before, quite possibly, even she knows herself!!
That's what I'm struggling with as well. Aside from the degree of invasiveness, this is the other major point where I am conflicted.
We're faced with a dilemma: if the mother is knowingly using a substance that can cause harm to her child, the child needs to be protected; but at the point in contention, where the "child" is a fetus and thus still a part of the mother's own body, the line blurs.
My conclusion was that, while the state has little to no interest in the beginning of a pregnancy, the government's interest increases due to the ease and relative unobtrusiveness of the restriction.
Perhaps, rather than considering my sliding-scale standard as a whole, I should split it into two parts: the first beign a determination fo whether the government has any interest in making any sort of protection whatsoever, and the second with a determination of whether the government has an interest in enacting any specific restriction. If a situation does not pass the first part, it would not progress to the second.
This would mean that, since the government has no interest in the beginning of a pregnancy, no possible restrictions can be considered, and the woman is just as able to smoke as to have an abortion.
In the later terms of the pregnancy, where the state has sufficient interest to restrict abortion except in cases that threaten the health of the mother, the state would also have sufficient interest to look at smoking while pregnant.
Perhaps I should also add into my second consideration the likely effectiveness of the proposed restriction in eliminating or mitigating the harm? In that case, the damage from a smoking mother when the state had no interest would already be done, and so restricting smoking in the later term of the pregnancy, while relatively uninvasive, would be relatively ineffective. This would mean that the state would not have a compelling interest in restricting smoking while pregnant at any point.
Does this line of reasoning sound more consistent and rational?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Straggler, posted 04-16-2009 2:35 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 88 of 151 (505778)
04-16-2009 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by SammyJean
04-16-2009 3:17 PM


Re: The law goes too far
Not that I advocate parents smoking indoors around their children and not that I ever did or would (I'm smarter than that.) But I grew up in a household full of heavy smokers. Sometimes the cigarette smoke in the room was so thick you see it like a blanket of thule fog. I never had any health problems and neither did my brothers and sisters that grew up in the same environment, all 6 of us. To this day all of us are still very healthy. I know plenty of others that grew up in households with smokers as well, they're still alive and kicking. Just the opposite actually; I don't personally know of anyone that has or had health problems from there parents that smoked in the house with them.
Personal experience is of little use when considering actual statistics. If children are 25% more likely to get athsma from being brought up in a smoking household, for example (pulling this from nowhere, just an example), that still wouldn't necessarily mean you'd know someone who developed athsma from secondhand smoke, and yet it's a measurable statistic that clearly demonstrates that cigarette smoke is harmful.
That being said, I understand your point. A significant increase in the likelihood to develop a given complication does not necessarily translate to a significant increase in the raw number of children who develop complications, assuming that the normal rate of the complication is relatively low. If only 4 out of 100 children normally develop athsma, and (with the 25% example above) 5 out of 100 children develop athsma in smoking households, the 25% increase is still only 1% more children developing athsma.
I suppose it depends a great deal on how you look at the statistics.
My point of this is that not every child exposed to second hand smoke is going to suffer the ill effects of it but every child that gets there hands on a open bottle of Drain-o well suffer ill effects from it. Is it really blatant negligence worthy of fines or worse, CPS removing a child from its home just because their parent were smoking in the house around them? I wouldn't really call it negligence unless you could show that the behavior was directly causing health issues with that child.
Leaving the Drain-o out is not a sure-fire way to result in a harmed child, either. The child may ignore the Drain-o, or could smell it and decide that drinking it is a bad idea, etc. Negligence would only ever be charged if actual harm resulted. Again, the purpose of the law is not to directly prevent children drinking Drain-o, but rather to provide a disincentive in the form of punishment if your negligence results in harm. I would envision smoking laws to be the same - if you smoke in the presence of your children, nobody will ever know...unless the child develops a health complication and the doctor determines that it was caused by secondhand smoke inhalation. The punishment of those few who actually cause harm would hypothetically act as a disincentive for all smokers, even though statistically few of them would ever be charged.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by SammyJean, posted 04-16-2009 3:17 PM SammyJean has not replied

  
Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 89 of 151 (505780)
04-16-2009 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Perdition
04-16-2009 4:58 PM


Re: Smoking while pregnant
quote:
Mandatory seatbelt use is an individual choice, and getting into an accident is a "sometimes effect."
I know this is a bit off topic, but it's been brought up a couple of times. Personally, I think mandatory seatbelt laws are bullshit. If a person wants to take the risk and drive unbelted and dies as a result, it's a tragedy, but the person knew what they were getting into. Much like skydiving, if the parachutes fail, you're dead, but we don't outlaw parachuting. (By the way, as Seinfeld put it, if the parachutes fail to open, the helmet is now wearing YOU for protection.)
I do agree that belting in a child should be a legal issue, because the child is not able to make that determination for him/herself, but a fully functioning adult who has enough faculty to get a driver's license should be able to make the decision to endanger their lives or not.
You fail to consider the cost to society of allowing people to choose whether or not they wear seatbelts. As Taz mentioned, automotive mortality rates took a nosedive when seatbelt laws were put into place. When you get in an accident, who pays? Increased injury and death has a cost, in the form of increased insurance payments for everyone, as well as increased costs to the state when an individual does not have insurance.
The other perspective, of course, is that driving is a priviledge, not a right, and while the car itself may be your property, your ability to drive on public roads is subject to the government's whim. They don't need much int eh way of justification to fine you and take away your license, because restricting a priveledge is not the same as placing limitations on a right.
By accepting a driver's license, you accept the rules the government sets down regarding driving. That includes seatbelt laws. If you don't like them...feel free to not use a car.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Perdition, posted 04-16-2009 4:58 PM Perdition has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Perdition, posted 04-17-2009 11:46 AM Rahvin has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 10333
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 90 of 151 (505781)
04-16-2009 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Taz
04-15-2009 8:44 PM


Re: Common Sense and Law
Do you think we can legislate our way out of every social problem?
Under what circumstances is legislation not the answer?
Straggler writes:
Yes you did. You suggested that the law could be implemented on a "I know it when I see it" basis.
No, I didn't. I even spelled it out that I'd let the lawyers work on the wordings of the legislation. Regarding "I know it when I see it", I was referring to the obvious wrongness of the situation.
Which situation specifically? What elements need to be legally defined in order to effectively legislate against this situation? "Wrongness" that is "obvious" to who exactly?
Do I need to go back and quote one of your numerous little rants advocating "common sense" as the be all and end all as to what the law should be on this matter? If you are now agreeing that the law must be specific to a point that is unobtainable by common sense alone in order for it to be effective and enforcable then it seems that we do now agree on something. Hurrah!
My reason for previously supplying you with an actual real life anti-smoking law was to provide an example of the sort of specifics that need to be considered in any further discussion on this topic as applied to either private or public spaces.
Are you going to address the practical application of applying such criteria to private homes or not?
Straggler writes:
Firstly - Just because we don't always use legislation to solve social health problems does not mean we do nothing. Nobody here is proposing that "do nothing" is the answer to the question at hand.
Yes, you did. When you suggested or implied that society should have a hands-off attitude when it comes to the privacy of people's homes and how they raise their kids, you basically said "ok, let them do whatever they want."
Ahem. Straw man alert. Non-legislative answers are not "do nothing" by any stretch of the imagination. I gave you a specific relevant example of a reasonably effective non-legislative approach in action with regard to pregnant smoking. An issue that you seem reluctant to apply your otherwise all encompassing notions of "wrongness" and "obviousness" to.
Additionally I have specifically stated that I am broadly pro government action on matters of public health and have never invoked the right of people to "do whatever they want" in their homes. I categorically do not think that people have the right to "do whatever they want" in their private homes. That would be a stupid argument.
My opposition on this specific issue is based on the inability to pragmatically and effectively apply similar laws to private spaces as are currently applied by law to public spaces without other overriding negative consequences being introduced.
For the record if I could be convinced that we could effectively legislate the banning of smoking in private homes around children (or indeed others) without creating laws that are highly open to abuse in other ways that have nothing to do with public health then I would support that legislation.
Straggler writes:
Secondly - Thank you for finally conceding that these issues are not as entirely black and white as you have thus far been repeatedly asserting.
Again, your persistence at misreading what I wrote is getting tiring. On a general basis, these issues are complicated. This does not mean if we look at case by case they are just as complicated.
Go back and read your earlier posts Taz. Black and white. Right or wrong. "Obvious wrongness". "I know it when I see it". Wholly based on blindly imposing idealised concepts without any thought for the pragmatism of differing practical situations.
Again, answer the bloody question. 2 adults smoking in the car with their windows up and their baby in the back seat. That's a specific case. That's not complicated. It's a yes and no issue. Black and white.
If effective enforcable laws that genuinely result in the better health of children whilst not giving government officials undue powers that can be used in false pretexts and thus abused then - Yes.
As applied to cars this might be possible (see Message 62). As applied to private homes I remain wholly unconvinced that this is possible.
My argument is a pragmatic one. It is NOT derived from the principle that smokers have the right to "do whatever they want" on private property.
Are you referring to the parents' right to cause all kinds of health problems in their kids?
No. I am not defending smokers rights to inflict passive smoking on anybody else on any sort of principled grounds. Which part of this do you not understand?
Straggler writes:
It is not about a slippery slope. I have never used the term "slippery slope". It is about a largely unenforcable and thus ineffectual law that has undesirable consequences for civil liberties.
Yeah, and the pope's religion condemns gay people. But I never used the word catholic...
Just because you never used the word slippery slope doesn't mean you never described it.
Then you have totally misunderstood everything I have said. My argument has nothing to do with smokers rights to smoke or the "slippery slope" of government "dictating" on health issues. On these issues I suspect that you and I agree far more than you realise.
My argument is about exposing children, whose biological systems haven't been fully developed yet and are a lot more susceptible to the various diseases that would result in later parts of their lives. Stop arguing against a strawman, for christ sake.
Laws need to be specific. We have established that. Now take the actual specific law I previously quoted add the presence of minors to the equation and consider how such a law would be applied in practise to private homes. Is it practical? Is it effective? Is it enforcable? Does it have any negative connotations with regard to potential misuse?
I urge you to weigh these factors up and draw a practical rather than a purely ideological conclusion.
That's why I referred back to the already existing laws. If you had just think about it for 2 damn seconds and use common sense... there's that magic phrase again. Ever heard of elder abuse? Or the mentally retarded? The disabled? So, when I said adults could get up and leave, you should have used your common sense and expand on that thought. But no, you had to argue like a creationist and make me spell out each step of the way.
When it comes to legally defining the law that you are advocating whose "common sense" should be used? One minute you are talking about the legal definition of a minor and basing your rationale on the under developed biological systems of children the next you are telling me I am an idiot for not realising that you are actually rationally applying the same law to all those who are dependent and immobile regardless of age.
Whilst I agree with the sentiments that you are expressing I would be interested to see the actual practical law that you think can be both defined and effectively applied to achieving this overarching and somewhat ill defined principle that you are proposing.
Again, speaking as a public servant, do you have any idea how many cases of child abuse and neglect I come across?
Which kind of proves my point that some legislation is pretty ineffective at stopping undesirable practices actually occurring. If one of these ineffective laws also creates other seperate negative consequences that have nothing to do with the issue the law (ineffectually) attempts to address then are we not better off without that particular law in practical terms?
Do we take a pragmatic aproach to law or do we take a wholly idealistic aproach? Do we make everything that we deem to be wrong illegal regardless of the effectiveness or other unintended consequences that the law in question may result in?
It is my opinion that the law you are advocating is both practically ineffectual at tackling the health issue under discussion whilst also being a fine example of a badly conceived law that is all too open to misuse.
People said the same about seat belt law in my state just half a decade back. Ever since it came out, the number of fatality in crashes have been at an all time low. In fact, most fatalities I know of happened because those dumbfucks refused to have their seat belts on.
Those who argued that seatbelt laws would be ineffective were just wrong. Convince me that the practical application of a real law regarding smoking in the home can be effectively defined and enforced such that children's lives will be saved and then we can balance that against any negative implications such a law might also have.
As far as I am aware there are no negative implications to seatbelt laws other than the somewhat lame argument that people "should be allowed to do what they want" in private spaces. That, I repeat, is not my argument with regard to smoking laws as applied to private homes.
That's it, keep arguing against a strawman.
OK Taz lets try once again to get you to grasp the practicality as opposed to the idealised principle of the situation.
I previously quoted you an actual practical example of an actual anti-smoking law. I suggest that you review that law before responding.
1) Do you accept that the challenge of applying a modified form of the actual law quoted to private homes where children are present is in practical terms very different to applying the same law to public spaces (with or without the presence of children)?
2) Do you accept that there are practical limitations which mean that a modified form of the actual law quoted will be significantly less effective at stopping passive smoking in private homes with children present as compared to the effect this law has had on passive smoking in public spaces (with or without children present)?
3) Do you accept that enabling a modified form of the actual law quoted to be enforced in private homes where children are present would require government officials to have undue rights to enter and assess peoples homes in ways that are potentially open to abuse? Abuse by invoking anti-smoking laws as a pretext to enter and assess people's homes for reasons that have nothing to do with public health.
I think we both agree on the public health principles in question but with regard to the practical application of the actual law quoted you continue to be blinkered by idealism.
I would describe my position as "skeptical pragmatism". Until you confront that position rather than attributing me with the straw-man position of believing that parents have the right to slowly kill their children in the privacy of their own homes, this discussion will go nowhere.
Consider the actual law quoted. Add children to the equation. Apply it to private homes. Tell me what elements need precise legal definitions to make this applicable to private homes. Tell me how this law will work effectively and meaningfully in practise. Tell me how you will stop this law being open to abuse by a paranoid or controlling government intent on using that law as a pretext to enter private homes for less noble reasons than public health concerns.
Taz I want to outlaw passive smoking in the home for all the same reasons that you do. So convince me that I am wrong.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.
Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Taz, posted 04-15-2009 8:44 PM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Taz, posted 04-17-2009 9:58 PM Straggler has replied

  
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