Friday, August 7, 2015

The Freedom Paradox

I claim freedom of choice based on my respect of others to freedom of choice as well; the Golden Rule. One's freedom ends where it infringes on the freedoms of others, but there are levels.

Smokers have a responsibility to protect my freedom from the risks of tobacco.  I support non-smoking areas, particularly enclosed facilities like stadiums and restaurants.  I expect smokers to stand upwind out of doors. But, I don't just glibly expect smokers to stay fifteen feet from doors and busstops.  This seems to border on infringement of their rights.I expect my government and society to tell me the truth about the risks of smoking so that I can make an informed decision.  I expect smokers to put their finished buts in a garbagecan or wastebasket, but I fully support their right to risk their own health and resources if they so choose.

My society has a responsibility to manage the community and create laws to facilitate the mutual pursuit of choice.These laws should be determined through analysis of risk, balancing benefit and restriction, enforced fairly and consistently thus freeing me to choose my behaviors knowing of possible consequences.  If I drive 40 mph in a 35 zone, I should expect to be stopped and ticketed by police. I should be able to have confidence that these laws are enacted to protect me while avoiding restriction on my freedom.

Others have a responsibility to protect and respect my right to be alive or not. I choose to live or not live unless taken by disease or accident.  I want the right to choose my own life, I must respect the right of others to choose their own lives.  When my pursuit of happiness involves taking the right to live of another into my own will, I am wrong.

Freedom self regulates.  My freedom ends where yours begins, and it goes both ways.

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