Paternalism and the Law

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Philosophy Now
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:49 am

Paternalism and the Law

Post by Philosophy Now »

Barbara Hands considers whether it is ever right for the law to limit your freedom of choice and action, for your own good.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/71/Paternalism_and_the_Law
Nick_A
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Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Paternalism and the Law

Post by Nick_A »

Of Course
“Big Brother is Watching You.”
And it is for your own good. Knowing how he cares is the beginning of your education
“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
― George Orwell, 1984
There is nothing left to understand. Big brother has already placed in your psych all you need to understand. Now you can be loved as an atom of the magnificent grand collective and feel the joy of being loved by your big brother as we march together into a glorious future
Skip
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: Paternalism and the Law

Post by Skip »

I'm not sure 'paternalism' is the correct term for all of those examples.
The law against assisted suicide is a just the law against suicide lite: Christian doctrine took one small step back from dictating the law. That's not about protecting people from themselves; that's about preventing people from pissing off God.
Seatbelt laws are a different matter entirely. Automobile accidents put a great burden on society in several different ways. The risk one takes by not wearing a seatbelt, a bicycle helmet, safety boots at work, etc. is not entirely personal: it affects the health care system, the economy and other people. A healthy 15-year-old getting his head bashed on a kerb is a much bigger loss to society at large than an 80-year-old terminal cancer patient checking out two months before he absolutely has to.
Different laws make sense or nonsense for different reasons.
I don't think you can shove all safety and protection laws under the label of 'paternalism' and judge them by a single standard or even a single principle.
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