DOES "TOO MUCH" INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM HURT SOCIETY'S MOST VULNERABLE
We often hear that laws enforcing a communal sense of morality are necessary
to protect society's most vulnerable people, especially children in economically
disadvantaged backgrounds. Actions and values putatively have consequences
beyond what is immediately visible.
Here are some examples:
- Drug laws are held to be necessary to keep children or teens from being
tempted to even try.
- Pornography laws are necessary to keep vulnerable men from attacking
women or losing sexual interest in their wives; sodomy laws are necessary to
keep young men growing up "sexually normal." It took a determine Supreme
Court to point out, in the case of electronic communications, how the
resultant dumbing down would violate the First Amendment.
- Gun control is necessary to prevent tragedies like Jonesboro or
Columbine (in Littleton, Co).
- More convincingly, media violence is held to incite destructive behavior
in unstable or sociopathic people. An example of this view is the lawsuit
against Paladin Press over the book Hit Man, from a family of a
Author Charles Murray, in What It Means to Be a Libertarian (Broadway,
1997), has a one word answer for this: Tough! The use of force to enforce
collective moral judgments usually results in unintended consequences worse in
totality than the behaviors cited. Again, why can't we be more determined to
hold people strictly accountable for their own acts?