“How could you say such a thing? Pot/porn/cigarettes/sugar/corn syrup (etc.) is terrible for this whole society! I don’t understand how you could say ‘Let him do as he wants, so long as he doesn’t bother me,’ when such a thing is such a detriment to our society and culture? What he does to himself affects the rest of us!”
You could say the above quote and be right on a number of different points. We should work together, live in harmony, avoid things that harm us and be otherwise perfect beings.
But we’re not, and we won’t, and you can’t.
For those who might say the above while supporting the government’s ability to suppress these activities, I send you fair warning: You put your own freedom at risk.
Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It’s worth it. It’s a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else’s rights, because if you don’t there is no one to defend yours. – MaxedOutMama
Suppressing someone else’s freedom to misbehave, also suppresses your own right to BEHAVE, because someone else’s idea of misbehavior might be something you feel free and perfectly moral to do. Therefore, you have to ask yourself: By what right do you have to impose your moral framework on anyone else beyond the absolute minimum required for a civilized society, and banning corn syrup is not among such minimal requirements.
Well, who does have a minimum framework for us to operate upon?
Have you ever read a little document we, around here, like to call “The U.S. Constitution?” It was designed specifically with the idea that the power of the monarch or fellow citizen alike must be curbed so that the individual remain as free as civilly possible so as to cut his own course through life.
Did you see that? “… fellow citizen alike …”
Our Founders saw even then that governments who espoused the divine right of a king, a parliament or even the people to infringe on the right of the individual were as sure to secure their own downfall as any other.