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Forum Post: Individual rights Vs. Collective rights

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 19, 2012, 1:11 p.m. EST by craigdangit (326)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I've heard people on here claim that individuals do not have any rights that are not trumped by the collective rights of the majority, saying that people essentially don't matter in the face of society, or the common good. I have some questions, though, I'd appreciate it if anyone answered them.

Wasn't slavery better for the common good? There was nearly free labor, all for the cost of just a few lives and the subjegation of a relatively small segment of the population.

Also, what if the government were to randomly select one person off the street every day and harvest their organs? Seven lives would be saved, all for the cost of just one. Also, millions would be saved getting people off of the public health roles.

Also, how does this thinking not lead to racial profiling? If we divided people up based on races, et cetera, we could do much for the common good by statistically verifying that people of certain races, ages, and genders are more likely to do things that are costly to society, and arguments could be made for taking away various rights from people based on arbitrary statistical methods. These arguments are completely misguided, as all people are created equal, and should not have their rights restricted based on the actions of other people. But why is it unfair in the face of the common good?

Please discuss.

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[-] 3 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Wasn't slavery better for the common good? There was nearly free labor, all for the cost of just a few lives and the subjegation of a relatively small segment of the population.

Slaves were 30-40% of the population in the south during the early 19th century (source). During that time the south also lagged far behind the north in terms of economic development.

Also, what if the government were to randomly select one person off the street every day and harvest their organs?

Bad example because you could always harvest them from people who've already died.

Also, how does this thinking not lead to racial profiling? If we divided people up based on races, et cetera, we could do much for the common good by statistically verifying that people of certain races, ages, and genders are more likely to do things that are costly to society, and arguments could be made for taking away the driving privileges of people based on race and gender, racial curfews in addition to age based, gun ownership could be restricted based on race, et cetera.

You're coming very close to getting banned. This statement is racist because you're saying that some races are more violent than others but the only reason you think they should be treated equally is because you respect their rights as individuals.

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

There are several studies saying that some ethnicities are more violent than others.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Does it say WHY?

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Wasn't testing why. Just if there was were any more prone to violence.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Then it's bogus.

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Why is that?

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

More does not = why

[-] 0 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Yes you're correct. But the WERE NOT testing for why just if there WAS.

[-] 1 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

That's another Con problem. Who has time to correct?

We have rights to enforce, before the fascists take them all away with their guns and dildo logic.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I always disregard studies that do not reinforce what I already believe.

[-] 0 points by JIFFYSQUID92 (-994) from Portland, OR 2 years ago

Therapy

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

I will modify my OP to reflect that I do not have racist views, thanks for pointing out that some people may take it that way. I, being a male aged 18-25 will gladly note that my profile is statistically more likely to be involved in car accidents. But it does not follow that in the name of the common good, the age for driving should be raised for males. That is all I was saying.

As far as organ donation goes, there are not enough people dying to fulfill the need for organs. There were about 105,000 people waiting for organs this time in 2010. Now there are 110,000. Many of these people require constant care, which is very costly.

[-] 2 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I will modify my OP to reflect that I do not have racist views, thanks for pointing out that some people may take it that way.

Thank you for taking it the right way.

I, being a male aged 18-25 will gladly note that my profile is statistically more likely to be involved in car accidents.

But that's not because of your skin culture.

As far as organ donation goes, there are not enough people dying to fulfill the need for organs. There were about 105,000 people waiting for organs this time in 2010.

That's because lots of people choose not to be organ donors.

I also forgot to mention that your hypothetical scenario is also logistically unfeasible because if you killed a person to save 7 others with their organs, there's no chance in hell that you're going to have 7 people ready to go within a safe distance ready to take those organs.

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

It wouldn't just be bam, instant killing by jack-booted thugs and whisked away to an organ farm, the person would be vetted by searching the medical records for the most appropriate match for nearby acceptors by blood type, etc. The people waiting for the organs could be transferred to nearby, or the compulsory donor could be moved to near where the recipients are. All of this is hypothetical, of course, and logistical, so it does distract a bit from my original point, which I will simplify now to reflect a more raw and basic question: Can the government force people to sign up for organ donorship to protect the common good? Not forcibly harvest, but sign up?

I wasn't just talking about skin color when I made my point about discrimination. All people should be viewed the same way by the government, and not divided up or discriminated against because of any physical characteristics that might preclude them to a risk, hazard, or crime. Gender, skin color, sexual orientation, disability, the clothes they wear, you name it, people should not be discriminated against because of their physical characteristics or associations. But if the common good trumps the individual, why not? There are many such assumptions that could be used to promote the common good, based entirely on statistics.

[-] 1 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Can the government force people to sign up for organ donorship to protect the common good? Not forcibly harvest, but sign up?

Don't even bother with the sign up thing, just take them. A corpse isn't an individual. People can't suffer or make decisions when they're dead. The only strong argument a personal could possibly make against this would be on religious or metaphysical grounds.

As for discrimination being for the common good, there aren't any specific examples that really come to mind. Are you talking about stuff like maybe not requiring business owners to have handicap accessibility because it'd be in the common good to save money at the expense of making society less accessible to the a small percentage of handicapped people?

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

In many cases, organ donation requires the removal of the patient from life support immediately prior to harvesting. The decision to begin harvesting usually has to occur while the person is still alive, and while they have rights. Furthermore, the corpse of a person is generally considered the property of the deceased's immediate family. Lawsuits have been won, (properly or improperly) over the handling of corpses.

Some examples of discrimination that, mathematically speaking, would benefit the common good:

-Your example could be argued, but it's not one that would be at the top of my list.

  • Raising the driving age for males only.

  • Limiting gun ownership to females, or limiting gun ownership based on other factors that may statistically preclude a person to violence.

  • Stealing labor from the young and healthy through compulsory volunteering.

  • Euthanizing people who require more medical or personal care, in dollar amount, than they would add to the economy their whole lives.

  • Determining that people with ideas deemed "dangerous", such as occupy, need to be silenced due to people rioting and vandalizing in the name thereof.

  • seizing people's houses for economic development by private entities, if said entities will add more to the tax base than the occupants of the houses, such as has already occurred and been defended in the name of the common good.

  • Seizing people's trailers and smaller houses, to build larger, more tax beneficial houses for richer people.

  • Eliminating carbon-intensive programs such as most recycling, which contribute to global warming, and letting trash pile up in rural areas away from most of the population (which would really not be that bad for the environment, compared to the amount of carbon it takes to recycle many materials), or merely burying it.

  • Compulsory education laws.

  • Mandating that all houses be made with steel framing members and paperless drywall, which would force people to live in smaller houses but reduce the number of fire deaths exponentially.

  • Forced sterilization based on factors such as IQ points and other things that may preclude someone to produce offspring they cannot care for or are more likely to end up in a life of crime.

  • Outlawing wearing certain religious apparel and headgear that may be used to conceal weapons.

  • Eliminating the voting rights of people with low IQs that may not be as able to make reasonable choices about candidates or fall more easily to propaganda.

Here's what it comes down to, name virtually anything recognized as a right and I'll tell you a way in which a case could be made to restrict that right in the name of the common good. To say that collective rights trump individual rights is to remove the whole idea of what a right is. Rights would not be necessary if they didn't conflict with the common good, or else no one would be able to make a case to take them away.

Look at it this way, in prison people have no individual rights, every thing recognized as a right in the outside world is stripped away in order to maximize the collective good of the people in the prison. The right to own weapons, have long hair, communication etc are all taken away in order to minimize the risk to the other prisoners. What if this model was expanded for all of society?

[-] 2 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Thank you for taking the time to write out an excellent, well thought out response.

In many cases, organ donation requires the removal of the patient from life support immediately prior to harvesting. The decision to begin harvesting usually has to occur while the person is still alive

I wasn't aware of that. What I would probably do is avoid the issue of murder entirely by seeking out every possible alternative. You can make voluntary euthanasia very popular and available. That way you can plan organ harvesting as part of the euthanasia treatment. You can also create very large hospices where you can calculate the probability of any one person dying at a given moment so you can hire staff in an economically feasible manner to be ready to harvest organs at a moments notice.

But why is it worth going to all the trouble? Because the consequences of having the power in fringe scenarios to revoke a person's right to life will have consequences extending far beyond the lives of the donors and recipients. I would be scared if society allowed such a thing, it would completely redefine how I view my relationship with society. It also brings up questions of power. Who has the right to execute such decisions? Does the government? Or is it only ethical for the people receiving the organs to make the choice to kill? Would you be able to bring yourself to sign someone else's death slip?

Lawsuits have been won, (properly or improperly) over the handling of corpses.

That's interesting because it's no longer a question of collective vs. individual rights but rather possession/property rights.


You listed many excellent examples of moral dilemmas where doing something bad to the few (like discrimination) does more good for the many. I don't like to view these problems in terms of individual vs. collective rights. I think that's a false dilemma because rights don't actually exist (even though I totally believe in all the human rights that don't exist). I look at things more from the perspective of utility and oftentimes find that many of these undesirable solutions are the result of misunderstanding the problem, or not taking into consideration all the consequences.

To demonstrate this point:

Determining that people with ideas deemed "dangerous", such as occupy, need to be silenced due to people rioting and vandalizing in the name thereof.

This statement relies on the assumption that the people occupiers are fighting aren't dangerous. You also need to consider the crimes of the people in power. Yes occupiers are disruptive and (I hope) pose a threat to the existing social order, but everything we've done cannot even begin to compare to the crimes of this government against the world, or the crimes of the financial elite who enslave all. Taking these things into consideration almost any means of fighting them could be argued as just.

Euthanizing people who require more medical or personal care, in dollar amount, than they would add to the economy their whole lives.

This fails to ask why such treatments are so costly. In most cases it's because the pharmaceuticals are charging completely insane markups for medications. Now it's no longer a question of whether or not we should save one life, but also a question of whether or not a corporation has the right to monopolize medicine.

In cases that cannot be explained by ridiculous profit margins, I would argue that it's justified to withhold such treatments in cases where medical resources are limited and in offering that treatment, others who're sick wouldn't be able to get care.

Compulsory education laws.

Absolutely agree that this is one case where the benefits to society completely trump individual choice. But you really need to preserve a person's choice in how they become educated. I certainly wouldn't want to give the government a monopoly on education because the American school system for example has been engineered to cripple minds and oppress people in so many ways.

Seizing people's trailers and smaller houses, to build larger, more tax beneficial houses for richer people.

Taking housing away from the many to offer housing for the few. There's no way you could argue this promotes the greater good.

A better example might be using eminent domain to seize land for building a public highway.

Eliminating carbon-intensive programs such as most recycling, which contribute to global warming, and letting trash pile up in rural areas away from most of the population (which would really not be that bad for the environment, compared to the amount of carbon it takes to recycle many materials), or merely burying it.

Oftentimes it's cheaper or more environmentally friendly to mine elements than recycle them. But sometimes people forget to consider that recycling isn't about finding the cheapest solution but the most sustainable one. Many elements are finite, and the pacific garbage patch can only grow so large.

Forced sterilization based on factors such as IQ points and other things that may preclude someone to produce offspring they cannot care for or are more likely to end up in a life of crime.

In order to come to a rational conclusion you need to ask: a) is IQ is an impartial and effective metric for determining how well a person can birth/raise new productive members of society? b) Is low IQ the actual cause of bad parenting and crime? In both these cases the answer is obviously no.

Limiting gun ownership to females.

Let's fucking do it! Give all the guns and military equipment to women along with training. I'm not being sarcastic and anyone who thinks this is a crazy idea can just open a history book and read about what happens when men have all the guns.

[-] 2 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

You are a very intelligent person. But some of your logic doesn't really make sense to me, maybe that's just me.

First of all, remember in the OP when I came within driving distance of saying something racist and I changed it after you pointed it out? I just baited you by saying something blatantly sexist and you agreed. What if you were to replace the gender descriptors in my gun control argument with racial ones? I don't find it any less acceptable.

As far as IQ discrimination goes, there really wouldn't need to be conclusive evidence supporting the idea that lower IQs contribute to bad parenting and crime. The same inconclusive logic is currently used to support other forms of discrimination, such as curfews. At the very least, the argument could be made that IQ is genetically inheritable (Which I believe is scientifically proven) and smarter people are better for society, so why not sterilize the lower IQed people. No crime or parenting links required.

As far as recycling goes, you are already aware that material costs are tied to supply and demand. Sure, there is a finite amount of every element on the earth. But the elements tied up in trash are not going anywhere most of the time. Until the cost of recovering them reaches the cost of mining new sources, the public would be better off stashing them away. Using a source that requires 27 hours of labor per pound to produce instead of 12 hours of labor per pound will do nothing but limit growth in the economy.

You said that I provided a list of moral dilemmas... but I really don't consider them dilemmas. I guess we come from different backgrounds and look at issues differently, but every situation I listed is cut-and-dry in my mind. I don't need to think for a second to produce a decision, and I stand firmly against all of the proposals I listed. I am confused and don't understand what you meant when you said that rights don't exist.

I do agree that the people we are fighting are dangerous. But all too often issues such as the ones I posed are presented like I presented the Occupy situation- powerful people tell the public "Look! Those wackos are breaking windows! Let us do something about it and protect you!" without presenting the whole situation, and the public goes right along with it. Too many issues are "off the table" without even thinking of them. I have not seen evidence that prostitution laws prevent prostitution, yet if you suggest repeal you are passed off as a wacko. There are few people who are truly open-minded that I have seen. I am not necessarily in favor of legalizing prostitution but I think it should be on the table, just as every standing law should be on the table.

[-] 3 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

First of all, remember in the OP when I came within driving distance of saying something racist and I changed it after you pointed it out? I just baited you by saying something blatantly sexist and you agreed. What if you were to replace the gender descriptors in my gun control argument with racial ones? I don't find it any less acceptable.

And I was happy to bite down on that lure :) Mostly because I don't believe men are actually marginalized by my statement. They'll say to themselves, "oh that's cute" while walking away from the computer and continuing to enjoy the privileges society grants them over women. The same goes for race too, let's arm people of color and kill whitey. He had it coming after hundreds of years of oppression, slavery, imperialism, and genocide.

By now you've probably figured out that I'm being antagonistic to demonstrate a point. I'm not saying that the ideal society would be one where women and people of color are the ruling class. That'd arguably be no better or worse than what we have now---a society where the ruling class has almost entirely been comprised of white men for centuries.

I also feel it's necessary to further elaborate on why we have the anti-sexism and racism rules in place. It isn't because we believe this forum should be an ideal world where people completely ignore race, gender, and sexuality but rather because we don't want to make things worse than they already are for marginalized people. If you're part of a marginalized group then you already have to put up with enough shit for it in your day to life, and we don't want you to have to put up with even more when you hang out here. That's why we go out of way to help keep this space a welcoming one. Making this forum inclusive for white men is honestly the least of our concerns because this forum caters to white guys by virtue of the fact that they're the majority of our users. Go through the forum topic list if you need proof. Most of the things discussed here are things that white middle class men like to talk about while issues that specifically affect women, people of color, or the lgbt community get very little attention.

As far as IQ discrimination goes, there really wouldn't need to be conclusive evidence supporting the idea that lower IQs contribute to bad parenting and crime.

If you're going to hurt people then you need a damn good reason. That especially holds true in this case because otherwise how would you know that the issue of bad parenting and crime isn't caused by capitalism which drives people into economic desperation?

But the elements tied up in trash are not going anywhere most of the time.

That's a good point when it comes to things like aluminum, iron, and plastic because you'll find tons of the stuff in any landfill. But it's not the case when it comes to rare earth metals. What ends up happening here is you're taking an element that's finite yet plentiful in a very few known locations, and sprinkling across the entire surface of the earth in various landfills. Once you run out of natural sources I imagine that the cost of recovering such materials would be astronomical. There are also elements that can't be recovered or synthesized at all like helium which may reach the brink of depletion in our lifetimes. Shit like this makes me very sad for the future of science and technology :(

Let's also not forget that it isn't simply about economics. The way we produce and dispose of things also has consequences on the environment and all the other little critters living on this planet that aren't human. We can't forget about them.

I guess we come from different backgrounds and look at issues differently, but every situation I listed is cut-and-dry in my mind

Of course we all know the right answers in our heart to these questions. I call the examples you listed dilemmas because it's a game to find a rational explanation for why doing the right thing is the right thing :)

I am not necessarily in favor of legalizing prostitution

But you should be! Sex work is no different from any other type of work. The reason that society makes sex work illegal or socially unacceptable is because sex work makes it very easy for women to gain economic independence in addition to the fact that religious people love to shame women and police their bodies.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

So we now ban people that point out moral flaws in our reasoning?

[-] 3 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

We ban people for being racists, you can read the rules yourself.

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

poor people as opposed to middle class and middle class as opposed to affluent? is that racist? casue as you may know.. most 'trouble' to society is by poor and middle class regardless of race. or perhaps that is already happening.. basing life decisions about people by credit score.. an insidious beginning

[-] 1 points by jart (1145) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Yea people tend to be troublesome when they're driven into desperation by an exploiter.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

If you take money from one person and give it to another (taxes) how is that different than taking one persons labor (a slave) and giving it to another? Would government run slavery be ok?

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

We don't have a problem working convicted pot heads for pennies on the dollar in jail so yes, we have no problem with gov't run slavery. Only in America is it socially acceptable to complain about paying taxes and turning a blind eye to incarcerated slave labor. But I guess it seems everyone is too good to pay their taxes, incarcerated labor has to pick up the slack. As Americans we should honor our prison population, at least they are paying their fair share. :)

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Well said. These tax-slavery arguments from the far-right really make no sense. I wrote a little article about it if you re interested: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

yours s sff

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

There is one other place, China. 5000 executions per year. What a country!

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

The argument, "Well, at least we are not as bad as they are," is juvenile and diverts from the problems at hand. But good try, though you need to try again.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

You said only in America, I thought you were wracking you brains for other examples.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

Funny, but no. I was just highlighting the dysfunctions we as a nation have. slavery is alive and well in the great nation we call home. and it is all contributed to those who are too good to pay their taxes.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

All. That's a pretty broad brush that you have there.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Any reasonable interpretation of the post would understand it as satire.

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

yep, pretty much

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Why not? We need to be united.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Because that's censoring of ideas bro. Not to use the old examples but Stalin and Hitler both did this.

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What's wrong with Stalin and Hitler? Hitler I don't like so much, because he was basically Pat Robertson. What do you have against Stalin? I've always kind of liked him.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 2 years ago

Well he eliminated(killed) any opposition to his position in the government that he found.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26228) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

How about 20,000,000 murders? Is that likeable? Hitler and Stalin should have been joined at the hip. It would have saved so many lives if both of them had died at the end of the war.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

United but not free?

[-] 1 points by kjack (48) 2 years ago

Sounds like North Korea.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

Pretty much.

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

It takes a truly twisted mind to even think this stuff up.

In case you haven't noticed it's the "corporate citizens collective" that gets it's way these days.

If ANY of these dystopian ideals would come to pass, it would be at their behest, not the common mans.

It could be said, that an effort to prevent these things, is why we....

OccupyWallStreet.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I'm with you, man. I don't like thinking about this stuff, either, so I just say things without answering the OP.

[-] 2 points by kjack (48) 2 years ago

"Just a few lives" is an egregious understatement of the slave population in the United States prior to 1865. FYI throughout all of the 1800s South Carolina had more black slaves then it did white citizens.

Regarding your argument on utilitarian ethics, I really want to believe the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights offers uncompromising protections from abuses to individuals' rights however with the Citizens United decision and other changes in the law like 'tort reform' lead me to believe otherwise. Also I highly recommend the documentary 'Hot Coffee.'

One more thing about last week's news about the Health Care Reform mandate, the Catholic Church, birth control and women's rights. If religious institutions were granted a waiver for this mandate based the First Amendment, would there be legal standing for female employees of a Christian hospital to then sue for First Amendment violations because the employees may not subscribe to those beliefs either in whole or in part? Note that the most conservative poll says that 90% of Catholics have used birth control. This is kind of along the lines of individual rights vs. collective rights.

[-] -1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

Well, South Carolina may have had a high percentage of slaves, but the nation as a whole didn't. This chart doesn't list a higher percentage of slaves than 18%. http://www.historyguy.com/civilwar/statistics_slave_population.html

It is still more than I thought originally, but it was still well below a quarter of the population. It still served the common good, as most people got to enjoy the benefits of virtually free labor. It was despicable, of course, but it served the common good. A few national politicians in recent years have erroneously sought a return to slavery in the name of the common good.

I am curious what the citizen's united decision has to do with the protections afforded in the bill of rights. Can you elaborate some? I will have to check out 'Hot Coffee'.

I also do not understand what grounds you are speaking of when you ask about groups of female employees suing.... They may be able to, but I don't really understand what you are posing.

Cheers

[-] 1 points by kjack (48) 2 years ago

Admittedly I did rant on too many topics for one post but I'm going to have to do it again. It is interesting how the US economy was built on the backs of human slavery (now illegal), and the rape of the environment (now frowned upon) sustained its growth. Developing countries today don't have the option of the former and face international pressure and higher prices for the latter.

About Citizens United. As you probably know the Supreme Court ruled that corporations, unions, etc.,= people and money = speech. Thus to restrict a corporation from spending millions of dollars to sway public opinion is a violation of its free speech and is unconstitutional. Imagine the uphill battle a politician will face when advocating for something reasonable like, oh, say the mega-rich should pay their fair share of taxes or close corporate loopholes? Spending millions of dollars to smear that candidate and make sure he doesn't win (re)election is a tiny investment that will save millions if the tax rate/code remains the same.

If money is speech, the 99% will never be heard from ever again.

The Catholic Church initially had been raising hell over the mandate that makes an employer have to provide an insurance plan that offers the option of birth control to its employees. The far right say this is "Obama's assault on Christianity" and they argue is a violation of the first amendment because the Church does not support the use of contraceptives. Personally I think most people who choose healthcare as their career do so because of their own personal aspiration; not to be at peace with God or something like that. Therefore I do not think that Christian hospitals hire solely based upon a candidate's religions affiliation but rather that s/he is truly motivated by the desire to help other people.

So I deduce that not everyone working at a Christian hospital identifies as a Christian AND/OR since at least 90% of Catholic women have used birth control in their lives (directly against the Church's position), they do not share the same values on this matter. With that in mind, if the hospital did not provide its female employees with an insurance plan that has the option of birth control, to do so would be imposing its religious values upon the employee thus violating her First Amendment rights.

Now to my final point. I initially thought that the far right never had an argument and that this is less about religious freedom and more about women's rights because this directly affects the woman who, through the desire to help other people, found herself doing so but at a Christian hospital. This is still my position. This isn't 'radical feminist ideology' or anything (whatever that is) because I'm a guy. Woman's rights, makes sense right? But I think it stands a fair chance a getting struck down in court because of the ruling from Citizens United. If the Supreme Court legally recognizes a corporation as a person then, according to that logic, so too is a religious institution such as a Christian hospital. To require it to pay for contraception, something it is against, would be a violation of its First Amendment rights.

PS. If you thought slavery in the US was dead, think again. http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/slaverya21stcenturyevil/2011/10/201110108583163675.html

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

a corporations is not made up of people that get to express their opinions. how did it come to pass that a few rich guys in a board room get to speak for all the employees the same as a union? obviously that has got to change

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Yeah, I don't want all of Citizen's United overturned, because that would limit the free speech of unions. Just the part about corporations.

[-] 0 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

But employment is nothing more than a voluntary associational contract between two parties, it does not confer and religious implication between the employer and the employee. The idea that it violates women's right to not be given something free by someone else is twisted and odd logic. It's like saying a deli violates the religious freedom of its customers by only serving halal food, and thusly assumes its customers are Muslim. People and organizations have the right to offer or not offer for sale any product they wish. It's like saying a bookstore violates their customers religious freedom by not selling bibles, and assuming none of its customers want to buy one. It's their right, plain and simple. So what if birth control is a necessity? Why does that mean it needs to be covered by health plans? What about other needs, like tooth paste?

I don't think this is about women's rights, or even religious freedom. I would equally fight a law mandating that providers cover Viagra, or tooth paste.

[-] 1 points by kjack (48) 2 years ago

I disagree. In rural America many times the only hospital in a small town is a Christian hospital and the other nearest hospital (considering it unaffiliated with a religion) is too far to practically commute to everyday for work. Yes it is technically 'voluntary' but its the also the only place in the vicinity offering employment.

The idea that someone is not given something free does not necessarily mean the issue doesn't exist. Theoretically the law applies to all citizens and the contraception mandate we're discussing is required by law. So a sexually active woman working anywhere other than a religious institution will have the opportunity to receive the contraception with her insurance. Then there's a sexually active woman working at religious institution who cannot receive the same benefit because of her employer's beliefs. In this scenario there exists relative deprivation and thus her inability to receive contraception coverage is in and of itself unfair. Now lets put a price on this benefit; oral contraception has an annual estimated cost of $700 a year. Now this is also economically unfair.

Maybe I'm taking this out of context since it is by no means voluntary, but the initial statement about slavery being for the common good and that a life of subjugation of a few was beneficial to society as a whole. The idea that it violates ones' civil rights to not be given something free by someone else is twisted and odd logic.

Its the unaffected party with 'no skin in the game' who seek to deny equal rights. From the dark days of slavery all the way up to today this holds true.

Furthermore your example with the deli does not apply to this situation in that there is a significant difference between offering halal food because it is a wise business decision and offering halal food because it is required in accordance with the law.

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

What is it was required by law to offer halal food? Is this reasonable?

Okay. So the cost of providing oral contraception to one person is around $700 per year. Asking the insurance company to offer this does not make the money magically appear from thin air, it merely makes other people pay for it. The other policy holders will suffer the costs in the way of higher premiums on their insurance. What we are really debating is, is it fair to make someone's co-workers, who may be celibate, trying to conceive, sterile, disabled, or underage pay for their sexual medication? How does it differ from making insurance cover Viagra? What if the owner of the hospital's convictions are so strong, they will close the hospital rather than offer something they don't believe in? What is wrong with a person and their sexual partner paying directly for any medications they may want? Besides, transportation has virtually never been so cheap. The old days of people enslaved by the "company store" are gone. You can move to find a job, it happens every day.

[-] 1 points by kjack (48) 2 years ago

No its not required by law nor reasonable to offer halal food but its not unimaginable because that's like a religious extension of the 1906 Federal Meat Inspection Act and Food and Drug Act. But i see how this is getting off topic.

Also the whole housing mess makes it a difficult to move if one already owns a house.

In terms of the way insurance markets operate through actuarial sciences, underwriting, risk pooling, etc., all costs are shared. You don't get a refund on your premiums if you don't have to see the doctor yet at the same time and all things being equal, you don't have to pay higher premiums because you had to see the doctor more.

Example but with a line of insurance: I moved from Michigan to Los Angeles and had to get California car insurance. In MI it was about $400 for six months. No tickets, no accidents, no claims. In CA I bought crappier insurance and my premium is $860 for six months. Why? Because everyone else drives like a moron but since I'm on the road with them, I am statistically more likely to get in an accident and thus considered 'a greater risk.'

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 2 years ago

If you're looking for a good line to use against collective-rights enthusiasts, just ask them how a group of people can have a right that the individuals who make up that group do not have.

For instance, how can a group have the right to decide what people can put in their own bodies if every individual in that group does not have a right as an individual to decide what his neighbor can put in his body?

or: How can a group have the right to decide what someone else may or may not view (pornography) if every individual in that group does not have a right as an individual to decide what his neighbor may view?

It helps to understand that rights are principles upon which one may or may not act, based solely on one's own volition, while not violating the similar rights of others, which are held by all people at all times.

[-] 1 points by incomeforall (64) 2 years ago

Authoritarianism gets a bad rap. We really need collective rights to institute full government control. Authoritarian control if you will but in this modern time the bad things that happened in the past probably won't happen again.

Maybe re-educating a few recalcitrant conservatives along the way but for the most part living without freedom will please most people, no decisions, no worries, just your beneficent government taking care of you!

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[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Your words bring tears of hope to my eyes. I long for that day you speak of.

[-] 1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

Sobbing are we?

[-] 1 points by incomeforall (64) 2 years ago

Yes, my favorite movies are Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 except I would have fucked up those rebels and crushed them under my heels like bugs.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

It's actually a balance between the collective rights as you say, and the rights of the individual, and to respect both, calls into play Ideas of fairness and morality.

You have a right to free speech, but not the right to falsely shout fire in a theater, or commit fraud.

Your examples would also bring morality into the picture, which is needed for a just and orderly society.

But many chomskyists would say notions of morality and religion have no play in political discussion. But yet when those 'old' fashioned Ideal are abandoned then the Chompskist is impotent to correct wrongs without being hypocritical.

Say this out load, and watch the shrill voices scream.......

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

I agree. People do not have the right to do anything that unfairly affects anyone else. Anything that does not fall under this rule is allowed, as a natural right. Every issue is a moral one, as every one has a different set of morals. I think it is immoral to force people to buy a product for themselves, much less any one else.

[-] 0 points by corralled (23) 2 years ago

Read the Russian Revolution and wake up people

[-] 0 points by forourfutures (393) 2 years ago

The entire quandry is due to the confusion between wants and needs, short term and long term. Media and academia are guilty of intentionally creating the confusion so corporations and government could exploit it.

There are very confused people that want what they want and will not reason even though what they want cause human extinction, eventually, if they get it.

Accordingly, our future is about ganging up on them and making them accountable to reason. Sociopathy of this typope is easily cured for the most part. An approach like the NVC "non violent communication" works, but they have to see that everyone is accepting it so they do not feel they are making sacrifices no one else is making.

[-] 0 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 2 years ago

Privately owned slaves does not benefit society. It benefits the owner of the slaves. Slave labor hurts a money based society by killing jobs and distorting value. This is the most retarded comment I have ever seen on here. I really hope you are just fucking around being a twat. If you are genuine than you are sick in the head and should seek help.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (21414) 2 years ago

Almost half the population of the deep south were slaves. So, what are you talking about? And, slavery and its aftermath has been horrendous for all of us, our entire nation. No collective good there, for anyone.

[-] 0 points by B76RT (-357) 2 years ago

Most of the white people who lived in the south did not own slaves.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21414) 2 years ago

Yes. Thank you. I'm aware of that. But, he claims that the slave population was a "relatively small segment of the population." No it wasn't.

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

Yes it was- as a function of the country's population. As Jart noted above, the total number of slaves in the country topped out at 30-40%, and was much lower most of the country's history. At any rate, a majority of people benefited from slave ownership, as despicable as it was.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21414) 2 years ago

See it as you like, but slavery was mainly in the South, and there, the slave population was nearly 50%. That's a whopping big number and nothing to diminish in terms of the deleterious results. And, I disagree, no one benefited. We all still pay.

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

No one benefited? What about the slave owners? The things we are paying for are only due to the afteraffects of reintegrating an abused segment of the population back into society. If slavery were still in existence, there would not be many of the problems that you attribute only to slavery. Of course, that does not mean slavery should still be in existence.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21414) 2 years ago

"If slavery were still in existence, there would not be many of the problems that you attribute only to slavery." Huh?

I'm not talking about the legacy some plantation owner was able to leave his children and that generations later still benefit from. Okay, that sure is true. I'm talking about the enormous social costs slavery caused this nation. Huge societal problems we still face today that are a direct result of emancipating without compensation.

[-] 0 points by bmor (0) 2 years ago

I believe it was one of the founding fathers who said- the tyranny of the majority can be as oppressive as the tyranny of the few. (or something close to that) The individual rights recoginized in the bill of rights will always be in a balancing act with the common good, and with shifting public opinon. Just as the free exercise of religion will be in a balancing act with those who wish to establish their religion.

None of this works perfectly but we have a good system if we could get the big$$$$$ out of running it.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I have a rule of thumb:

The more things in society affect you, the more democratic say you should have on that issue.

So, the individual should have strong rights, but when people come together and do things collectively, then one should use democratic process.

read and watch:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

And of course, we must use our moral nature and values when dealing with different issues .

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

If you take money from one person and give it to another (taxes) how is that different than taking one persons labor (a slave) and giving it to another?

Would government run slavery be ok?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

This is not making much sense. You´re comparing taxation in a democratic society with slavery?? Please read this one: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

We need a society based on freedom and democracy. Slavery, Capitalism and other forms of tyranny are awful.

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Yes, if it served the common good. Many national politicians have supported bringing back slavery in the last few years, including Barack Obama. http://headinthegame.newsvine.com/_news/2008/07/20/1680082-obama-to-force-americas-youth-to-volunteer

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

This sounds like a business opportunity. Forget the 1%. We will never get anything out of those smart guys anyway. Let's go after the bottom 20 % (70 million plus strong). Enslave them all, then the remaining 79% of us can all retire on a plantation!

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Don't be ridiculous, we don't want to get rich off the backs of free labor (are you trolling?) Volunteering is an extremely rewarding and enriching experience, and something that all people should not go without. It is for their own good, something they need to be adjusted in the world. Maybe we can even set up some camps for people to volunteer on, so they can be alone with their thoughts while they contemplate the world and work.

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[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 2 years ago

This post points out the irony that we glibly take money from one person and give it to another (taxes), but bristle at the idea of taking one persons labor (a slave) and giving it to another. The former is done by the government acting as our proxy. We lack the courage to do it ourselves.

[-] -1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

Moral nature and values? That's what Right wingers use to push their ridiculous agenda. That's the thing about morals, every one has their own. You can't just use the force of government to inject morals that are not shared by a very vast majority of the population. We need principles, not morals, to decide laws. I agree that the people affected by something should be the ones deciding it, which is why in the catholic health insurance scenario, the employees, their employer, and the insurance company should be the only ones with say. It is no one else's business.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Although human nature gives room for much flexibility and lots of different behavior, we have a moral understanding at our core.

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

we need principles and moral.

[-] -1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

Marxists don't believe in the individual. Only the Collective. Of course, some are "more equal than others". And this movement is riddled with Marxists.