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Ok to break the law?

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 Dom Connaway 02 Aug 2020

As per the title, does law-breaking worry you? (Obviously this is a strictly hypothetical and general question). 

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 Eric9Points 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

Having a joint on the way to the pub, no.

Murdering someone, yes.

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 profitofdoom 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

> As per the title, does law-breaking worry you? (Obviously this is a strictly hypothetical and general question). 

Yes it does. My first (most important) reason - it's wrong, we have laws for a reason, and society can't work like that. Second reason, I don't want the police after me and I don't want to be dragged into court and suffer punishment

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 petegunn 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

97% of motorists don't seem to worry about it!

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In reply to Eric9Points:

> Having a joint on the way to the pub, no.

> Murdering someone, yes

Got it in one!

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 Timmd 02 Aug 2020
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Yes it does. My first (most important) reason - it's wrong, we have laws for a reason, and society can't work like that. Second reason, I don't want the police after me and I don't want to be dragged into court and suffer punishment

On facebook, friends occasionally share things along the lines of slavery and what have you having once been legal, to point out that legality and morality aren't always the same things. 

I'd never do anything which could end up with me going to court or having the police after me, but I find the different approaches to rules and laws quite interesting, that there seems to be the mindset of 'Rules and laws must always be followed, because they are in place to be' and one of 'So long as no harm to others will occur, it's okay to sometimes break them'. 

Post edited at 20:25
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 Myfyr Tomos 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

Why are you asking? Your user name... You're not the "other" Dom C are you? Coincidence, probably.

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 Amine head 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

We all live in a unfair society. Heavily loaded towards the privileged. I believe, as a working class pleb it gives me lattitude to take the piss. 

(A bit)

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 andyb211 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Having a joint on the way to the pub, no.

Drugs!! Ant and Dec Just say NO

> Murdering someone, yes.

Depends who!

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In reply to profitofdoom:

> Yes it does. My first (most important) reason - it's wrong, we have laws for a reason, and society can't work like that.

Yes it can. We have most laws for good reason, but we have some laws for bad reasons, and we should ignore those laws.

If I pick some magic mushrooms and then eat them, it'll be great. If everyone did it (in the optimal way) society would be better. So the law , in that case, is wrong and we should all be encouraged to break it.

> Second reason, I don't want the police after me and I don't want to be dragged into court and suffer punishment

Fair enough. But if the police ever waste any of the public's resources on me for doing absolutely nothing wrong, I will go ballistic and kick them as hard as I can in the nuts.

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 kaiser 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

Not all laws are good laws.  Not all lawmakers should be obeyed. 

What would Jesus do is the best guidance in these matters

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 wintertree 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

Depends.  Do you have a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card from the Prime Minister and a converted swimming pool to lay low in whilst the heat is on?

Post edited at 20:55
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 Timmd 02 Aug 2020
In reply to andyb211: Drugs can be an interesting one, I guess with even cannabis being a revenue source for unpleasant gangs, it's arguably only home grown weed that is ethically fine (if not legally).

There's a footpath I like to cycle along, it does say 'Walkers only', I stopped and thought about it, and realised that it is so walkers doing feel intimidated, and so it doesn't get eroded, so I only cycle on it when it's dry and I go at quieter times, and stop well ahead of seeing anybody and smile and say hello and let them pass if I meet anybody, and they say hello in reply. I'm breaking the rule, but the outcomes it is intended for still occur too. I would be an arsehole if I hooned along it and had people being perturbed by me or endangered, and left ruts and channels in it (though since it's been resurfaced that isn't really possible now).

Post edited at 21:23
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In reply to Timmd: 

> there seems to be the mindset of 'Rules and laws must always be followed, because they are in place to be' and one of 'So long as no harm to others will occur, it's okay to sometimes break them'. 

Indeed. In terms of Moral Foundations Theory, this is where you score on the dimension "respect for authority", and it's likely to correlate inversely with personality trait "openness to experience".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_foundations_theory

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In reply to kaiser:

> What would Jesus do is the best guidance in these matters

Given that you can tell yourself that Jesus would do whatever you'd like to do, wouldn't "what would lead to the best consequences, all told" be better guidance?

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 Timmd 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart: Likely to but not certain to, a friend of mine seems to be more 'Rules are there for a reason' than I am, but is always up for travelling to somewhere new and trying new food, and became a part of a local band. As a rule, humans always don't quite follow the rules.

Post edited at 21:11
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In reply to Timmd:

> As a rule, humans always don't quite follow the rules.

Yeah. But thankfully the researchers who developed our understanding of human psychology didn't just study your friend.

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 Timmd 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart: Indeed, 'likely to but not always' means that what you shared can be correct, and that people can differ from it too, which is all my point was.

Post edited at 21:17
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 Stichtplate 02 Aug 2020
In reply to kaiser:

> What would Jesus do is the best guidance in these matters

Not sure that's the best advice given that he ended up, quite literally, crucified by the local plod. 

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 Fozzy 02 Aug 2020
In reply to kaiser:

> What would Jesus do is the best guidance in these matters


Get cross? 

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 Snozzwanger 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

well put!

Thinking about it, I probably break the law on a daily basis.

Post edited at 22:22
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 Trangia 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

Society needs to look long and hard at itself. Generally law breaking is an anti social act, if you let so called minor crimes go unchecked/punished it leads to contempt of the law and lack of consideration to others. As someone has said above we have laws for a reason. It is morally wrong to commit any crime and all members of society need to learn to respect this for the good of all. For example dropping litter is wrong and as it stands illegal, those that do it are disregarding the feelings and standards set by society. So minor crimes become the thin end of the wedge which can lead to the committing of more and more serious crimes.

Think of the Mayor of New York's "broken windows policy" which led to a big reduction in more serious crimes.

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 Albert Tatlock 02 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Yes it can. We have most laws for good reason, but we have some laws for bad reasons, and we should ignore those laws.

But who decides what are the bad laws? I personally have a zero tolerance to the use of illegal controlled drugs including Liberty Cap mushrooms (Class A, MDA 1971).

So are you advocating that every single person should consume magic mushrooms and every single person would benefit from consuming illegal drugs?

> if the police ever waste any of the public's resources on me for doing absolutely nothing wrong,

Why would the police waste public resources on you if you’d done absolutely nothing wrong? 

I will go ballistic and kick them as hard as I can in the nuts.

So for somebody trying to enforce the law of the land you think it would be right and acceptable to use physical violence?  Do you also think that the police are only male by the way with you kicking them as hard as you could in the nuts ? A bit sexist considering the amount of female officers there are! 

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In reply to Dom Connaway:

It worries me when the law being broken causes an adverse effect on others.

Using dope as an example (as someone else mentioned it):

- Someone smoking dope on their own in the park with nobody nearby: really don't care

- Someone smoking dope near me so I have to put up with the disgusting smell: quite annoying

- Someone smoking dope in the park near children playing so they will get a noseful: really, really wrong

Or to use another one, someone doing 120mph on a totally empty motorway at 3am, I probably don't really care.  Someone doing 80mph on a busy motorway (where the prevailing speed is much slower) ducking in and out of other cars and tailgating, that makes me quite angry as there's a high chance they are going to kill somebody rather than just themselves.

Post edited at 23:26
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In reply to Dom Connaway:

Who said this ? I never realised. 

"Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools."

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In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> But who decides what are the bad laws? I personally have a zero tolerance to the use of illegal controlled drugs including Liberty Cap mushrooms (Class A, MDA 1971).

Well don't eat them then! 

> So are you advocating that every single person should consume magic mushrooms and every single person would benefit from consuming illegal drugs?

I think done in the right set and setting, it would do the vast majority of people a lot of good and no harm. There will be exceptions.

> Why would the police waste public resources on you if you’d done absolutely nothing wrong? 

They won't. But in theory, they could, and that's wrong because it would harm me, cost public money, and achieve precisely f*ck all. 

> So for somebody trying to enforce the law of the land you think it would be right and acceptable to use physical violence?  Do you also think that the police are only male by the way with you kicking them as hard as you could in the nuts ? A bit sexist considering the amount of female officers there are!

It was a joke for f*ck's sake. You're not exactly a barrel of laughs, are you?

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 Timmd 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Trangia:

> Society needs to look long and hard at itself. Generally law breaking is an anti social act, if you let so called minor crimes go unchecked/punished it leads to contempt of the law and lack of consideration to others. As someone has said above we have laws for a reason. It is morally wrong to commit any crime and all members of society need to learn to respect this for the good of all. For example dropping litter is wrong and as it stands illegal, those that do it are disregarding the feelings and standards set by society. So minor crimes become the thin end of the wedge which can lead to the committing of more and more serious crimes.

> Think of the Mayor of New York's "broken windows policy" which led to a big reduction in more serious crimes.

What you say doesn't always apply, though. I know of hippy friends who can eat magic mushrooms and have a nice time, and carry on with their day jobs, working with animals or as care workers or whatever else they do, but they're technically breaking the law, from it not being illegal during the 90's, to it becoming illegal in whenever the law was changed, nothing about what they do regarding the impact on themselves or wider society changed - only the legal status did.

What new damage is done to society due to the illegality of what they like to do? None is, in both cases they're still the same personalities with the same amount of consideration for others to varying degrees. One can't always use broad brushes like you have done, I think.

Post edited at 00:37
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 Albert Tatlock 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Well don't eat them then! 

Please answer the actual question which was who decides what’s a good law and what’s a bad law? Also I don’t consume illegal drugs. I don’t use illegal drugs as I witness on a daily basis the effects of their use and associated mental health issues.

> I think done in the right set and setting, it would do the vast majority of people a lot of good and no harm. There will be exceptions.

You shouldn’t advocate the use of it unless you can be certain of what behaviours those exceptions might cause and the consequences to other people. And if you can’t be certain you’re not qualified to comment.

> They won't. But in theory, they could, and that's wrong because it would harm me, cost public money, and achieve precisely f*ck all. 

So in theory if it could happen then applying that principal to any other topic could turn every opinion on its head. So it’s a non-theory, or it weakens any opinion? 

> It was a joke for f*ck's sake. You're not exactly a barrel of laughs, are you?

In view of recent events and subsequent posts on this forum regarding the violent death of a serving police officer your comments are not funny and are disgraceful. 

Actually I can be a barrel of laughs but I don’t find any violence towards any police officer a joking matter. And strange that when challenged you default to “It’s just a joke”.

So is it ok for other people to say offensive / inappropriate things and then when challenged default to it’s just a joke, to make light of their original comment? 

Albert

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 Timmd 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> But who decides what are the bad laws? I personally have a zero tolerance to the use of illegal controlled drugs including Liberty Cap mushrooms (Class A, MDA 1971).

What do you have against the use of liberty cap mushrooms? Do you know that micro dosing of them has been found to help with depression and anxiety in some people?

If a person can know how many to take without having a horrible time, through gradual experimentation, I don't see why you'd be against people eating liberty cap mushrooms in terms of harm to society and related things, you having displayed a reason for being against it other than 'because it's illegal'. So was homosexuality, once. It could seem like you can't say why you're against people taking liberty cap mushrooms.

Edit: Here's an example which is depression related. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/10/magic-mushrooms-treatment-depression-aztecs-psilocybin-mental-health-medicine

Post edited at 01:45
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In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> Please answer the actual question which was who decides what’s a good law and what’s a bad law?

We can all decide for ourselves which laws we believe are right and wrong, and we can make personal decisions about whether to break the laws we think are pointless or wrong. We are autonomous agents.

> You shouldn’t advocate the use of it unless you can be certain of what behaviours those exceptions might cause and the consequences to other people. And if you can’t be certain you’re not qualified to comment.

I am perfectly well qualified to comment, thank you. In precisely the same way as I advocate going out to the hills, climbing, eating a delicious fish curry, I can and I will advocate taking magic mushrooms. Harm could potentially be caused by any of these activities to an individual who does any of them without taking necessary precautions, because some degree of risk is inherent in everything we do. This doesn't mean I shouldn't advocate any activity. I can advocate what I like, and I can also justify why I'm advocating it, because the research about the benefits and risks back up my viewpoint. 

But even if it didn't, and I was advocating something that was dangerous, like say, highball bouldering, then so what. I like that too and I think everyone should do it, because it's a right buzz.

Anyone reading this is an autonomous agent and can make their own decisions about whether to go highball bouldering, eating delicious dish curry, or taking magic mushrooms. I think they should do all three, and have a really nice time. If they break their ankles, choke on a fishbone, or have a hard time tripping then, well that's their problem and I sympathise, but it's definitely not my responsibility because I wrote a post advocating those activities. And there is no difference between them - except that highball bouldering can be considered risky whereas the other two are generally very safe.

> So in theory if it could happen then applying that principal to any other topic could turn every opinion on its head. So it’s a non-theory, or it weakens any opinion? 

What? 

> In view of recent events and subsequent posts on this forum regarding the violent death of a serving police officer your comments are not funny and are disgraceful. 

> Actually I can be a barrel of laughs but I don’t find any violence towards any police officer a joking matter. And strange that when challenged you default to “It’s just a joke”.

> So is it ok for other people to say offensive / inappropriate things and then when challenged default to it’s just a joke, to make light of their original comment? 

It depends if they were joking or not. You're quite free not to see the humour in it, but I find the idea of being arrested for taking magic mushrooms quite hilarious because it's so absurd. I'd be at home with headphones on listening to a Schubert piano sonata and being overwhelmed by the beauty and sadness of the universe...and then, what, a copper would kick my door in and drag me down to the station? For experiencing classical piano music with an excessive level of emotion? The idea that I would then assault them is a bit incongruous and silly as well, don't you think? Sure, none of this is necessarily very funny to anyone except me, but it's not really something to get upset about, is it? I just can't see what the problem is.

While the idea of me actually getting arrested for listening to Schubert on magic mushrooms and assaulting a police officer is obviously extremely silly, I am quite serious about how annoying it would be if taxpayers money was spent in that way. The law is wrong, and I'm going to ignore it, and I'm going to encourage everyone else to ignore it too.

Go on, have a fish curry, go bouldering, and take some mushrooms. All great things to do, and all incur some risk, but the benefits far outweigh it. I urge you! You won't regret it!

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> Please answer the actual question which was who decides what’s a good law and what’s a bad law? Also I don’t consume illegal drugs. I don’t use illegal drugs as I witness on a daily basis the effects of their use and associated mental health issues.

> You shouldn’t advocate the use of it unless you can be certain of what behaviours those exceptions might cause and the consequences to other people. And if you can’t be certain you’re not qualified to comment.

Perhaps someone who's never taken illegal drugs is even less qualified to comment?

For what it's worth I've seen more physiological and mental damage, misery and carnage caused by alcohol than by all illegal drugs combined, but I'm not in favour of making alcohol illegal. I am in favour of adults making their own minds up about what they choose to do with themselves. It's only when their actions have a direct negative impact on others that I want the law to step in.

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 lanky 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

> As per the title, does law-breaking worry you?

I only worry if I think ill get caught.

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 mondite 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Trangia:

>  It is morally wrong to commit any crime and all members of society need to learn to respect this for the good of all.

So you believe that the underground railroad in the USA was morally wrong? A rather radical position.

> Think of the Mayor of New York's "broken windows policy" which led to a big reduction in more serious crimes.

Depends on which study you read. It isnt as simple as often portrayed since other parts of the US, with different policies,also had drops in crime. The NY broken window policy was a bastardisation of a policy which was about fixing up those broken windows/overgrown areas which does seem to have had some good results though.

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 Tom V 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

As I've said elsewhere, there comes a point where laws exist to stop us "making our own minds up" about what we choose to do with ourselves. That's why motorcycle helmets and seatbelts are compulsory. Lots of people probably don't approve of them but comply with the law.

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 Offwidth 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

Well said. On the subject of this thread my main concern with illegal drugs was always the moral question of supporting the horrendous criminal gangs in the supply chain and the health risks of taking undefined and possibly seriously contaminated products. The UK would be far better off in my view with quality assured safer drugs supplied by pharmacists, taxed, and removing a good deal of that exploitation chain that is a massive blight on the world.

Post edited at 08:59
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In reply to Trangia:

> It is morally wrong to commit any crime and all members of society need to learn to respect this for the good of all. 

The law tries to encode the moral values of society, but those values change and the law will always be playing catch up. Was homosexuality immoral before it was legal, then moral when the law changed? 

It's completely obvious to me that morality is primary and we have a responsibility to work out our own, rather than delegating that aspect of our humanity to lawmakers (or religion). To allow someone else to make up your mind about what is right and wrong is to fail to act in the world as an automonous agent. And if we all acted that way, we could never progress as a society and we wouldn't even have a democracy. 

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 cpowell 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Trangia:

For a fundamentally anarchic sport with a history of rule breaking judging by the like/dislike ratio we have a lot of fastidious rule followers on the forum.

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 Offwidth 03 Aug 2020
In reply to cpowell:

The idea that climbing is fundamentally anarchic was always a myth although it certainly attracts those with that mindset.

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 Trangia 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Timmd and mondite:

I did preface my comments with the word "Generally"

You can always find laws which are bad/unpopular/out of date with society's changing attitudes, etc etc, because the rule of law is an ever changing status in the same way that other human ideals and behaviour etc is ever changing and evolving. Language is an example.

No one will ever be happy with every law. Some crimes like "do not murder" are accepted by pretty well everyone as being good common sense laws for the benefit of all, others like outlawing some types of drug use as discussed in this thread are highly controversial. But ultimately society has to find a level which is beneficial to most people.

I think Stichtplate has nearly hit the nail on the head in saying

"I am in favour of adults making their own minds up about what they choose to do with themselves. It's only when their actions have a direct negative impact on others that I want the law to step in."

However there are sometimes occasions where society has to step in to protect it's citizens whether they like it or not eg speed limits, compulsory wearing of seat belts, helmets, social distancing and maybe now, face coverings etc In these circumstances the law is protecting society as well as the actual individuals by reducing the strain on emergency services etc.

We can argue until the cows come home over detail, but ultimately a broadly acceptable compromise on laws has to be reached to enable society to function harmoniously.  

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In reply to cpowell:

> For a fundamentally anarchic sport with a history of rule breaking judging by the like/dislike ratio we have a lot of fastidious rule followers on the forum.

I feel like as a society we're becoming increasingly conservative and by the time I'm dead we'll have the death penalty back and segregation on buses. As I said on another thread, there are good reasons to just live out the rest of my days in a k-hole so I don't witness our regression back to small-minded 19th century values. 

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 timjones 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Yes it can. We have most laws for good reason, but we have some laws for bad reasons, and we should ignore those laws.

> If I pick some magic mushrooms and then eat them, it'll be great. If everyone did it (in the optimal way) society would be better. So the law , in that case, is wrong and we should all be encouraged to break it.

If everybody did the same things society would be full would be full of clones, rather dull and far worse.

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In reply to Trangia:

> However there are sometimes occasions where society has to step in to protect it's citizens whether they like it or not eg speed limits, compulsory wearing of seat belts, helmets, social distancing and maybe now, face coverings etc In these circumstances the law is protecting society as well as the actual individuals by reducing the strain on emergency services etc.

I agree, but those laws must be based on evidence, and their benefit must outweigh the restriction to liberty. To have them being made arbitrarily, causing more harm than they prevent, as is the case with drugs policy, is just a failure of democracy. And it's a failure of public intellect to understand that that is what's going on; as well as cowardice of politicians who all know what the evidence says but instead they choose to pander to ignorance. What a bunch of dicks I have to share this shitty planet with.

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In reply to timjones:

> If everybody did the same things society would be full would be full of clones, rather dull and far worse.

True, but they should have the freedom to try things and see what they think themselves.

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 wbo2 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The law tries to encode the moral values of society, but those values change and the law will always be playing catch up. Was homosexuality immoral before it was legal, then moral when the law changed? 

> It's completely obvious to me that morality is primary and we have a responsibility to work out our own, rather than delegating that aspect of our humanity to lawmakers (or religion). To allow someone else to make up your mind about what is right and wrong is to fail to act in the world as an automonous agent. And if we all acted that way, we could never progress as a society and we wouldn't even have a democracy. 

I think you're a little naive Jon - obviously most peoples morality will be pretty similar to the current norm, but for a sizable minority it's going to include giving subgroups they don't like/approve of  a good kicking.  Ergo laws as a reflection of the common norm.

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In reply to wbo2:

> I think you're a little naive Jon - obviously most peoples morality will be pretty similar to the current norm, but for a sizable minority it's going to include giving subgroups they don't like/approve of  a good kicking.  Ergo laws as a reflection of the common norm.

Yes I agree. But we do have a pretty sophisticated constitution that does not work by mob rule, it distributes power to those who should, in theory, have what it takes to act in the public interest.

The latest appointments to the Lords however, demonstrate that the constitution can be, and is currently being, abused.

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 Martin Hore 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Trangia:

> It is morally wrong to commit any crime...

I don't think that's right. It's legally wrong to commit a crime. It's morally wrong to commit a sin. The two are not identical.

To take the good example above, if I cycle on a deserted footpath which happens to double as a track used by farmers' vehicles on a regular basis, then I'm committing a crime but not I would contend a sin, since no-one is harmed. If, as the Prime Minister's special adviser, I break the spirit but not the letter of the government's COVID regulations, then I've committed no crime, but have committed a sin, since the result is to seriously undermine the government's drive to control the spread of the disease.

Martin

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In reply to Martin Hore:

> If, as the Prime Minister's special adviser, I break the spirit but not the letter of the government's COVID regulations, then I've committed no crime

Bad example, he outright broke the rules. His defence was a pack of lies. He's next in line for the hardest kick in the nuts I can physically manage.

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 cpowell 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> The idea that climbing is fundamentally anarchic was always a myth

I dunno, you get to do what you want with no referee to tell you not to. If I want to solo in rollerskates and boxing gloves I can, If I want to aid climb right unconquerable I can, and whilst the latter is frowned upon by the community nobody can remove my ability to do so.

Whilst the BMC may represent the views of climbers, they have no more power over me than than the society of kayakers or knitters or any other club I'm not a member of.

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> As I've said elsewhere, there comes a point where laws exist to stop us "making our own minds up" about what we choose to do with ourselves.

Obviously, and I disagree with such laws. However rational the behaviour you're trying to enforce may be, involving the law means the state has set a precedent where by it's claimed the right to intervene in your personal choices "for your own good".... Boris Johnson (et al) is not my Mummy.

People have fought long and hard for the right to do as they please with their own bodies: abortion, homosexuality, even having the right to take yourself off to the shops on a Sunday. I don't think it's entirely unreasonable that the long arm of the law be prevented from reaching into the realms of personal choice.

>That's why motorcycle helmets and seatbelts are compulsory. Lots of people probably don't approve of them but comply with the law.

I fully approve of seatbelt and helmets, but I disapprove of seatbelt and helmet laws for the reasons laid out above. What I would approve of would be relevant insurance pay outs being restricted to those wearing them in exactly the same way as your theft insurance would be invalidated it you left the keys in your car, engine running, while you nipped into Tesco.

The point of the law should not be to protect ourselves from ourselves. This isn't a new concept within the British legal system. Suicide was decriminalised in 1963.

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In reply to Dom Connaway:

> As per the title, does law-breaking worry you? (Obviously this is a strictly hypothetical and general question). 

If it was gravity maybe so.  

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> Obviously, and I disagree with such laws. However rational the behaviour you're trying to enforce may be, involving the law means the state has set a precedent where by it's claimed the right to intervene in your personal choices "for your own good".... Boris Johnson (et al) is not my Mummy.

Those precedents, such as seat belts, have proven successful in saving, and improving people's lives.

> I don't think it's entirely unreasonable that the long arm of the law be prevented from reaching into the realms of personal choice.

How does that work? Shoplifting might be my personal choice!

> I fully approve of seatbelt and helmets, but I disapprove of seatbelt and helmet laws for the reasons laid out above. 

If it saves thousands of lives per year, is that not worth sacrificing your meaningless libertarian principles for? Or is "FREEDOM!" so important that it simply doesn't matter how many people die so long as no one gets to tell you what to do?

> The point of the law should not be to protect ourselves from ourselves. This isn't a new concept within the British legal system. Suicide was decriminalised in 1963.

I'm all for the nanny state. We just need a nanny who can a read a book, understand numbers, and makes her decisions based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. Unfortunately, our nanny has fallen asleep in a pool of her own piss and is just belching out random noises while she shits herself.

Post edited at 11:40
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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Those precedents, such as seat belts, have proven successful in saving, and improving people's lives.

I've got several biker mates who still would prefer the option to nip to the shops sans helmet on a Sunny August day, they're of the firm belief that this would add to the enjoyment of their motorcycling. Think if ropes became mandatory for any vertical ascent above 3 metres. 

> > I don't think it's entirely unreasonable that the long arm of the law be prevented from reaching into the realms of personal choice.

> How does that work? Shoplifting might be my personal choice!

I should have been clearer. Personal choice that has no direct impact on others. Shoplifting has a very direct impact of several hundred quid per year, per household plus all the time you waste having security tags removed and being stopped on exit because a faulty alarm is accusing you of theft.

> If it saves thousands of lives per year, is that not worth sacrificing your meaningless libertarian principles for? Or is "FREEDOM!" so important that it simply doesn't matter how many people die so that no one gets to tell you what to do?

This is in the context of millions having already given their lives to preserve our individual freedoms, we remember this every November. The sad loss of a few thousand reckless and naive might be regarded as the inevitable price of maintaining that liberty.

> I'm all for the nanny state. We just need a nanny who can a read a book, understand numbers, and makes her decisions based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. Unfortunately, our nanny has fallen asleep in a pool of her own piss and is just belching out random noises while she shits herself.

Sorry, I'm a fifty year old bloke. I don't want a Nanny. I want the freedom to make foolish choices that don't directly impact others, whether that be spunking £500 on an Arc'teryx jacket or just nipping to the shops without a seatbelt.

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 jkarran 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

> As per the title, does law-breaking worry you? (Obviously this is a strictly hypothetical and general question). 

Depends on the law and the context, some yes, some no.

jk

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 jkarran 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Albert Tatlock:

> Please answer the actual question which was who decides what’s a good law and what’s a bad law? Also I don’t consume illegal drugs. I don’t use illegal drugs as I witness on a daily basis the effects of their use and associated mental health issues.

Individuals do. If enough agree to form a powerful and persuasive enough lobby then the opinion of a broader social grouping shifts leaving the law out of step with social norms and expectations, ripe for reform.

Laws aren't immutable and inherently moral, nor is social conformity.

jk

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> I've got several biker mates who still would prefer the option to nip to the shops sans helmet on a Sunny August day, they're of the firm belief that this would add to the enjoyment of their motorcycling. Think if ropes became mandatory for any vertical ascent above 3 metres. 

What would the benefit of ropes being mandatory for any vertical ascent above 3 metres be? Would it outweigh the cost of loss of enjoyment? No.

What has the benefit been of mandatory helmets? Has it outweighed the cost of loss of enjoyment? I don't know for sure but it seems pretty obviously yes. 

> I should have been clearer. Personal choice that has no direct impact on others. 

No such thing. Biker smashes head in, we all have to pick up the pieces. Do you like scraping up roadkill, or would you rather not? We live in a society, we're not just individuals, no matter what Thatcher might have taught you.

> This is in the context of millions having already given their lives to preserve our individual freedoms, we remember this every November. The sad loss of a few thousand reckless and naive might be regarded as the inevitable price of maintaining that liberty.

I don't understand the argument, sorry. Firstly it's ridiculous to suggest that if someone kills themselves wrecklessly no one else is affected - the impact is on parents, children, husbands, friends. And how are democratic nanny state policies that are based an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence any kind of betrayal of anything. None of that makes sense.

> Sorry, I'm a fifty year old bloke. I don't want a Nanny. I want the freedom to make foolish choices that don't directly impact others, whether that be spunking £500 on an Arc'teryx jacket or just nipping to the shops without a seatbelt.

Well if you can't see the balance of costs and benefits to the law on seatbelts and think that your right not to wear one is worth the cost, you're plainly monumentally selfish. 

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I should have been clearer. Personal choice that has no direct impact on others.

This is the absolute crux of the issue, and indeed should be at the forefront of any liberals mind. Does this action/ choice/ lifestyle/ affiliation affect anyone other than the individual(s) involved.  It not, get your beak out of their business.

Drugs- if you're just taking drugs, you should be able to buy them legally and get as f*cked up as you want.  The moment you endanger anyone else (drug driving, stealing to fund the habit etc) the law should intervene.

Abortion - only two people should have any input in the decision, and one of those probably has a greater wieght to their opinion.  the law should only intervene in deciding when a third person becomes 'active' in the scenario (the foetus).

Helmets - you're only going to kill yourself, so why not?

sexuality/ sexual preferences - you should be able to shag/ love/ nipple clamp/ slap around any other (willing) party you so desire. the law should only intervene to protect those who cannot consent (thinking of BDSM being 'illegal' here).

etc etc.

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In reply to La benya:

> Helmets - you're only going to kill yourself, so why not?

Because of the impact on other people! As a driver, you're involved in an accident with a biker, they end up dead in part because they weren't wearing a helmet, and you've got to live with the consequences of their choice.

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What would the benefit of ropes being mandatory for any vertical ascent above 3 metres be? Would it outweigh the cost of loss of enjoyment? No.

So you want to outlaw soloing?

> What has the benefit been of mandatory helmets? Has it outweighed the cost of loss of enjoyment? I don't know for sure but it seems pretty obviously yes.

Unless you've ridden a motorcycle on the open road without a helmet your opinion on this is as valid as that of the teetotal, non drug takers opinion on the enjoyment to be found in getting wasted.

> No such thing. Biker smashes head in, we all have to pick up the pieces. Do you like scraping up roadkill, or would you rather not? We live in a society, we're not just individuals, no matter what Thatcher might have taught you.

Biker has a serious crash and we're all still picking up the pieces, helmet or not. It isn't a case of either or as the impact is still felt by wider society. The major difference is the impact on the individual motorcyclists risk of death.

> I don't understand the argument, sorry. Firstly it's ridiculous to suggest that if someone kills themselves wrecklessly no one else is affected - the impact is on parents, children, husbands, friends. And how are democratic nanny state policies that are based an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence any kind of betrayal of anything. None of that makes sense.

> Well if you can't see the balance of costs and benefits to the law on seatbelts and think that your right not to wear one is worth the cost, you're plainly monumentally selfish. 

If it's monumentally selfish to make individual choices that have any impact on others then you'd better strap on your jackboots and get your red pen out:

Alcohol contributes to thousands of rapes, assaults, fatal RTCs and senseless murders...let's ban it.

Excess speed kills thousands...let's ban vehicles that can go faster than 70.

Jetting off on holiday is having a huge negative impact on an environment in meltdown... let's ban it.

Eating meat is a selfish waste of resources in a world with millions dying of hunger...let's ban it.

...you see how this stuff works Jon?. You personally may see not wearing a crash helmet as monumentally selfish. Personally I'd see someone jetting off for 2 weeks in Cancun as even more selfish. Perhaps best left to personal choice rather than the law.

Post edited at 12:29
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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Because of the impact on other people! As a driver, you're involved in an accident with a biker, they end up dead in part because they weren't wearing a helmet, and you've got to live with the consequences of their choice.

and somebody who wanders into the path of an oncoming car because they're tripping and their concept of time/distance/speed is non existent, that's OK is it?

Sorry, your definition of where personal liberty should start and end seems wholly predicated on whether you personally enjoy whatever is being legislated against.

Post edited at 12:28
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In reply to Stichtplate:

> So you want to outlaw soloing?

Eh? The last word in the sentences was "no". Read again.

> Unless you've ridden a motorcycle on the open road without a helmet your opinion on this is as valid as that of the teetotal, non drug takers opinion on the enjoyment to be found in getting wasted.

No. We're talking about deaths versus enjoyment. I refuse to believe that the enjoyment differential in riding with/without a helmet is worth the deaths. The activities I promote have a positive benefit-harm ratio. If you can convince me that's the case with not wearing a helmet, I'll change my mind, but it's patently a ludicrous suggestion.

> ...you see how this stuff works Jon?. You personally may see not wearing a crash helmet as monumentally selfish. Personally I'd see someone jetting off for 2 weeks in Cancun as even more selfish. Perhaps best left to personal choice rather than the law.

Perhaps a better idea would be to have a democracy with the power to make laws that improve society for everyone, and whose laws were based an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence.

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> and somebody who wanders into the path of an oncoming car because they're tripping and their concept of time/distance/speed is non existent, that's OK is it?

Well if there was evidence that showed that was a problem that needed be addressed, then it should be addressed, and that would count against the case for liberalising drug policy. Is there any such evidence? No, there isn't. Sorry.

http://www.ias.org.uk/uploads/pdf/news%20stories/dnutt-lancet-011110.pdf

> Sorry, your definition of where personal liberty should start and end seems wholly predicated on whether you personally enjoy whatever is being legislated against.

No it doesn't. It depends on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence.

Post edited at 12:36
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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Perhaps a better idea would be to have a democracy with the power to make laws that improve society for everyone, and whose laws were based an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence.

Many would argue that that's what we've got but you disagree (me too as it happens). There is no rigorous evidence on the enjoyment an individual might glean from riding a motorbike at 60 without a helmet, but you've firmly made up your mind that this is a bad thing. Personally I'd leave it up to the individual concerned.

I'm far from convinced that swapping current legislative restrictions on personal liberty for "stuff what Jon doesn't like", would end up any less nonsensical, but it would certainly better fit the dictionary definition of tyrannical.

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> Many would argue that that's what we've got but you disagree (me too as it happens). There is no rigorous evidence on the enjoyment an individual might glean from riding a motorbike at 60 without a helmet, but you've firmly made up your mind that this is a bad thing.

No I haven't - I can see why it would be more fun. I just think that the balance of risk and benefit is obviously unfavourable. It strikes me as a perfectly fair balance that since you share the road with others, you should do your bit to prevent people being involved in a fatal accident. The additional fun of not having a helmet on does not, obviously, outweigh the increased risk, which affects others.

> I'm far from convinced that swapping current legislative restrictions on personal liberty for "stuff what Jon doesn't like", would end up any less nonsensical, but it would certainly better fit the dictionary definition of tyrannical.

What on earth are you blathering on about? I haven't suggested a single additional restriction! I'm proposing to keep current restrictions and liberalise drugs! That's net liberalisation. You make no sense.

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No I haven't - I can see why it would be more fun. I just think that the balance of risk and benefit is obviously unfavourable. It strikes me as a perfectly fair balance that since you share the road with others, you should do your bit to prevent people being involved in a fatal accident. The additional fun of not having a helmet on does not, obviously, outweigh the increased risk, which affects others.

I thought you were all for rigorous analysis informing legislation? Your advocacy of legislation in this is predicated purely on baseless opinion. You've never ridden a bike without a helmet but you're quite convinced you're 100% right.

> What on earth are you blathering on about? I haven't suggested a single additional restriction! I'm proposing to keep current restrictions and liberalise drugs! That's net liberalisation. You make no sense.

This was you earlier this morning:

The law tries to encode the moral values of society, but those values change and the law will always be playing catch up. Was homosexuality immoral before it was legal, then moral when the law changed? 

... As you've acknowledged in the bit I've quoted, society's moral values are in a constant state of flux. That's why I believe personal choice should have the final say as long as you're not directly impeding the freedoms of others.

 I'm arguing for personal freedom whether I approve of those freedoms or not. You're arguing that personal freedom should be limited to stuff you approve of.

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> I thought you were all for rigorous analysis informing legislation? Your advocacy of legislation in this is predicated purely on baseless opinion. You've never ridden a bike without a helmet but you're quite convinced you're 100% right.

I'm convinced I'm 100% right because we're not talking about the fun of riding. We're talking about the fun differential between riding with and without a helmet. It's inconceivable and ridiculous that that could be worth the risk of a fatal accident which could ruin a dozen lives in an instant. It's obvious. 

> ... As you've acknowledged in the bit I've quoted, society's moral values are in a constant state of flux. That's why I believe personal choice should have the final say as long as you're not directly impeding the freedoms of others.

And I agree with you, so long as the impact on society has been accounted for. I think you're arguing for ignoring the impact and maintaining personal liberty no matter the cost. Or can you put me straight on where I have misinterpreted you?

>  I'm arguing for personal freedom whether I approve of those freedoms or not. You're arguing that personal freedom should be limited to stuff you approve of.

No. You keep saying I'm arguing for that, and you keeping being wrong, because what I'm arguing for is laws that improve society for everyone, and are based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. I keep repeating it endlessly although it still doesn't seem to have landed.

Post edited at 13:26
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 Oceanrower 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm convinced I'm 100% right because we're not talking about the fun of riding. We're talking about the fun differential between riding with and without a helmet. It's inconceivable and ridiculous that that could be worth the risk of a fatal accident which could ruin a dozen lives in an instant. It's obvious. 

Best make climbing helmets and cycling helmets compulsory then...

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In reply to Oceanrower:

> Best make climbing helmets and cycling helmets compulsory then...

What does the evidence say?

Edit: Did you not feel like a tit clicking dislike just then?

Post edited at 13:32
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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm convinced I'm 100% right because we're not talking about the fun of riding. We're talking about the fun differential between riding with and without a helmet. It's inconceivable and ridiculous that that could be worth the risk of a fatal accident which could ruin a dozen lives in an instant. It's obvious. 

Do you ever lead trad, particularly bold trad?  That is more likely to kill you - vastly more likely - than riding a bicycle without a helmet.  Perhaps best stick to top-rope?

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In reply to Neil Williams:

> Do you ever lead trad, particularly bold trad? 

Yes.

> That is more likely to kill you - vastly more likely - than riding a bicycle without a helmet. 

Can you back that up?

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm convinced I'm 100% right because we're not talking about the fun of riding. We're talking about the fun differential between riding with and without a helmet. It's inconceivable and ridiculous that that could be worth the risk of a fatal accident which could ruin a dozen lives in an instant. It's obvious. 

Anyone who's convinced they're 100% right on something that is entirely subjective needs to give their head a wobble. Personal enjoyment is about as subjective as it gets.

> And I agree with you, so long as the impact on society has been accounted for. I think you're arguing for ignoring the impact and maintaining personal liberty no matter the cost. Or can you put me straight on where I have misinterpreted you?

I try to stay consistent in my moral values (often unsuccessfully, but there you go). The right to kill yourself provides a handy test case for where you stand on personal liberty Vs impact on society.

Suicide has a huge direct impact on those left behind. Not only emotionally but fatally. Lots of good quality studies show that a family member killing themselves massively increases the risk of further suicides within the family and even amongst the wider social group. 

I still support the decriminalisation of suicide that occurred in. 1963.

> No. You keep saying I'm arguing for that, and you keeping being wrong, because what I'm arguing for is laws that improve society for everyone, and are based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. I keep repeating it endlessly although it still doesn't seem to have landed yet.

It hasn't landed because to me your position seems entirely inconsistent and largely predicated on whether you personally regard an activity as fun or not. 

So, bearing in mind the above, what's your stance on suicide?

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Well if there was evidence that showed that was a problem that needed be addressed, then it should be addressed, and that would count against the case for liberalising drug policy. Is there any such evidence? No, there isn't. Sorry.

Peter Green

Syd Barrett

Just a couple of anecdotal examples of the consequences of 'liberalised drug policy', especially with regard to LSD. Neither died, but both suffered significant psychological damage.

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 Oceanrower 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What does the evidence say?

> Edit: Did you not feel like a tit clicking dislike just then?

Err. No. Because I didn't...

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> Anyone who's convinced they're 100% right on something that is entirely subjective needs to give their head a wobble. Personal enjoyment is about as subjective as it gets.

The pleasure someone gets from murdering is not worth the loss of life. I am 100% right about that. Will you dispute it? Why not?

> I still support the decriminalisation of suicide that occurred in. 1963.

But the law couldn't possibly have had any positive impact, so obviously it should have been repealed. 

> It hasn't landed because to me your position seems entirely inconsistent and largely predicated on whether you personally regard an activity as fun or not. 

Show me the inconsistency. 

> So, bearing in mind the above, what's your stance on suicide?

Not something you can influence by legislation. As a moral question I think in some cases it's justified as the least-suffering option, even given the impact on others.

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Can you back that up?

Well, not that many people died riding bicycles in the time before helmets were really a thing.  I do not know of anyone personally who has been killed riding a bicycle, but I do (by extension) know of people who have been killed climbing.  I do know people who have had an accident which caused damage to their helmet which they claimed saved their life, but they can't actually know if it did without recreating the accident without one.

I do wear one, but I think people blow the risk up out of proportion - a bit like COVID, really, in some cases.

Post edited at 13:44
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In reply to Oceanrower:

> Err. No. Because I didn't...

I was talking to whoever did! Disliking evidence?! We're f*cked with these people around, they are actually killing us.

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In reply to Neil Williams:

> Do you ever lead trad, particularly bold trad?  That is more likely to kill you - vastly more likely - than riding a bicycle without a helmet.  Perhaps best stick to top-rope?

Data from Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW) for roped and unroped rock climbing show no fatalities in 2013 and 2012. There was only one in 2011.

You're wrong.

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In reply to captain paranoia:

> Just a couple of anecdotal examples of the consequences of 'liberalised drug policy', especially with regard to LSD. Neither died, but both suffered significant psychological damage.

There were approximately 32 million lifetime psychedelic users in the US in 2010; including 17% of people aged 21 to 64 years (22% of males and 12% of females). Rate of lifetime psychedelic use was greatest among people aged 30 to 34 (total 20%, including 26% of males and 15% of females).  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917651/

Your evidence supports me.


 

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I acknowledge that affect, but disagree that it is significant enough to factor in.  The same could be said of hitting a pedestrian, but we don't demand that they walk the streets in bubble wrap- we don't even demand that they look up from their phones while crossing! (recent case law shows that the onus is still on the road user to ensure safety of the pedestrian when they step out into the carriage way without looking while on their phone).

You shouldn't be able to pick and choose which liberalisms you like. Either you're liberal or you're not.  Magic mushrooms and all the personal effects= fine.  Not wearing a helmet.=NO way man!  Its a silly position.

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The pleasure someone gets from murdering is not worth the loss of life. I am 100% right about that. Will you dispute it? Why not?

Did you miss my repeatedly stating that stuff should be legal as long as it has no direct impact on the freedom of others?

> But the law couldn't possibly have had any positive impact, so obviously it should have been repealed. 

The benefit of the law was in reinforcing church opprobrium with state opprobrium, further reinforcing the wishes of family and society in curtailing the actions of the would be suicide. Look at the stats and 1963 saw a definite uptick in suicide rates, especially amongst women who've always been more law abiding than men. Official figures are of course obfuscated by coroners traditionally being unwilling to record deaths as suicide in all but the most irrefutable cases, preferring to record them as deaths by misadventure.

But you still support the decriminalisation of suicide because you personally agree with the courts in this instance.

> Show me the inconsistency. 

See above.

> Not something you can influence by legislation. As a moral question I think in some cases it's justified as the least-suffering option, even given the impact on others.

But it was influenced by legislation. What was that you were saying about basing legislation on a rigorous examination of the facts?

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In reply to La benya:

> I acknowledge that affect, but disagree that it is significant enough to factor in.  The same could be said of hitting a pedestrian, but we don't demand that they walk the streets in bubble wrap

Would the benefits outweigh the costs? No. 

> You shouldn't be able to pick and choose which liberalisms you like. Either you're liberal or you're not.  Magic mushrooms and all the personal effects= fine.  Not wearing a helmet.=NO way man!  Its a silly position.

No. My position is entirely consistent: I'm arguing for is laws that improve society for everyone, and are based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. If you can show me that the harm of magic mushrooms is equivalent to the harm of motorcyclists not wearing helmets, I'll agree with you.

Show me the data.

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Did you miss my repeatedly stating that stuff should be legal as long as it has no direct impact on the freedom of others?

He didn't, but his mind is made up.  No point arguing with a closed mind.... which is odd for someone to claim being a liberal!

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Would the benefits outweigh the costs? No. 

Saving however many lives wouldn't be worth it? You monster!

Saving a few tens of people each year the emotional hurt or having killed a motorcyclist vs saving hundreds of pedestrians at the cost of mind inconvenience of wearing bubble wrap. your position is ridiculous. 

> No. My position is entirely consistent: I'm arguing for is laws that improve society for everyone, and are based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. If you can show me that the harm of magic mushrooms is equivalent to the harm of motorcyclists not wearing helmets, I'll agree with you.

> Show me the data.

A previous post of yours clearly stated that your mind was made up. based on what?  a feeling that the trauma caused by killing non-helmet wearers outweighs the additional enjoyment.  I don't think you could pick two more subjective things to try to quantify. Why bother with data?

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> Did you miss my repeatedly stating that stuff should be legal as long as it has no direct impact on the freedom of others?

Did you miss me repeatedly giving the reason for motorcycle helmets being the impact on others, not the the rider?

> But you still support the decriminalisation of suicide because you personally agree with the courts in this instance.

> But it was influenced by legislation. What was that you were saying about basing legislation on a rigorous examination of the facts?

Am I taking your word for it that there was a clear causal connection? Can't see one here:

https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/39/6/1464/736597

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Would the benefits outweigh the costs? No. 

Debatable.

> No. My position is entirely consistent: I'm arguing for is laws that improve society for everyone, and are based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence. If you can show me that the harm of magic mushrooms is equivalent to the harm of motorcyclists not wearing helmets, I'll agree with you.

> Show me the data.

How about this for data: mandatory helmet laws limit peoples freedom to choose (inarguable), they also limit the supply of donor organ to those who desperately choose to live (inarguable). There are positives and negatives associated with the freedom to choose whether or not you wear a helmet (inarguable).

But you insist that you're 100% right and there is no argument.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/661256?seq=1

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In reply to La benya:

> your position is ridiculous

Your argument is ridiculous because there is no such thing as an anti-car bubble wrap suit that saves road deaths. It's made of thin air.

> A previous post of yours clearly stated that your mind was made up. based on what?  a feeling that the trauma caused by killing non-helmet wearers outweighs the additional enjoyment.  I don't think you could pick two more subjective things to try to quantify. Why bother with data?

Well we live in a society that spends resources based on "Quality Adjusted Life Years" so perhaps you don't understand why we should, and do, bother with data.

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 Oceanrower 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Your argument is ridiculous because there is no such thing as an anti-car bubble wrap suit that saves road deaths. It's made of thin air.

Granted this one is for cyclists but I'm sure it could be adapted...

https://m.pinkbike.com/news/protective-airbag-vest-for-cyclists-shown-at-ces-2019.html?trk=rss

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> How about this for data: mandatory helmet laws limit peoples freedom to choose (inarguable), they also limit the supply of donor organ to those who desperately choose to live (inarguable). 

> But you insist that you're 100% right and there is no argument.

I can't see the article but that is a genuinely good argument, and it's about costs and benefits not some vacuous libertarian principle - I like it!

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In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Your evidence supports me.

Your evidence did not address, at all, the numbers of people psychologically damaged by those psychoactive drugs.

The evidence is unclear.

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In reply to Oceanrower:

> Granted this one is for cyclists but I'm sure it could be adapted...

If someone could put together the evidence that the cost was minimal and the benefit great, then they might have a case for them. Given how much time we spend as pedestrians and the likelihood of being killed, I doubt it would stack up, but I could be proven wrong.

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Your argument is ridiculous because there is no such thing as an anti-car bubble wrap suit that saves road deaths. It's made of thin air.

Have a google for 'Avalanche airbag'.  The tech is out there...

Why aren't you supporting it.  You should be campaigning for us all to be required to have one! we now have a ridiculous situation where i'm providing answers to a question that I don't want answered!

> Well we live in a society that spends resources based on "Quality Adjusted Life Years" so perhaps you don't understand why we should, and do, bother with data.

... but you aren't using data. You've picked two subjective things and claiming data supports something which would be impossible to quantify.

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In reply to captain paranoia:

> The evidence is unclear.

The evidence is extremely clear that with the right dose, set and setting, the use of psychedelicis is harmless. A handful of cases of over-use or accident do nothing to outweigh that.

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You're so entrenched in your silly argument that you've seriously come to the conclusion that peds should be required to wear an airbag.... well done sir.  You've gone full MAGA.

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In reply to La benya:

> Why aren't you supporting it.

Because I don't believe in reducing risks as much as possible, I believe in making laws that improve society for everyone, and are based on an accurate assessment of harm and benefits backed up by rigorous impartial evidence.

There's no evidence that the balance would be favourable, so I've no reason to support it. My intuition is that the balance wouldn't support "ped airbags" by a long way...

> ... but you aren't using data. You've picked two subjective things and claiming data supports something which would be impossible to quantify.

OK, there's no data on the "helmet fun differential" (band/route name?), you're right. I just find the idea that it could outweigh the costs of death implausible. I am taking on trust that motorcycle helmets were made mandatory after an investigation into the lives it could save.

Post edited at 14:36
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In reply to La benya:

> You're so entrenched in your silly argument that you've seriously come to the conclusion that peds should be required to wear an airbag.... well done sir.  You've gone full MAGA.

What? When did I agree to the airbags? I said the opposite! Read again!

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 Trangia 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But the law couldn't possibly have had any positive impact, so obviously it should have been repealed. 

That's a very interesting point. Is it possible that it might have deterred anyone from taking their own life? Someone with a strong moral belief might have been deterred, or maybe there were legal implications concerning their Will? I don't know, but it did seem strange to have a law where the person breaking it could in no way be prosecuted or held to account.

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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

OK, glad we got you there eventually.

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Did you miss me repeatedly giving the reason for motorcycle helmets being the impact on others, not the the rider?

Nope, but lots of things have a negative impact on others. My mother hated that I used to like the odd spliff. My kids hate certain sartorial choices I make that cause them intense embarrassment. My Mrs dislikes my going on solo winter ventures into the mountains. Ayrshire Runner (remember him?) was intensely discomforted by the thought of two men snogging. 

All these people have been negatively impacted by others employing their freedom to choose. To all of them I say "Tough Titty".

> > But you still support the decriminalisation of suicide because you personally agree with the courts in this instance.

> Am I taking your word for it that there was a clear causal connection? Can't see one here:

How about here?

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10947687_Decriminalization_of_suicide_in_seven_nations_and_suicide_rates

Post edited at 14:41
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 La benya 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Trangia:

if you're contemplating the legal ramifications of your suicide... you're not really suicidal are you?

Edit- was thinking for of the mental health type suicide.  End of life, time to go type suicide you clearly would be thinking of that!  Assisted suicide is, in my opinion, one of the very first laws which should be reviewed in the light of personal freedoms.  if you assume that it is a legit personal choice at the correct moment for the individual, I cannot see how there is ANY auxiliary suffering/ effects to take into consideration which mean a law is necessary to prevent them.

The law was there (beyond the deterrent as you say), so that if you tried and failed then you could be held securely afterwards, to stop you doing it again.

Our mental health laws do the same thing.

Post edited at 14:50
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In reply to Stichtplate:

> Nope, but lots of things have a negative impact on others.

And where they're particularly severe, there may be a case for using legislation to mitigate them, e.g. speed limits.

> How about here?

Causality?

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> And where they're particularly severe, there may be a case for using legislation to mitigate them, e.g. speed limits.

Oh come on, you do 120mph down the M6 your potential physical impact on other motorists is indisputable. You do 70mph down the M6 without a helmet you're not further physically endangering other motorists. 

The enhanced potential impact is purely emotional, as is the case in the examples in my previous post.

Post edited at 14:56
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In reply to Stichtplate:

> Oh come on, you do 120mph down the M6 your potential physical impact on other motorists is indisputable. You do 70mph down the M6 without a helmet you're not further physically endangering other motorists. 

So the case for speed limits is stronger than the case for motorcycle helmets. But it's a trade-off between liberty and reducing bad things like death, right?

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> So the case for speed limits is stronger than the case for motorcycle helmets. But it's a trade-off between liberty and reducing bad things like death, right?

One hugely increases the chance of killing other road users, the other only increases the chance of the individual concerned dying. Big, Big difference.

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In reply to Stichtplate:

> One hugely increases the chance of killing other road users, the other only increases the chance of the individual concerned dying. Big, Big difference.

But personal liberty isn't sufficiently important to override the effect on others, but it is for seat belts and helmets, because the effect on others is a bit less direct and dramatic? What criteria are at play when deciding when to curtail individual liberty? 

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 Timmd 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Nope, but lots of things have a negative impact on others. My mother hated that I used to like the odd spliff. My kids hate certain sartorial choices I make that cause them intense embarrassment. My Mrs dislikes my going on solo winter ventures into the mountains. Ayrshire Runner (remember him?) was intensely discomforted by the thought of two men snogging. 

> All these people have been negatively impacted by others employing their freedom to choose. To all of them I say "Tough Titty".

I guess there is the potential for harm to yourself in the joint smoking, and the winter ventures, which may impact on others but with the clothing and the two men snogging, they're both inherently harmless to everybody. 

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> But personal liberty isn't sufficiently important to override the effect on others, but it is for seat belts and helmets, because the effect on others is a bit less direct and dramatic? What criteria are at play when deciding when to curtail individual liberty? 

It's a difficult one. Physical impacts of your actions are direct, objective and hard for the victim to mitigate. Emotional impacts are indirect, subjective and easier to mitigate. That's where I draw my own personal line.

I'm now off out for a cycle down the trans pennine trail with the kids. I'll be making the kids wear helmets, while I will not. When challenged on this I've pointed out that I'm responsible for them but they aren't responsible for me... I've also pointed out that I haven't fallen off my bike in over 30 years while they can't seem to stay upright for more than a couple of weeks without attempting to chuck themselves into a ditch. Logic and statistical analysis... I hope you approve 

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 Timmd 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate: Another perspective might be that because you're responsible for them as a parent, wearing a helmet could be a responsible thing to do? 

I've fallen off my bike enough times to get fed up with it, though, and you probably won't be going fast if you're with your children.

Post edited at 16:05
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 Snozzwanger 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Not often i agree with you Jon, but reading this thread and your comments within i find myself nodding along. Shame i am not as articulate or i would join in.

Re: K-hole, i once inadvertently found myself deep in one of these after i thought it was something else, took a little too much and got taken home to stare at my bedroom ceiling for the rest of the evening. YOLO.

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 ThunderCat 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm now off out for a cycle down the trans pennine trail with the kids. I'll be making the kids wear helmets, while I will not. When challenged on this I've pointed out that I'm responsible for them but they aren't responsible for me... I've also pointed out that I haven't fallen off my bike in over 30 years while they can't seem to stay upright for more than a couple of weeks without attempting to chuck themselves into a ditch. Logic and statistical analysis... I hope you approve 

Whenever I mention going out for a ride, my 3 year old grand daughter reminds me that I have to wear a helmet.  I always do anyway, but I wouldn't dare disobey.  Mind you I manage to fall off at least once a year, so she's probably worth listening to.

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 wercat 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

I think any lawbreaking equivalent to Openreach's breach of EMC regulations and used in opposition to them if equivalent would be fair enough, as a long term sufferer of their failing to implement controls which BT requested of the EU VDSL standards and which the EU granted the UK and other members as a result.

Post edited at 16:34
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 Timmd 03 Aug 2020
In reply to ThunderCat: It's an interesting one, people can die from hitting their heads just from falling over, so it makes sense to wear one when cycling, and some people who don't like to wear one can come back with 'So why not wear one when walking about, then?'. I always wear one because it once likely saved my life (I headbutted a dry stone wall after falling off at nearly 30mph, was noticeably concussed for 2 weeks and 'a bit dumb feeling' for most of the third). Without wanting to experiment, I'd always wondered what falling off while going that fast was like, it's pretty hectic it turns out. 

Post edited at 16:50
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 wintertree 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> people can die from hitting their heads just from falling over, so it makes sense to wear one when cycling,

Statistically it makes more sense to wear a helmet for a night out drinking than for cycling, but oddly it never gets any traction when I suggest it...

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 ThunderCat 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Timmd:

In terms of the helmet, I just want to set a good example for my grand daughter (although the idea of setting a good example was laughed at as being nannyish on another subject thread).  

But my lack of coordination and general clumsiness means I should probably wear one whilst walking, to be honest.

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 ThunderCat 03 Aug 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > people can die from hitting their heads just from falling over, so it makes sense to wear one when cycling,

> Statistically it makes more sense to wear a helmet for a night out drinking than for cycling, but oddly it never gets any traction when I suggest it...

Glue a couple of cans of special brew and a large drinking straw to it and opinions might change...

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 Timmd 03 Aug 2020
In reply to wintertree: I reckon it would do, but I'm thinking there's a spectrum of risk depending on how drunk a person is, and their environment, and who they are with. I occasionally go out drinking, but taking pills for depression (and managing the condition) means a lot for me isn't much for other people  (it's about 2 large G&Ts). Like there's a spectrum of risk for cycling I dare say too. Things along the line of 'He fell and died after hitting his head on the curb' always have me thinking about the forces when cycling, which is probably also why I wear a lid. 

Post edited at 16:50
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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> I reckon it would do, but I'm thinking there's a spectrum of risk depending on how drunk a person is, and their environment, and who they are with. I occasionally go out drinking, but taking pills for depression (and managing the condition) means a lot for me isn't much for other people  (it's about 2 large G&Ts). Like there's a spectrum of risk for cycling I dare say too. Things along the line of 'He fell and died after hitting his head on the curb' always have me thinking about the forces when cycling, which is probably also why I wear a lid. 

This is the case, there’s a spectrum of risk. All things being equal, you wouldn’t rope up just because you’re in a mountain and close to a steep drop. Likewise, I didn’t feel the need for a lid while cycling below 10mph on a trail closed to motor traffic. Cycling on a normal road, I’d always wear a lid. At night, in the rain, on a busy A road..,I’d rather dismount and push the damn thing along the pavement.

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 Snozzwanger 03 Aug 2020
In reply to wercat:

Absolutely. 

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 Billhook 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Dom Connaway:

I too  think in most circumstances it is not acceptable to break the law.

But what I find so disturbing are the apparently large number of dislikes given for perfectly reasonable posters who support the rule of law.

Profitofdoom's reasoning for not breaking the law is sound - otherwise we may as well forget the rule of law, democracy and justice.

 

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 wintertree 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Billhook:

> Profitofdoom's reasoning for not breaking the law is sound - otherwise we may as well forget the rule of law, democracy and justice...

... and go and work for Dominic Cummings?

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 Stichtplate 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Billhook:

> I too  think in most circumstances it is not acceptable to break the law.

So do I, in most circumstances. The English legal system recognises this too, allowing for the defence of necessity.

> But what I find so disturbing are the apparently large number of dislikes given for perfectly reasonable posters who support the rule of law.

I find it quite heartening rather than disturbing. A healthy minority of natural dissenters provides a ready made resistance against the kind of madness that sees nice law abiding citizens herding their fellow countrymen into death camps. 

Edit: and anonymous dislikers are exactly the sorts of people that would be secretly informing on their neighbours

Post edited at 20:25
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 LeeWood 03 Aug 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Depends.  Do you have a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card from the Prime Minister and a converted swimming pool to lay low in whilst the heat is on?

You touch on a sensitive issue here. The answer to the OP's question depends on how well-healed  the law-breaker is. Wealth permits crimes of far greater magnitude. But worse than that - it permits crime *without* breaking law!  

Many of the examples discussed thus far relate to a class of crime which is trivial by comparison to the ills done by those (individual or corporate) who - in *keeping* the law wreak ruin and misery on the millions. 

Which all agrees with the popularly agreed need to exercise moral judgment. 

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 Billhook 03 Aug 2020
In reply to wintertree:

But if someone or some people  break the law doe not mean its OK for other people to do the same.

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 wintertree 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Billhook:

> But if someone or some people  break the law doe not mean its OK for other people to do the same.

You appear to be reading things in to my post that I didn’t say.

As it stands, I imagine the number of adults in the UK who have never broken a law is vanishingly small.  There are so many laws, most of us know only imperfect summaries of a few of them; we’re all going to break some here or there without ever meaning to and without anyone knowing.  We have laws spanning almost 800 years on the books in the UK.

I bet a few posters have - with suitable caution - inched forwards on a red traffic light to let a blue light ambulance through from behind.  Illegal!  Chocolate bar wrapper fallen from a pocket unnoticed onto the public street?  Illegal.  Driven 280 miles during a pandemic to stay in your second home built without planning permission and on which you’ve never paid council tax?  Illegal.  Happens to us all...

Edit: Wow, the dislikes are strong on this thread.  Try not to read things in to my post I haven’t said... There should be a law against it!

Post edited at 22:09
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In reply to wintertree:.

> I bet a few posters have - with suitable caution - inched forwards on a red traffic light to let a blue light ambulance through from behind.  Illegal!  Chocolate bar wrapper fallen from a pocket unnoticed onto the public street?  Illegal.  Driven 280 miles during a pandemic to stay in your second home built without planning permission and on which you’ve never paid council tax?  Illegal.  Happens to us all...

That's quite a lot of cherry picking there and I assume for political reasons.
How about adding 'Driving While Using a Mobile' into the mix.  It's almost guaranteed that users on this site have done so and that is definitely illegal and almost certain to be more dangerous than what Cumming's did.
 

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 wintertree 03 Aug 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

You also appear to be assuming I am defending deliberate law breaking.

I’m not.

I picked examples where people either wouldn’t be aware of something happening that was illegal (accidental litter), or wouldn’t realise something that they did was illegal (jumping a red for an ambulance), to make the case that most people will have broken a law without ever intending to or without realising it.

Your mobile phone example: I’d like to think anyone who uses a mobile whilst driving knows that they are breaking the law.  I was not making the point that many people knowingly break the law, I was making the point that many people do so unknowingly.  So no it’s not cherry picking to omit driving whilst using a mobile.  That’s not the point I was trying to make unless it’s further qualified to “driving whilst holding a mobile phone and not realising that’s illegal”.  But surely that’s very few people.

Cummings apparently didn’t consider himself to be doing anything wrong, hence it’s inclusion.  I am jumping the gun as the valuation office hasn’t reached a determination on the council tax yet, and Durham police continue to ignore the inconvenient fact they didn’t research about it being a second home not his dad’s...

Throwing my utter contempt for cummings - which is in no way political unless you count a deep distaste for lying deceitful people who consider themselves above the population, to be “political” - does seem to have thrown from the point about most people likely having broken laws without knowing it.  

Post edited at 22:51
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 wercat 04 Aug 2020
In reply to Billhook:

I stole a much needed shower at the Glenbrittle Campsite once - the state I was in I thought I was doing a public service as I was much less sweaty afterwards

I told this to a GP during a consultation and he he admitted breaking into a cottage to sleep during a storm. 

Perhaps he'd read too much of famed British climbers in Chamonix

Post edited at 10:14
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In reply to Dom Connaway:

> As per the title, does law-breaking worry you? (Obviously this is a strictly hypothetical and general question). 

That's a two part question:

a. does it worry me morally and

b. does the chance of punishment deter me.

And part a splits as well:

a.1 Does it worry me morally because I believe the law itself to be a good one and

a.2 Does it worry me morally but only because there is an overall societal good in respecting law

a.3 Is there a moral good in breaking this law because it is an intrinsically bad law and widespread disrespect for it might make it impractical to enforce and eventually get it repealed

So the pragmatic answer is yes it worries me unless it is a really shitty law and I have enough to gain from breaking it to outweigh the risk of getting caught.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> So the pragmatic answer is yes it worries me unless it is a really shitty law and I have enough to gain from breaking it to outweigh the risk of getting caught.

I think it may be justified to break a law on principle - as long as you are prepared to take the consequences to make the point. 

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In reply to Snozzwanger:

> Not often i agree with you Jon, but reading this thread and your comments within i find myself nodding along.

I'm not sure everyone's on the same page here. I support the law on motorcycle helmets because it's intuitively sensible (minimal restriction on freedom vs. significant benefit to society) - and when I look into it the evidence backs up my intuition:

https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/mc

I think there's some confusion about bicycles - I haven't commented on use of helmets and maybe people think I'm proposing that we should have legislation about that when I'm not. The difference with motorbikes is that the risk is radically increased (absolute numbers of serious accidents and fatalities is higher, with only a fraction of the number of people doing it).

The question is: is the restriction on freedom worth the benefits? In the case of motorcycles I agree with the law because I just don't believe that wearing a helmet is the kind of restriction you can legitimately get pissy about, in view of the benefits. It's not like climbing, because in climbing you're not sharing that route with others who could be involved in your fatal accident - and those going to the crag who could potentially witness it have deliberately sought out that adventurous environment - they're not just going to work or off to see their nan.

Secondly, I think a lot of people are under the impression that using psychedelic drugs is risky - that there's significant, rather than negligible risks of coming to some harm. That's just plain wrong. Not having a nice time is not a risk we need to mitigate. The research has been done, the results are in.

Psychedelics are essentially harmless - certainly much less risky than peanuts.

http://www.psilosophy.info/resources/Psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-problems-or-suicidal-behavior.pdf

https://michaelpollan.com/psychedelics-risk-today/

So, the reason I specifically advocate the liberty to take magic mushrooms is because it's a liberty that's restricted in a completely unfair way with no benefit to anyone and not because I happen to like one thing and not the other. It's perfectly consistent, if you get your facts straight.

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In reply to Dave Garnett:

> I think it may be justified to break a law on principle - as long as you are prepared to take the consequences to make the point. 

Why should you be prepared to take the consequences?  If it is a bad law and you are justified in breaking it then why aren't you also justified in trying to avoid the consequences.

Take the ultimate example:

If the government passed a law saying your ethnic group had to report to be sent to a camp and if you didn't report you'd be shot. 

You'd be completely justified in breaking that law and trying not to get caught.

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In reply to Dom Connaway:

Plot twist he’s a cop 

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