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Human Rights - Personal Freedom
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29 / F / singapore
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Posted 4/11/07
i think freedom comes with a conscience.

i remember an arguement that my teacher once told me.

someone was giving a lecture on how laws are formed (i think, i'm a bit vague about the details) and at the end of the session a guy stood up and asked that if we all to have the right to freedom then what would be the point of laws. and the guy said, i were to butcher a new born baby right now in front of you, then what would happen. the guy said, i may not like it, but i have no right to stop you.

i guess that in essence is where freedom would lead us, and where legalising stuff like drugs and suicide would do.

it's like how people sue Macdonald's for making them fat. the consumer has the freedom of choice...and they should know the consequences. are we going to sue hospitals for selling us the drugs to abuse??

i agree with Actraiser...i guess we all have our own beliefs...for these kind of things.
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24 / M / San Diego
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Posted 4/11/07
I think about think about this subject a lot. I totally agree with you ahojcookie :D. I think people should have the right to do anything to their bodies as long as they are not hurting anyone else.

As actraiser said, there are laws in place to protect people. But there are other laws that have been passed because of corruption.

Marijuana, the most common drug... have you ever heard of anyone dieing from marijuana use? I haven't... There is a lot more to it than just protecting citizens. There's been a lot of evidence showing that there was a lot of corruption involved in the illegalization of marijuana and other drugs.

And does the government really have to protect us from the "evils" of drugs? People are not that dumb, everyone in the U.S. is aware that drugs have negative effects. If somebody chooses to take them, they know the consequences, they don't need to be protected. If they choose to take it, they shouldn't have to be stopped unless they are hurting someone else.
Posted 4/12/07

El_Fuego wrote:

And does the government really have to protect us from the \"evils\" of drugs? People are not that dumb, everyone in the U.S. is aware that drugs have negative effects. If somebody chooses to take them, they know the consequences, they don\'t need to be protected. If they choose to take it, they shouldn\'t have to be stopped unless they are hurting someone else.


I completely disagree with you there. People are just that dumb, thats why there are so many problems. A lot of people dont know the full consequences of taking drugs, im not an expert, but i seriously doubt drug dealers are handing out health warnings along with their products.
Posted 4/12/07
Universal Declaration of Human Rights [Adopted and proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948]
http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

Not quite the \"Freedom to unfold your personality\" however it is similar. The rest of the declaration (which is in no way legally binding) indicates that we should have the freedom to do whatever we want as long as we don\'t infringe upon any other persons rights, as laid out in the declaration. To cut a long story short those rights are;

Equal Treatment
\"Life, Liberty and Security of Person\"
Freedom (from slavery or undue captivity)
No Torture
\"Recognition before the Law\"
Fair Trial
Remaining Innocent until proven Guilty
Freedom from \"arbitrary interference\" with personal matters
Freedom of movement within your native state
The right to a passport
The right to leave your native state
The right to seek asylum
The right to a nationality
The right to change nationality
The right to marry
Equality in marriage
Personal Property
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Freedom of expression
Right to assemble freely
Right to participate in government
Right to social security
Right to work
Right to form Trades Unions
Right to reasonable rest and leisure
Adequate living standards
Right to education
Right to Cultural Participation

There is nothing stated concerning the \"right to die\" or the \"right to consume harmful drugs\". I would claim that both these rights are implicit in the declaration, and therefore \"should\" be upheld, if we uphold the declaration.

I consider that legalizing drugs is likely to create a culture in which it is more acceptable to \"try\" drugs. This may lead to wider use, though of course use could be more effectively monitored, and the drugs\' \"safety\" could be ensured (reduction in cocktail drugs etc.) Additionally, as Trivium sort of implied, it is a good idea to have warnings about drugs as an integral part of their dealing. Legalising them would mean that warnings (like on cigarettes) could be put on drugs warning users of the health risks involved.

Also it would make it more socially acceptable for drug addicts to present themselves for treatment, it currently being illegal addicts are more likely to be wary of the authorities, and thus the health-care profession.

Freedom of choice must be balanced by freedom of information (and the right not to be misinformed). Therefore any substances should come with warnings (though not to the stupid extent of eg. on a bottle of water \"may cause drowning\"). Any harmful effects which are not implicitly obvious in the visual characteristics of the substance should be taken into account.

I am not sure personally whether I would legalise drugs... Though I most definitely would legalise euthanasia, as long as consent from the person is provided in one form or another (not through proxy unless specified originally by the patient). This includes active and passive euthanasia... I would also have to ensure that the person\'s mental health (if they are consiously aware and active) was ensured before the consent was given... Maybe consent signed by the person, a psychiatrist, a close reliative and 2 witnesses which would detail the conditions in which the person could be subject to euthanasia.
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Posted 4/12/07
^Thanks for looking that up, I'm going to have to edit my first post again
I agree with you on the drug legalisation.


Actraiser wrote:

"Freedom without limitations is just a word"

This sums it all up really. Freedom is one thing, but without any limits, your looking at anarchy. Laws are in place to protect people. The subject of assited suicide is under constant moral and philisophical debate. I personnaly won't touch it with a 10 foot pole - it only leads to endless arguement.

The subject of drugs is also one under constant debate - but I can not see any reason to leagalize them except for medicinal purposes in certain cases. They hurt not only the person taking them, but those people around said individual also. This is all I will say on the subject though - it is not something you can tackle with a persuasive essay to convince or even really inform. People already have in their own mind what they believe and usually will not be swayed by any external influence short of experience.

-My 2 cents-


This is not about freedom without limitations. So the anarchy remark and the little anecdote with the butchered baby are way off topic.I don't know if you've read the first post, but I'll say it again: this is concerning personal freedom ( personal freedom to an extent that does not interfere with other's personal freedom ). Shouldn't it include full responsibility for one's life/death/health as it's the core of you, your actual life. Your obviously not allowed to harm yourself, that's what I'm getting at, not being obviously not allowed to hurt others...

Of course others get hurt by someone comitting suicide/ abusing drugs too,but the more responsibility people take on themselves the more likely it will hurt. This argument is too emotional and it's not answering the question, isn't it a rational conclusion that personal freedom grants the choice of living or dying.Why do people gladly hand responsibilities to authorities? Because it's a burden, okay, but laws to protect you from yourself ?!
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28 / M
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Posted 5/31/08

ahojcookie wrote:

^Thanks for looking that up, I'm going to have to edit my first post again
I agree with you on the drug legalisation.


Actraiser wrote:

"Freedom without limitations is just a word"

This sums it all up really. Freedom is one thing, but without any limits, your looking at anarchy. Laws are in place to protect people. The subject of assited suicide is under constant moral and philisophical debate. I personnaly won't touch it with a 10 foot pole - it only leads to endless arguement.

The subject of drugs is also one under constant debate - but I can not see any reason to leagalize them except for medicinal purposes in certain cases. They hurt not only the person taking them, but those people around said individual also. This is all I will say on the subject though - it is not something you can tackle with a persuasive essay to convince or even really inform. People already have in their own mind what they believe and usually will not be swayed by any external influence short of experience.

-My 2 cents-


This is not about freedom without limitations. So the anarchy remark and the little anecdote with the butchered baby are way off topic.I don't know if you've read the first post, but I'll say it again: this is concerning personal freedom ( personal freedom to an extent that does not interfere with other's personal freedom ). Shouldn't it include full responsibility for one's life/death/health as it's the core of you, your actual life. Your obviously not allowed to harm yourself, that's what I'm getting at, not being obviously not allowed to hurt others...

Of course others get hurt by someone comitting suicide/ abusing drugs too,but the more responsibility people take on themselves the more likely it will hurt. This argument is too emotional and it's not answering the question, isn't it a rational conclusion that personal freedom grants the choice of living or dying.Why do people gladly hand responsibilities to authorities? Because it's a burden, okay, but laws to protect you from yourself ?!


Probably an ED topic? moved. Tell me if you want it in general.
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Posted 5/31/08
If freedom isn't absolute, then it's limited. Then one needs to ask about the reasons for the limitations. As for drugs, one now knows that one can not fight drug use by long sentences, as it was intended at least in Europe. There is a difference between making drugs legal, and making them part of the overall market by the way. Also there is difference between allowing selling, import, buying and use. Also, what is a drug is determined by a department. Caffeine is theoretically a drug in many countries, although not fought against. There are legal as well as illegal drugs. Drugs are also forced on people, like mental patients.

everworld: a conscience is something you have or don't have, and what you feel bad about happens on your mental terms. Freedom is just freedom. If you are free to do something, no feelings are required of you. Laws are not the only kind of rules, sentences not the only kind of sanctions. The need for rules and sanctions do not validiate laws. I'm not saying laws are invalid, but the reasoning must be different. Some places they have no laws yet rules rulings and processes.

Trivum: they are not that dumb, but don't care.
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29 / M / New York
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Posted 5/31/08
We've lost sight of the origin, purpose, and meaning of our laws. The rules set up long ago to enable an efficient and long-lasting society are now used against people because of social institutions that declare human rights and basic laws as natural and absolute. Perhaps the benefit of such socialization (people who are more likely to follow rules, of course) outweighs the cost (ignorance, primarily), but I'm not sure.

To apply this to your topic, suicide and euthanasia are seen as "wrong" often merely on the basis that murder/death, regardless of consent, is "bad." What do these words mean? Usually, little more than "I don't like that because it conflicts with my upbringing/religion." I fully agree that these shouldn't even be an issue, at least not to the extent that they currently are. We may face some complications with hazy consent and questionable rationality, but, generally speaking, one should have the right to make a decision about whether he lives or dies. It strikes me as one of the greatest offenses to the individual to essentially say to him, "Your life is not your own."

Drugs are not so simple a topic. Some wish to have them legalized for the sake of enjoyment alone, asserting that they will take responsibility for their actions while under the influence of the drugs, though they do not often seem to do so in actuality. Some wish to ban them on the grounds that they are potentially harmful to others, though the same could be same for a number of legal things. Some wish to have them legalized to ease the stigma, citing other countries' success and noting that it is excessive mostly due to a desire for rebellion; however, what worked in one location would not necessarily work in another (certainly not quickly), and rebellion alone does not explain the strong desire for drugs. Some wish to ban them on the grounds that society does not extend its protections and other benefits to those whose rationality is impaired, but then they would have to feel the same way about the mentally challenged in order to be consistent. (Then again, perhaps there is something to that, but I won't make any judgment here.)

Although I would enjoy having the ability to go out and buy marijuana legally if I ever had the desire (I've never used drugs like this myself), I could say the same about other things the access to which I would not want others to have. In that these drugs are a luxury, almost always impair rational judgment in some way (thus violating part 2 of Article 29, in my opinion), and can often cause some sort of harm, I have to say I'm generally against their legalization. We can talk all we want about drug-users having to take responsibility for their actions, but that responsibility is after the tragedy that could've been prevented had the drugs not been around in the first place. Of course, it all gets more complicated when we consider how ineffective our anti-drug systems are, but I don't know if I really have the data on this to come to an informed and rational decision based not on idealism (ban them because they don't belong in our society), but on practicality (no matter what we do, they'll be around, so we have to work with our circumstances).
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29 / M / New York
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Posted 5/31/08

everworld_gal wrote:

i think freedom comes with a conscience.

i remember an arguement that my teacher once told me.

someone was giving a lecture on how laws are formed (i think, i'm a bit vague about the details) and at the end of the session a guy stood up and asked that if we all to have the right to freedom then what would be the point of laws. and the guy said, i were to butcher a new born baby right now in front of you, then what would happen. the guy said, i may not like it, but i have no right to stop you.


That's... inconsistent. If one has the freedom to kill another person (in this case, "to butcher a new born baby"), then that student would have the same freedom to kill the killer. If one does not have the freedom to kill another person, then the killer would have violated some rule, leading to his punishment.

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27 / M / Irvine, CA
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Posted 6/1/08
Freedom is an extremely loose term. Deliberately harming the body in any way is of course up to the user; however, more often than not, extensive use of addictive drugs or any other harmful substance usually ends up extending to the people around that person. The government most likely doesn't really care all that much for those who harm themselves but obviously try to limit that number so as to improve the image of the country. In any case, "freedom" is really just limited to whatever the government defines as being beneficial to society and in no way controversial. Obviously there are such things such as freedom of the press and other rights listed in the Constitution, but it really comes down to what people with power want... and that's what lawyers are for. I'm pretty sure almost anything can be argued to breach that "freedom" that people are given to express themselves.
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Posted 6/1/08
ngox: freedom is only a loose term when limited. If absolute, you need no cathegores, et cetera. It's ehen you need to argue for limitations or upholding freedom, it becomes a loose term. And harm is not up to the user, says drug laws everywhere. The drug laws where created to actually conquer drug abuse, they are really a historical relic that won't go away. They have obviously failed. It stands as they are because noone dares do anything about them, or think that extensive drug abuse will somehow be the onlt possible result if the laws are diminished. Freedom, in a democracy, is given. In other words: it is not the people desires that comes into play, unless the politicians let it. The politicians are free to pass law after law without the people.
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26 / M / Brisbane, Australia
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Posted 6/12/09 , edited 6/12/09
Theres alot of paperwork needed when someone dies
and it costs the goverment / tax payers money
and so do drugs
crime rates go up = more money into police
more people hospitalised = more money into hospitals


People who abuse alchohol already cost tax payers money millions each year
in all sorts of ways
deaths in car accidents, fights, heaps of paperwork, judges
hospitals, ambulances
damage to property

having just alcohol is realy costing the goverment
so imagine drugs














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28 / M / The centroid of a...
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Posted 6/12/09
Not pertaining exactly to the topic at hand here, but my own two cents.

No one is truly free, we are only free to be slaves of our own physiology.
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25 / M / Cavite, Philippines
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Posted 6/13/09
There's no such thing as absolute freedom except though anarchy, thus, order is equals to suppression of some freedoms.
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