Friday, March 9, 2012

Burden on society

My answer to every single "... because otherwise, they will become a burden on society" argument is: two wrongs don't make one right.

For example: "We have to regulate food industry, because too many people consume sugar-rich products which lead to multiple health problems that increase the burden on society."

My answer: Two wrongs don't make one right. Just because the system is set up in such a way that people are being forced to pay for others' medical bills does not mean you can now also force them regarding what to put in the food that they sell to those who willingly buy it.

First, the obvious option is to eliminate the first wrong. Stop forcing people to pay for other's problems. But even if you cannot or are not willing to eliminate this problem, then... you're stuck with it. Don't try to solve it by committing a second set of aggression.

Second, there are other ways to solve social ills such as obesity, addiction, illiteracy, racism, etc. Activism. Competition (e.g., providing healthier products that taste just as good; hiring employees of multiple races to create more effective companies; creating various educational facilities that attract people better than currently existing ones). Research. Literature. Whatever. Don't use violence to solve a social ill.

"If we don't educate people forcefully, they will become a burden on society."

Are you kidding me? There are so many holes in this argument, it looks like the Laptop Dad's daughter's laptop. This is not the place to go into them. But the bottom line is: no, force-feeding people with education is not the answer. People have a right to make their own decisions. If you want to influence them, you can only do so peacefully.

Most people would agree that using violence to force one's spouse to do something that he or she does not want is immoral. (And I am not talking here about self-defense.) Whatever the ramifications. For instance (an example not from real life), one's wife doesn't want to apply for a job (or doesn't want to wash dishes, or spends a lot of money on shoes). That creates a burden on the family. And because one has kids with her (or, I don't know, loves her?..), he can't divorce her. Therefore what? You can use violence to force her to apply for a job? Either suck it up or find a peaceful way to convince her of your opinion or find a compromise of some sort. Maybe help her find a job that she would like.

So, if it is immoral to use violence to influence someone on a personal level, why is it ok when the government does it on a societal level?

I have said it many times and will say it again: a society becomes sick when its way of solving a social ill is to rely on the government. If you want something to become better, make it better yourself. Or support a private individual or a company who is trying to make things better. Buy a product, donate your money to the effort, whatever. Spread the word. Ask others what else can be done. Don't ask a bunch of bullies with guns to solve problems. They don't really know how. And they never will.

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