interests -Reply -Reply

Fri Apr 14 08:04:46 MDT 1995

Justin: As a parent,> I take a very paternalist attitude towards my
kids. When I was a teacher I> was moderately paternalist towards mny
students, though less so than many> of my colleagues. As a society
many people support various paternalist> policies, e.g., about drug
use. Paternalism ought to be regarded with some> suspicion. But it
isn;t false by definition.
As to other grounds for> nonpaternalis, how about my suggestion that
choice and the freedom to make> mistakes is a fundamental human
interest which should be overriden only> with great caution?
>  > --Justin Schwartz

>  Sounds good, and very Millian, to me.  Of course the paternalists
think  that just choice as such isn't valuable -- it's choice based
on reasons  that's valuable.  But then if the reasons on which one
bases one's choice  are mistaken...

John Walker

My right to choose certainly seems valuable to me!  And how shall we
decide whose and which choices are mistaken?  John, please explain.

Justin's point about freedom is where I'd like to see the
conversation go.  My individual right to do what I like [without
hurting others] is very important to me.

But we should distinguish between appropriate care-taking and
inappropriate.  It is not paternalism or maternalism, but parental
responsibility to do what is right for one's children, although even
here their will and consent is desirable, but parents must often
override or veto the "popular" vote.

Similarly for students.  The instructor's choice of homework need not
bear much relation to student preferences, especially when students
have other choices.

BUT when it comes to somebody protecting me from myself, that's
another matter.  I should not drive while intoxicated, because that
endangers OTHER people.  But intoxication of any kind in the privacy
of my own home?  etc...

If you care about government intrusion upon individual, personal,
bodily rights and freedoms, I recommend a book called "Ain't nobody's
business if you do - the absurdity of consensual crimes".

For me, these rights do not include the "freedom" to exploit labor
and make profit in every legal way while also writing laws to make
legal every possible way to increase profits, although I have seen
many a Republican imply or explicitly state just that.  I guess
that's one of the things that makes me a socialist.

Lisa Rogers

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