Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I have always maintained that each person should be free to live life as they see fit as long as their actions harm no one else. One problem that crops up from time to time is the definition of "harm". Take pornography for example. Few people would argue that if your neighbor simply looks at porn, you are harmed. However, if he looks at porn and then gets all worked up and breaks into your house to rape you, he has harmed you badly. Did the porn "make him do it"? Some people apparently think so.

Drugs are the same way. Some drug users burn out their minds and bodies and end up costing a lot of money to take care of. Of course, if welfare were ended that would not be an issue. I don't really buy the "it harms society" claim, since society is only made up of individuals. If you harm no individuals you have not harmed "society". This is not the same as claiming that society doesn't exist. Too many abuses have been excused by claiming "the common good" makes it necessary.

In terms of number of individuals harmed, nothing surpasses government.