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Seatbelts as a metaphor  
03:32pm 23/04/2009
Colorado is contemplating making seat-belt violations a primary offense.

I don't live in Colorado, so it's not really any of my business, but it's an issue that I have very strong and contradictory feelings about, which has resulted in a bit of a philosophical quandary.

The thirteenth amendment guarantees that I cannot be owned, therefore I am not government property. I am an adult, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities. Because the government does not own me, it has no right to supersede any decision I make regarding my person, so long as that decision does not impact the person or property of anyone else. I believe that I should have the right to choose to smoke and eat unhealthy food until my heart fails, or eat right and exercise, as I see fit. I believe that the reason I am permitted to take a hammer to my computer (I own it) also gives me the right to fellate a a shotgun if I should feel the need. This is why I am dead set against seat belt laws. Legally, I believe they violate the thirteenth amendment. Ethically, they take away the most basic of freedoms, the ownership of my body.

On the other hand, I ALWAYS wear a seatbelt when I'm in a car for the same reason I always wear a helmet when I'm on a motorcycle, because it's completely retarded not to. Car seats are required for small children for the same reason that those children not allowed to smoke or play Russian roulette, i.e. - because they are not yet old enough to be trusted with their own welfare. Since they are not old enough to form a qualified opinion as to whether or not to prime themselves for impact-based passage out of this realm, the decision must be made for them. That decision is made in the negative in the unreasonably optimistic hope that this is the choice they'd make themselves were they capable of understanding the stakes. I mean, seriously, if you're so mentally hilarious that you don't feel the need to hedge your bets a bit for when the probability wave for you getting into a wreck collapses to certainty, then you're not really competent to make your own decisions. If you're suicidal, though, that's your choice, but there are much more expedient ways to scratch that particular itch than playing an extravagantly extended game of windshield roulette. That could even be considered a kind of art, I suppose, but we're talking about a vanishingly small percentage, here, so I'm going to pretend that "art" is not a reason someone forgoes their seatbelt.

So, since children must be protected from themselves, and not wearing a seatbelt is an obvious indication of incompetence, I believe that seatbelt laws are a good thing, because the only people affected by them are those that are de facto not qualified to make decisions for themselves.

So I'm both absolutely against them, and absolutely in favor of them.

It's safety v/s freedom, I suppose, at it's base.
location: Land of Caps
mood: frustratedfrustrated
music: Chris Harris - God Don't Never Change
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(no subject)
07:38pm 23/04/2009 (UTC)
I think its not really about personal freedoms vs. safety. In all reality I think seatbelt laws are about money. Its trying to get people to wear their seat belt so the medial community doesn't have the absorb the cost of medical care for those who choose not to wear one and get in a wreck.

It causes the overall cost of health care to rise and through seat belt laws they feel that they can lower the cost of health care and they get the added benefit of budget subsidization via the fines paid on seat belt tickets.
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(no subject)
09:33pm 23/04/2009 (UTC)
That makes much sense, sir. Than-q.

I'm not sure which is worse, that the laws exist, or that they have to exist.
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