Bodies, thoughts, positives, negatives, and the law

We all have the right to ownership of our bodies.

Suicide, assisted or otherwise, should be our choice.

I’m happy to hear that it sounds like Trump is supportive of “Right to try” legislation (introduced by Ron Johnson) that allows the terminally ill to try medications which may be harmful and haven’t been approved by the FDA.

It should never be illegal to sell what is legal for us to give away for free, and that includes prostitution.

Sex among consensual adults, in any form, with any mix of genders, should never be the subject of legislation.

The government should have as little input as possible in what I eat, drink, or smoke.

If you are a mentally competent adult who is confident you want it and can afford it, hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery is and should remain your option.

There’s no reason the most common birth control pills shouldn’t be available over the counter, and it’s none of the government’s business what birth control you use or whether or not your insurance pays for it.

A quick peruse about my facebook photos will probably tell you how I feel about tattoos. (Spoiler–I’m covered in them)

Being allowed to sell one’s own organs for profit can literally save lives.

Whatever one wants to do to their own bodies should be no concern of government, as long as what is done doesn’t directly impact another’s body.

There are no property rights if one does not have ownership of one’s own thoughts and one’s own body. Without first owning oneself, it simply could not follow that one could own things outside of oneself.

If you read my post and believe I mean to condone or celebrate the majority of these actions, you are misreading me. Even among the secular, it’s always a mistake to conflate morality with the law. Ironically, often the same people who will proclaim that we should not legislate morality, are the same ones who attempt to use the law to advance their version of it most successfully. I was not making the argument that all of these actions were moral, merely that they were expressions of free will without any victim outside of potentially oneself… and that we shouldn’t legislate crimes that lack victims. “Self” or “society” aren’t classes of victim that the law should actually recognize. We’ll all answer for our own choices if who we’re harming is ourselves without the government being the one to deal out punishment.

At very least, the law shouldn’t confer morality. Morality is always concerned with concepts like “right” and “wrong”, while just laws are concerned with concepts like “order” and “harm”. Just laws are aimed in a way that’s similar to the golden rule, but concern themselves with negative rights rather than positive rights, while morality deals with both. Just laws require the presence of a victim, directly harmed in a provable way, and prosecute direct actions of one against another without consent. Morality can also concern itself with condemnation of inaction and a requirement for positive action. For instance, charity may be required by moral codes, but it’s immoral for the law to require it. Moral codes may require self-improvement, ambition, and expressions of kindness, things that are unable to be legislated. Also, laws aren’t necessarily proclamations of what someone believes is moral. Often, laws are expressions of the self-interest of those with power.

At the end of the day, nearly all laws are property laws of a sort, and property norms are not possible in a rational system if individuals cannot own their own bodies or their own thoughts.  Without body autonomy mixed with individual belief, there can be no free will that allows anyone to actually impact their environment.  Without negative rights, positive rights are severely limited, morally meaningless, and the compulsion requires negates the label of charity.

–Gary Doan

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