The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Poll: Who owns me?

The polled question (poll ended yesterday) was, "Who owns me?"

The possible answers to "Who owns me?" are:

1. I own me. I am responsible for the choices I make, and I should be held accountable when I cause harm to others.

2. Someone else or some group owns me. They are responsible for making the best choices for me, and may be held accountable for my actions.

3. No one owns me. No one is responsible for making decisions for me, not even I. No one can be held accountable.

4. God owns me. Everything I do is God's will, which absolves me from responsibility.
 Sixteen votes were cast. I did not vote. Fourteen votes were for Answer #1. Two votes were cast for Answer #3. I have to assume those two were not cast as serious answers.

Of course I knew that sane people, even Foruminants, could not vote seriously for anything except #1, or something close to it in their own words. Acceptance of accountability for one's action(s) that cause damage to another is a fundamental building block in formation of a society. Anyone who can't live with that is in for a short and brutish life.

I'll bet that, if I am able to get this question and these four choices for answers (and there are no other possible answers, are there?) in front of a cross-section of South Dakotans, the results would be faaaiiirly close to what we had here. Yet a substantial proportion of the supporters of Answer #1 would backpedal when asked to support their simultaneous belief that use of marijuana is sufficient reason to put a person in jail.

They will try to argue that my cannabis possession poses a harm to others. That is the only possible justification for their position. When pressed, they will simply retreat to, "It's illegal," as if that was proof of something. In other words, they retreat to insanity as justification for their position.

It's insane to bar hemp production. It's insane to put people in jail for using an herb with proven medically-beneficial properties. But the moral and constitutional question here has little directly to do with either of those points. The question is: "Even if I AM causing damage to myself when I toke up a bowl, what business is it of the cop who takes me down for it?"


Bill F. said...

Yes, there are other possible answers. And yes, cannabis consumption should be legal.

I'm assuming when you say "I own me" Bob, the "I" you are talking about is your mind. Is that correct? If so, then I submit that your assertion is false.

Bob Newland said...

When I say "I own me," I refer to my skin, my bones and my internal organs. Just like I "own" a shirt.

Owning thoughts is a trickier matter.

Bill F. said...

Okay. Good distinction. Thanks, Bob.

Bill F. said... other words, your life owns itself, yes?

Bill F. said...

Extended: Life is it's own owner. Life owns "you."

Bob Newland said...

The State says it owns me. The State says it has the right, by virtue of setting up "elections" and "appointing" people in "authority" to create certain "laws" to distrain me from certain actions that directly affect only me.

However, the State also says, by omission of certain "laws," that I may commit certain other actions indisputably more harmful to me, albeit also free of direct effect on others.

The effect of these laws, enacted and omitted, is to produce the the greatest public policy disaster since the time when the State approved of slavery.

Bill F. said...

Yes, as you said above, Bob, owning thoughts is a tricker matter, as is the converse — thoughts owning things.

"The State," being a product of thought, sits on the cusp of this paradox.

So, we have to ask ourselves, "Who owns the State?"

larry kurtz said...

Gov. Johnson calls for elimination of taxes on business.