The Final Freedom For Your Own Good
It's for your own good, whether you want it or not. "Both debaters share two things: the righteousness of the cause and a belief in the propriety of government regulating people’s lives for their own good. Marcano differs only by saying it should stop at the threshold. Neither questions whether government regulation “for your own good” is the right way to address risky behaviors. There are a great many things human beings do that are arguably dangerous, and there is a sound argument that, when consequences occur, society pays a price to deal with it, whether, inter alia, in health care costs or support for children whose parents can’t provide for them. As Torres asserts, the consequences of cancer can be devastating. But once the nannies of government stick their nose into risky behaviors, regulating lives to what they deem good choices (like banning sugary beverages to combat the childhood obesity epidemic), a threshold is crossed as well. Are we entitled to make choices that the nannies would prefer we not make? Is criminalizing behaviors that bureaucrats deem unhealthy where government belongs? If not, are the poor less worthy of freedom of choice because their homes are more easily regulated?" A quote I am fond of for this from CS Lewis: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."