[FoRK] The Shift

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Fri May 27 13:15:36 PDT 2005

> > The fact that you're
> > on the other side of this issue means that you have some
> > assumptions that are different ("it's about personal health!
> > It's about public health!  It's about workers'
> > rights!") or you're simply not being rational in this case
> > (probably due to 30 years of memetic engineering.)
> In our country, I generally have a right to do something unless my
> exercising of that right infringes upon others' pursuit of life,  
> liberty and
> happiness. This is why, even though I own my land, I can't just  
> build a
> large commercial warehouse in my backyard. The noise and traffic  
> generated
> by such a facility impinges upon my neighbors' property rights.  
> Similarly,
> this is why I can't just exercise my freedom of action to randomly  
> cut the
> hair of people I see on the street, or in restaurants, despite it  
> being
> non-injurious and non-life-threatening (as long as they hold  
> still :-).

I completely understand and concur.  But this isn't at all comparable.

> The medical case for the negative health effects of second hand  
> smoke has
> been well made, and is, AFAIK, scientifically sound within the  
> limits of
> current medical science. Therefore, as a by-product of me  
> exercising my
> right to smoke, I have a negative effect on others' health, thereby  
> reducing
> their ability to pursue life.

What a COMPLETE LOAD OF CRAP, Jim.  And you know it.  And if you  
don't, I'm sorry that you're so deluded.  We *allow* people to opt to  
expose themselves to risk for fun, for profit, and otherwise.  There  
is a level of acceptable risk that is generally tolerated in society,  
because we assume we're all adults that can make our own choices.   
The smoking prohibition issue is important because it fails to meet  
any comparable SANE standard that is employed elsewhere in society.

You go ahead and advocate for crap like this.  I prefer to live in a  
society of consenting adults rather than a society controlled by the  
whims of the rabble.

> As a result, it is reasonable public health policy to ensure that  
> second
> hand smoke does not reach non-smokers.

Yes, obviously whiny non-smokers are INSANE and therefore   
INCOMPETENT TO MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES;  clearly we have to throw  
liberty overboard instead of just requiring that, if non-smokers  
don't want to be exposed to smoke, they simply STAY AWAY FROM BARS  
THAT ALLOW IT.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

> While there are many ways to achieve this goal (e.g., high-suction air
> filtration systems at every restaurant table), the cheapest and  
> easiest to
> enforce is a ban on smoking in public places.

Not at all.  The cheapest and easiest is merely REQUIRING PEOPLE TO  
now, can we?

> As well, while there may be other motivations for having a ban on  
> smoking in
> public places, it seems to me the medical argument is convincing,  
> and stands
> on its own.

Well, for the first NO and for the second NO.

> So, in which part of this logical chain do I have a fallacy?

All of it?


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