Debate is not about convincing one side that your argument is correct. The very nature of debate is a series of rules that give two or more civilized parties the ability to present their side in a non-threatening fashion and allowing the silent participants, or the audience, to come to their own conclusions based on the information presented to them.
Internet forums may not seem like the place for such debates, especially since you’re rarely given the ability to face your opponent. But if you consider the definition of debate, the rules are the same. You are only being judged by the facts you present and the words you choose to present them. It’s for that reason that I generally like reading debates on Internet forums as the people who approach these subjects from an intelligent angle really do outnumber the fools who hide behind the anonymity of the screen.
A few years ago, I was privy to read this topic and so that readers may understand the framework of my response, I have not edited or altered post from how it was presented in the forum where I participated.
“Are Do-Gooders destroying our freedom? freedoms like whether we wear a seatbelt or a life jacket or a helmut. freedoms that should be our personal choice. choice that each person is capable of making themselves. why is pot still illegal ? why should anyone decide what others should do that are each person’s personal choice.
This was my response. Again, to preserve history, I have elected not to alter or edit my reply in anyway, although I have only included the paragraphs that directly responded to the different aspects of his post. You can read the original article here.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not I followed the rules of debate. At the time, my response was fueled by a well nursed annoyance I have with blatant ignorance.
1. freedoms like whether we wear a seatbelt or a life jacket or a helmut.
Okay…I could be wrong here. But I’m fairly certain there is no amendment in the Constitution for this. When the Declaration of Independence was finally signed, I’m pretty sure Franklin left out the part that said, “And whoever shall driveth upon highway 101, whilst jabbering away upon their cellphones and pouring sugar and cream into their flimsy foam coffee cups, which are clenchedeth between their knees, will be given the option of securing themselves safely in the event that their idiocy causes an inevitable car crash.”
However, lets take this logic a little further. You want the freedom to not have to wear proper protection on the highway. Well, why not? So if you crash and that seat belt that could have saved your life isn’t on you, maybe the paramedics should have a freedom of not helping you, because clearly you have made your choice.
Unfortunately that’s not a decision the paramedic got to make. So he was forced to haul your behind to the hospital, tying up an ambulance and the emergency technicians who could have been helping someone who was suffering from a heart attack, or who had just gotten mugged. Suddenly your insurance has the freedom not to cover you, which means those employees of the medical profession won’t get paid and won’t be able to take care of their expenses because they took care of your free wheeling behind. All because you had the “freedom” to go joyriding without proper protection.
Maybe if it weren’t for people who mistake freedom for “things they got away with until the police caught them and they were forced to face a consequence”, we wouldn’t need highway patrolmen ticketing people for not wearing their safety belts.
2. freedoms that should be our personal choice. choice that each person is capable of making themselves.
You do have the freedom of choice. You can choose to disobey the law. You can choose to go down to Washington and lobby and protest against the law. You have all of these wonderful choices. Just like you’re choosing to use hub to spout off your nonsensical and poorly written ranting.
If we don’t agree with a law, or we think a law should be made, we have this wonderful ability to write our very own bill. It’s not hard. Just go to your local social studies or civic sciences professor and ask him or her to show you the proper way to format it.
Can any other country boast such an incredible freedom? You, the average citizen have the freedom to try to change the law. Just like you have the freedom of responsibility if you break that law.
3. why is pot still illegal ?
Ah yes. When you read how this person wrote the question, suddenly it’s very clear why this would ever come up.
For the record, marijuana is perfectly legal in states that recognize it as a medicinal substance. You do have to pay the state a fee, of course, and you prove that it is a medical usage. Also, for the record, I am not advocating the use of marijuana. I am simply providing the information that is provided by state governments and the reader has the “Freedom” to do with it what they will.
And perhaps if there weren’t so many crimes and innocent people being harmed in connection to heavy marijuana usage, the Federal government wouldn’t mind it so much. Unfortunately, because you live in a country where you value a police system that protects you from criminals, you are obligated to obey that system when it considers something a crime.
4. why should anyone decide what others should do that are each person’s personal choice.
I’m going to close this off as a reminder.
No one is taking away your personal choices. You have the personal right to do whatever the heck flies into that American born head of yours. But likewise, I have the right to safer roads, and an environment that is drug free.
In no way does your right over shadow my personal rights. And in a country that values the rights of every individual (and there are a lot of individuals in this country) you can’t always get what you want.