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View Diary: Legislatures Shouldn't Penalize Murder Because It's "Immoral" (16 comments)

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  •  I was having a conversation earlier (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes

    with Mr. Beagle, and the problem I have with this argument is...who gets to decide when there's a harm?  I mean, in the case of a murder, that's pretty clearly harming someone.  But what about incest, or prostitution, or even abortion?  

    Who gets to decide if there's a harm? Lots of pro-life groups believe abortion is harmful and damaging to women...I'm sure for a small minority of women that's true.  Does that small harm mean there's a reason to ban abortion?  How do we decide how much harm is "enough" to justify regulating behavior?  

    •  What would be the alternative? (0+ / 0-)

      "Who gets to decide" and "how do they decide" are always the questions.  Whatever the terms one sets on legislation, somebody has to decide when and whether those terms have been met.

      I think what I'm saying is, I'm not sure there is a possible argument to which your objection wouldn't apply.

      •  That's my point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ConfusedSkyes

        We can't say that morality is an insufficient basis for a law because there's no way to know when a law is justified on the basis of morality and when its justified on the basis of harm.  

        •  wait, I'm not sure I follow (0+ / 0-)

          are you saying that the question of "when is something harmful" is as subjective as the question of "when is something moral"?

          Because ... I'm not sure I agree, but that's an interesting point.

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