Friday, May 18, 2012

I don't care if that's your job.

"Just doing my job!" isn't a good enough excuse when it comes to the TSA.  It's not good enough when it comes to the BATFE.  It's not good enough when it comes to police raiding the wrong house.  We rail against these things day in and day out.  We call those who perform the actions thugs, SS Nazis, gestapo, etc etc. 

And yet people are quick to defend another blogger, who on the measure I generally like based on his blog (never met the man), when very clearly states he will violate someones rights (if only the right to be left the fuck alone as long as the only person you're harming is yourself) because, hey, that's his job. 

As a small (L) libertarian using force against a person against their will for any reason other than self defense is morally and ethically wrong.  There are some limited cases where I'll make an exception (young children being the main one).  Where adults are concerned this is pretty much an absolute.

The Constitution explicitly protects a right to life.  It does not mandate that you have to exercise that right, nor does it mandate that you be stopped from deciding it's time to stop exercising.  This is consistent with my personal moral value that your life is yours to do with as you please so long as you are harming no one else.

I don't think people should commit suicide, but that doesn't mean "there oughta be a law!"  I also feel that if there is a law then those enforcing it, while maybe not as morally and ethically bankrupt as Nazis killing Jews, are certainly in the same class as the TSA and the police manning the DUI/insurance checkpoint.  That is to say, I like a few, but I wouldn't want one marrying my sister. 


Jennifer said...

You make an excellent point, but not only is AD doing his job, he's covering his own ass. If he didn't intervene and the suicide followed through, the loved ones could sue AD personally. If he could be immune from that, then I would agree that he should just let the suicide do what they want. Unfortunately, that's not how it works.
The TSA risk nothing beyond their job should they choose not to perform it. Same with BATFEieio. A paramedic is not so insulated.

RobertM said...

Jennifer, I hear you, but those are the terms he chose to work under. I'm not saying that it wasn't a trade off, and I'll even say that it's probably a good trade off because I'm sure he has saved enough lives to make it worth. The fact remains he made the choice, he took the action, and no he's facing a lot of moral outrage. I don't blame him for a second for raging right back at his detractors, but he doesn't have a moral toe to stand on.

I'm even quite a bit sympathetic. I've had to deal with just as much moral outrage, name calling, and bashing of my overall good name because I'm an out and proud atheist living in very overwhelmingly Christian Alabama. I've lost count of the number of times I've been told I'd burn in the fires of hell by people I thought liked, by people who claimed to be my friends. That's the trade off I accepted when I decided I'd be honest about my beliefs.

Life sticks us with a slew of dicey moral decisions. He made his, and he's going to have to live with it. Living with it includes dealing with the moral outrage of the people he chose to advertise his actions to.

Divemedic said...

So are you saying that you don't want the government interfering in your decision, until it comes time for the government to intervene on your behalf and support your lawsuit?

RobertM said...

I'm not sure I understand your question, Divemedic.

Divemedic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Divemedic said...

My point is that while I would agree that people who are competent to make such a decision should have that right, to then allow the relatives of the decedent to sue the medic because he didn't stop the suicide is just as much an interference.

If you want to kill yourself, fine, but then your family shouldn't get to sue me because of it.

RobertM said...

I completely agree with you.