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NeoNotes — Compulsion by law

Just for the moment, forget about who oppressed who.

No one would expect a kosher butcher to provide pork for a BBQ.

Why should some religions and beliefs be protected while others are not?

Why do we not have equality before the law?

This is not about past wrongs being redressed. It isn't even about equal rights. It's about controlling someone else's thoughts and actions. It's about politics. It's about granting privilege while denying rights.

Under what circumstances does the state or the people have the moral authority to compel someone to act against their beliefs?



OK, let's go with that for the moment.

What gives the state the power to decide for an individual who he must do business with under penalty of law?

How is that moral?

There are companies we know can't be trusted to do the right thing. There are people each of us knows who will not do the moral thing. Should we be required by law to do business with them? To associate with them?

I promise you, that isn't freedom. In fact, a gentleman named Eric July tweeted "You have the right to refuse service to anybody, for any reason. To suggest otherwise is an advocation of slavery."
twitter DOT com SLASH EricDJuly



It doesn't exactly sit right with me either, but that doesn't change the assumption. If government has the power to prohibit this thought, then government has the power to prohibit any thought. That should worry any minority. As yes it absolutely has to be all or nothing. It's not freedom unless the Other has it too.

It's also not just the current regime, but that is at least 17 other discussions that I am not going to get into here.

I'm enough of a romantic to believe the US can be a beacon of liberty. Americans try to make it better, that's what we do. It's been my experience that there is more racism in the metro areas, but I could be wrong.

I don't care what the Christian bakers and florists and photographers want. I want them playing by the same rules with no "legal" advantages.


I agree with one proviso.

People have the right to discriminate. It may not be moral according to society, but people have that right. It is just as much their right as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The law is wrong when it prohibits discrimination.

At the same time, people are responsible for their actions and their words. That means they have to face criticism and shunning and shamming (without force). That means they have to face the loss of business and the loss of income.

But we can't afford to let government be the moral arbiter. We can not give the force of law to moral proclamations. We can't trust politicos to do the right thing consistently and without oversight.

I've talked before about mala in se and mala prohibita laws. Mala in se means bad in and of itself, usually because it is measurable harm. Laws against murder, theft, and vandalism fall into this category. The key idea is measurable harm. Mala prohibita laws are against things that government has prohibited. Vice laws fall under this, as do laws against religion, recreational intoxicants, and forbidden words. The libertarian in me will tell you that mala in se laws have a good reason and mala prohibita laws don't. Anti-discrimination and public accommodation laws are mala prohibita.

ETA: from my lexicon version 3, not quite ready for prime time
neowayland DOT com SLASH lexicon SLASH mm SLASH #mala-in-se
neowayland DOT com SLASH lexicon SLASH mm SLASH #mala-prohibita



Of course they did.

BUT (and this is really, really important)

These things were a part of the law.

The government thumb is still on the scale, just on a different tray. If it was wrong then, it is wrong now. It's still mala prohibita.

You can't trust government to do the right thing. I could go into the whole bit of which behaviors we choose to incentivize, but it comes down to one thing. When government gives preferential treatment to any group, it makes things worse.

Uniform rule of law. All or nothing, in your own words.

And yes, that is Social Darwinism, except for one tiny little thing. Americans don't leave it at that. These days hardly anyone remembers, but long before Official Government Solutions®, Americans founded private charities left and right. Orphanages, worker's aid societies, libraries, widows and children's charities, the list goes on and on. Americans want to help. Show us a crisis and we'll bend over backwards on tiptoe. The only thing that stops us is when government is "responsible. Somebody Else's Problem.



Pardon, but people do have the right to refuse service, we've just made a law that said they don't.

If the customer was being a racist jerk, I'm pretty sure you'd agree with me.

So what the law has done has set up a situation where the privileges of some trump the rights of others, all because the law assumes that people can't be trusted to make up their own mind and do the right thing. Your government and your fellow citizens don't think you can be trusted.

How is that moral?



I'm sorry, but I do not trust in the wisdom of government.

If it doesn't bring measurable harm, I don't think it should be prohibited. Just because something is legal doesn't mean it is morally right. At one point, the Federal government had the power to prohibit the making and distribution of alcohol. That led to the birth of organized crime, something we're still struggling with today.

I am not saying that discrimination because of gender, skin color, creed, or sexuality is right. I AM saying that government seeking to control discrimination is more wrong than the discrimination itself.



I disagree.

The free market means voluntary exchanges between mutually consenting adults. I may be selling widgets but the customer doesn't have to buy from me. Likewise, I don't have to sell to them if I don't like the color of their socks. Or anything else.

We've told ourselves that the law is about freedom and preventing injustice. But it's really a bad law that takes away freedom and encourages injustice.

As I pointed out the other day, discrimination is not always bad. And a law that prevents discrimination isn't always good, even if we are told that it is. It's not moral to require business owners and employees to sacrifice their freedom.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Inequality


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The Great Secret

You can’t hoard freedom. It’s not really liberty unless you share it.
     — NeoWayland, Lady Liberty
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That's dependency

Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights -- the "right" to education, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery -- hay and a barn for human cattle. There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
— P.J. O'Rourke
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Measure of happiness and well-being

First, there is nothing either intrinsically right or intrinsically wrong about liberty or slavery, democracy or autocracy, freedom of action or complete regimentation. It seems to us, however, that the greatest measure of happiness and of well-being for the greatest number of entities, and therefore the optimum advancement toward whatever sublime Goal it is toward which this cycle of existence is trending in the vast and unknowable Scheme of Things, is to be obtained by securing for each and every individual the greatest amount of mental and physical freedom compatible with the public welfare.
     — E. E. Smith, First Lensman
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NeoNotes — compel an individual

Is it moral for the state to compel a product or service?

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Freedom and responsiblity

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
     — Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
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NeoNotes — Bad purposes

It's my old friend, the parity test.

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Authority banner

Authority progresses and freedom regresses
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Liberty demands

Because LIBERTY demands more than just black and white.
     — NeoWayland
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Single issue

If I have a single issue, it's less government and more freedom.
     — NeoWayland
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Compelled

If you choose to do something, that's freedom. If you're compelled to do something, that's coercion.
     — NeoWayland
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Path to freedom

Politics is about power over people. Once you understand that government is not your friend and the politico only wants to get re-elected, you’re on the path to freedom.
     — NeoWayland
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Choose your beliefs

Free choice. Choose your beliefs, just don't choose mine. And I will do the same. Faith imposed is no faith at all. The only faiths and beliefs worthy of freedom are those freely chosen.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Tragedy of the “American Century”

That is the tragedy of the “American Century.” We forgot that liberty can't be imposed by the top down, it has to be seized from the bottom up.

As long as our government plays the games of international brinkmanship and global politics, we lose.

We're best when we protect our own freedom and inspire others though our example. People in other nations have to crave freedom and demand their own rights. It's the only way it will take root.

As a nation, we can't take out another government except by invading. Historically, that has not worked out well for America. It certainly destroyed our prestige.

But building trade, private investment in local economies, that delivered wonders.
     — NeoWayland
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The goal is freedom

The goal is not the institution of the Federal government.

The goal is freedom.
     — NeoWayland
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Defending scoundrels

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
     — H. L. Mencken

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Speech wars

The internet is the last, best hope for freedom.

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from crux № 18 — choice and consequence

Our problem is that we excuse people from the consequences.

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Clash of ideas

Another meme.

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NeoNotes — Marriage revisted

That is when marriage ceased to be religion and control shifted to the state.

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Cash means freedom

“The End of Cash; The End of Freedom”

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Language of force

“Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force”

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Worthy of freedom

The only faiths worthy of freedom are those freely chosen.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 3 — Shame & sex

Are they not freely consenting adults?

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☆ Government should be governed

Government exists to protect freedom.

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Defend the inoffensive

It’s not freedom if you only defend the inoffensive.
     — NeoWayland


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Fool

Call me a fool for freedom.
     — NeoWayland

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Freedom demands

Because freedom demands more than just black and white.
     — NeoWayland
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Progresses

Authority progresses and freedom regresses.
     — NeoWayland
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Destroyed

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
     — Abraham Lincoln
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Headline roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“It's a Wonderful Loaf” by Russ Roberts

“A whimsical animated short film based on Russ Roberts's poem about emergent order and the supply of bread”

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Trump

Trump launched a missile attack on a nation which had not attacked the United States, and he did it without Congressional authorization.This is NOT a good thing.
     — NeoWayland
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“Make Mine Freedom (1948)”

Animated classic from 1948 shows the politics of disunity

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Tiny houses banned

“Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living”

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“Because FREEDOM demands more than just black or white”

Because FREEDOM demands more than just black or white

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DOJ delays Apple case

The FBI was fighting a PR war

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The FBI wants your iPhone

The FBI and the DoJ don't believe the U.S. Constitution applies

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NeoNotes — Smear

Why should they feel shame?

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NeoNotes — Taking over the world

The only point in taking over the world is to make sure people make their own choices

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Leave them alone

Give government all the power you think is necessary. Watch as the one person who you think can’t be trusted with that power commands it against everything you hold dear.

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NeoNotes — Tyranny of the absolute

If the choice is between the absolute on the left side or the absolute on the right, I am going to pick freedom despite both.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Why does your enlightenment demand that I sacrifice?

Make your choice

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