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Thread: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

  1. #1
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    Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    Recently I read this article about a city in New Jersey (or actually the state itself I forgot) plans to start testing every pregnant woman and their babies for HIV/AIDS. While I was reading this, I thought hey it's not a bad idea though I don't see it being something that important (because I lack the knowledge about the direness of the AIDS epidemic in the US). At the same time, I already know that there is going to be someone that's going to be against this, and right I was. Before I go on, just thought I point out that woman can refuse to be tested.

    Anyways, right in the middle of the article, in comes some civil liberty association being against this and I thought, "psh, what's new?"

    So that's why I created this thread. I want to see you folks' view on how you weigh your freedom vs. the good of the whole. I understand that American culture is predominately individualistic, a me-first mentality that promotes individual accomplishments. I agree that freedom is very important to us, but sometimes I think it is ridiculous how people act.

    Are you someone who believes we can shed a few unimportant "freedoms" in order to make lives better? Or are you someone who thinks otherwise?

    NOTE: The HIV testing story is only an example and not the theme of this thread.
    Last edited by Legend; Jan 02, 2008 at 04:03 PM.

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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    Ugh...

    This kinda reminds me of the craziness behind the whole HPV thing. I can't remember when or where it happened, but a bunch of schools in a certain state had enforced some law/rule saying that all middle school girls are required to get testing and vaccination of the HPV virus.

    This scenario is slightly different; seeing how women have the right to refuse testing. BUT, it's still kinda... what's the word I'm lookin' for?.. Ah! Retarded! That's it. The whole thing is retarded. I mean, don't you think that a grown woman would ritually get tested for AIDS/HIV (or any other STD/STI) on a annuall basis? And what if said pregnant lady is a minor?? There are too many cards that come in to play here.

    The way I see it, it shouldn't be mandatory, but suggested. I don't think it's required for pregnant women--especially if the woman knows she's in the clear. I can understand that sometimes pregnancies just happen, but still... It just seems wrong to me. An entire state enforcing a policy that kinda invades our privacy just doesn't seem like a good thing.

    I personally think it's just an excuse to put people's business in the air.


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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    Quote Originally Posted by atomik_sprout View Post
    Ugh...

    This kinda reminds me of the craziness behind the whole HPV thing. I can't remember when or where it happened, but a bunch of schools in a certain state had enforced some law/rule saying that all middle school girls are required to get testing and vaccination of the HPV virus.

    This scenario is slightly different; seeing how women have the right to refuse testing. BUT, it's still kinda... what's the word I'm lookin' for?.. Ah! Retarded! That's it. The whole thing is retarded. I mean, don't you think that a grown woman would ritually get tested for AIDS/HIV (or any other STD/STI) on a annuall basis? And what if said pregnant lady is a minor?? There are too many cards that come in to play here.

    The way I see it, it shouldn't be mandatory, but suggested. I don't think it's required for pregnant women--especially if the woman knows she's in the clear. I can understand that sometimes pregnancies just happen, but still... It just seems wrong to me. An entire state enforcing a policy that kinda invades our privacy just doesn't seem like a good thing.

    I personally think it's just an excuse to put people's business in the air.
    Well that is just one case I am using as an example. This thread is more about freedoms vs. "the good". Take the drought that the southeast (?) was having a month or two back. They were slowly running out of water, and in comes a story about how the Duke University was still watering their artificial turf field (which doesn't even need water). So it doesn't just apply to this one story. I mean, people would have freaked if the government started to shut off water at certain times of the day right??

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    'Cause someday I might call you from my heart

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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    I think if something is being done to help the overall community it should be done. But I don’t believe it is right to force it on people. Everyone has individual rights and should be given the choice whether they want something done to them or not. In the case of this article, I would hope every expecting mother would be willing to do this test but as Legend mentioned there will always be protesters.

    As for the subject in general, individual freedom is good and should be respected. But if something can help the general good then it should be done. If something can be done to help millions at the expense of a few people’s discomfort then I am all for it.

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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    I think it depends on the situation and the era and what's happening

    When it comes to anything medical there will always be issues with a persons right and the better good of a nation. You could also say that vaccination is done for the good of a society (how many diseases have decreased since?) but there are some people who practice their right and refuse to get their children vaccinated. And I think that's fine

    However if there was a mass outbreak of something and millions of people where dieing, then yes, it's probably right to force something like that on a person, just to prevent a spread of disease further.

    But what about a drought, as Legend said, do people have the right to still use water as they please? Obviously due to how valuable water is, no they don't.

    You could even use global warming. Is it right that people continue to use their cars (and continue current lifestyles) even though many will/are suffering from extreme weather events and rising sea levels? maybe not now, or this year? But maybe when millions of people are displaced - yes?

    I think only in extreme cases yes. But then there's the argument that if you don't take serious action now, it can become much worse later on (eg. global warming, Diseases (aids))

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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    The problem is in the definition of "The Common Good" and who is left out of the equation. Rarely does "the common good" include everyone. Often it's a slim majority (and ocaisionally not even a majority at all). When you begin to restrict the other "inalieable", constitutionally guaranteed rights of anyone in order to further even a large group's "higher" goal: you're walking a very dangerous path.

    An example that PERSONALLY ticks me off, because I end up on the wrong end of it:

    In the United States and Japan, all foreign visitors and residents are treated like criminals every time they enter the country. They are fingerprinted, photographed, and questioned. American and Japanese citizens require only passports. It takes HOURS and it can be incredibly humiliating and infuriating (especially as in order to BE a foreign resident you've ALREADY had a background check, applied for a foreign residents' card and have completed multiple procedures to ensure that you're NOT a criminal.

    The justification: terrorists and criminals could enter the country from other countries. It's for the common good.

    The reality: A vast majority of crimes and terrorist acts committed in each respective nation are committed by their own nationals or holders of legitimate passports obtained through shady dealings. Japan, in particular, has NEVER had a terrorist attack that wasn't perpetrated by JAPANESE.

    Here we have "the good of all" acting as an excuse for systematic racism.

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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    Quote Originally Posted by atomik_sprout View Post
    Ugh...

    This kinda reminds me of the craziness behind the whole HPV thing. I can't remember when or where it happened, but a bunch of schools in a certain state had enforced some law/rule saying that all middle school girls are required to get testing and vaccination of the HPV virus.

    This scenario is slightly different; seeing how women have the right to refuse testing. BUT, it's still kinda... what's the word I'm lookin' for?.. Ah! Retarded! That's it. The whole thing is retarded. I mean, don't you think that a grown woman would ritually get tested for AIDS/HIV (or any other STD/STI) on a annuall basis? And what if said pregnant lady is a minor?? There are too many cards that come in to play here.

    The way I see it, it shouldn't be mandatory, but suggested. I don't think it's required for pregnant women--especially if the woman knows she's in the clear. I can understand that sometimes pregnancies just happen, but still... It just seems wrong to me. An entire state enforcing a policy that kinda invades our privacy just doesn't seem like a good thing.

    I personally think it's just an excuse to put people's business in the air.
    It's in Texas I believe all girls in middle school are supposed to get the HPV vaccine. I don't think it's required by the state yet.

    I'm kinda split on the testing of HIV/AIDS. I mean I think it's a good idea to get tested but then again it does go against that woman's and even the child's right to privacy.

    Now of course when it comes to drug testing, I don't agree with it. First of all I don't really care about the so called integrity of sports. Who cares if someone cheats, it's not about playing for fun or whatever but winning. It's competion. (I still don't get why people need to take steriods in baseball, it's not needed nor does it help you, baseball is very mental game.) Of course schools are doing random drug testing so that they can avoid lawsuits or something along those lines. But sure the school's need to protect their students and what not but they're operating the drug test's on propable suspicion not propable cause.

    Another thing, I'm against the police or other law enforcement going through your stuff without a search warrant. It goes against the 4th amendment. Here's a little scenario, say the police come to your house to search it for coke and they do have a warrant that says that they can search for that specific item. Now they're searching through your house and they find a bag of weed. They arrest you and they present it as evidence to the court. Can they do that? No they can't. According to the 4th amendment, under the exclustionary clause, Any evidence that is found not pertaining to the warrant must be thrown out. The precedent for this is Bond vs US. Bond was travelling on a bus from California to Texas, the bus is stopped by border patrol, he searches the bus for illegal immigrants. So the officer goes through the bus feeling the bag's, comes across Bond's bag, feels it, claims it feels like a brick, asks Bond to search it, comes across meth, arrests Bond, Bond goes to jail. He appeals to the Supreme Court, the Court rules in favor of Bond. (just a little tid-bit I got from my Government class)

    Now i think civil liberities are more important than "the common good of people" simply because these are rights I'm born with as an American citizen and that cannot be taken away. And I also think I can take care of myself besides I know what I need more than anyone else. ^___^.

    @gwenibe-Global Warming will still be here, its a natural occurance. Sure we maybe helping it get worse but even we cut pollution back it will still be here. HIV/AIDS will still be around because scientists can't find a cure because HIV/AIDS' RNA changes every year or so I heard. (from my 7th grade science teacher.)

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    Re: Civil liberties vs. The Common Good

    Quote Originally Posted by Descended From Darkness View Post
    @gwenibe-Global Warming will still be here, its a natural occurance. Sure we maybe helping it get worse but even we cut pollution back it will still be here. HIV/AIDS will still be around because scientists can't find a cure because HIV/AIDS' RNA changes every year or so I heard. (from my 7th grade science teacher.)
    It was just an example, and I was referring to enhanced global warming. But the point I was getting at was that is it right for people to give up their life stlyes (eg. reduce uses in cars, less waste) for the 'common good' of the globe (for cleaner air, no rise in sea water level, clean water etc etc), whatever environmental issue we are talking about, giving up lifestyles would still help 'for the common good', but then we loose the right to do whatever we want.

    HIV may still be around (like other diseases that we have vaccines for - not saying that there is a vaccine for HIV, I haven't really looked into the topic) But 'for the common good' and to reduce the cases of it/prevent it, should it be compulsory that everyone is tested for it? Even though it evades ones privacy? that was more so the point I was getting at

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