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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Liberal Lunacy 4: Seat Belts

I think that I may be unfair in this post. I am not sure if being strongly pro seat belt laws is a liberal thing or not. I know some (neo)-conservatives who strongly stand by seat belt laws. But I just get the impression that liberals are more into laws for seat belts. If I am wrong about this then just interpret this post as my objection to seat belt laws.

The main argument in favor of seat belt laws has been that these laws save lives. Usually what follows next is some person giving citations to fancy diagrams showing just how many lives been saved. But I am not a fan of statistics, for numerous reasons I do not want to get into. I really hate statistical arguments. I respect people a lot more if they can give out a thought out argument why it should be a case rather than saying "studies have shown ... ". So how about we stay away from statistics because it is way too boring and try to come up with a more interesting rational argument instead? One can say the following. If there were no seat belt laws some people would wear seat belts and some people would not. If there are seat belts laws then the people who already wore seat belts will continue to wear them because they are unaffected by the law, while the non-wearers will now wear them because it is the law - except that rebellious ones who still insist in being dangerous. Thus, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that such a law would save lives.

So I entirely agree with the statement that seat belt laws save lots of lives. What I find interesting is that seat belt laws is one of "good" laws. In general, laws achieve the exact opposite of what they intent to achieve: minimum-wage laws, rent control, drug prohibition, anti-gun laws, child labor laws, anti-trust laws, and so forth. Why seat belt laws prosper while most other laws fail I do not know, it is an interesting question, but let us ignore this question for now and just work with that fact that seat belt laws work.

But is saving lives an argument in favor of seat belt laws? No. Because it is not our lives. To make my point more clear let me give you an example. Suppose that anti-suicide laws (I wonder what the punishment would be for someone who commits suicide) are shown to reduce the number of suicide by 30%. Is that an argument in favor of passing anti-suicide laws? No, it is not. Because it is not our lives we are saying. Life is not owned by other people, life is only owned by the individual himself. If the individual wishes to end his life then so be it, to prevent him from doing so is to rob the individual of his life and enslave him into this world. We have no right to deny someone of his right to life and prevent him from ending it, even if we disagree with him. Therefore, the argument, "seat belt laws save lives therefore seat belt laws are good" is a bad argument.

People should be able to live as dangerously and unhealthy as they can. If people want to commit suicide then so be it. If they want to eat at McDonald's then so be it. If they want to drink anti-freeze then so be it. It is their lives they are ruining and we cannot stop them. Freedom means people are free to be stupid and make mistakes. If a person ignores what most intelligent people say about putting on a seat belt and decides to ride dangerously then he is taking a risk himself, he has the right to be stupid. So the argument that seat belt laws save live is irrelevant here.

That is my main argument against seat belt laws. But there are three other reasons to be against seat belt laws. First, this controls the population. If you are concerned about the population getting too big then this is a good way to bring it down. The less safe the world is the smaller the population is going to be. It is rather hypocritical to complain about a large population and support all this safety hysteria. Second, the world needs less safety. A big problem with the world today is that it is too safe. There is nothing wrong with safety but our generation takes safety up their anus. So far up the anus that we end up with a bunch of pussies. Weak-cowards who are afraid to take risks, afraid to even eat non-low fat yogurt because it might contain "toxins". This country was founded by terrorists who were not afraid to duel with one another if they disagreed, today we are afraid to ride on a bicycle without a helmet or skate with roller-blades with no knee pads. Pretty sad. Third, I see opposition to seat belt laws as a form of passive eugenics. Instead of killing the dumb people how about the dumb people kill themselves? This was we get rid of the dumb population without actually having a eugenics program.

Say yes to seat belts, say no to seat belt laws.


  1. You're absolutely right, but you can't take on one issue in isolation. You're talking about a clash of worldviews about to whom your life belongs.

  2. "You're absolutely right, but you can't take on one issue in isolation. You're talking about a clash of worldviews about to whom your life belongs.":

    Statist never think about the question to whom life belongs. When I was a little younger I was almost everything imaginable. From a standard Jewish conservative like my Rabbis, to a liberal, and even a communist. Nowhere did I ever think about self-ownership. I just picked what I like and what appealed to me the most. That was my entire thought process. I suspect that statists think exactly the same. They ignore these philosophical questions and just pick what they like the most, that is as deep as their positions really are.