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Re: imposition of laws or free choice?

Feb 27, 2003 10:17 PM
by Steve Stubbs " <>

--- In, Mic Forster <micforster@y...> 
> But Steve do you see it as our job to impose laws on
> these people to prevent them doing what they do? Or do
> you see it as our position to suggest to them that
> there are better alternatives and let them decide?

Most people would agree that human sacrifice should be interdicted as 
a form of religious worship, especially if the person being persuaded 
happens to be the human some devotee wants to sacrifice. That is the 
basis for interdicting what some see as terrorism and others see as 
their path to paradise. The question is at what point should one 
merely persuade by reasoned argument and at what point should 
reasoned arfument lead to legal action. The standard, I would think, 
is a Utilitarian one, i.e., the greatest good for the greatest 
uumber. Paradoxically, using that argument one would have to argue 
that it is NOT the proper function of the state to criminalize or 
restrict abortions, since it is impossible to prevent abortions and 
criminalizing it results in more evil than legalizing it. In the 
case of animal slaughter an additional question arises, i.e., whether 
sentient beings who are not human should be included in "the greatest 
number" or if it is OK to do with them as we wish. The German law 
as I understand it merely tries to eliminate cruelty as a part of the 
act of slaughter and not the slaughter itself. A similar issue 
arises with regard t0m animal farming which includes in some cases 
cruel and unnecessary practices.

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