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View Full Version : Morality/legality of forfeiture of rights


John Galt
12-02-2007, 07:57 PM
Does that mean it's OK to harm an individual _with_ their consent?

Sure. Release forms should be signed and notorized, so as to prevent fraud.

I think the human body is ultimately the possession of the individual, and they should be able to do whatever they want with it. Of course, the principle of rational self-interest dictates that I'm not likely to do that, but that doesn't entitle me to take that right away from others.

Yes, the specific historical applications of this principle are dueling and euthanasia, for the record.

Jae Onasi
12-02-2007, 08:21 PM
Sure. Release forms should be signed and notorized, so as to prevent fraud.

I think the human body is ultimately the possession of the individual, and they should be able to do whatever they want with it. Of course, the principle of rational self-interest dictates that I'm not likely to do that, but that doesn't entitle me to take that right away from others.

Yes, the specific historical applications of this principle are dueling and euthanasia, for the record.

With that rational, if a woman agrees that it's the husband's right to beat the snot out of her, and he does, then that's OK? The rest of the world calls what spousal abuse/assault/battery.

Personal rights extend to only a certain point. Aside from the more obvious ethical issues, when my tax dollars become involved in paying for someone's medical care/disability because they've allowed someone to hurt them, then I have a problem with it. Just because they might be consenting doesn't mean society is excluded from dealing with the fallout of that decision.

John Galt
12-02-2007, 08:45 PM
With that rational, if a woman agrees that it's the husband's right to beat the snot out of her, and he does, then that's OK? The rest of the world calls what spousal abuse/assault/battery.

Personal rights extend to only a certain point. Aside from the more obvious ethical issues, when my tax dollars become involved in paying for someone's medical care/disability because they've allowed someone to hurt them, then I have a problem with it. Just because they might be consenting doesn't mean society is excluded from dealing with the fallout of that decision.

That's still assault, unless the wife specifically contractually cedes that right to her husband. If not, the husband should be arrested and prosecuted, although I mentioned above that marraige is an inherently religious affair and thus relationships between husbands and wives should only be recognized by government for financial purposes(i.e. through a civil union). Spousal abuse shouldn't be a crime specifically, because that's already considered assault.(Yes, that's off topic, but I wanted to clarify).

I don't think government ought to be paying for anyone's health care in the first place, other than those people it directly employs or pays pension to(like retirees or former soldiers, to whom society owes a debt), in granting benefits like any other employer. In that case, the employer(government or otherwise) would have a vested interest in whether or not the person signed a consent form, thus they could prohibit that on the terms of employment offered to the employee on hiring. Of course, if the employee signed a release form, they would violate their terms of employment, causing a loss of healthcare benefits or some other pre-determined penalty, so it comes full circle back to the individual's choice.

Web Rider
12-02-2007, 09:45 PM
Hmmm, I know too many women who would easily be threatened by their husband into signing such a document, so I really think the system is good as it is. If they like beating each other, maybe the get off to it, who cares, but if they enjoy it, then they won't get into trouble.

If one spouse or partner is doing it to the other as simply just beating them, then they'll get in trouble. I don't think legal documents making it OK to beat people is a good idea.

What about kids? They can sign a document with their parent's permission. Essentially it would take an abused mother and an abusive father to sign away the rights of their child.

John Galt
12-02-2007, 09:58 PM
Hmmm, I know too many women who would easily be threatened by their husband into signing such a document, so I really think the system is good as it is. If they like beating each other, maybe the get off to it, who cares, but if they enjoy it, then they won't get into trouble.

If one spouse or partner is doing it to the other as simply just beating them, then they'll get in trouble. I don't think legal documents making it OK to beat people is a good idea.

What about kids? They can sign a document with their parent's permission. Essentially it would take an abused mother and an abusive father to sign away the rights of their child.

No, the ability to forfeit rights should start at 18, the age of citizenship, when they gain the ability to use most of their rights in the first place. Of course, if a woman works and gets healthcare benefits from her employer, the husband COULD NOT force her to breach the previous contract, which would certainly have a clause in which the woman forfeits her right to forfeit rights.

I'm basically trying to devise a system in which people own themselves.

Jae Onasi
12-02-2007, 10:29 PM
Thread split from What rights should homosexuals have (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=184118).

Tommycat
12-02-2007, 11:57 PM
Hmmm, I know too many women who would easily be threatened by their husband into signing such a document, so I really think the system is good as it is. If they like beating each other, maybe the get off to it, who cares, but if they enjoy it, then they won't get into trouble.

If one spouse or partner is doing it to the other as simply just beating them, then they'll get in trouble. I don't think legal documents making it OK to beat people is a good idea.

What about kids? They can sign a document with their parent's permission. Essentially it would take an abused mother and an abusive father to sign away the rights of their child.
Well people currently allow others to beat and hurt them regularly. Some even enjoy it as a form of role play. Not to get too specific, but my wife likes to get very rough at times. She likes pain.

Those are just fettishes though. Beating for control and actual cases of abuse are far more common. But the fettishes DO exist, and more common than people think. Heck there are even websites devoted to that should you be interested.

And honestly, as it currently sits, many women are threatened into giving up their kids rights. Fortunately in the current system, there is no way to allow physical violence and sexual activity to a minor, even through signed wavers from the parents. If the waver does exist, then the parents are simply charged as well as the perpetrator. That's how simple it can be to prevent such a waver from being used to allow abuse of the child.

Jae Onasi
12-03-2007, 12:26 AM
Keep it PG-13/teen rated, folks. :)

Tommycat
12-03-2007, 02:36 AM
Well we could also switch to legal prize fighting where two people voluntarily sign a contract which states that its acceptable for the other person to do their darndest to knock them out. Boxing, UFC etc are a couple of good examples. Granted there are spectators. But go to a gym to train, and you sign a waiver before you are allowed to enter the ring with another person who's intent is to knock you out.


I was trying to keep it fairly clean.

John Galt
12-03-2007, 06:30 PM
Well we could also switch to legal prize fighting where two people voluntarily sign a contract which states that its acceptable for the other person to do their darndest to knock them out. Boxing, UFC etc are a couple of good examples. Granted there are spectators. But go to a gym to train, and you sign a waiver before you are allowed to enter the ring with another person who's intent is to knock you out.


I was trying to keep it fairly clean.

Right, that's exactly what I was saying. I was trying to get two birds with one stone, so to speak, in dealing with dueling/fighting and euthanasia(or "right to die," if you're into political correctness) with one swipe. I mean, it would cut down on murders, like it did in the 19th century(the hatfield-mccoy feud comes to mind, since I live in feuding country). Instead of a conflict being settled by a messy drive-by shooting that could result in innocent bystanders getting hit, people could agree to kill each other in a civilized fashion. I'm speaking from personal experience: a cousin of mine got drive-by'd, it is very messy.

The way I see it, parents could not sign away the rights of their children, because they don't own their children. The children own themselves, and shouldn't be able to sign away rights until they're 18, or wherever the age of consent is set.

As an aside, that is also why I oppose abortion. It's off-topic I know, but I wanted to clarify while I was on the subject of childrens' rights.

Web Rider
12-03-2007, 07:08 PM
The way I see it, parents could not sign away the rights of their children, because they don't own their children. The children own themselves, and shouldn't be able to sign away rights until they're 18, or wherever the age of consent is set.

Technically, they do. Since everyone under the age of 18(unless emancipated by a court), is only granted any kinds of rights through their parents and other adults. This is why schools can give you a dress code and it's MANDATORY for kids to be in school during the required times. Because they're not really granted the rights of a normal citizen until they are 18.

In reference to your post earlier regarding signing contracts, and such, many, if not most abused women do not work. In cases where they do, it is caught almost immediately by fellow co-workers. Most working women are also far more empowered than non working ones, and are much less likely to stick around with an abusive partner.

Of course this also brings up, aside abuse and fighting, what about drinking and smoking? If people are owners of themselves, but companies have the right to eliminate your benefits if you are doing something that would cause yourself harm and then make them pay for it, would that mean that companies could force people to be sober 24/7 and not smoke?

While I generally would agree on the smoking issue, I have a beer or glass of wine maybe once or twice a month. I don't get drunk and I do like how they taste. I am generally out to dinner or enjoying a meal with my family when I do. I'm not in any situation where I'm going to get loaded, and never have(for the record), but, would this "you own yourself" laws allow me to be fired, or not hired by a company for having a drink now and then?

Even if said drink had no effect on my performance at work or was relevant to my job in any manner?

John Galt
12-03-2007, 08:25 PM
Technically, they do. Since everyone under the age of 18(unless emancipated by a court), is only granted any kinds of rights through their parents and other adults. This is why schools can give you a dress code and it's MANDATORY for kids to be in school during the required times. Because they're not really granted the rights of a normal citizen until they are 18.

In reference to your post earlier regarding signing contracts, and such, many, if not most abused women do not work. In cases where they do, it is caught almost immediately by fellow co-workers. Most working women are also far more empowered than non working ones, and are much less likely to stick around with an abusive partner.

Of course this also brings up, aside abuse and fighting, what about drinking and smoking? If people are owners of themselves, but companies have the right to eliminate your benefits if you are doing something that would cause yourself harm and then make them pay for it, would that mean that companies could force people to be sober 24/7 and not smoke?

While I generally would agree on the smoking issue, I have a beer or glass of wine maybe once or twice a month. I don't get drunk and I do like how they taste. I am generally out to dinner or enjoying a meal with my family when I do. I'm not in any situation where I'm going to get loaded, and never have(for the record), but, would this "you own yourself" laws allow me to be fired, or not hired by a company for having a drink now and then?

Even if said drink had no effect on my performance at work or was relevant to my job in any manner?

Right. The thing is, I don't agree with public schooling, at least not from the federal government. I think people's rights are inalienable, derived from reason and sentience, and are most of all not granted or bestowed by the government.

That's the thing with this plan... It makes drug laws entirely obsolete, considering that all matters of substance use/abuse are between the individual and his(or her) employer. The way I see it, absence of drug/alcohol clauses in employment contracts could just be another way a company could attract potential employees, and the entire system would end the illegal drug trade, as companies could provide the same products, just better and cheaper(which would also break the collective backs of the drug-based gangs like ending prohibition did for the mafia). Likewise for smoking.

Tommycat
12-03-2007, 08:48 PM
... like ending prohibition did for the mafia....
Ending Prohibition broke the backs of the Mafia? Someone forgot to send that memo to Vegas....:D

Web Rider
12-03-2007, 09:16 PM
Right. The thing is, I don't agree with public schooling, at least not from the federal government. I think people's rights are inalienable, derived from reason and sentience, and are most of all not granted or bestowed by the government.

That's the thing with this plan... It makes drug laws entirely obsolete, considering that all matters of substance use/abuse are between the individual and his(or her) employer. The way I see it, absence of drug/alcohol clauses in employment contracts could just be another way a company could attract potential employees, and the entire system would end the illegal drug trade, as companies could provide the same products, just better and cheaper(which would also break the collective backs of the drug-based gangs like ending prohibition did for the mafia). Likewise for smoking.

So unreasonable people and those with severe mental retardation would not have rights? What defines a "reasonable" person. We call Bin Laden unreasonable and he says the same of us, who's right?

psst...prohibition made the mafia stronger.

John Galt
12-03-2007, 09:21 PM
Ending Prohibition broke the backs of the Mafia? Someone forgot to send that memo to Vegas....:D

"broke the back" may not have been the best turn of phrase; they still had gambling, prostitution, and illegal drugs. During prohibition, bootlegging was their main source of income. truly killing the mafia would likely involve legalizing gambling everywhere, drugs, and prostitution. Off topic, though.

back on topic: As I said earlier, a contract-based rights system would help to return control to individuals, where it belongs.

MdKnightR
12-04-2007, 01:25 AM
That's the thing with this plan... It makes drug laws entirely obsolete, considering that all matters of substance use/abuse are between the individual and his(or her) employer. The way I see it, absence of drug/alcohol clauses in employment contracts could just be another way a company could attract potential employees, and the entire system would end the illegal drug trade, as companies could provide the same products, just better and cheaper(which would also break the collective backs of the drug-based gangs like ending prohibition did for the mafia). Likewise for smoking.

If all employers used this contract-based system (otherwise known as the Drug-Free Workplace), drug problems would be drastically reduced in ways that the current "War on Drugs" can only dream about. In fact, it's really the only effective way to combat drug addiction. To quote something I said earlier..."The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 77% of drug users in the United States are employed. 77%!!! If every place of employment were to participate in a Drug-Free Workplace program, it would make an incredible positive impact that the current approach could never have. Not to mention the impact that would have on the cost of health care and health insurance coverage."

Web Rider
12-04-2007, 01:37 AM
If all employers used this contract-based system (otherwise known as the Drug-Free Workplace), drug problems would be drastically reduced in ways that the current "War on Drugs" can only dream about. In fact, it's really the only effective way to combat drug addiction. To quote something I said earlier..."The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 77% of drug users in the United States are employed. 77%!!! If every place of employment were to participate in a Drug-Free Workplace program, it would make an incredible positive impact that the current approach could never have. Not to mention the impact that would have on the cost of health care and health insurance coverage."

that's just the thing though, some company could come along and hire all those druggies and, under this contract, not have to pay them health benefits, or maybe just give them paltry ones to seem nice, and they'd make millions by essentially having sweat-shop laborers who couldn't get work elsewhere.

They could put them in extremely dangerous situations and since they're druggies who the world around ready doesn't care about, they could get hurt in manners not seen since "The Jungle". And what would we say? "Serves you right for doing drugs!"
or: "that's what you get for smoking!"
or: "teach you to have a beer when you get off after a hard day!"

And how do we take into account various medical perscriptions that are, essentially, little different from street drugs. Say someone is under treatment for X condition and takes a drug that makes a blood test show they've got high levels of Y drug in them. Do they get fired for violating the contract?

Would this contract be so drug free that it would put off medical care(that the company could pay for but didn't have the actual service for)?

MdKnightR
12-04-2007, 02:23 AM
Web Rider, your arguments are veering into asinine territory. Much of what you fear is unfounded.

Web Rider
12-04-2007, 02:35 AM
Web Rider, your arguments are veering into asinine territory. Much of what you fear is unfounded.

proof plz.

There is much proof to my "fear" of people being treated as disposable. As I referenced, the time before unions, where corporations essentially said "you'll work for what I'll give you, 'cause somebody else will be right in here and do it for less if you don't take it." I don't find it hard to believe that if you gave people the right to, essentially, sign away their rights, that corporations would quickly start hiring everyone who'd (pardon the expression), sell their soul for the job regardless of qualification.

Not to mention, if you are creating laws that disenfranchise those who do drugs, smoke, or drink, I wonder, "to what level" do we go?

Now of course there are going to be unions that are going to set up things like: "well, a person can have X beers a day and not affect their perfromance, so you can't take away health coverage for that."

well, how do we check if the people are doing that? Do we have a big, invasive nanny system that checks on people 24/7? Do we build Pullman trains while we live in Pullman houses while our kids go to a Pullman school and then we go to a Pullman Hell? in short: do we live at the job and the job checks up on us?

Do we have daily/weekly/random checkups? Do we rely on the honor system? That really works.

I'm serious, when you get down to the legal mumbo-jumbo of it, how do you assure that a person is following a contract to be drug free? How do you differentiate between legal drugs and illegial ones? At which point does the use of the former constitute a violation of contract? What about simple exercise? Will people be required to keep under a certain waistline? How do you prove that such a waistline is "healthy"? BMI? BMI is routinly proven as bogus.

I don't believe anything I've argued is unfounded, not from what I've seen in the past with the oppression of minority, poor, and female workers. The many sweat-shops that exist from China to the US to many other countries. The use of migrant labor as essentially slaver labor in the fields.

How do we ensure that companies aren't demanding your first born child as compensation for the honor of letting a poor mother work? yes, these things sound silly, but they are all things that are dealt with in the current system when you, nor anybody else, can sign away your rights.

Tommycat
12-04-2007, 07:03 AM
Not to mention, if you are creating laws that disenfranchise those who do drugs, smoke, or drink, I wonder, "to what level" do we go?
Um.... certain companies will not hire you if you smoke. Already happens. Some require a physical prior to taking the job. Some require random screening.

Now of course there are going to be unions that are going to set up things like: "well, a person can have X beers a day and not affect their perfromance, so you can't take away health coverage for that."

well, how do we check if the people are doing that? Do we have a big, invasive nanny system that checks on people 24/7? Do we build Pullman trains while we live in Pullman houses while our kids go to a Pullman school and then we go to a Pullman Hell? in short: do we live at the job and the job checks up on us?

Do we have daily/weekly/random checkups? Do we rely on the honor system? That really works.
This is already done by a great number of companies legally. The options are already there.
I'm serious, when you get down to the legal mumbo-jumbo of it, how do you assure that a person is following a contract to be drug free? How do you differentiate between legal drugs and illegial ones? At which point does the use of the former constitute a violation of contract? What about simple exercise? Will people be required to keep under a certain waistline? How do you prove that such a waistline is "healthy"? BMI? BMI is routinly proven as bogus.

I don't believe anything I've argued is unfounded, not from what I've seen in the past with the oppression of minority, poor, and female workers. The many sweat-shops that exist from China to the US to many other countries. The use of migrant labor as essentially slaver labor in the fields.

Legal versus illegal drugs is an easy one. If they are prescribed a drug, they have a prescription from a doctor, medical history, and can easily get a waiver based on the type of drug. I have to agree you are getting a bit out there. Put the pipe down haha...

Illegal drug use, I really have no pity for. Currently many companies require a wizz quiz prior to gaining employment. IF you are hurt no the job, they test you again. If you have alchohol or illegal drugs in your system, you are denied benefits from workman's comp, insurance, and a host of other benefits already. You are going off the deep end and veering into tinfoil hat area. My wife complained for a long time about not being able to get a job because she smoked(notice the past tense) marijuana on a regular basis. Well she quit, and now she has no fear when she goes to a job interview.


How do we ensure that companies aren't demanding your first born child as compensation for the honor of letting a poor mother work? yes, these things sound silly, but they are all things that are dealt with in the current system when you, nor anybody else, can sign away your rights.Signing away your rights happens already. It happens just as described. In a simple waiver. As has been shown, even a waiver does not cover gross neglegence. Say for instance I volunteer for a MMA fight. The other guy sneaks a bat into the ring(don't bring up wrestling, that's scripted entertainers), that would be an example of gross neglegence on the part of the event coordinators.

Web Rider
12-04-2007, 01:42 PM
Um.... certain companies will not hire you if you smoke. Already happens. Some require a physical prior to taking the job. Some require random screening.
I am aware of this. That wasn't my point. My point was "how far do we take it." Caffeine is a drug, which in large enough amounts, can cause just as many problems as any other drug. I can get caffeine in everything from Iced Tea to Coca-Cola, if I drink enough Cokes I'm gonna show some major side effects of the caffeine and sugar(among other things). EX: if you drink 3 cokes a day for several years continuously, you can rot your teeth, damage your gums, and give yourself a stomach ulcer(since the caffeine eats away at your stomach lining).

So what I'm asking is: Do we leave it up to each company to decide? And: IS there a point at which it's going too far?

This is already done by a great number of companies legally. The options are already there.
Since you apaprently didn't notice the barrage of questions I just asked, I am unaware of these places, if you'd like to show me some samples, by all means.

Legal versus illegal drugs is an easy one. If they are prescribed a drug, they have a prescription from a doctor, medical history, and can easily get a waiver based on the type of drug. I have to agree you are getting a bit out there. Put the pipe down haha...
that wasn't my point...again.
My point was that even prescribed drugs can have a noticeable effect on your mental and physical health, these in turn will have a visible effect on your performance at work. Could a company say you must have a "clean bill of health" to work there? Could a company deny me employment because I(in theory) take meds for depression, meds that are known to often have a visible effect on my mental and physical health(usually for the better of the former).

Illegal drug use, I really have no pity for. Currently many companies require a wizz quiz prior to gaining employment. IF you are hurt no the job, they test you again. If you have alchohol or illegal drugs in your system, you are denied benefits from workman's comp, insurance, and a host of other benefits already. You are going off the deep end and veering into tinfoil hat area. My wife complained for a long time about not being able to get a job because she smoked(notice the past tense) marijuana on a regular basis. Well she quit, and now she has no fear when she goes to a job interview.
I don't understand why you keep saying I'm crazy, and it's starting to get offensive. You are proposing a system radically different from the one we have(where rights are assured whether you like it or not). I am attacking it from every legal standpoint I can find. Since minimum wage is a "right" could not a company force you to waive that? What "rights" of the self exactly, are waiveable?

Signing away your rights happens already. It happens just as described. In a simple waiver. As has been shown, even a waiver does not cover gross neglegence. Say for instance I volunteer for a MMA fight. The other guy sneaks a bat into the ring(don't bring up wrestling, that's scripted entertainers), that would be an example of gross neglegence on the part of the event coordinators.
You're not signing away your rights, your signing a contract assuring whoever you work for that you wont hold them liable for you doing something stupid. Your ability to sue is not a "right", it's an option. Beyond signing liability wavers, nobody signs contracts that void their right guarenteed by the Bill of Rights.

MdKnightR
12-05-2007, 12:11 PM
And: IS there a point at which it's going too far?


I think you may want to look in the mirror for the answer to that question

Quite frankly, Tommycat interpreted what you were saying much the same way as I did and provided many of the answers that I would have had he not beat me to it. I think we got your point.

Since minimum wage is a "right" could not a company force you to waive that?

As for minimum wage (and I know this is slightly off topic), you should read an article called The Tempermental Minimum Wage by Walter Williams (http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/07/minwage.html). He is very knowledgeable and insightful in the arena of economics and personal freedoms.