VannA wrote:I'm not just talking about suicide, I'm talking about gambling, about irresponsible parenting, drinking, etc.
Show 1 case, anywhere, in existance, where prohibtion has actually worked.
Okay. If you're going to call the banning of poker machines a form of "prohibition", then my "one case" is every state in every country where poker machines have not been introduced. Benefit: many fewer people with life-destroying gambling problems. Cost: a few filthy dollars in government revenue, and a small amount of brief, mindless 'fun' for those who are not susceptible to addiction.
I never suggested prohibition of alcohol: there is a difference between preventing a specific individual from accessing something, and instituting a national ban on it.
Regarding other drugs, then if by 'worked' you mean 'resulted in a perfect situation', then of course legislating against the importation and possession of drugs rarely if ever 'works'. But by limiting supply and at least making it harder for people to access some of the more dangerous drugs, positive results can be achieved. Yes, there are huge problems with this, regarding imperfect policing and the often poor quality of what does make it onto the black market, however I strongly disagree that an 'open slather' policy is the answer.
(Regarding "irresponsible parenting", I'm not sure what you meant or how it's relevant.)
"VannA" wrote: "Axolotl" wrote:
"VannA" wrote:You can't save people from themselves.
If by that you mean you can't help people through actions that curb their personal freedom in the short term (if not, I fail to see the relevance), then, well, yes you can. If someone has developed a life-destroying addiction, they may be unable to beat it alone, and require assistance. This assistance will involve keeping them away from the object of their addiction, even when they 'want' to be left alone and allowed to seek it out. I defy you to suggest that assisting them in this way is not a positive action.
That is *not* a positve action. The absolute first step in curing a dependancy addiction, physical or psychological, is acknowledgement of the problem, and agreeance that it requires fixing by the addict.
Then, you can help the addict prevent themselves from partaking.
Anything else, and you'll have moved the addiction, or simply put it into remission. You've not fixed it.
Suicide is exactly the same.
In both cases, the removal of the 'choice' of self-harm is not proposed as a full solution in itself. It is one step that must be taken to buy some time and prevent the person in question from doing more harm to themself/ending their life, to help them reach a point where deeper, more cause- than symptom-related assistance can be given. In the specific case of a substance addiction, I'm not suggesting that the first step should always be to remove the substance from the person without consent; obviously this is undesirable if the addiction can be tackled more directly from the get-go (although even with consent, they will in all likelihood 'change their mind' at some stage, and beg for the self-imposed ban to be lifted. What would you suggest be done at this point?). However, if the person is doing incremental damage to their mind and body every time the succumb to this addiction, then yes, it will often be necessary to remove the availability of the substance before attacking the root cause.
In any case, the finality of the act of suicide means that it is clearly not 'exactly the same'. If someone kills themself, they can no longer be helped. Their life is over, forever.
If this person, as will often be the case, is someone who could
have been helped, and in the long run experienced genuine happiness and a meaningful life, then this (to me) is a tragedy that is more than worth annoying a few libertarians to avert.