one of of the reasons i am an atheist is because i am more <--- 1000 times xD---> free being an atheist, you decide for your self, you take responsibility for your acts, not like a christian who thinks that every thing is god's will.
so my question is, i hate religion and do not believe in it because it shrinks my freedom, and if you want to be free, you should separate your self from it, do you think we atheist, who, also like me want to be free should oppose the government, corporations, capitalism and every agent who takes our freedom??

ok many people disagree with me and abolishing the government with the argument "who will stop crime, the leeches?.
first of all crime, why people rob you today? maybe if you are poor you will try to rob food because you were hungry, an individual will do anything that it takes to survive ;), instead of making laws and having brutal policeman why don't we eliminate the need of people to steal to survive?
corporate crime, corporations and people rob you in any level the can to perpetuate their power in the system some thing similar like the first example =) one of my favorite examples is the bank-
let's say, a poor couple need money to pay their health bill, so they go to the bank to asks for a lone, of course they will pay interest, in an other part of the world a rich man buys some financial products of the bank and the bank will pay him with interest, with the money the poor couple paid of interest their lone, and all this mafia, low wages, banks , high health cost is to gain profit and maintain the establishment of cartels and sick corporations.
leechers, well not even me want to go to work, to school in this stupid system that its made to rob me and maintain their establishment.

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Seatbelts/helmets are actually a good topic for discussing how far the government should go with this sort of thing.

My personal opinion is that seatbelts/helmets should be mandatory for those who have not yet reached adulthood, on the grounds that they are considered too young to make such a decision on their own yet. (Yes, I know that some teenagers are quite mature enough to make their own decisions on such things, while some adults are not. However, unless we wish to have psychological evaluations done of every person, we need a dividing line, and the current one is reaching the age of 18)

However, once you have reached the age where you are, as far as the law is concerned, old enough to be able to make up your own mind and make your own decisions, then they should be optional. All the government should provide is the pertinent information regarding the effects that wearing a seatbelt or helmet can have on your safety, provided as a part of the process of getting a driver's license for example. Armed with this information, the individual can decide for themselves if wearing a seatbelt/helmet is worth the bother, or if the risk of not wearing one is worth whatever benefits they get from it. Personal responsibility.

As for the other driver, with the choice of wearing/not wearing the safety devices being solely in the hands of the individual, they should feel no guilt over your dying due to the absence of said devices. Whether or not they feel guilt for hitting you (if it was their fault), driving while drunk (if drunk), talking on their cell phone (or texting), or being an innocent bystander which you slammed into while pulling off of the highway is completely irrelevant. My actions are my responsibility, and their actions are theirs. They should no more feel guilty for my actions then I should feel guilty for theirs.

And yes, I'd wear the seatbelt and helmet even if optional. But it should be my decision, not the government's.
I don't totally disagree, but as some counterpoints...

Those who don't use the safety devices do have a much higher probability of not only dying, but becoming vegetables. They are more likely to need social security, long-term care, be unable to work, etc. In other words, to become a burden on society. I know this sounds callous, but to make the point I thought I'd use some flamebait.

I know, intellectually, that the driver who kills someone not wearing a helmet shouldn't feel guilty. But they probably would. This happened to my friends dad, and he is still torn up 15 years after the fact. So while logically one shouldn't, usually they will anyhow. I know I would.

I don't feel strongly about this, but these are my inclinations. I'm glad you would wear safety devices, Dave, because I enjoy your comments too much to loose that noodle of yours. Oh, and I'm sure you have people who love you and all that. =)
True, guilt is not a logical thing. I'd feel horrible if I were to hit someone in my car and they died, wearing a helmet or not. But if they were not wearing a helmet, there would be an additional element of 'What where they thinking??'

And yes, wearing a helmet makes sense for many reasons. My uncle was run over by an 18-wheeler many years ago. While his leg was what was actually run over (and broken in several places), his head hit the curb. His helmet, as designed, absorbed most of the impact, shattered into a million pieces, and left my uncle with a slight concussion rather than dead. He is a strong advocate of wearing helmets.

So I'm very much in favor of everyone wearing helmets, I just have a healthy dislike of laws that are passed in order to protect us from ourselves. I'd prefer that people actually educate themselves on the facts and make intelligent choices. I know, unrealistic of me. :)
This raises the question... do we have the right to be stupid or careless? When our actions affect other people negatively, then we're violating their rights. Individual freedom is great until it takes precedence over another individual's freedom, whom the perpetrator has failed to have empathy for. It's natural to be that self centered, but it's not conducive to peaceful living.
you are free until you interfere with others freedom
In general, the 'Your right to swing your arm stops at the tip of my nose' stance.

the tricky part, as always, is defining which freedoms are protected, and which ones are not.

For example, I support freedom of speech. As a result of that freedom, people will be offended at what some people exercise that right to say. The speaker's freedom to speak trumps the listener's freedom to walk down the street without overhearing something that offends them.
However, a person's freedom to attend a public function without fear of being trampled trumps the speaker's freedom to falsely shout 'Fire' in a theater.

It's a balancing act, and always has been. There are no ultra-simple, black and white answers.
I can't seem to get the Reply button to work in this thread. I wanted to respond to CaraColeen.

"There are many organizations that bend over backwards trying to give the poor a chance, but their success ultimately depends on their desire to BE successful. They are the only ones truly repressing themselves. Because so many people in this country HAVE struggled to escape the gutters, there's no excuse."

On that, I respectfully disagree. First let me say that I realize you may be painting the poor with such a broad brush out of convenience and I am not trying to be pedantic in pointing that out, but I think that we can agree that poverty and it's causes are a complicated layer of reasons. While the picture you paint can be true in some individual cases, the systemic problem is not borne out of self repression or laziness. There are indeed many organizations that bend over backwards to help, but they treat only the symptoms and not the root causes. Sure there are a few who pull themselves out of poverty to success by their bootstraps, but they are exceedingly rare. Does anyone really believe that people prefer being malnourished and underemployed in menial jobs? Well, there are exceptions to most rules.

The foundation of the problem starts at birth and the damage is mostly done by the time a child enters school at 6 or 7 years of age. Children of poor parents are generally children of undereducated parents. They are exposed to less language, they are malnourished which affects their learning abilities, experience more violence which is traumatic (also affecting learning), and they are part of families that may not possess basic parenting skills. All this and more combines to put the child at a disadvantage for the rest of his life. The cycle of poverty is never broken at the root. Programs for worker training rarely work, it's as if the people who earnestly take part just can not function normally or pick up new skill sets. There are a few programs that reach parents while they are expecting and the results are much better, with children performing as well as their more affluent middle class peers in school and life in general. These programs teach parents how to parent (it does not come naturally!) and makes sure kids are read to, fed, and have a safe environment to grow up in. And just to clarify, the learning is not simply facts in school, but social learning also.

The problem is these programs are really looking far into the future for the results. They will not pull the parents out of poverty. Sadly, they are stuck and there is no help for them. You can blame them or blame society or blame whatever. It doesn't really matter about the blame if the cycle of poverty is not broken with the children. And to do that, you have to get them while they are in the womb.
i agree
The WIC program helps with this, ensuring that expectant mothers, infants, and children get proper nutrition.
Yes, I had forgotten about WIC. This is a great program but only addresses one part of the problem. There really isn't much out there that is comprehensive in it's approach. Peter Singer thinks that we are well equipped today to eliminate poverty. I think he is right, but it does not seem to be a priority for most people or governments. The amount of effort and the radical way to approach it would fall flat on most ears.
That is not so much a failing of government, though, as it is of the American public and more specifically the conservative political world view. Again, a pitfall of human nature. There are some who view *ANY* type of government handout as wrong and they are fiercely defensive against anything they view as a government handout no matter how much good it may do in the long run.

Just look at the response to the bailout, specifically the uproar about unemployment benefits. That was, in effect, a move to combat poverty - to prevent families from falling into poverty due to layoffs and/or company closures caused by the economic mess. And *THAT* was the thing that conservatives and these Tea Party idiots lashed out against hardest. It was a handout, to hell with the fact that it could keep good, honest, hard working people from falling into a state of poverty! Economic studies showing unemployment is THE single most effective means of economic stimulus be damned! This is America and if you don't have a job you're a bum and don't deserve to eat or have a roof to live under. It means nothing that you've been left jobless mainly as an after-effect of unchecked corporate greed nearly collapsing the entire world economy. Get a job you loser!!!

Think about that incredible, relentless backlash that Obama and the Democrats had to stave off due to the relatively harmless, small inclusion of extending unemployment benefits during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.

Now imagine how many times over it would be multiplied if the Dems attempted a sweeping, likely multi-trillion dollar program to wipe out poverty in America. Conservatives wouldn't give two shits about the large scale potential benefits of completely eradicating poverty. It's a government hand out and that's UnAmerican!
Hmmm, as an aside... I have to say I continuously forget about the recession. That issue really is an exception to the norm, and obviously "poverty" is taking on a new meaning right now. If you CAN'T get a job, that's completely different than simply settling for the lifestyle you were raised in.


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