Monday, May 17, 2010

Besetting sins

One place where my "small l" libertarianism ends is when libertarians endorse the legalization of street drugs and prostitution; I differ because I simply believe that there are certain behaviors that are "besetting sins," and hence a contract to indulge in these sins really ought not be protected by the law. It's simply going beyond the realm of "voluntary."

An exhibit of this principle comes from South Africa, where thousands of prostitutes are flocking to "serve" hundreds of thousands of soccer fans for this year's World Cup. The power of the besetting sin of fornication is illustrated by the fact that soccer fans will apparently be willing to "hire" prostitutes from Africa--knowing full well that Africa's AIDS tragedy has been largely transmitted through the same.

If you want a picture of the power of sexual immorality, you have it now. People will be paying hundreds of dollars effectively to play Russian Roulette.

1 comment:

pentamom said...

I pretty much gave on up libertarianism as a system the day I realized that harm is really a metaphysical, morality-based concept. If there's no neat way to come to an agreement about whether prostitution (for example) causes harm beyond the self, then you might as well concede that some agreed-upon moral system is what you really need as a basis for law (whether it's one that includes or excludes legal prostitution still has to be battled out), and the underlying libertarian principle goes out the window.

IOW, I agree with you, both for the reasons you gave, and for other reasons.