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Should doctors be allowed to withhold medical care to gays/lesbians?


Pangloss
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Paranoia, I think your definition of "liberty" is too narrow. Presenting this issue as a question of "rights" and "liberties" in such a simplistic way just doesn't work, you have to ignore the rights and the liberties of other people. Your example show this very well; if "blacks" can now enjoy a similar level of freedom as everyone else, it's [in part] because discrimination based on race is illegal.

 

So yes, if you adopt an extremely narrow definition of rights and liberties, this case is really about removing some rights from the doctors. But of course, discrimination based on race, or gender, or sexual orientations; it does affect the life and freedom of others.

 

So the real question here is; are we going to allow the doctors, who choose their job and specialization BTW, to follow their conscience and ignores the rights of homosexuals, or are we going to protect the rights of homosexuals and ignore the rights of doctors to follow their conscience. It's certainly not about protecting rights and liberties, it's about what kind of rights and liberties we're going to protect in this situation.

 

Right, this law doesn't proscribe that all doctors everywhere have to perform artificial inseminations on demand to whoever does it? If you don't want to have to inseminate lesbians, don't set up to perform inseminations. Am I missing something?

 

Exactly.

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I don't see how one can arrogantly dismiss a livelihood of medicine to another person over a difference of moral code and conduct.

 

How would you feel if a doctor refused to perform a procedure because a patient was black, but was perfectly willing to perform the same procedure on white people?

 

Right, this law doesn't proscribe that all doctors everywhere have to perform artificial inseminations on demand to whoever does it? If you don't want to have to inseminate lesbians, don't set up to perform inseminations. Am I missing something?

 

I certainly think doctors should have the right to unilaterally refuse to perform certain procedures. However, when they start discriminating about what procedures they perform on the basis of things like gender, race, or sexual orientation, I have to draw the line.

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More specifically, if they do offer it at all, they must offer it equally to everyone. Most posters seem to agree on this, and have used the racism analogue well in support of the necessity of preventing selective offerings based on personal preferences.

 

However, where it gets tricky is in cases like pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for "morning after" pills or contraception and the like. Not exactly thread relevant, but certainly following the same vein. It's not "discrimination" any more, just a method of using their personal belief to restrict their job description. "I will fill all medicines to assist your health and well-being, unless you want a condom or a birth control pill because my sacred book and my local family child molestor preacher told me that's bad."

 

The case for "discrimination" doesn't so easily apply in that situation, but I still think it's wrong since pharmacies are there to offer such services.

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However, where it gets tricky is in cases like pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for "morning after" pills or contraception and the like.

 

That broaches the question of why they would carry medication they don't intend to sell.

 

If you're a fundie pharmacist who doesn't like the idea Preven, don't stock it. Simple as that.

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If you're a fundie pharmacist who doesn't like the idea Preven, don't stock it. Simple as that.

 

What if they didn't like the idea of insulin, or of heart medication, or of high blood pressure medication, or of some other medication? Would it still be so simple for them just "not to stock it" because it was against their personal belief system? Should that even be allowed since being a pharmacist requires licensing? Can't it be mandated as part of that license that such proven meds be available?

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What if they didn't like the idea of insulin, or of heart medication, or of high blood pressure medication, or of some other medication? Would it still be so simple for them just "not to stock it" because it was against their personal belief system? Should that even be allowed since being a pharmacist requires licensing? Can't it be mandated as part of that license that such proven meds be available?

 

Yes it is the owners of the companies chose. If I own a store and I want x and y in my store but not z then I should have the right to do so. If you want z then sorry but you will need to go to a different store.

 

In America we have a free market economy and in such we let the supplier choose what they supply. The government should not intervene in the economy.

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Not if you're licensed by the state. At that point, governmental intervention is not only allowed, it's an absolute necessity.

 

 

<also, I'm not going to slaughter you for that "government shouldn't intervene in the economy" statement since you're intentions are good and it's far from thread relevant... I'll just say that they absolutely do, and in many cases, absolutely should.>

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Well' date=' yes, I agree the doctors have a valid concern. Those who are affected have been somewhat backed into a corner by the law. But they are only in this position because of beliefs that they hold, as opposed to the people they are (it's easier to admit that god doesn't want single parents to go to hell than it is to stop being a lesbian).

 

Also, they do have a raft of options available to them for coping, such as reconsidering those specific beliefs which lead to the dilemma, how they integrate those beliefs into their working practises, whether or not they should even be doing that, and so on. The lesbian who wants to bear a child is not so fortunate, and she is not responsible for the doctor's dilemma.[/quote']

 

Good points, IMO, especially how they're in that position because of their beliefs, not their jobs.

 

A middle ground might be a system whereby doctors maintain a list of local alternatives to whom the patient can be referred to where there is a conflict of interests. It should be reasonably straightforward for a doctor to predict the kind of conflicts which might come up in their line of work, and locate colleagues nearby who won't have the same problems. I know this did actually happen in the quoted article, and the woman still sued, but that's litigious societies for you. It should have been "refer", not "refuse.... but also refer".

 

I agree (and suggested something similar back in post #9). I think finding alternatives is going to have to mean direct government involvement (ensuring availability of services, especially in rural areas), but I think that's better than forcing people to perform medical procedures they find repugnant.

 

Incidentally, there was a similar outcry from Catholic adoption agencies when the Equality Act was introduced to the UK.

 

(Shortened for brevity.) Interesting! (Isn't it funny how, as different as our two society's legal structures are, we so often have the same moral dilemmas?) The quote about manifestation as distinct from a held belief is also very interesting. Having a legal distinction like that on record in this country might go a long way towards not only establishing the proper footing for things like this, but actually assuaging the religious conflict as well. I think most religious people don't want to be put in this position, and I think that's why we haven't seen this sort of thing happen more often (like, every time a gay person goes to a christian doctor!).

 


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Right, this law doesn't proscribe that all doctors everywhere have to perform artificial inseminations on demand to whoever does it? If you don't want to have to inseminate lesbians, don't set up to perform inseminations. Am I missing something?

 

The doctor's mistake was telling the patient why he/she wouldn't treat her. Lie, and say you aren't taking on new patients, or something similar. But California has anti-discrimination laws that cover this situation. If you don't like it, vote with your feet, or stop performing the service altogether.

 

That's what a lot of obstetricians do, apparently, rather than be forced to perform abortions. They say "well I can't get the malpractice insurance, so I just won't offer the service", when actually it's a moral objection. And it's not just in the US -- I ran across an article the other day saying that 70% of Italian doctors won't perform abortions because of religious objections. (Incidentally, is abortion still illegal in Northern Ireland? Just curious.)

 

I think it's a different argument. A doctor specializes and doesn't do certain procedures. Do we make an orthopedist who specializes in shoulder injuries treat your broken toe? If you don't do abortions, you don't do abortions. It would be the same argument if the doctor only performed abortions on lesbians.

 

But many doctors are fully trained and capable of performing that procedure, and many of them specialize in the subject most closely related to that procedure (obstetrics).

 

So isn't the real question whether they can be forced to perform at all? Aren't the moral grounds irrelevent? What is the difference between refusing to perform an operation because of who it's on, and refusing to perform an operation because of its result?

 

Quoting from a 1990 paper in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

http://www.faqs.org/abstracts/Health/Does-obstetric-ethics-have-any-role-in-the-obstetricians-response-to-the-abortion-controversy-part-2.html

 

The physician's private conscience does not govern actions taken as an obstetrician; this issue is discussed in detail. Residents cannot be required to perform abortions, since this may violate their private consciences.

 

The reason stated in the quote above are right at the end of the quote -- since this may violate their private consciences. That is the ONLY concern -- that it might violate their private consciences. Not "their private consciences are weighed against the rights of the mother and we determine them to be slightly more important".

 

The point being that we let them off the hook, not because they're insufficiently specialized, or because they're talking about some sort of internalized moral dilemma instead of one that impacts on a third party, but rather because their private conscience forbids it, period, end of sentence.

 

I'm not holding this up as the epitome of logic and reason, mind you -- I'm asking why we let these guys off the hook, but not the pharmacists or the in-vitro specialists. Given the state of abortion clinics in rural areas and the far greater immediacy of a need for an abortion (as opposed to a much more time-flexible need for in-vitro fertilization), you would think that it would be the other way around, wouldn't you?

 


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The point is that the doctor's office has a business license like the other businesses in the community. Because of the state law regarding discrimination businesses cannot not refuse service to people just because they fit in a group like blacks, gays, Hispanics, etc.. If this doctor offers insemination to single women then he cannot just select some arbitrary reason to refuse service to a whole set of women in the group like women that re black, Hispanic or gay. Single women are single women regardless of their sexual orientation. Would it be okay if the restaurant next door with the same business license he has asked incoming customers if they are gay or not?

 

iNow (and I think a couple others) made a similar argument, and I admit it's the most sound reasoning on the grounds of precedent.

 

One anecodotal example that one person impacted by the physician/pharmacists refusal to treat had other options doesn't mean everyone will.

 

I agree, that's why I (and Sayonarra) have suggested that the government be enabled to ensure alternatives are present. I'm sure you would agree that the abortion situation in rural areas is actually more pressing than the situation we've been discussing.

 

If you're a fundie pharmacist who doesn't like the idea Preven, don't stock it. Simple as that.

 

Actually they're in trouble for that as well. Groups are asking that they be required to stock those drugs. (I think Wal-Mart just changed its policy on this at the behest of their lawyers, fearing legal action, if memory serves.)

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Actually they're in trouble for that as well. Groups are asking that they be required to stock those drugs

 

Oh no! Groups! Asking for things! As I understand it there's a fairly large vocal group asking for Bush to be impeached, but that's accomplished squat.

 

Remind me about that when it's national law...

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Paranoia' date=' I think your definition of "liberty" is too narrow. Presenting this issue as a question of "rights" and "liberties" in such a simplistic way just doesn't work, you have to ignore the rights and the liberties of other people. Your example show this very well; if "blacks" can now enjoy a similar level of freedom as everyone else, it's [in part'] because discrimination based on race is illegal.

 

So yes, if you adopt an extremely narrow definition of rights and liberties, this case is really about removing some rights from the doctors. But of course, discrimination based on race, or gender, or sexual orientations; it does affect the life and freedom of others.

 

That's not a narrow definition, that's quite broad and fair. I'm taking the subjectivity OUT of it, as it has no place here. That's where you get your complexity from here. That's why you're all talking in circles from where I sit. You're all just splitting hairs on the rationale used to abandon prinicple because you don't like what you see other people do with their freedom.

 

I say, tough. I can freely hate you for whatever stupid reason I like. I don't have to let lezbians in my house. I don't have to accept christians on my property. I simply extend this to business. It's their business, their property and they shouldn't have to do squat that you want. This is what gives me the right to gamble, to reject god and religion, to refuse all products and services from hate groups like the KKK, black panthers - practicing what you preach to others gives you the moral ground to preach in the first place.

 

And no business will stay in business with discrimination like that. The state has no business legislating my prejudices for me.

 

So the real question here is; are we going to allow the doctors, who choose their job and specialization BTW, to follow their conscience and ignores the rights of homosexuals, or are we going to protect the rights of homosexuals and ignore the rights of doctors to follow their conscience. It's certainly not about protecting rights and liberties, it's about what kind of rights and liberties we're going to protect in this situation.

 

Clearly we're going to strip the rights of the doctor, based on our own subjective prejudice, circumventing individual moral choice and liberty, and presume artificial insemination is grounds enough to eject him from the medical community altogether. Haters don't have the same rights as the hated.

 

I don't suppose you'll come to the aid of a child molester being refused Viagra treatment by a doctor who was a former victim? Yes, I'm quite sure you'll kick that doctor out of the field too right?

 

Absolutely disgusting. Also on par for a society rationalizing itself out of its freedoms. What a noble effort.

 

Stop judging each other. It's not your job. If freedom is not applied objectively, then it's not equatable.

 

How would you feel if a doctor refused to perform a procedure because a patient was black, but was perfectly willing to perform the same procedure on white people?

 

I would think he's a real asshole. And I doubt he'd get much business, people don't like that attitude - he'll have to do what they do today - fake it.

 

But more importantly it depends on the context. In an ER, that's obviously critical and the hospital is not going to hire people that don't agree to work on people, regardless of race, religion and etc. So if he refuses, he's fired. And remember, the government is an employer and I fully expect a subjective obligation on the part of its employees for equal treatment.

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A middle ground might be a system whereby doctors maintain a list of local alternatives to whom the patient can be referred to where there is a conflict of interests. It should be reasonably straightforward for a doctor to predict the kind of conflicts which might come up in their line of work, and locate colleagues nearby who won't have the same problems. I know this did actually happen in the quoted article, and the woman still sued, but that's litigious societies for you. It should have been "refer", not "refuse.... but also refer".

 

But I don't agree with any notions of forcing businesses and employees to perform services against their will, for whatever petulant, meaningless reason they desire. If I want to open a fertilization clinic named "ParanoiA's Exclusive Black and Hetro Reproduction Induction Express" and refuse to inseminate anyone who isn't black and heterosexual - hell, I'll throw in christian - then I ought to be able to do it, and refuse service to anyone else.

 

Whilst I agree with the sentiments, the problem with allowing people to discriminate is that they will. What if too many people decide that they want to refuse treatment to a group such that that group has difficulty in finding treatment?

 

otoh, I suppose there'd be nothing wrong with oblijing a doctor to provide, but not neccesarily perform, the treatment, thus allowing him to reffer if possible but obligating him to perform if no-one else is available to do it? in fact, i don't see how you could even prevent that from happening (as swansont said, the doctor should have kept his motives quiet).

 

ParanoiA: wasn't discrimination like that allowed in 1920's america? and didn't black people actually not benifit that much from it?

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Whilst I agree with the sentiments, the problem with allowing people to discriminate is that they will. What if too many people decide that they want to refuse treatment to a group such that that group has difficulty in finding treatment?

 

But discrimination is a subjective concept. To pre 1861 americans, they might claim discrimination against them because they own slaves. Discrimination is just a function of whatever is "acceptable to society today". A hundred years from now they may shutter at the thought we "owned" animals and characterize us like we disparage slave owners.

 

So, no, I'm not interested in government regulated prejudice. I don't agree with the laws created that violate that principle. Best for government not to pass judgement on subjective matters, as that's the entry point for individual choice.

 

ParanoiA: wasn't discrimination like that allowed in 1920's america? and didn't black people actually not benifit that much from it?

 

Sure it was, and we were evolving just like we're still evolving. I don't know how fast things would have changed without violating our basic principles of liberty, but they certainly would have. The mere fact that these laws were created suggests a large, if not a major majority of people agreeing with the ideas of equality, ashamed of their past behavior. Law was introduced to force the minority to assimilate. A noble cause, but invested in the wrong institution.

 

Now, this same institution threatens ALL of our liberty - based on this kind of precedence. Now there's nothing that's off the table. Every freedom I enjoy is up for debate. No matter if it causes direct harm or not. We are completely conditioned to judging each other and using legislation to engineer the society we want. That's the irrevocable harm caused by using the government to legitimize subjective behavior and choice. It was never theirs to do this. Objective harm, was their mandate, individual choice was up to the people.

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So, no, I'm not interested in government regulated prejudice. I don't agree with the laws created that violate that principle. Best for government not to pass judgement on subjective matters, as that's the entry point for individual choice.

 

But, e.g., the entire point of a constitution is in recognition that a bigoted majority may try to suppress a minority. Surely, in at least some matters, you need to legislate to enforse the constitution (or, iow, in order to enforce whatever it is that you've descided that a bigoted majority shouldn't be allowed to do to a minority)?

 

Now, this same institution threatens ALL of our liberty - based on this kind of precedence. Now there's nothing that's off the table. Every freedom I enjoy is up for debate. No matter if it causes direct harm or not. We are completely conditioned to judging each other and using legislation to engineer the society we want. That's the irrevocable harm caused by using the government to legitimize subjective behavior and choice. It was never theirs to do this. Objective harm, was their mandate, individual choice was up to the people.

 

But sometimes a freedom needs to be sacraficed in order to preserve another freedom (i.e. freedom of prejudice vs. freedom from suppression). The legislature is designed to prevent people from using social/business set-ups in order to engineer a society they want (i.e., sans pooftahs). And, while i agree that a country should only legislate on things that are direclty harmful, i wasn't aware that this was a particularly well-established modus operandi of the american govournment?

 

Not entirely sure about discrimination being subjective... I kinda agree, and admit that it would have worsened the case if there had been legislature preventing people from discriminating against slave-owners by witholding buisness... hmm...

 

otoh, i kinda have a problem with the idea that 'gay people shouldn't be suppressed by society' is 'subjective'... hmmmmm....

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But, e.g., the entire point of a constitution is in recognition that a bigoted majority may try to suppress a minority. Surely, in at least some matters, you need to legislate to enforse the constitution (or, iow, in order to enforce whatever it is that you've descided that a bigoted majority shouldn't be allowed to do to a minority)?

Or in this case, shouldn't be allowed not to do.

 

 

But sometimes a freedom needs to be sacraficed in order to preserve another freedom (i.e. freedom of prejudice vs. freedom from suppression). The legislature is designed to prevent people from using social/business set-ups in order to engineer a society they want (i.e., sans pooftahs). And, while i agree that a country should only legislate on things that are direclty harmful, i wasn't aware that this was a particularly well-established modus operandi of the american govournment?
Certain freedoms can be withheld to maintain a working society, however the importance is understanding the difference between what I've heard described as 'positive' and 'negative' freedoms. Telling someone they can't do something is different than telling someone that they must do something.
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But, e.g., the entire point of a constitution is in recognition that a bigoted majority may try to suppress a minority. Surely, in at least some matters, you need to legislate to enforse the constitution (or, iow, in order to enforce whatever it is that you've descided that a bigoted majority shouldn't be allowed to do to a minority)?

 

The benefit of the constitution is to protect them from being bigoted using law. The constitution is a refutation of legally instituted oppression. Fierce individual liberty is codified in that beauty. And that's not always a pretty sight. But I believe in it utterly.

 

But sometimes a freedom needs to be sacraficed in order to preserve another freedom (i.e. freedom of prejudice vs. freedom from suppression). The legislature is designed to prevent people from using social/business set-ups in order to engineer a society they want (i.e., sans pooftahs). And, while i agree that a country should only legislate on things that are direclty harmful, i wasn't aware that this was a particularly well-established modus operandi of the american govournment?

 

Yeah, I don't agree with the modus operandi of my government. I'm more of the direct harm only type. I realize it would have created an even more segragated demography, but I think it would have allowed the societies to meld together on their own time and terms so it becomes an act of will rather than an act of obedience. I think that would have had a more enduringly healthy effect and we would never have established the precedence of government judgement of societal behavior and morals.

 

Not entirely sure about discrimination being subjective... I kinda agree' date=' and admit that it would have worsened the case if there had been legislature preventing people from discriminating against slave-owners by witholding buisness... hmm...

 

otoh, i kinda have a problem with the idea that 'gay people shouldn't be suppressed by society' is 'subjective'... hmmmmm....[/quote']

 

Well it's an opinion based on moral and ethical conclusions. Most of us agree that gay people shouldn't be suppressed by society. Most of the south could have agreed that slaves weren't people. Both are based on moral and ethical conclusions.

 

And when the government instituted those conclusions what happened? Slavery. But had the government been forced not to institute subjective matters of moral codes, such as judging one human over another, slavery may have been ended in 1787. (Of course, that's a complicated story, but in short, our founders didn't live up to the principles they romanticized.)

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Or in this case, shouldn't be allowed not to do.

 

[...]

 

Certain freedoms can be withheld to maintain a working society, however the importance is understanding the difference between what I've heard described as 'positive' and 'negative' freedoms. Telling someone they can't do something is different than telling someone that they must do something.

 

depends. philisophically, you could argue that failure to act is an act. also, is desciding to descriminate by witholding service a positive act (i.e., commiting the act of discrimination) or a negative act (not commiting the act of providing a service)?

 

either way, most legal systems have at least a smattering of positive laws (i.e., laws that oblige you to do something, rather than to not do something): duty of care (for teachers, parent, doctor, etc), the laws that obligate you to pay taxes, and certain human rights laws.

 

(not ignoring you ParanoiA, will think further on what you've said)

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The benefit of the constitution is to protect them from being bigoted using law. The constitution is a refutation of legally instituted oppression. Fierce individual liberty is codified in that beauty. And that's not always a pretty sight. But I believe in it utterly.

 

Utterly to the point that all businesses should effectively have the right to refuse service to any group of people they want? Should all anti-discrimination laws be eliminated?

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Utterly to the point that all businesses should effectively have the right to refuse service to any group of people they want? Should all anti-discrimination laws be eliminated?

 

Absolutely. Just like I am free to discriminate who enters my house, I should be free to discriminate who enters my business, works at my business, and etc.

 

A job is not a right. Trading with whomever you want shouldn't be a right either. All interaction should be mutual will. To keep people out of your business, denying them access to trade property with you for food and etc is an ugly practice to most of us, depending on the group you're picking on, but it's not justified to institute government sanctified prejudice to override your personal choice by using law, rather you should be punished by the free discrimination and rejection of your business by others.

 

They can trade for food, clothing and etc with someone else, or make their own. Why should one be obligated to sacrifice personal choice just because society "chose" to assimilate itself into a dependent network of grocery stores and etc? Because individuals "chose" that arrangement, now other individuals have to sacrifice their choice?

 

It's akin to the paradigm that one must have a job to survive. In reality, one chooses to work a job as a means to collect their resources.

 

Yeah, I know, ivory tower, blah blah blah...but that's what I believe. And I also think the free market helps to homogenize the classes in a better framework - free will. Even though money may be the ultimate motivator in that arrangement, it's still an act of self will to exercise tolerance to gain business advantage. Anti discrimination law depends on an act of obedience, which encourages resentment and of course, is a major violation of individual choice which has helped to put all kinds of people in jail and prison for no good damn reason - like growing pot plants, or selling sex. Which, consequently, diverts law enforcement resources from stuff like murder and rape to looking for pot heads and hookers.

 

I think that's dumb. Real effin dumb.

 

(Sorry, kind of got on a roll there. You didn't ask for all that!!)

 

Why stop at anti-discrimination laws? Some people might feel their freedom to stab customers in the eye is being restricted.

 

Because that's direct damage objectively interpreted and observed. Exactly the government's job to restrict.

Edited by ParanoiA
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Because that's direct damage objectively interpreted and observed. Exactly the government's job to restrict.

 

Right, but putting up a sign outside your shop that says "no blacks or gays pls k thx" doesn't do any direct damage which can be "objectively interpreted and observed".

 

I don't think you are onto a winner here.

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Right, but putting up a sign outside your shop that says "no blacks or gays pls k thx" doesn't do any direct damage which can be "objectively interpreted and observed".

 

 

Exactly. So the government has no right to stop it. Just like I can have a sign in my yard that says "no christians or child molestors pls k thx".

 

Instead you should be making an argument that reconciles how you justify free discrimination in your home but not in your business. Or are you up for allowing everybody and anybody to come inside your house whether you want them to or not?

 

I don't think you are onto a winner here.

 

For those concerned about winning and losing, that's perhaps a real let down. I'm only concerned with philosophical parity with what I believe. I have to do what I think is right, not what is popular.

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Exactly. So the government has no right to stop it. Just like I can have a sign in my yard that says "no christians or child molestors pls k thx".

You are wrong. Denying certain groups of people access to services DOES do immediate and direct harm which can be observed, as well as long term and indirect damage to the individual and the community.

 

Your lack of imagination in considering what that might be, or lack of perceptiveness in witnessing it first hand, is entirely beside the point. All you have there is an argument from ignorance.

 

Consider this: if discrimination in services and business does no harm, why is it legislated against? Do you think nobody has had this conversation before? Do you think it is just there to "restrict freedom" or police your thoughts?

 

Instead you should be making an argument that reconciles how you justify free discrimination in your home but not in your business.

I don't see what the relevance is of your actions in your home as far as the legislation against discrimination by service providers goes.

 

(Unless of course you run a business from home and have some kind of raging ~ism.)

 

Or are you up for allowing everybody and anybody to come inside your house whether you want them to or not?

That has nothing to do with the thread whatsoever and is not a requirement of the law we are discussing. I think you might be getting a bit muddled up with the issues in the OP and your own personal beliefs.

 

For those concerned about winning and losing, that's perhaps a real let down. I'm only concerned with philosophical parity with what I believe. I have to do what I think is right, not what is popular.

"A winner" is a colloquialism for a good, solid, internally consistent idea. The winning part is not meant to imply popularity but stability.

Sorry, I should not have assumed you would know this.

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The benefit of the constitution is to protect them from being bigoted using law. The constitution is a refutation of legally instituted oppression. Fierce individual liberty is codified in that beauty. And that's not always a pretty sight. But I believe in it utterly.

 

 

 

Yeah, I don't agree with the modus operandi of my government. I'm more of the direct harm only type. I realize it would have created an even more segragated demography, but I think it would have allowed the societies to meld together on their own time and terms so it becomes an act of will rather than an act of obedience. I think that would have had a more enduringly healthy effect and we would never have established the precedence of government judgement of societal behavior and morals.

 

 

 

Well it's an opinion based on moral and ethical conclusions. Most of us agree that gay people shouldn't be suppressed by society. Most of the south could have agreed that slaves weren't people. Both are based on moral and ethical conclusions.

 

And when the government instituted those conclusions what happened? Slavery. But had the government been forced not to institute subjective matters of moral codes, such as judging one human over another, slavery may have been ended in 1787. (Of course, that's a complicated story, but in short, our founders didn't live up to the principles they romanticized.)

 

I guess, at the end of the day, we, collectively, are going to have to descide what is, and what is not, acceptable. if we do this through govournment and legislature then we can at least assume we're going to get some semblance of consistancy with our codified principles. if we each choose individually then we'll end up living in a society where we've agreed that discrimination is wrong, but do it anyway, which is just dumb (at least, that's what we had in the UK before anti-discrimination laws). granted, we could allways end up being legislated to do something that genuinely is immoral, but that's a fair risk imo (and there's more risk in the 'fiercely individualistic' way), and the sacrifice of 'free choice' is a neccesary one to prevent harm, as it is in many other cases.

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Absolutely. Just like I am free to discriminate who enters my house, I should be free to discriminate who enters my business, works at my business, and etc.

 

So theoretically if the only hospital in town is the Baptist Medical Center and it chooses to only provide services to Christians then everybody else in the community can just do without or move somewhere else?

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So theoretically if the only hospital in town is the Baptist Medical Center and it chooses to only provide services to Christians then everybody else in the community can just do without or move somewhere else?
Considering that the medical centre isn't obliged to provide medical care to anyone and they are totally free to close up whenever they feel like it, yes. The fact is that you can't force people to sell stuff.

If it's a public service however, then the issue is obviously different.

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