"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Logic, Secularism, and Sex

I am not a deist. That way is most illogical for many reasons, which I will not discuss at this time. I believe that the Founding Fathers of this nation tried to give us a secular government.

They knew that most people were deists of one type or another, but they believed that the government should not enforce one religion’s dogma over another. They did not want a religious government, knowing that such a government would lead to less, not more liberty, and more, not less intolerance. They knew that legislators would vote according to their personal moral beliefs, but that the government, as an entity, should be neutral on the issue of religion. That was logical.

I am also a rational hedonist, that is, someone who believes that the pursuit of pleasure qua pleasure is a good, but sometimes the chores need to be done first. The pursuit of pleasure, of course, would include things sexual.

I like sex. I think it’s great. I think that any and every adult who wants to participate in a sexual behavior should be encouraged to do so, anyway they want, with anyone they want. It’s such a stress reliever and it feels so good . . . well, it does if you do it right. Of course, as a rational hedonist I have to add the following caveat: Enjoy sex as you want just so long as you do not violate the rights of others.

My guiding principle in life, the path that I believe all citizens of a truly free and liberty-loving society should follow, and that the laws and regulations of the government should adhere to is rather simple. Any and all non-violent, non-coerced, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property, that does not immediately and directly threaten to physically harm other people or their property, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, especially if done in private and on private property is the inalienable right of all adults.

But, when it came to the sexual issue, I thought that something more needed to be added to my guiding principle. After much thought I have come up with three logical rules that should always be followed when it comes to sexual behavior. I call them the three objective rules of sex.

First, all people involved must be mentally competent and of a sufficient age so that their decision to have any sexual encounter will be accepted as a knowing and willing consensual decision. For simplicity's sake, we will call such people consenting adults. (The age of consent varies from nation-to-nation, even by state or province in many nations, from 12 to 21—and in the United States from 14 to 18.) Second, there must be no unwanted pregnancies. Third, there must be no sexually transmissible diseases.

That is simple enough in theory in our modern world, but somewhat difficult in practice for many people because they do not think logically, let alone act logically. They let their emotions control them. And they don’t fully follow the principle of inalienable rights. So, logically, there are only three objective reasons not to have sex for any given situation. But, of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands of subjective reasons not to.

The sexual practices of adult citizens are not a legitimate subject for government if my guiding principle of life and the three objective rules of sex are being observed. The reason that it is not the government’s concern is that no one’s right would be violated and no minors would be involved. As Lysander Spooner wrote, “[v]ices are not crimes” if they lack the intent to harm others.

Such practices are the legitimate concern of religion, but then, religions do not have the legitimate authority to punish anyone for sexual practices that do not comport with their dogmas, other than to ex-communicate them or otherwise ban them from the church. But if you do not belong to a sexually prohibitive church, or any church at all, then my guiding principle of life and the three objective rules of sex are all you need to decide if you wish to have sex of any kind.

And it should be no one’s business but your own; not your neighbor’s and especially not the government’s. Of course, that could only happen in a truly free and liberty-loving society that upholds the principle of inalienable rights, one that does not force other people’s religious/personal moral codes upon non-believing others who are not violating anyone’s rights.

I should also add that I firmly believe that society has no obligation to help any adult who knowingly and willingly makes decisions (sexual or otherwise) that causes him or her harm. As a rational hedonist, I also heed the wise words of Thomas Jefferson: Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.

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