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Personal Freedom and Consequences to Others

Based  on your readings for this week write a response in at least 250-300 words to the following prompt:

Ethics challenges us to confront common situations in which our personal liberties seem to conflict with the interests or well-being of others. It is commonly argued by supporters of personal freedom that such behaviors “only affect me.” Yet ethics encourages us to realize that nearly none of our choices and actions affects only ourselves. Consider the following:

Most states require drivers and passengers in automobiles to wear seatbelts. Yet many people still refuse to wear seatbelts, claiming that seatbelts are uncomfortable and they should have the freedom to do what they wish with their bodies when the consequences only affect themselves. Yet every one of us feels the burden when others are injured or killed in automobile accidents. Such consequences can include lost wages and taxes, and higher medical and automobile insurance premiums, welfare payments to the dependent family of the deceased. Current estimates suggest that motor vehicle accidents cost society as much as $90 billion per year.  

Discuss what the potential consequences and costs to society or others may be of one of these choices involving personal freedom:

  • Consume illegal substances (either under-age drinking or illegal drugs)
  • Own a handgun
  • Commit suicide
  • Belonging to a hate group

Can you think of other “personal freedoms” or choices that have significant consequences for other people and society as a whole? Name at least one of them. Should these freedoms be limited by law? Why or why not?

Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7.

Reference the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.                   

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