Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Random Rantings of a Lawless Libertarian...Or just me playing the Devils Advocate

I think its important to realize that there are manifold nuances to the situations we find ourselves in as Christians in the world, and obeying the speed limit is one of them. A wrote Biblicism dictates that we must obey the speed limits as an extension of the 'laws of the land' that we are enjoined by Paul to obey for the sake of peace in the Body of Christ, peace with surrounding non-Christians, and for the sake of witness to our fellowmen and government. However, that is only if something is actually against the law, and I think most speed laws are ridiculous. The idea of a speed limit is predicated on assumptions that are in a way quite offensive (by assuming your stupidity as the citizen), and that inculcate stupidity/irresposibility in drivers by removing the responsibility from drivers themselves, and placing it in the hands of the government. We live in a system where people are insulated from the consequences of their actions. We do this by placing the care and management of more and more facets of our lives in the care of the governement and/or corporations. Speeding is a great example. The government regulates speed. Why? Because in the end, IT will end up paying for the bills of people who break their cars, destroy the road, and hurt themselves and others. To mitigate this liability to themselves they set speed limits to theoretically reduce the number of accidents and thereby reduce the amount of time, money, and trouble they must spend on the people who have relegated their welfare to the state rather than take care of themselves, and be responsible for their actions. I say, let people who are stupid enough to speed dangerously (either by driving beyond their skill level, speeding in bad weather, exceeding the engineering capabilities of their vehicles, whatever...) suffer the consequences of their actions financially and personally rather than let them wallow in child-like viciousness (i use that term in the traditional manner, i.e. someone who is full of vice and not virtue) and irresponsibility that the insulating layers of police speed-management and welfare-state/insurance company-coddling that is engendered by our current system. Some prime examples, there was a point in the not-too-distant past wherein (a) Car insurance was optional NOT mandatory, that state of affairs was built on the idea that you kept enough resources in reserve to take care of yourself and your financial responsibilities to others in the event of an accident, and when you didn't you suffered certain consequences. Most people chose insurance, but the point was that it WASN'T required, they made a responsible decision, they didn't have their thinking done for them. The ones that didn't were either willingly or unwillingly held responsible for the damages they incured to others and their property. (b) Up until several years ago, Montana had no daytime speed limites (oh what halcyon days THOSE were!) as well as no open container laws. People got along just fine. They were only penalized for ACTUALLY incurring harm another, not just POSSIBLY (i.e. a speeding ticket) In a system where we are taken care of paternalistically by the state, then yes, of course there should be speed limits and police enforcment of them. However, if one is willing to be an adult, and responsible to others in the even that one does harm or damage to them, then NO, there shouldn't be speed limits and Christians shouldn't be legalistic sticklers about such things. The law is for those who are lawbreakers, those who would intentionally do harm by their irresponsibility. That being said, its fun to play the devils advocate sometimes.
Cheers

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