Allowing Self-abuse

Rick Knight (
Fri, 18 Jul 97 10:24:02 CST

Evmick wrote (in the Sex Change thread):

So my feelings are that if someone wants to do something horrible to
himself....such as saturated fats....listen to country tv...or engage in some novel surgical procedure...then
who is to tell him no? Of course if he doesn't like the results
brought about by such actions....oh well....

Rick Knight responds:

As long as we're in a urban-oriented market economy where the
decisions of some end up having a detrimental financial or
sociological impact on the rest of us, then it's the decision of the
collective citizens to decide and it's my hope that the "makers" are
getting fed up with the "takers" and the "fakers" (to use your terms

There are an extraordinarily large number of people who have seen fit
not to exert discernment concerning the management of their own lives.
In my mind, participation in a structured community has a membership
fee. The addicted, the disinfranchised, the non-contributors need to
shape up or be shipped out. An extreme of this is some place like
Singapore which is cleaner than Disneyland but you get caned, jailed
and even executed for things we permit in this country for the sake of
allowing personal freedom or expression. The price we pay for
allowing it is crime, filth and a burgeoning segment of human inertia.

I want community connectivity and agreement on common goals that
enable us to advance and thrive. What's in the way is ego, avarice
and apathy. Our sense of freedom is so skewed by our sense of ego
that it's amazing that anything productive happens!

So, (off soapbox), if someone's going to smoke themselves into
high-cost health care they can't pay for, I will seek to prevent them
from smoking because my sense of compassion isn't willing to
compromise once they have a life-threatening need for health care
whether they set it up mindlessly or willingly. I also want to go
after their illness providers (tobacco companies).

If someone's going to be diving into nutrition-less food, making them
listless, obese or subject to heart disease, I would want to educate
them and I would campaign for the companies who make value-less food
to produce something for the greater good, not just for their
stockholders. It's not okay although we accept it as such in a
free-for-all (freefall?) market economy. Accountability is absent and
profit and success justify anything that the right to free choice
doesn't cover. So...I wasn't quite off my soapbox. I feel better.

Oh and yes, speaking as a gay man and not a transexual, I feel that
the person desiring a sex change needs a lot of professional advice
and time before making a physical transition that is so highly-charged
in our culture. Gender is paramount in our culture and it's a lot
more than just futzing with your genitals.