• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

The Limits of Consent

Felis Leo

Moral clarity is needed
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
9,038
Reaction score
9,608
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Last week, many forum members here engaged in a spirited debate over the legalization of prostitution, and something that was brought up regularly was that happens between two consenting adults is of no one else's concern. And this seemed to be the consensus view of most of the folks in favor of prostitution: That which is consensually agreed to between two or more adult parties should be permitted. But this brought up many other tangential issues, and it made me wonder: Should consent have its limits?

Moving away from the topic of prostitution: Could someone who wishes to work for below minimum wage consent to being paid less in order to find employment, even if doing so undercuts the labor market? Going to a more extreme case, could someone suffering from suicidal depression consent to having someone who fantasizes about murder kill him, and thus making what would normally be considered murder more akin to legalized euthanasia? Or should people be allowed by the state to freely enter into multiple suicide pacts without any interference? The possibilities of personal decisions that many would find harmful to outright appalling are endlessly varied. So should consent have limits? If not, why not? And if so, what should those limitations be?

EDIT: Unfortunately, I was not able to post the poll in time and I ran past the five minute limitation. The options were as follows:

1) Yes, there should be some form of limitation on what an adult person can consent to.
2) No, so long as the parties involved are adults, there should be no limits to what a person can consent to, even if it is permanently destructive or debilitating to one or more of the parties involved.
3) I cannot decide.
4) Other.
 
Last edited:

Carjosse

Sit Nomine Digna
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
14,560
Reaction score
6,272
Location
Montreal, QC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Yes there should be limitations, you cannot sign away fundamental rights or those that would undermine public order.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Should consent have its limits?

Consent, despite its compelling nature as a topic, is yet on far broader than I care to discuss in a venue such as this. Upon reading the OP, however, I was reminded of one of the texts from a class I took (1980s) and wondered whether it's now available online. Lo and behold, it is, so my contribution to this thread is to note it and suggest that folks, regardless of what they think about consent, read. It provides an excellent framework for addressing the matter of public choice.
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
Yes there should be limitations, you cannot sign away fundamental rights or those that would undermine public order.

Well, you CAN sign away funadamental rights. Everyone who has ever enlisted in the military knows that. But I agree about the public order part.
 

Carjosse

Sit Nomine Digna
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
14,560
Reaction score
6,272
Location
Montreal, QC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Well, you CAN sign away funadamental rights. Everyone who has ever enlisted in the military knows that. But I agree about the public order part.

What fundamental right is being signed away when you enlist?
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
What fundamental right is being signed away when you enlist?

Off the top of my head:

Freedom of speech
Freedom of association
2nd Amendment rights in many places (ironically)
4th Amendment rights
The right to sue one’s employer

And let’s not forget the right to life. If the mission demands it, which is uncommon, you can be ordered on a “suicide mission” during combat. It would be illegal to refuse the order.

I’m sure I am forgetting a bunch.
 

Carjosse

Sit Nomine Digna
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
14,560
Reaction score
6,272
Location
Montreal, QC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Off the top of my head:

Freedom of speech
Freedom of association
2nd Amendment rights in many places (ironically)
4th Amendment rights
The right to sue one’s employer

And let’s not forget the right to life. If the mission demands it, which is uncommon, you can be ordered on a “suicide mission” during combat. It would be illegal to refuse the order.

I’m sure I am forgetting a bunch.

The way I look it is that limits are being placed on them that have been found to reasonable but none of them are outright removed because you enlisted.
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
The way I look it is that limits are being placed on them that have been found to reasonable but none of them are outright removed because you enlisted.

Have you ever served? Ever lived in military housing? For example, if you live and work on a military base your 4th Amendment rights aren’t curtailed, they are gone. Your car, your workspace, AND your residence can be searched without a warrant.
 

Moon

Why so serious?
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
9,944
Reaction score
5,116
Location
Washington State
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Have you ever served? Ever lived in military housing? For example, if you live and work on a military base your 4th Amendment rights aren’t curtailed, they are gone. Your car, your workspace, AND your residence can be searched without a warrant.

Not to mention you can be incarcerated for non judicial punishment without ever seeing a judge or a courtroom.
 

Carjosse

Sit Nomine Digna
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
14,560
Reaction score
6,272
Location
Montreal, QC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Have you ever served? Ever lived in military housing? For example, if you live and work on a military base your 4th Amendment rights aren’t curtailed, they are gone. Your car, your workspace, AND your residence can be searched without a warrant.

If it is military property you never have the 4th amendment protections to begin with. But I can see your argument.

Outside of the military what I said originally still holds true or at least should.
 

Waddy

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2017
Messages
8,504
Reaction score
2,418
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
Behaviors that are detrimental to society or to one's self should be regulated or even illegal. The premise being, usually, that those bad behaviors will probably end up costing the taxpayers money. However, in a country that makes it up as we go along, and cherish's individual freedom, it's difficult to enforce any regulations. Case in point; it's near impossible to keep drugs out of prisons, on of the most "regulated' places on the planet.

Yesterday on the highway a cop had a speeder pulled over, and everybody else went right on past the cop doing our normal 80 in a 65. Nobody was even fazed that a cop was right there.
 

soylentgreen

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
10,838
Reaction score
2,558
Location
new zealand.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Last week, many forum members here engaged in a spirited debate over the legalization of prostitution, and something that was brought up regularly was that happens between two consenting adults is of no one else's concern. And this seemed to be the consensus view of most of the folks in favor of prostitution: That which is consensually agreed to between two or more adult parties should be permitted. But this brought up many other tangential issues, and it made me wonder: Should consent have its limits?

Moving away from the topic of prostitution: Could someone who wishes to work for below minimum wage consent to being paid less in order to find employment, even if doing so undercuts the labor market? Going to a more extreme case, could someone suffering from suicidal depression consent to having someone who fantasizes about murder kill him, and thus making what would normally be considered murder more akin to legalized euthanasia? Or should people be allowed by the state to freely enter into multiple suicide pacts without any interference? The possibilities of personal decisions that many would find harmful to outright appalling are endlessly varied. So should consent have limits? If not, why not? And if so, what should those limitations be?

EDIT: Unfortunately, I was not able to post the poll in time and I ran past the five minute limitation. The options were as follows:

1) Yes, there should be some form of limitation on what an adult person can consent to.
2) No, so long as the parties involved are adults, there should be no limits to what a person can consent to, even if it is permanently destructive or debilitating to one or more of the parties involved.
3) I cannot decide.
4) Other.

The idea of what happens between two consenting adults also came with an unmentioned limit of its own, which was, as long as it caused no harm. The examples you gave are all about causing harm.

Your problem here is as it was in that prostitution thread which is that you need to exaggerate and even create out of your own imagination the harm caused by prostitution in order to liken it to the examples you have given.

So just to get it straight in your head, the full quote is, "What happens between two consenting adults is of no one else's concern to others so long as it causes no harm."
 

Felis Leo

Moral clarity is needed
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
9,038
Reaction score
9,608
Location
California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
The idea of what happens between two consenting adults also came with an unmentioned limit of its own, which was, as long as it caused no harm. The examples you gave are all about causing harm.

Your problem here is as it was in that prostitution thread which is that you need to exaggerate and even create out of your own imagination the harm caused by prostitution in order to liken it to the examples you have given.

So just to get it straight in your head, the full quote is, "What happens between two consenting adults is of no one else's concern to others so long as it causes no harm."

Well, that seems to be a decent limitation, soylentgreen. But here is the problem: how does one define "harm"? If someone consents to be physically beaten in some kind of sadistic/masochistic hardcore sexual play, does that rise to the level of harm that you would want to prevent?

And secondly, and more importantly, my question is: what if the harm is consented to with complete knowledge of the consequences?
 
Last edited:

soylentgreen

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
10,838
Reaction score
2,558
Location
new zealand.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Well, that seems to be a decent limitation, soylentgreen. But here is the problem: how does one define "harm"? If someone consents to be physically beaten in some kind of sadistic/masochistic hardcore sexual play, does that rise to the level of harm that you would want to prevent?

And secondly, and more importantly, my question is: what if the harm is consented to with complete knowledge of the consequences?

This is why we have courts of law with lawyers arguing the case instead of someone judging what is right and what is wrong. We either create the nanny state and dictate what is harm or we have a society where personal freedom to express our desires is allowed.

There is no line, We allow racing drivers to drive at speeds that can kill them but refuse the right for a sadist to beat someone into a hospital yet some christians demand the bible allows them to beat their children with a stick. We allow energy drink companies to put 30 spoons of sugar into a drink when over six spoons a day is said to cause harm.

The problem is not how do we define harm, the problem is how far does personal freedom and social responsibility go.
 

Tom Horn

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
207
Location
TEXAS
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
G
Last week, many forum members here engaged in a spirited debate over the legalization of prostitution, and something that was brought up regularly was that happens between two consenting adults is of no one else's concern. And this seemed to be the consensus view of most of the folks in favor of prostitution: That which is consensually agreed to between two or more adult parties should be permitted. But this brought up many other tangential issues, and it made me wonder: Should consent have its limits?

Moving away from the topic of prostitution: Could someone who wishes to work for below minimum wage consent to being paid less in order to find employment, even if doing so undercuts the labor market? Going to a more extreme case, could someone suffering from suicidal depression consent to having someone who fantasizes about murder kill him, and thus making what would normally be considered murder more akin to legalized euthanasia? Or should people be allowed by the state to freely enter into multiple suicide pacts without any interference? The possibilities of personal decisions that many would find harmful to outright appalling are endlessly varied. So should consent have limits? If not, why not? And if so, what should those limitations be?

EDIT: Unfortunately, I was not able to post the poll in time and I ran past the five minute limitation. The options were as follows:

1) Yes, there should be some form of limitation on what an adult person can consent to.
2) No, so long as the parties involved are adults, there should be no limits to what a person can consent to, even if it is permanently destructive or debilitating to one or more of the parties involved.
3) I cannot decide.
4) Other.
that sounds like a wonderful job. Where do I go with my 28 ounce hammer to relieve the sufferings of democrats who wish to pack it in?
 
Top Bottom