Skip to comments.What if government treated eating the way it treats sex?
Posted on 03/04/2012 4:24:43 PM PST by greyfoxx39
Its a useful distinction to consider. A particular moral idea governs left-wing views on social and health matters, and the lefts purpose with political advocacy is to put the power of government behind that view. By examining the lefts very different policy approaches to eating and sex, we can discern the features of the morality at work.
The lefts governmental approach to sex today involves, among other things, the following:
1. Advertising it to children through the public schools and encouraging them to explore and participate in it.
2. Basing policy on the assumption that no solution to any problem lies in individuals restraining or channeling their sexual urges, and therefore even the intractable facts of nature should not be left, with their powerful incentives, to encourage that posture. It is important, instead, to create an environment conducive to sex unfettered by its natural consequences.
3. Providing, at public expense, the means to have sex on ones own terms, but avoid procreation and sexually transmitted diseases.
4. Providing, at public expense, the means to support children who are born nevertheless.
5. To adjust the balance between 3 and 4, encouraging and advocating the use of contraception and the resort to abortion.
The suite of policies advocated by the left is designed to encourage sex but limit procreation and STDs. The social good, therefore, is deemed to be unfettered sex, while the social ills are the birth of children and the suffering (and infectiousness) incident to STDs.
Lets compare this moral view and its program construct to the lefts policy attitude toward eating. In this latter realm, the social ills are thought to be obesity and the medical problems that come with it. But what is the social good? Is there one? Its hard to say, because eating which can be a most enjoyable activity, and far less avoidable than sex is not, in the lefts moral view, considered a good to be promoted on whatever terms the individual prefers.
The lefts governmental treatment of eating is very different from its treatment of sex. It runs on these lines:
1. Advertising to children (as well as adults) the evils of certain kinds of food.
2. Basing policy on the assumption that the people must be nudged or even coerced to eat according to whatever principle is suggested by the most recent studies. It is important to create an environment in which eaters have to go well out of their way to avoid the choices made for them by government authorities. The ideal, in fact, is an environment in which eaters cant avoid the dictates of the government.
3. Ensuring that the expenses of obesity are, increasingly, born by the public, while fanning political resentment of those expenses, and of the condition of the obese.
4. Proclaiming that the solution in every case is controlling what people eat, rather than providing for the obese the same publicly-funded relief offered to the sexually promiscuous.
It is hard to make the case that eating a lot is worse than having a lot of sex outside of commitment and marriage. At the very most, the two practices are a moral wash, one no worse than the other. Both involve doing discretionary things with ones body. Both involve courting well-known consequences. Both involve the strong potential for inconvenience to oneself and the larger community. It is making an arbitrary moral judgment, to insist that what causes obesity should be dealt with through coercion and the limiting of options, while what causes unwanted pregnancies and STDs should be the object of solicitude, and public programs based not on denial but on mitigation.
We know that eating in moderation and limiting certain foods generally results in better health than eating, indiscriminately, lots and lots of things we enjoy for only a brief moment.
But we also know that not having sex prevents pregnancy and STDs with unparalleled effectiveness. We know, moreover, that disciplining our sex drives, keeping sex within marriage, welcoming the children that come from it, and raising them with a father and mother are substantially more effective in preventing STDs, unwanted children, poverty, delinquency, addiction, and hopelessness than are government programs to distribute condoms and subsidize abortion providers.
If government treated obesity the way it treats sex, it would encourage schoolchildren to explore their enjoyment of Twinkies, Oreos, and moon pies; it would employ professionals to devise ways of suiting government policies to the principle that our bodies belong to us and we can put whatever we want in our stomachs; it would hold legislative hearings on the overriding importance of the freedom to eat what we want; it would resist the very idea of remedies that involve the individual eating less, or eating different things; it would pay for liposuction, cholesterol drugs, heart surgery, and diabetes-mitigation measures but not for programs of diet and exercise; it would encourage the development of drugs that could prevent fat formation regardless of what one eats; and it would make it a basic human right to be able to eat whatever one wants and have the consequences mitigated by the public.
There really is no case to be made that government should not do this. If, that is, we accept that governments current approach to sex and its consequences is appropriate and warranted.
Ultimately, no discussion of these issues would be complete without the observation that if government and the federal government in particular wasnt involved in them in the first place, it wouldnt matter nearly as much when the peoples opinions and our moral perspectives on them differed.
I believe the FDA has already claimed that the constitution doesn’t give us the right to eat whatever we want.
You have to eat to be healthy! Free food for everybody — anytime anywhere. Hot damn! Thank you, Sluke! (Wot? Fluke.)
What if the government treated guns the way it treats abortion?
14-year-olds could buy them without telling their parents. Schools could arrange to provide them to anyone who asks. Records could not be kept without compromising privacy laws. You can get as many as you want. With some medical intervention, you could get 8 or ten at a time for almost the same price as getting one. Planned Pistolhood would give them for free to qualified teens. You could cross state lines to get one, if they were hard to get in your area. There would be bumper stickers saying that every gun should be wanted.
The Constitution doesn’t give us any rights at all. It merely assets that some rights exist, and it prohibits the federal government from infringing, at the very least, those rights.
We’re staggering into the realm of the bizarre. In Michigan I can carry a gun on school property but I can’t smoke a cigarette there.
And the Brady Campaign would be forced by the federal government to pay for guns for its employees.
If the government treated eating like sex, we’d all be expected to overeat and then purge like supermodels.
Great article. Thank you.
Because it is apparently a FEDERAL requirement that they now have to reduce the air in your tires down from the 44 psi to what the Feds say you MUST have no more than 35 psi.
Regardless of what the customer wants. the retailer can be held liable if they dont lower your tire pressure when you come in. I promptly went somewhere and aired them back up so they dont squeal.
If the Fed Gov can tell me how much psi I can have in my tires AND THEN FORCE a shop to do it for them ..then we are ALREADY SLAVES to the Ruling class.
They can order us to do ANYTHING."
You should post your gun comparison there.
The sentiment f your post is the start of a reasoned discussion, and would be a reprise of the sentiment of the founders. Thank you.
I’m suspicious of that “Federal requirement” on PSI. I would believe however that it’s a standard part of the service to set the tire pressure to what’s recommended by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that a higher tire pressure means less traction, and who wants to be on the hook for that.
Plus, 44 PSI is pretty high on any passenger car tire except for the most hyper of hypermilers.
I’d like them to treat the 2nd amendment like they do their made-up 1st amendment sacrament, abortion.
I’d be getting at least a gun a month if they did that, “free” from the government.
What idiots. The Constitution doesn't "give" a single right to anyone.
In a society without a sacrificial cultus, sexual taboos are the closest thing we have to a moral code based solely on the authority of G-d rather than our own reason or moral instincts. This moral code must be destroyed to free us from the Tyrant In The Sky. This way, whenever our society does on occasion agree with something G-d says (as our laws against murder, rape, and theft) we demonstrate that our agreement is only coincidental and that we figured those things out on our own rather than acquiescing to Divine authority. Otherwise our society would apply all of G-d's sanctions instead of just some.
Meanwhile, anything not commented on in Divine regulations is regulated to death by humans who want to show their authority. But don't worry; so long as G-d isn't pushing us around, we're supposedly all "free."
This is why the only "right" we will soon possess will be the right to sin.
The hugely disproportionate STD rate in gay areas should be treated the same way 2nd hand smoke is.
Homosexuality should be taxed and regulated the same way smoking is.
IF the issue were about community health.
Just about anywhere a child needs a parents permission to get ears pierced but not to get an abortion..
BTW in 2002 when he was running for MASS Gov, Willie Mitty was proud that the age for parental notificatication had been moved from 16 to 18...
Then he said during a debate that if the parent said NO the underage child could get permission from a judge to have an abortion..
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