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Old 03-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #51
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
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Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
I know you're just trying to make a point but the analogy with smoking is very poor. Someone else's choice not to wear a helmet while riding doesn't have a "second hand" impact on my health, nor make me and my clothes stink like an ashtray after a visit to a restaurant.

Smoking makes a much better analogy for phone usage while driving because that DOES affect other people. In one 30-mile drive yesterday I nearly had a collision with one phone-jammed-in-ear driver and was delayed by two texting drivers who sat at green lights until they went red again. I could hardly have cared less if I'd seen a helmetless motorcyclist go by, although I would have called them an idiot.
Perhaps I wasn't totally clear. I am not comparing smoking with riding. Clearly there is a big difference that you correctly point out. My point was that those who poo-poo the slippery slope danger can look at this issue for a real example of how it works. It works over a long period of time in a very incremental way. Nobody in the 70's was calling for smoking to be banned. They would have been laughed out of the halls of congress. Today, things are a lot different and it is because of a consistent line of logic and each time they score a victory, they apply the same logic to the next incremental step.

It is this incrementalism that defines the slippery slope. If helmet laws save lives, then maybe requiring more gear will save more. We could save even more if we make a tiered license system. We could save more by limiting engine displacement. How about speed governors? Well golly... couldn't we save even more by just getting rid of them altogether? The logic doesn't change if you follow it to its conclusion.

Not realistic? Maybe not. But at what point do we stop on that logical progression? I would rather not try to justify why one thing is good yet the next step is bad. I would rather just argue that people are free to live (or die) with the consequences of their adult choices.
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