I feel you're all over the place here and it's hard to tell whether you're misinterpreting my post. My responses are below. Trying to keep this matter of fact so please don't mistake my "tone" if any should seem to show through:
Originally Posted by FightingChance
Well, what is Danger? Fire is dangerous. Knives can be dangerous, even by accident. Drunk driving is dangerous, but now we're talking about humans making choices... drunk driving doesn't occur without humans. Is having bad things happen to you in life dangerous? It is a kind of danger, is it not, to be miserable, or the victim of a tragedy?
If someone loves you; and you die, because you didn't wear a helmet but could, and they have to keep on living - have you not introduced danger into their lives? If a son or daughter now no longer has a father, is that not more dangerous than before? That they have to live without you now?
"Danger" in this case means some real risk of physical harm. We're talking about repercussions of a motorcycle accident after all. You seem to be waxing philosphical about the definition of danger. I could respond to each of your examples of "danger" but that would be digressing. My point is that wearing a helmet poses no risk of bodily harm to anyone but the rider. Your point seems to be that anything can be construed as "harm" whether physically, emotionally, etc. That's fine if you think so but I'm talking specifically about bodily harm. Hopefully that clears that up.
This is a sort of fallacy, the same one that is like 'well, people still get murdered. So having laws against murdering people is useless.' Everything has impact to society, but with reasoning and compromise, we manage those risks. People the world over are still allowed to ride motorbikes despite the danger - it would be easy to simply disallow them. But it has not happened, because that is unreasonable. That is not a good management of risk (to sacrifice so much liberty in the pursuit of safety.) I would not agree with legislating everything away, and so far, that has not come to pass in the way that you describe. Totalitarian states come the closest to this, which is why I'm happy that we have democratic processes and peer review where we are.
This is where I feel you're being contradictory--maybe I've mis-read your post so let me know if that's the case.
To be clear, I don't think that all risky things should be legislated away. I was saying that is the outcome of your logic as I understand it.
Your murder example doesn't fit because murder poses a very real danger of bodily harm to others--only to others in fact. So it makes sense to have laws against murder. Yes, there are other reasons why murder is also bad for society but I'm making the distinction between murder and a guy not wearing a helmet here.
Basically, what I'm hearing from you is that everyone has some effect on everyone else (i.e. causality). So because the outcome of not wearing a helmet can potentially
have a negative effect we should therefore enforce helmets.
I'm saying that view alone is not sufficient justification for mandating helmets. If instead the condition were: "If no helmet then must carry brick while riding
" (absurd I know, just an example)... then
I would agree that helmets should be enforced. Because riding without one runs the risk of others being injured or killed by said brick. But this scenario doesn't exist in our real world example.
Btw, it's fine if you believe that emotionally distressed family, friends, EMTs, etc justifies helmet laws. You are entitled to your belief. I'm just pointing out that your line of reasoning means it's fairly arbitrary as to what activities should fall under this umbrella. I mean, none of us have to ride and riding greatly increases the chance that we will be a strain on society in some way. I think you hit the nail on the head with the 'not giving up liberty for the sake of safety' argument. I agree with that. But it felt like you were saying it because you took part of my post literally.
[EDIT] Just want to add... while I believe helmets should be a choice, some part of me thinks maybe helmet laws should
be enforced. Why? Because we care about other people's welfare (in this case riders). But if we enforce it then we must accept that we are sacrificing some modicum of liberty. Sometimes that is acceptable but, again, what is acceptable to you and I will differ. Personally, I would be willing to take that liberty away from minors because they often have not yet developed a mature sense of responsibility.[/EDIT]