One for the Good Guys

shikko
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One for the Good Guys

 

Ontario court rejects religious exemption to helmet law

A Sihk man's challenge to Ontario's mandatory helmet law has failed.  His beliefs forbid him from wearing anything over his turban, which earned him a ticket a few years ago while riding his motorcycle.  He tried to have the law overturned on religious grounds, claiming that it was discriminatory against devout Sikhs.

The lawyer for his side said:

Quote:

"Observant Sikhs are put in the impossible position of choosing between ordinary, everyday activities and observing their faith," said lawyer Scott Hutchison, who is representing the OHRC. "That is religious discrimination."

I call bullshit.  It would be religious discrimination if you said that Sikhs were banned from driving at all, or that Buddhists couldn't be doctors.  Whatever happened to everyone being treated equally under the law?  Why does choosing to believe something mean you get to be exempt from the hardships you take on from holding that belief?  What's next, kosher pork?

Ultimately, he lost on the grounds that the public good of the helmet law outweighed any perceived benefits from putting a class of people above the law.  If the only way to obey the law and the strictures of your religion is to not do something, don't do it, even if you really, really want to.  No one is forcing you to ride a motorcycle, you are choosing to.  If you don't like the law, fight to change it (which is what the plaintiff is now considering doing). Also, whatever happened to the understanding that driving was a privilege and not a right?  If you don't meet the standards, you don't get to do it, period.

Score one for the rule of law.  Let's hope the trend spreads, and that any revision to the law doesn't have a religious exemption in it; either keep it as is, or do away with it entirely.

 

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O Canada! 

O Canada!  clapping


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All I can say is I've been

All I can say is I've been in two motorbike crashes and consequently wouldn't dream of riding without a helmet. You would have to be completely stupid,or religious it appears, to do so. I'm glad the law didn't bow before 'religious freedom'. Though it could be a good way to get rid of theists..

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Good for Canada. Religion is

Good for Canada. Religion is not an exemption from the Social Contract.

Of course, I oppose helmet laws on the basis that the government should never protect us from our own stupidity... mandate that the automakers have to give us every safety feature possible, do everything to protect us from one another's stupidity, but you can't legislate common sense, and trying only means that the total fucking self-destructive idiots have to try really hard to get themselves out of the gene pool.

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BMcD wrote:Of course, I

BMcD wrote:

Of course, I oppose helmet laws on the basis that the government should never protect us from our own stupidity...

agreed

 

BMcD wrote:

the total fucking self-destructive idiots have to try really hard to get themselves out of the gene pool.

Working on it.... wait o_O hehe

 

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shikko
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BMcD wrote:Good for Canada.

BMcD wrote:

Good for Canada. Religion is not an exemption from the Social Contract.

Of course, I oppose helmet laws on the basis that the government should never protect us from our own stupidity... mandate that the automakers have to give us every safety feature possible, do everything to protect us from one another's stupidity, but you can't legislate common sense, and trying only means that the total fucking self-destructive idiots have to try really hard to get themselves out of the gene pool.

Right, which is what I think this person's next move will be: to modify the law.  I like the idea (don't pretend you have the right to violate a law you disagree with, actually do something about changing it), but I fear he will take a tack on it which will literally make for a religious exemption.  Luckily, I don't think sufficient political will exists for him to succeed, but there's always a danger.

I both agree and disagree with you.  I am a big believer in personal responsibility, so from that stance I am against helmet laws.  However, I think a case can be made for this kind of "public safety" law in any country with socialized medicine.  If this guy wrecks his bike and needs a lot of surgery, it will be provided out of taxpayer dollars.  I personally don't want to fund the treatment and recovery of someone who was stupid enough to incur a preventable injury.  If he wrecks his bike and breaks his legs, no problem; it would happen without a helmet.  If he gets a traumatic brain injury that requires surgery, sorry.

Harm reduction works both ways: I am for safe injection sites, so I think I have to be for helmet laws as well.

 

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Of course he could wear a

Of course he could wear a patka and use a helmet, you know like cricket players do in order to wear a helmet while playing cricket. But that of course would be common sense, and when dealing with religious people common sense is out the door.


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shikko wrote:I both agree

shikko wrote:

I both agree and disagree with you.  I am a big believer in personal responsibility, so from that stance I am against helmet laws.  However, I think a case can be made for this kind of "public safety" law in any country with socialized medicine.  If this guy wrecks his bike and needs a lot of surgery, it will be provided out of taxpayer dollars.  I personally don't want to fund the treatment and recovery of someone who was stupid enough to incur a preventable injury.  If he wrecks his bike and breaks his legs, no problem; it would happen without a helmet.  If he gets a traumatic brain injury that requires surgery, sorry.

Harm reduction works both ways: I am for safe injection sites, so I think I have to be for helmet laws as well.

Well, now, you see... that's a dangerous precedent to set. If I have to wear a helmet to minimize the risk against your taxes, why am I allowed to ride the motorcycle in the first place? Why am I allowed to buy tobacco-related products? Eat red meat? Do any of a million things that increase my risk of health problems that you'll need to pay for?

Either we accept that we live in a dangerous world, where we can get hurt, fall ill, or die at any time, and still choose to support one another in our injury... or we don't. I, for one, would opt out of socialized medicine and mutual security before opting out of most of my personal freedoms. There is a basic threshold of Social Contract we require in order for society to function... beyond that, the law can get the fuck off of my lawn.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


shikko
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BMcD wrote:shikko wrote:I

BMcD wrote:

shikko wrote:

I both agree and disagree with you.  I am a big believer in personal responsibility, so from that stance I am against helmet laws.  However, I think a case can be made for this kind of "public safety" law in any country with socialized medicine.  If this guy wrecks his bike and needs a lot of surgery, it will be provided out of taxpayer dollars.  I personally don't want to fund the treatment and recovery of someone who was stupid enough to incur a preventable injury.  If he wrecks his bike and breaks his legs, no problem; it would happen without a helmet.  If he gets a traumatic brain injury that requires surgery, sorry.

Harm reduction works both ways: I am for safe injection sites, so I think I have to be for helmet laws as well.

Well, now, you see... that's a dangerous precedent to set. If I have to wear a helmet to minimize the risk against your taxes, why am I allowed to ride the motorcycle in the first place?

Because the harm they themselves cause is far outweighed by the benefits.  That is (or should be) true of all transport. Personally, I wish more people rode.  More economical, more efficient, less likely to kill anyone but yourself if you screw up and crash.

Quote:

Why am I allowed to buy tobacco-related products?

Good question.  Why are you?

From a public and personal health standpoint, you shouldn't.  But since so much tax revenue is generated from it, they sell it basically everywhere they sell milk.

If pot is illegal, tobacco and alcohol should be, too.  Or more to the point, if alcohol and tobacco are legal, pot should be, too.

Quote:

Eat red meat?

People need to eat to live.  There is no such thing as "unhealthy food"; there are only unhealthy food habits.  Eating too much of anything is bad for you in the long term.

Quote:

Do any of a million things that increase my risk of health problems that you'll need to pay for?

That's my point.  If everyone around you pays for your health care, they have an interest in ensuring you stay healthy.  I'm not fully committed to this position yet, but I believe that if people want to do things that are known to be damaging to their health (smoke) or safety (ride without a helmet), let them.  When it comes time to pay for treatment they need as a result of that behaviour, let them.  If you don't want to pay for emphysema treatment, don't smoke.

Quote:

Either we accept that we live in a dangerous world, where we can get hurt, fall ill, or die at any time, and still choose to support one another in our injury... or we don't.

Humbug, false dichotomy.  You can accept that we live in a dangerous world where we can get hurt, fall ill or die at any time and choose to support one another in our injuries if we were not willfully tempting that injury or illness.  Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is stupid; eating fast food five times a week is stupid.  I don't like (figuratively or literally) paying for the stupidity of others.

The plaintiff took that "people die every day!" tack, too.  I am not making a case for universal threat reduction (bring back playground equipment kids can actually hurt themselves on!), I am pointing out that "a case can be made" from a socialized medicine standpoint that as co-funders of your care, people around you have a voice.

Quote:

I, for one, would opt out of socialized medicine and mutual security before opting out of most of my personal freedoms. There is a basic threshold of Social Contract we require in order for society to function... beyond that, the law can get the fuck off of my lawn.

I'm saying I think you should be able to.  You want to smoke two packs a day?  Great!  We'll lower your taxes and suggest you stick the difference into a savings account, because odds are you're going to need that money to pay for oxygen bottles and chemo.

 

 

 

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I feel the need to point out

I feel the need to point out that in the case of motorcycles... wearing a helmet will cause more brain injury then not wearing one (mainly cause, you got splat now!)

 

remember, a dead person requires no medical treatment, thus, no tax payer money goes towards his recovery of idiocy ^_^

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shikko
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The Doomed Soul wrote:I feel

The Doomed Soul wrote:

I feel the need to point out that in the case of motorcycles... wearing a helmet will cause more brain injury then not wearing one (mainly cause, you got splat now!)

 remember, a dead person requires no medical treatment, thus, no tax payer money goes towards his recovery of idiocy ^_^

 

...

Why am I not surprised you brought this up? Sticking out tongue

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shikko wrote:...Why am I not

shikko wrote:

...

Why am I not surprised you brought this up? Sticking out tongue

 

Because i am "Oh so predictable" in such a chaotic fashion ^_^

 

come to think of it... the only purpose i see a helmet on a motorcycle is to keep the insects out of your face (... then again, im a crotch rocket fan myself, so our helmets are full face... dont know what chopwhores have to put up with >.> hehe )

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shikko
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The Doomed Soul wrote:come

The Doomed Soul wrote:

come to think of it... the only purpose i see a helmet on a motorcycle is to keep the insects out of your face (... then again, im a crotch rocket fan myself, so our helmets are full face... dont know what chopwhores have to put up with >.> hehe )

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Quote:I feel the need to

Quote:
I feel the need to point out that in the case of motorcycles... wearing a helmet will cause more brain injury then not wearing one (mainly cause, you got splat now!)

And I feel the need to point out that this is a retarded statement.

You're right - a helmet won't prevent your cranium from shattering all over the bumper of whatever vehicle it kisses while traveling at highway speed. You're dead no matter what.

At city limit speeds, a helmet will save your damn life in a collision or fall. Often, it's the difference between getting up and walking away with minor injuries or taking a trip to the morgue.

 

By your logic, seatbelts aren't any good either. A head-on will kill the driver and front passnger regardless of seatbelts given certain speed thresholds, and many roadside obstacles (cliffs and water bodies come to mind) seatbelts offer no protection against whatsoever.

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I noticed when on a day trip

I noticed when on a day trip into Burma two years ago that they seemed to have strong laws requiring people on motor bikes to wear helmets. They appeared to have a much greater proportion of motor-bikes than typical western style cities. Everyone was wearing helmets -

EXCEPT the Buddhist monks....

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Laws are based on common

Laws are based on common consensus, but how far should government go to force people to be safe?

IN South Carolina there is no requirement to wear a helmet. I think the people that don't are idiots and organ doners. But we also allow drinking and smoking which is bad for you and I think it would be idiotic to outlaw either.

Helmet laws are in place because of big insurance companies not wanting to pay out. Should insurance companies be allowed to discriminate against smokers and drinkers? Should they be allowed to discriminate against pre existing conditions?

I am not chosing a side on this issue, merely postulating for conversation reasons to hear responses.

Some may respond, "I shouldn't have to pay for the stupidity of others" Yet, if someone runs a red light and t-bones another car and severely injures themselves, they still made a mistake. How is one bad decision different than another? We still have the compassion of taking care of people who make mistakes as a species.

 

AGAIN, I am simply throwing out thoughts only of what the arguments may be on both sides and interested in the responses. I am NOT looking for a debate.

 

 

 

 

 

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shikko
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BobSpence1 wrote:I noticed

BobSpence1 wrote:

I noticed when on a day trip into Burma two years ago that they seemed to have strong laws requiring people on motor bikes to wear helmets. They appeared to have a much greater proportion of motor-bikes than typical western style cities. Everyone was wearing helmets -

EXCEPT the Buddhist monks....

Ha!  Gotta give 'em some credit for putting their money where their mouth is.

Although if I had to guess, I'd say this has more to do with the importance of the head in southeast Asian Buddhism, especially a monk's head.  I don't think I've ever seen a SE Asian monk wear a hat, either.

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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
I feel the need to point out that in the case of motorcycles... wearing a helmet will cause more brain injury then not wearing one (mainly cause, you got splat now!)

And I feel the need to point out that this is a retarded statement.

You're right - a helmet won't prevent your cranium from shattering all over the bumper of whatever vehicle it kisses while traveling at highway speed. You're dead no matter what.

At city limit speeds, a helmet will save your damn life in a collision or fall. Often, it's the difference between getting up and walking away with minor injuries or taking a trip to the morgue.

 

By your logic, seatbelts aren't any good either. A head-on will kill the driver and front passnger regardless of seatbelts given certain speed thresholds, and many roadside obstacles (cliffs and water bodies come to mind) seatbelts offer no protection against whatsoever.

 

Feel free to RE-READ my post any time... >.>

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