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The Use of A System





Afaceinthematrix
If a religion that you hated had a function that benefits you would you use it? Religions have a lot of rules. Would you ever use one of those to your advantage? I have a secular example that I used recently and I am trying to convert it to a religious example so that I can then analyze it.

I'll give you a secular example. First, I have to give you a few bits of background.

I think that the United States' current War on Drugs is an absolute failure. Furthermore, I believe that it's immoral. It infringes on human rights, leads to discrimination, ruins lives, fails to treat drug addicts, creates an incredible amount of violence at the U.S./Mexican border, feeds the largest prison system in the world for the sake of profit, doesn't reduce drugs use, etc. I am completely against a nonviolent drug offender being sent to prison. If a drug addict is creating a problem for society then they should be treated.

Secondly, I live in a cul-de-sak. Not only that, one side is undeveloped and borders a state park. It's at the very end of my neighborhood and is pretty much hidden in the back. If you don't live on this cul-de-sak and aren't visiting someone, then there is pretty much no reason for you to be here (an occasional person will park their car here in order to hike in the state park but that's a rarity and it's usually very obvious). However, because it's hidden in the back of the neighborhood and there aren't a lot of neighbors (one side is undeveloped and there are no houses behind that), burglary is very common on this street. Every house has been broken into at least once. Therefore, I am very suspicious of people that come by. When I see someone park, I usually look to make sure that they approach one of my neighbor's homes or else are dressed for a hike in the state park.

Last week, I saw some woman outside in a car. She was dressed like the bride of Chucky. She had a towel over her head, overalls hanging down, etc. Furthermore, she looked strung out of her mind. She didn't seem to know where she was. She "looked" at me but probably didn't see me. Her eyes were hollow; there was nothing there. I was suspicious and home that day so I made it a priority to frequently look out of the window. This girl was still there a few hours later. I also saw her peaking around houses like she was casing the area for a burglary; I assumed she needed drug money. Now I have no proof that she was going to commit a crime but I didn't want to take any chance and, quite frankly, for that reason didn't want her around. I knew that all I had to do was make a call to the police and they'd come and search her car and almost certainly find drugs and arrest her.

So... What do I do? Do I use a law that I don't agree with to get rid of a suspicious person? I was almost certain that the police coming would lead to her arrest (and it did). Yet I did not want her arrested for drug charges because of the fact that I completely disagree with the law. However, based on the history of burglary on that street (and the fact that I've lost a lot of property to burglary (not at this location but where I used to live)), I was certain that I did not want her around. So, acting like a hypocrite, I called the police and reported a suspicious person. The police came and she was arrested - most likely for drug charges.

What would you have done had you been in the same situation with the same feelings on the U.S. drug laws?

My feelings are that it is not hypocritical because while I may disagree with the system, I have no choice but to work within that system unil the system is changed. I was forced to make the best decision possible within this system. It just turns out the best decision was a crappy decision.
Indi
I'm a little confused by what the problem here is. You reasonably suspected the woman was there to case for a future robbery. You called the cops and told them - like any good member of the community is supposed to. The cops showed up to foil the potential thief. That's how it's supposed to work.

If she was also arrested on drug charges while casing for a robbery, that's her damn problem, not yours. You didn't report her for having or using drugs, you reported her for casing for a robbery. I agree that drug laws are bullshit, but i accept as a sane person that they exist... thus i don't walk down the street with a joint in my mouth, for example. If she had drugs visible in the car, or if she consented to a search with drugs hidden somewhere in the car, she's an idiot. You are not responsible for doings of idiots.

The laws in places like the US and Canada are liberal enough in most cases that you don't have to worry about doing the right thing (and if they weren't, you have a far more serious problem on your hands - you can't be a moral person in an immoral system). Even if she had drugs on her or in the car, she would not have been arrested for them if she hadn't given the cops a reason to search her or the car - cops can't just search on a whim, they need probable cause or permission. When the cops approached, she could simply have exercised her rights and - assuming the cops didn't have a reasonable cause to detain or search - driven away free (and, likely cautioned that attempting a robbery now would be a bad idea). If she gave the cops a reason to detain or search... that was something she did, not you.
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