26.2.09

legality vs. morality

so you're all aware my hobby is a little liminal when it comes to the legal system. the law's unclear as to what it's permissible to do to myself; i can't, as it turns out, do anything to anyone else that involves implants without being in deep, deep shit.

i didn't think i'd find this out by being tattled on. it's not worth my ass to blog about who did it; wouldn't matter much anyway what with this being a dusty little backwater Googlecorner, and i've got a sword over my head now. for the meantime, i don't know whether i'm going back to jail, and the one source of neodymiums there is - Trust, in Mannheim - has stopped exporting to Britain, making the single component i have left the last remaining one on the island. the one consequence that's definitely come outta this snafu is that i will never have a test subject who isn't me again.

before this starts to look too wangsty, let me get into my actual point.

i seem to be such an arrogant cunt that i consider myself above the law, i know, but that isn't actually what's going on in my head; i don't think the law was ever designed for what i'm doing. my attempts at lobbying came to an impasse when i was told to fuck off (because i'm an unqualified peasant and therefore don't get to discuss) by my MSP's office; in my mind, my implants did no lasting or unwanted harm to anyone. they don't violate the Golden Rule, and as such, shouldn't be illegal. i figured i and my buddies had the right to do whatever non-Rule-violating shit we wanted to ourselves.

well, some people don't agree with me, and in the name of doing the right thing, snitched. what i'm interested in is whether i or they are in the right; i'm pretty obviously biased in favour of it being me, and seeing as the one who informed the big guns was someone who previously worked shoulder-to-shoulder with me down in the H+ underground, so to speak, someone who i thought was with me ideologically as well as practically, i'm in no fit state to judge.

on the one hand, i probably did all of my transhumanist stuff up until now in the legal no-man's-land of badly defined prohibitions, and if i get taken to court, i'll have no choice but to plead guilty to whatever they charge me with. i'm fairly sure that the law is not on my side; my whistle-blower assured me that many other people agreed i should be exposed to the authorities and that it was right to go to them.

in addition, other people tell me the laws are intended to stop people from burdening the NHS with their homebrew fuckups. having experienced such fuckups, i paid for my own treatment, and i totally understand that concern. i can't figure out whether a nanny-state law to prevent us hurting ourselves, NHS or none, is a good idea or not, nor whether there is one as regards implants.

on the other, i thought i had a right to personal bodily sovereignty; none of the components or tools i used are illegal; i never masqueraded as a professional i ain't, i charged no money or trade, and i hurt nobody. if my transhumanist dabblings are a crime, i don't know who the victim is.

the debate in my head has shifted from just Is it right to do these things to yourself? to also include the question, Is it and should it be legal? right now, i'm also wondering Was it wrong to do implants for a consenting, informed friend?

i guess they boil down to Does legality trump my personal ethics, or vice versa?

right now, i don't know. i'll be waiting to see what everyone else decides.

3 comments:

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian said...

as an anarchist, i would definitely go for the personal ethics. just saying...

~Ian

Adam said...

Are you allowed to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes?

If so -- why the hell wouldn't personal body modification and implants be allowed?! You're most likely going to do less harm to yourself than cigs or alcohol can.

I could get behind a law requiring people to pay out of pocket for treatment for something self-inflicted, and I applaud you for doing that without being required to.

I just don't understand how anyone could be against this?! You should be free to do what you want to your body, especially when it isn't affecting anyone else in a negative way. Does Britain allow pharmaceutical companies to test drugs on human volunteers? Seems fairly similar to me, albeit implants are less risky than drugs when there is a small amount of research done on safety.

~Adam

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[pls no ask about the vodka. debate is always welcome. remember, Tramadol fucks you up]