I just read a very good article about the pros and cons of legal prostitution. It is written from a libertarian point of view and pertains to other issues as well. I strongly recommend it, even if just to exercise your brain muscles. You can find it here.
In essence, Hasan argues that the concept of “coercion” does not apply when it is circumstances that force one to do undesirable things in order to survive. Only when another human, through force, removes one’s options can we say that an action is coerced. Thus, if a person must clean toilets in order to survive, this would not be coercion. Similarly with prostitution.
One problem with this, arguably, simplistic point of view is that modern life involves so many variables, complications and options that it is almost impossible to say where choice ends and coercion begins. We humans have an unfortunate habit of inventing words and then expecting reality to accommodate them neatly. I’ve already written about this here.
I’m tempted to say that “choice” and “coercion” are artificial constructs. In the world of words, they are real. In courts of law, arbitrary definitions of these words carry enormous weight. But the Law and the dictionary are both artificial. I realize that I’m not the first to say this. That many others have argued against the concept of free will. Though I’m not sure I like it, as I grow older I find myself agreeing with them more and more.
If we disagree with laws that are based upon the belief in fictional concepts such as free will versus coercion, then what’s the point in fighting the inevitable? Neither the public nor law-makers possess the free will to change them anyway.
The best we can do is to extract whatever happiness we can out of whatever fate has decreed for us. Wait… was that a choice?