Your body is your body, plain and simple. If I choose to harm it, then my reasons for doing so are justified in my mind. You're not in my head, and you don't feel any of the things I do. So who are you to tell me what is and isn't best for me? Stopping people from doing what they want because it harms them makes about as much sense as forcing people to vote to make sure they exercise their freedoms.
If I can't do with my own body what I will, what have I got left? I'd be happy to pay tax, I'd be happy to provide food to charity, etc. But I'd be less happy to have to donate an arm.
I should be able to commit suicide if I so wish, insofar as I am of relatively sound mind. A woman should be able to carry a child or abort it, if she wishes to, again, insofar as she in of relatively sound judgement,
We are not the property of our parents or of society or our partners or whoever. We are our own. We have our own freedom. No one else has it.
It is true that there are consequences to every thing we do. But by the way jimmyI76 uses that logic we should have no freedoms at all.
The human body is the most personal thing you have. It goes with you everywhere. Like freedom of speech bodily autonomy should have some limitations. But those limitations should only be based upon preventing the worst of negative consequences. Primarily bodily autonomy should be limited to protect other people's bodily autonomy. For instance one should not be permitted to use their bodily autonomy to grab a weapon and strike innocent people.
As for consequences like how it will make people in your family or close friends feel, that's not a matter for the state. It is a matter of morality and ethics, and it is reasonable for people to tell others "shame on you" when those others have been inconsiderate. But if we make protecting other people's feelings a matter of state then there is no stopping the use of state power since anything can easily be construed as to hurt someone's feelings.
There are consequences worth restricting freedom for, such as polluting the environment in ways that could cause significant damage either immediately or down the road, nonpayment of the taxes needed for order and for funding necessary programs (though we owe taxpayers that these programs be truly necessary), and things that cause or severely risk significant violation of bodily autonomy to other people.
Some would say we should restrict lifestyle choices that tend on average to lead to more costs to taxpayers. The problem here is that to be consistent we would have to do so even when the choice is healthier and safer for the individual. Since healthier, safer choices lead to longer lifespans that means health expenses that would not have accrued otherwise and more social security payments. In fact studies in the Netherlands suggested smokers and the obese actually saved taxpayer dollars because they died sooner. Of course nobody is going to propose limiting the freedom to make healthy choices because the real motive around limiting lifestyle choices is an empathic desire to protect people. Nobody who talks about the impact on tax dollars really cares about that point they are just using it as an extra argument to pad their position with. There is a noble quality to this desire to protect, but ultimately for our lives to be meaningful they must be free and choices to live healthier and safer lives must be made freely. We should require that information put out about any product or service be accurate and thoroughly informative of the risks involved but in the end it should be the individual's own choice.
This isn't about abortion, sex, drugs or etc. (not exactly)
I've just wondered what people meant by "I can do what ever I want, its my life, and its my body".
You are someone's child. Your body was given, and raised by them.
You've eaten off other peoples work, and you've done things for other people.
You are someone's friend, brother, sister, lover, what makes you think your life is your own.
These labels only exist because another, different person exists, and they add value to your life.
Yes you can chose who you are, but the second you come in contact with someone other than you, arn't you, in a sense, bound to that other person, in a varying degrees of course.
A Batista's action to them selves affects how I taste my coffee. How I felt about that affects how I treat the next person an so on. And these are such small effects, why are larger things, chopped up to individual choice, as if it doesn't affect anyone else?
There are responsibilities in managing your body in a societal perspective because your actions always have an effect on others.
"My body my choice!" And then I proceed to become 600 pounds by eating Doritos, Mountain Dew, and n00bs. At some point I'm going to go on governmental supported healthcare because I am starting to have problems with my "Godly" bod. I am a burden on society. I am using your money to keep my lifestyle of irresponsibility. If too many of me exist, society falls apart.
If you did not affect me in any direct or indirect way, then I don't give a dam about what you do.
You can't justify prostitution or recreational drug use with the 'it's my body; I can do whatever I want with it' argument. Your body is received from your parents. Your responsibility is to use your body responsibly and respectfully, not hurt yourself, and live life to the fullest in your body so that your birth is not in vain. 'The body is that which has been transmitted to us by our parents; dare any one allow himself to be irreverent in the employment of their legacy? If a man in his own house and privacy be not grave, he is not filial; if in serving his ruler, he be not loyal, he is not filial; if in discharging the duties of office, he be not reverent, he is not filial; if with friends he be not sincere, he is not filial; if on the field of battle he be not brave, he is not filial. If he fail in these five things, the evil (of the disgrace) will reach his parents; dare he but reverently attend to them?' (Book of Rites 24.26) 'Our bodies - to every hair and bit of skin - are received by us from our parents, and we must not presume to injure or wound them. This is the beginning of filial piety.' (Book of Filial Piety 1)
I agree with Jimmy's arguments as well.