Correlation-Based Prohibitions

Created Monday 14 November 2022

Drunk driving is criminalized based not on harm caused in any specific case but on a statistical correlation between non-zero blood-alcohol levels and vehicle accidents.

You can be thrown in jail for driving drunk, even if you make it safely to your destination and have harmed no one in the process. In other words, you are deemed guilty of a crime despite the lack of incidence of criminal harm.

The situation may be generalized thus:

Event/condition X is criminalized/restricted based not on any actual occurrence of Y but on a statistical correlation between X and Y, where Y is some criminally-harmful incident which did not necessarily occur for this specific occurrence of X.

This legal template opens up a large and interesting world of possibilities, to say the least.

I'll ask an obvious question. I'm not afraid: Do men who practice adult sodomy exhibit a statistically higher inclination to sexually molest male children than do normal adults?

If you argue that the drunk-driving laws are reasonable, how will you argue against laws prohibiting sodomites access to children?

Of course, I mean how will you do so without being absurdly capricious?