Usually when a ‘bubble’ metaphor is used it’s not a good thing but, it can be. The first example that springs to mind is economic or housing bubbles and just like soapy bubbles they tend to pop. When others accuse you of living in a bubble they are usually not implying it’s a valuable lifestyle. Living in a bubble is associated with being protected from the outside, being very brittle, or perhaps an echo chamber filled only with your opinions. However, the bubble metaphor is the best I have found for visualizing your natural born rights as a member of mankind. I chose that word (mankind) very carefully. Many conservatives tend to talk about our ‘constitutional rights’, while our natural born rights are indeed protected under the constitution, they are not derived from it.
Allow me to explain. Imagine your home and property being inside a giant superdome or a big, gigantic bubble. You are living inside your home, inside the superdome bubble but, obviously, you must leave your home and venture to the outside world. So, you hop in the car and hit the roads, you are now transitioning from your private property into the public arena. Just as you break through the edge of your superdome bubble, a little bubble, just bigger than your car, breaks off and surrounds you as you head down the road. These bubbles are like a forcefield of sorts. As I’m sure you have already imagined, when you arrive at your destination and exit your car, and your bubble, another smaller bubble breaks off and surrounds you as you head into the supermarket, post office, etc. I call all these bubbles freedom bubbles; they represent your rights as a person created by God himself and ordained with certain basic liberties.
When you are at home in your superdome bubble there is very little conflict. You control who enters your superdome bubble and you set the rules for all invitees. However, as you venture out into the public sector you will inevitably begin bumping into other people’s freedom bubbles and, no doubt, they will yours. This creates a conflict. I have had countless debates over any number of social, moral, and political topics, always arguing for maximum individual liberties, and the question is always posed to me ‘How far is too far’? What is your right as an individual and what must you give up to live in a civilized society? With the freedom bubble metaphor or test, it is quite simple to resolve these questions with nearly any topic. You have all the freedom and liberty you can possibly exercise in your bubble, until you begin bumping into another person’s bubble and threatening to pop it.
Example; It is illegal and immoral to murder someone. Why? Because your bumping into their sphere of freedom, their bubble, and violating their right to life.
Example; it is illegal and immoral to rob a business or person. Why? Because you are bumping into their freedom bubble. You are violating their right to own property and not be deprived of it without their consent.
Example; you can eat all the junk food you want. Why? Because your operating within your bubble and your actions do not affect the rights of those around you. Eating junk food and being morbidly obese effects your life and happiness but, it does not keep anyone else from eating as they please.
Example; You can smoke a cigarette. Why? We know it is unhealthy, we know it destroys your lungs, we know it’s not good for a budget but, you have the right to destroy your own health and wellbeing. You have the right to smoke a cigarette because it does not take away the right of another person. However, you do not have the right to blow your smoke in the face of, or vicinity of, another person. Doing so effects their health and subsequently their right to life and liberty, all bumps into their freedom bubble.
I maintain you, as an individual, have the right to do or say anything, so long as you are not violating the basic rights of another individual. It is very easy to get confused by the ‘Right to pursue happiness’ statement in the Declaration Of Independence. You could point out any number of examples of things that make us happy that may not work with the bubble test. It is important to distinguish what Thomas Jefferson meant by that statement and what it is construed to be today. You do not have the right to be happy, you do not have a right to goods or services that make you happy. You simply have the right to pursue happiness, to make choices that make you happy within your freedom bubble. Freedom bubbles will bump into one another in a free society. The purpose of our court system is to determine the best way to settle a conflict of rights while maintaining the highest possible level of liberty for both individuals. That is my opinion but, after all, I am just One Young Man.