Monday, September 14, 2009

Implications of Illegal Parking

Parking in the opposite direction as the flow of traffic on that side of the street is a ticketable offense in most cities. The traffic cops are allowed to infer that you must have broken the law in order to position your car into that orientation.

This technicality has broad philosophical implications, because it means that the state can arrest people based on inferences in general. For example, shouldn't we give marijuana possession citations to anyone playing ultimate frisbee? Don't we have to have a congressional hearing for any non-Olympian that can bench press 400+ pounds? Mustn't we arrest all current politicians in Chicago and New Jersey on the basis that there's no way they could have achieved their position without bribing a few people during their ascent? I say, perhaps regrettably, that we must. Consistency and honesty demand it.