The Lesser of Two Evils: To scan or not to scan?
In discussion last week, we read an article about the measures that TSA is taking to ensure our traveling safety at airports all over the nation. The media has taken quite a liking for stories about passengers that find creative ways to go around the full-body scans, or travelers that are suing for “harassment” or “molestation”. Some feel violated by these full-body scans, while others do not contest. We connected these scans and pat-downs to Mill and how he sees something as a “nuisance” once it gets in the way of someone else. Would Mill agree with these full-body scans- would he see the benefit outweighing the cost of invasion of privacy, or would he think they were too much of a “nuisance” towards someone’s emotional wellbeing.
As a class, we determined that Mill likely would be in favor of the scans, that he would not have a problem with them. We came to this conclusion because, while the scans and pat-downs have been problematic for some and their execution may have been inappropriate in some instances, overall, the scans and pat downs are ultimately beneficial. In this situation, the body scans could help eliminate possible threats to the overall safety of a plane, its passengers, and, ultimately, our nation. By not having these body scans, we could potentially be making room for terrorist attacks which would lead to emotional pain, death, and blows to our economy. Because these costs are greatly outweighed by the benefits of the body scans, Mill would say that we should pick the lesser of the two evils and allow for the body scans.
Even if you’re uncomfortable with someone in a room watching the monitors from the scans seeing you semi-nude, the scans are still allowing for more protection for our nation. Mill believes in the freedom to do whatever you want so long as it doesn’t harm or bother someone else, but once it starts to harm of bother someone else, it becomes a nuisance. In this case, while the scans may be a nuisance, they do more good than harm in the long run.