If you call me a prude, I may take offense given the context. If you called me prudent, I would consider this high praise.
I am a libertarian. I believe in the basic good in people and their capacity for self governance. One credo I see bandied about in society these days is “Do whatever the heck you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.” To a libertarian, this is the nominal condition for self governance beyond which societal restrictions at the hand of a hated and hopefully minimal authority would intervene. In other words, if “doing whatever you want” destroys other peoples property or infringes on their own pursuits, you have crossed a line where you will then be regulated by others.
However, there is a big difference in the context of “do what ever you want” to a libertarian and what is playing out in today’s society. There is a presumption to a libertarian that this credo represents protecting an individual’s right to realize his self potential in his own way and in accordance with his own beliefs. I don’t think our founders (although definitely not saints themselves) envisioned a society that is permeated with objectified sexuality, conspicuous hedonism, godlessness and general amoralism as the preferred end product of their labor and sacrifice. This is not what “do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else” means.
Let’s say your daughter or son is going out for the evening. Do you admonish them to “do whatever the hell you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone else?” No, of course not, You would want your child to be respectful of themselves and others and act in accordance with the morals and values that you raised them with.
If we would not want this behavior in our children, why then would we feel license to comport ourselves by the nominal parameters of the phrase “do what ever you want as long as you hurt nobody else” rather than the noblest interpretation as envisioned be lovers of liberty?
In the end, we all live in and are part of society. I’d rather live by the credo “do whatever I can to improve myself and thus help others “