> But having said that, there's an element of the social contract at play here. The exact same logic this guy is using suggests that he also shouldn't answer the questions of police investigating crimes in his neighborhood. "Have you seen this man? We think he just shot up your neighbor's car."
I believe this is different. In this case, true, you have no legal obligation to answer a cop's questions when he is investigating a crime. But I do think you may possibly have a moral obligation and answering his questions is part of your civic duty.
However, I don't really see any such obligation here when they are treating you as the suspect. There is no concrete reason for them to suspect you in the first place, other than their blind, blanket suspicion of everyone.
I agree. This guy is trying to apply an abstract principal to something that in reality doesn't really make any sense.
However, I don't think they have a blanket suspicion of everyone.
It's pretty clear to me that people like the border patrol, or anyone else who has a similar job of trying to find that needle in the haystack, the one person they should rightfully be suspicious of, is looking for certain telltale signs: dark skin, non-affluent dress and/or nervous behavior.
Do you really think they have a blind suspicion of everyone? The vast majority will go through with minimal questioning, and these types of questions try to tease out suspicious behavior. I don't think it's a "you are guilty by default" type situation.
How would you rather the border patrol act? Keep in mind there are various types of illicit behavior that are not desired within society--this is a fairly inevasive method all things considered.
Isn't being suspicious of everyone the rational response? You see thousands of people per year and your entire job is to identify the few who are doing something wrong (smuggling, using a false passport, whatever).
If you're not going to be suspicious of everyone, which subset of them should you be suspicious of?