The short answer is “no,” but it requires explanation. I would put so-called victimless crimes into two categories. The first would be those commonly trotted out as such; examples being drugs and prostitution. The second are those that may be said to have no moral component at all, resulting from the violation of laws that in fact do cause harm, often being agents of victimization.
A crime is generally understood to be the breaking of law, so we need to consider why law exists. We have laws because we are naturally lawless. Unconstrained, we will tend to do whatever suits us, considering others only so far as we have determined that to be in our best interest. If we were all carbon copies of Jesus, law would be largely if not entirely unnecessary. It is because we’re not that He had to come show us how to live and pay the ultimate price to redeem us.
Laws protect us from each other, and yes, from ourselves. That leads to more questions. How much law do we need? Who sets the standard by which the law is made? Who says what is right and what is wrong? What constitutes harm to others or harm to oneself? Does harm to oneself really affect only the individual? If the answer to the last question is no, how far can we go to protect the individual from himself under the banner of protecting others?
I observe three perspectives from which to answer these questions. One that we all seem to be able to agree on to one degree or another is that of the society as a whole. How does the individual’s behavior affect society? Depending on one’s inclination the answer to that question may differ. One says that the use of controlled substances is a personal matter that harms no one else and that the blight we blame on drug use is really caused by its criminalization. The other points to the family breakdown, neglect, accidents, and death related substance abuse. One argues that they’re going to do it anyway so we should take away the incentive for criminals to profit from it. The other says if we make it easy more will do it and society will be burdened by the side-effects.
The second perspective references a moral code. We recognize that not everything one might choose to do has a right or wrong to it, but we always apply the test. In so doing we often find that fewer things than one might expect will lead us back to a question of morality. Benefit to society is seen as flowing from the moral choice rather than dictating it.
The third I will call the sociopathic perspective. All of us must deal with it at some level. Because we are lawless by nature, we tend to favor those things that we think will benefit us the most. Often we cloak our selfish desires under the mantel of the other two. We may not even be conscious that we’re doing it. Remove a finite standard, and this is all we have left. Too often we take this with us to the polls, voting for that which seems most likely to give us what we want.
If we want it badly enough we’ll have it regardless of the consequences. We’ve all heard that prohibition didn’t work. I submit that it didn’t work because we really didn’t want it to work. I find it ironic that we’re headed in the same direction with marijuana, the smoking of which does far more damage than tobacco, while we continue to turn the screws on tobacco smokers.
As long as God permits flawed humanity to govern itself, we will not have satisfactory answers to these questions applied throughout our societies. There is only one measure by which our actions are rightly judged, and that is the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Until He is the unquestioned king of this earth, all we can do is strive to see as much of His truth applied as possible under the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Our government was uniquely fashioned such that we are free to make that effort. It is not only our right, but our duty to make good use of this divine gift. If we do not apply it, even what we have will be taken from us (Matthew 25:14-29.)