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I would tend to agree that drugs are a bad thing, but I don't agree that they should be prohibited. People need to be held responsible for their own choices, not protected by some arbitrarily-selected "common good" legislation which has a dangerous tendency to slip towards moral fascism (blasphemy laws, anyone?).

 

However, I do believe people whose health problems are directly caused by drugs should be given a lower priority in the health service - why should genuinely sick people have to compete for attention in hospital with some idiot student having his stomach pumped?

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You can't confine those effect to books. What your'e talking about is information.

 

That's why I said stories and explicilty 'book' and I implicitly included also movies and other medias, as you may have noticed. :)

 

Of course when someone learns new information they can decide to act in a different way based on it, that's completely different.

When they take chemicals which affect their judgement and perception of reality, they no longer have the choice to decide to act differently, the chemicals are deciding for them.

 

I don't see a fundamental difference in aquiring new information by getting new information or by altering existing information based on drug usage. Especially because many drugs are already present in the brain anyway.

 

The basic fact is (and no one can argue with this) that the amount of harm alcohol and other recreational drugs cause in society far outweigh any good they do , and therefore, the net result is that they are a bad thing.

It's really as simple as that.

 

I guess we can agree on that. Somewhat ... :)


Gerhard

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I don't see a fundamental difference in aquiring new information by getting new information or by altering existing information based on drug usage. Especially because many drugs are already present in the brain anyway.

 

There's a huge difference between the two. Drugs impair your ability to make a decision, while information helps you to make a decision.

 

I would tend to agree that drugs are a bad thing, but I don't agree that they should be prohibited. People need to be held responsible for their own choices, not protected by some arbitrarily-selected "common good" legislation which has a dangerous tendency to slip towards moral fascism (blasphemy laws, anyone?).

 

NO, you CAN'T have that.

That is a totally hypocritical position.

On the one hand, you want everyone to have the free choice to take as much drugs as they want and as often as they want, but at the same time you don't actually want everyone to exercise that choice.

IF they did, then society would collapse as everyone ran around high on drugs or alcohol the whole time.

If you want to live in a society where everyone has free choice to take drugs, then to have to accept the possiblty that most poeple will choose to do so.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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The basic fact is (and no one can argue with this) that the amount of harm alcohol and other recreational drugs cause in society far outweigh any good they do , and therefore, the net result is that they are a bad thing.

It's really as simple as that.

 

That same argument could be made for sugar. Too much sugar causes health problems and modifies your personality. It is responsible for huge health problems in society and little or no benefit. Are you against that too?

 

because when you drink you do not just affect yourself. You affect everyone.

 

If you drink to EXCESS, you mean.

 

I love it when people who are against alcohol are incapable of arguing against it without going to extremes. I used to think the same when I was a fearful, elitist twit. Yet the majority of the western world has one or two glasses of wine with dinner, and somehow they don't turn into 'druken louts' or drug addicts.

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I love it when people who are against alcohol are incapable of arguing against it without going to extremes. I used to think the same when I was a fearful, elitist twit. Yet the majority of the western world has one or two glasses of wine with dinner, and somehow they don't turn into 'druken louts' or drug addicts.

 

In fact this is also quite dependent on the country. In Austria drinking a beer with your dinner is normal. In France it is the same for wine. Here in Germany it seems to be frowned upon both, at least here where I live.


Gerhard

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oDDity's argument depends on the fact that your brain was somehow 'right' to begin with and that altering it makes it 'wrong'. A small amount of drugs doesn't weaken your mind, just alters it. In many ways I'd say that the creative function of the brain is improved under the influence. A lot of great art has been created by people either completely pissed, totally high on something, and so on. With his 'weak-minded' depression as a tool van Gogh created some of the best art ever seen.

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Have you ever seen a subject stay on topic in this forum?

 

LOL. Now that you mention it, no not really lol

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That same argument could be made for sugar. Too much sugar causes health problems and modifies your personality. It is responsible for huge health problems in society and little or no benefit. Are you against that too?

If you drink to EXCESS, you mean.

 

I love it when people who are against alcohol are incapable of arguing against it without going to extremes. I used to think the same when I was a fearful, elitist twit. Yet the majority of the western world has one or two glasses of wine with dinner, and somehow they don't turn into 'druken louts' or drug addicts.

 

Stop being so fucking selfish and petty.

You may be an individual, but you don't live in a bubble, you live in a society.

Decisions like this have to be made for the benefit of society as a whole, not for the petty considerations of what constitues your personal happiness and desires.

You individually may never have directly caused any harm due to drink or drugs, but it happen endlessly.

Innocent thrid parties, many of them children, are harmed and killed somewhere every second because of the existence of alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol and drugs have vastly more negitive effects on society and insignificant good effects.There is no reasonable case to be made in favour of them.

What your position boils down to, is that you don't care to look at the overall picture in society, but are only interested in your own life, and in the fact that you enjoy the odd glass of an alcoholic beverage, and don't want it taken away from you, even if it would greatly benefit society as a whole, and avoid a lot of pain and suffering.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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oDDity's argument depends on the fact that your brain was somehow 'right' to begin with and that altering it makes it 'wrong'. A small amount of drugs doesn't weaken your mind, just alters it. In many ways I'd say that the creative function of the brain is improved under the influence. A lot of great art has been created by people either completely pissed, totally high on something, and so on. With his 'weak-minded' depression as a tool van Gogh created some of the best art ever seen.

I could point to many more examples of great art that were created by people who weren't high on drugs.

All your example states, is that Van Gogh was a talentless fuck who needed to be smacked up to create anything worth looking at.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Decisions like this

 

Decisions like what? I didn't realize we were discussing another crusade to save people from themselves. I guess when you're done with alcohol we can move onto banning violent video games so people don't abuse them either.

 

You may be an individual, but you don't live in a bubble, you live in a society.

Decisions like this have to be made for the benefit of society as a whole, not for the petty considerations of what constitues your personal happiness and desires.

 

Yeah, that's why I said "the majority of the western world has one or two glasses of wine with dinner, and somehow they don't turn into 'druken louts' or drug addicts."

 

That's "majority". Not "my personal happiness". I can point you to a dictionary if you're not clear on the difference.

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The majority getting a tiny amount of momentary pleasure from drinking the odd glass of wine is nothing compared the minorty suffering continued and lasting pain due to alcohol consumption as a whole.

Any decent person would be quite happy to give up their glass of wine for the greater good.

This is a hypothetical greater good of course, since alcohol has become so engrained in society, with its tendrils in every nook and cranny, that it would be virtually impossible to dislodge it at this stage.

THe hypothetical argument nonetheless shows that the net effect of alcohol on society as a whole is deep into the bad end of the scale.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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I love it when people who are against alcohol are incapable of arguing against it without going to extremes. I used to think the same when I was a fearful, elitist twit. Yet the majority of the western world has one or two glasses of wine with dinner, and somehow they don't turn into 'druken louts' or drug addicts.

I don't think my statement indicates that I'm incapable of not using extremes, nor that I was using extremes at all.

 

-Youth watch and are influenced to 'join the fun' - Phillip Morris gives their anti-smoking commercials because a mix of being required to by law and trying to seem like a "friendly killer," but no one forces alcohol companies to do the same, despite the fact that alcohol has ruined far more lives than cigarettes ever could. Why? Because it's part of human society, so it's acceptable. A legal, accepted drug. If Joe snorts just a little cocaine, somehow it doesn't seem okay to me. But as long as Miller corp. says "drink responsibly" and doesn't show actual drinking in their commercials, all is well - their asses are sufficiently covered, so says the law!

 

-A large portion of the economy is devoted to trade of alcohol. Good or bad, true.

 

-Deny the effect on popular culture? On friends and loved ones?

 

-Health care is involved with alcohol, whether to excess or not, all the time. Studies (requiring time and funding), treatment of illness, treatment of addiction, etc.

 

-For the drunk driving mention, a topic everyone should love, one that provides us with thousands and thousands of deaths every year (with the drunk often surviving, in an ironic twist), one needs to determine what "excess" is, but it's different for everyone. Drawing the line at "0.1 blood alcohol level" is not enough. And because a great portion of drinking involves going out to a bar, a great portion of drinking also involves driving an automobile. It involves me and those I care about because we have to share the road with the worthless, waste of life scumbags who turn the key.

 

None of this, nor my previous statement, suggests that a man having a glass of a fine wine with his beloved and children on his anniversary dinner is the same as a passed-out drunk in an ambulance who just killed three people in his stupor behind the wheel. But he does contribute to the situation, which is what I said.

 

you don't live in a bubble, you live in a society

Right, that's what I meant. As usual, I'm too long winded. -_-

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The majority getting a tiny amount of momentary pleasure from drinking the odd glass of wine is nothing compared the minorty suffering continued and lasting pain due to alcohol consumption as a whole.

 

Same could be said for violent computer games. The majority getting a tiny amount of enjoyment is nothing compared to the effects of the minority who take things to extremes, resulting in obesity, back, wrist and shoulder ailments, lost jobs, ruined relationships, and, oh yeah, violent killing sprees. Wouldn't you, as a reasonable human being, gladly give up your temporary pleasure to save other families from having to lose a loved one to a violent, mentally unstable computer game addict?

 

 

I don't think my statement indicates that I'm incapable of not using extremes, nor that I was using extremes at all.

 

That wasn't entirely directed at you, Sneaksie.

 

despite the fact that alcohol has ruined far more lives than cigarettes ever could.

 

And what study decided that? What percentage of tobacco users die from tobacco, compared to the percentage of alcohol users who die from alcohol? Even factoring in second-hand effects, I doubt you'd find tobacco lower than alcohol.

 

I don't think anyone is arguing that alcohol is frequently abused. But abuse by some has never been a good argument for prohibiting anyone from using it at all.

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Oh dear, people have started arguing in absolutes and making generalisations.

 

In other words, people have started arguing.

 

If I were you I'd learn to agree to disagree because frankly, everyone's opinion is subjective and more often than not they're so set in their own way that anyone else trying to change their mind will fail. Not to say that they are right or wrong, since there are no moral definitive absolutes (which is a somewhat absolutist position in itself because I'm claiming the only way to look at the world is in terms of a lack of absolutes. Whoops, defeated by my own logic.)

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Same could be said for violent computer games. The majority getting a tiny amount of enjoyment is nothing compared to the effects of the minority who take things to extremes, resulting in obesity, back, wrist and shoulder ailments, lost jobs, ruined relationships, and, oh yeah, violent killing sprees. Wouldn't you, as a reasonable human being, gladly give up your temporary pleasure to save other families from having to lose a loved one to a violent, mentally unstable computer game addict?

 

ROFL, if you're reduced to that pathetic level of argument, you may as well just ave attached a picture of a white flag.

I won't bpther pointing out the massive disparity between the net amount of harm caused by alchohol and the net amout caused by video games, since it's so obvious to everyone it make you look like a fool for even mentioning it.

SInce video games can also be beneficial leaning and training tools, the net amount is not far enough into the red to be a problem.

Video games are just another form of information, like books or language, they do not affect people's abilty to make decisons, they enhance it. What decsions people make with the dame information are going to vary, but that is never the fault of the information. We can't stop communication.

Apart from that, there is no proven case of someone being killed directly becasue of a video game. There are cases such as someione in Korea deleting someone else's MMO account and them being killed becasue of it, but that is not the direct result of the video game industry, that simply one person taking retribution on another, as humans will do for an endless number of reasons, what the exact reason was is never the issue.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Oh dear, people have started arguing in absolutes and making generalisations.

 

In other words, people have started arguing.

 

If I were you I'd learn to agree to disagree because frankly, everyone's opinion is subjective and more often than not they're so set in their own way that anyone else trying to change their mind will fail. Not to say that they are right or wrong, since there are no moral definitive absolutes

 

Yes, there are absolutes.

The net effect of alcohol consumption on society is bad, that's an absolute and undeniable fact.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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What percentage of tobacco users die from tobacco, compared to the percentage of alcohol users who die from alcohol? Even factoring in second-hand effects, I doubt you'd find tobacco lower than alcohol.

Well, lives damaged/ruined as opposed to necessarily lost. I'm not sure about death statistics between the two (I think the current smoking statistic is that someone dies in the U.S. from a smoking habit every two minutes or something like that! :blink: Happy Thanksgiving!) but if you figure alcoholism's popularity and long term effects of destroying families, death from accidents, cirrosis, deterioration of general health, even consumption poisoning sometimes, etc., I lean more towards that being the more substantial of the two in terms of societal counts. Although, I do also campaign against friends, girlfriends, and family members smoking ;) Trying to get two to stop right now. But that's another topic.

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I won't bpther pointing out the massive disparity between the net amount of harm caused by alchohol and the net amout caused by video games, since it's so obvious to everyone it make you look like a fool for even mentioning it.

 

So you say, but then I notice you went ahead and did it anyway. :)

 

And I wasn't saying that the ratio of harm was the same, I was saying the same ARGUMENT applies. That argument being, "A minority causes harm by use of X, so even though the majority does NOT cause harm using it, it should be banned." That's the exact same argument used by people trying to ban video games, pornography, junk food, cars, etc.

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So you say, but then I notice you went ahead and did it anyway. :)

 

And I wasn't saying that the ratio of harm was the same, I was saying the same ARGUMENT applies. That argument being, "A minority causes harm by use of X, so even though the majority does NOT cause harm using it, it should be banned." That's the exact same argument used by people trying to ban video games, pornography, junk food, cars, etc.

 

Obviously not. If the net harm is small, its not worth the large amount of effort it would take to remove it, it's much better to try to just minimalise the harm. That's not so easy when the net amount of harm is huge, like with alcohol, and particualrly when alcohol has no redeeming features anyway, there really isn't much point in keeping it around.

People say 'well,. I only drink one glass of wine every 2 weeks anyway' - well, if that's the case then it really means nothing to give it up, so what's the probem.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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I'm always here, like god. :)

 

You answeres were prtty much impressive, if you came up with them on your own. You only failed in one thing. I didn't post this question to you to get an answer to them, I just posted them to show you there is much more then just black and white. Nature is not stuffed into clean little drawers that we make to cope with it. Just as a gun is not evil per se, alcohol is also not evil per se. It's what you make of it, not what it is, because everything is nothing. Now that was the philosophical word for Sunday. :)

 

*deleted*

Edited by Forsaken

Too late to save us but try to understand

The seas were empty -- there was hunger in the land

We let the madmen write the golden rules

We were just Children of the Moon

We're lost in the middle of a hopeless world

Children, Children of the Moon watch the world go by

Children, Children of the Moon are hiding from the Sun and the Sky

 

© The Alan Parsons Project - Children of the Moon

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NO, you CAN'T have that.

That is a totally hypocritical position.

On the one hand, you want everyone to have the free choice to take as much drugs as they want and as often as they want, but at the same time you don't actually want everyone to exercise that choice.

 

I'm sure you've heard the saying "your right to swing your fist ends at my face".

 

I respect people's right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home, as long as it is not directly harming other people. If they want to get stoned and collapse on their own sofa that's fine by me - if they try to drive while under the influence or get drunk and attack people in the street then they should be stopped. The law should take effect at the point where other people's rights are violated, and not before (this applies to everything, not just drugs).

 

It is not hypocritical, merely balanced (or perhaps excessively liberal depending on your viewpoint).

 

IF they did, then society would collapse as everyone ran around high on drugs or alcohol the whole time.

If you want to live in a society where everyone has free choice to take drugs, then to have to accept the possiblty that most poeple will choose to do so.

 

Are you assuming that the only reason people don't take drugs is because it's illegal, and if it was de-criminalised everybody would do it? This seems rather unlikely to me, particularly since most people have no objection with copying CDs for their friends or watching DVDs on Linux, both of which are also illegal.

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I'm sure you've heard the saying "your right to swing your fist ends at my face".

 

I respect people's right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home, as long as it is not directly harming other people. If they want to get stoned and collapse on their own sofa that's fine by me - if they try to drive while under the influence or get drunk and attack people in the street then they should be stopped. The law should take effect at the point where other people's rights are violated, and not before (this applies to everything, not just drugs).

 

It is not hypocritical, merely balanced (or perhaps excessively liberal depending on your viewpoint).

Are you assuming that the only reason people don't take drugs is because it's illegal, and if it was de-criminalised everybody would do it? This seems rather unlikely to me, particularly since most people have no objection with copying CDs for their friends or watching DVDs on Linux, both of which are also illegal.

 

None of that is relevant to the arguement. THe only point to consider, is that you cannot hold two opposing postions at the same time, and that's exactly want you are attempting to do (twice)

1 - you want everyone to have free choice to use any drug.

2 - you don't want society to collapse under the weight of rampant drug use and addiction.

3 -you don't want any of your friends or family to start using drugs and die from an overdose..

4 -..but you're quite happy for it to happen to other people.

 

You fail to see the point that while one individual drink or drug user picked at random may never have done any harm, all drink and drug users taken as a whole do a lot of harm.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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@oDDity: I think you're misunderstanding what OrbWeaver is saying. Since it sounds like his beliefs may be similar to mine, I'll just state mine and hope it describes his well enough:

 

People have a right to do drugs as long as it doesn't risk the health or property of others. Drinking is fine, but once you get intoxicated and attack somebody or destroy something or drive a car, I beleive you should lose the right to drink (or use other recreational drugs) permanently. Something related to this, is that I don't think universal health-care should pay for treatment for patients with self-inflicted drug-related injuries (cirhosis, car wrecks etc), as that would represent the intoxicated person doing damage to everybody's money reserves.

 

I don't buy the notion that legalizing drugs would create a society full of druggies. I've gotten drunk once and smoked marijuana once, (both times mostly out of curiosity) but for much the same reasons you describe I just don't have any desire to use recreational drugs again even though I beleive they should be legal. Similarly, although I believe people have a right to use drugs, that doesn't mean you can't heckle and encourage them not to. In other words, there is no contradiction with thinking that drugs should be legalized, and encouraging your friends not to use them - what I beleive people have a right to do, and what I beleive they SHOULD do are two entirely different and distinct things.

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I've already explained my case, I've shown you the obvious facts as to why not having a freedom of choice in recreational drug use and alcohol use will benefit society as a whole, so perhaps you'll explain to to me how letting everyone have the free chocie to take any drug or combination of drugs they so choose at any time, without restrction, will benefit society, or make the wolrd a better place in any way.

Why is individual freedom of choice automatically a good thing, and a better situation that having decisions mde by society as a whole, for the benefit of society as a whole?

You're entire argument is based on this pathetic, childish ideal of freedom of choice for all, and it's really quite naive.

We dont' have freedom of chocie for the most part. There are endless laws telling you want you can and can't do, at work there are endless rules whereever you go telling you want you can or can't do, in your recreation and play there are endless rules, there are endless actions you must perfrom to conform to the standard of society.

Everywhwere you go there are endless rules, regulations and laws, they are an essential part of a functioning society.

Unrestricted freedom of choice for humans would bring about total anarchy and disaster.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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