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Ending the Drug War
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Author Topic: Ending the Drug War  (Read 35452 times)
wodan46
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2009, 20:19:39 EST »

Just wondering how he knows that all drugs cause unhappiness. I happen to know that in at least one case, they do not.
I'm curious as to when I started saying that all drugs cause unhappiness, merely that they are more likely to cause unhappiness than happiness, by a large margin, and that such phenomena can be measured fairly directly in the forms of lives lost or ruined by them.  If you honestly think that a single anecdote will sway my opinion in the face of huge statistics, then you should think again.

100s of thousands of people die each year because of smoking, often experiencing tremendous discomfort throughout their lives before hand, injuring those around them both physically, mentally, and financially.  For what?  Cigarettes give minimal actual comfort, for the most part, they simply cause you to suffer when not taking them to alleviate the very problem they caused in the first place.  They do not "calm" people or otherwise stabilize them, they make them more irritable.

Does that really strike you as something that's beneficial to society, that results in more good than harm, or does it look like something that causes endless harm for insignificant gain?
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The plural of "anecdote" is "anecdotes". Not "data".
Ibian
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2009, 02:08:48 EST »

I always find it amusing how someone can claim to be an expert on something they know nothing about.

Anyhow,
I'm curious.  If someone you cared said they were going to commit suicide right in front of you, would you say "okey dokey, its your personal decision" and let them go ahead with it?  Smoking is like that, except slower, and thus easier to rationalize.
Someone who? My old granpa who has been unable to take care of himself for the past 2-4ish years? I would have admired him if he had done that.

An artist who had his hands crippled? What does he have left to live for?

And there are lots more examples but i am lazy tonight.

Oh and also, re: smoking. My other granpa had his leg amputated not too long ago. It was that or die of whatever the problem with his leg was, and it was partly caused by heavy smoking.

Most of my family are nonsmokers. Our family rule when he came to visit us was no smoking in the house. It worked out for everyone, he got to smoke and we didnt have to.

He knew the risk and he chose to take it, and thats all there is to it. The rest of us were only as affected by it as we chose to be. This is an important concept, by the way. Drugs, alcohol, other peoples diseases and injuries due to stupidity, you CHOOSE how much you want it to affect you. And if you choose to be deeply agitated by some random stranger who cant control his drinking, or by some crack addict who gets involved with a bad crowd due to his addiction and gets himself killed, then i say you are a bigger idiot than them.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 02:19:11 EST by Ibian » Logged
Bringerofpie
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2009, 10:50:43 EST »


He knew the risk and he chose to take it, and thats all there is to it. The rest of us were only as affected by it as we chose to be.

I rarely agree with Ibian, but I am in vehement support of this statement.

P.S. If intoxicated, DO NOT DRIVE! Felt like I should put that out there.
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wodan46
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2009, 15:50:15 EST »

He knew the risk and he chose to take it, and thats all there is to it. The rest of us were only as affected by it as we chose to be.
Except when they are not. 

Do you have a choice when the drunk driver runs you over?  Do you have a choice when you are mugged or murdered, an event that has a significantly greater chance of occurring if you live in a district where organized crime caters to drug addicts?  Do you have a choice when you are beaten by your drunken parent?  Do you have a choice about whether or not to feel sad when a relative wastes away in front of you?

This is an important concept, by the way. Drugs, alcohol, other peoples diseases and injuries due to stupidity, you CHOOSE how much you want it to affect you.
Do you have a choice about whether or not to continue taking an addictive drug once you've already started?

You presume that people live in a vacuum.  They don't.  Your choices will affect others, whether you wish to or not.

Furthermore, you seem to hold the right to make all choices as sacred.  However, when that choice impacts others, how far should the rights of one person be extended over another's?

Lets take the Grand Canyon.  Would you remove all the warning signs and barriers, and let all the uninformed/stupid people and curious children plummet to their death?  To me, that is foolish, and causes suffering that could have easily been avoided.  But to you, its better for people to learn the hard way, and if that results in the world being more unpleasant than it was before, so be it.

And if you choose to be deeply agitated by some random stranger who cant control his drinking, or by some crack addict who gets involved with a bad crowd due to his addiction and gets himself killed, then i say you are a bigger idiot than them.
I get upset when some random stranger beats me up because they are drunk, or some crack addict gets involved with a bad crowd and gets ME killed.
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Ibian
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2009, 16:29:41 EST »

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Lets take the Grand Canyon.  Would you remove all the warning signs and barriers, and let all the uninformed/stupid people and curious children plummet to their death?
Somewhere on Cypris is a 60 foot deep hole, one of many ancient ruins. There were no signs warning about it. Oddly enough, neither me nor my dad plummeted to our deaths. Can you guess why? Yes, you are correct! It is because we are not bumbling fools who turn our eyes skyward when traversing difficult terrain! Congratulations, you win!

You always have some degree of control over what happens to you. The nature of crime is such that it is mostly weak people it happens to. If you are too addled to notice when someone is stealing from your pocket, then it is your own fault for not paying better attention. I have the principle that if someone can pickpocket me without being noticed, then they deserve whatever they get. It has yet to happen.

Criminals are criminals. Sometimes criminals do drugs. This does not mean the drug itself is to blame for whatever they did, they are. The reason you attack drugs instead of the real problem, namely human nature, is because it seems like an easier enemy than those scary Other People.

So what do you do if you live in a rough neighborhood and you really wish people would stop beating you up all the time? You move. Very simple and straightforward and anyone can do it.

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Do you have a choice when you are beaten by your drunken parent?
One of the things George Carlin has said over the years goes something like this,
"Here is something that nobody has ever said before: "Dad, you really ought to drink more"".

I have said that. I have no reason for including this part other than cracking myself the hell up.

Okay, now for the slightly more serious angle. The booze didn't beat you up, your daddy did. You are just using the alcohol as a scapegoat to explain his violent nature, but the reality is that your old man was just a mean bastard.

Alcohol brings out peoples true natures without all the mental blocks we have built up over the years. If he hadn't been drinking he would probably still have abused you, but then it might have been psychological abuse instead. Pick your poison.

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Do you have a choice about whether or not to feel sad when a relative wastes away in front of you?
Yes. You do. Thats the whole point. The only one who can control how you feel, is you.

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Do you have a choice about whether or not to continue taking an addictive drug once you've already started?
Yes again. The longer you wait the harder it will be to stop, but you knew that before you began. Any problems you get yourself into by taking drugs is of your own making, your own choice. The people who dont have problems controlling their use of drugs should not have to suffer just because you are a weakminded idiot.

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Your choices will affect others, whether you wish to or not.
Ah, no. Not quite. Your choices will affect others if they allow them to.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 16:41:19 EST by Ibian » Logged
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2009, 16:53:32 EST »

Wodan, have you ever tried any drugs?

I have... catnip does some nasty stuff to your stomach if you injest it. Tongue

(I'm not kidding... It's a long story, but I did actually get high off catnip once by accident.)


Seriously, though, I do find this kind of comment offensive. It suggests that people who object to drug use or other destructive diversions are simply being uptight and don't know what they are missing.

I, for one, would not enjoy having my body chemistry dramatically altered. I'm sensitive to the internal rhythms of my body. I'm most comfortable when I'm "centered" and the entirety of my being is in harmony; I'm happiest when I'm at my healthiest. Even if I did find the induced state enjoyable - which is unlikely, since I know from experience that sugar and caffeine "highs" do nothing but give me headaches - it is quite certain that I would be miserable from after-effects.

I have no desire to use drugs. I prefer to enjoy the subtle and the sublime, and substance over style. I find sudden bursts of intense sensations aggravating. Trying to process so much stimulus at once is disorienting and generally leaves me feeling exhausted not satisfied. (Also, I have a completely legal alternative to enhance my mental state where the worst that can happen is sore or stiff joints: meditation.)

I know many people could never appreciate my simplistic and humble lifestyle. (Indeed, many confuse it for austerity and self-denial.) I accept a certain level of indulgence, but I fail to see how drug use can be anything except a needless and destructive indulgence. It concerns me that people would treat recreational drugs as a healthy pasttime and ignore that the vast majority of users suffer greatly.

There are (arguably) many who are too heavy-handed and callous when it comes to drug prevention, but don't assume that those who object to drug use are attempting to deny others of happiness or project their values upon others. Some of us are genuinely concerned about the physical and emotional welfare of our fellow man.

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Ibian
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2009, 17:08:40 EST »

By their very nature, mind altering substances have to be experienced before you can pretend to know much of anything about them. Asking someone who is against drugs if he has ever tried them is perfectly legitimate.

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I, for one, would not enjoy having my body chemistry dramatically altered. I'm sensitive to the internal rhythms of my body. I'm most comfortable when I'm "centered" and the entirety of my being is in harmony; I'm happiest when I'm at my healthiest. Even if I did find the induced state enjoyable - which is unlikely, since I know from experience that sugar and caffeine "highs" do nothing but give me headaches - it is quite certain that I would be miserable from after-effects.
And here we have an important lesson: People are different. For example, i can drink until i pass out and be fine the next day after i drink a few glasses of water. I have never gotten a headache from drinking and i cant function without something sugary to start the day.

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It concerns me that people would treat recreational drugs as a healthy pasttime and ignore that the vast majority of users suffer greatly.
It concerns me that we have developed a society where blame is more important than responsibility. The people who suffer from drugs, suffer out of their own choice. The drugs are not to blame, they only have themselves to blame for not having the mental fortitude to quit in time. Again, the people who do enjoy drugs should not have to suffer because of idiots who got themselves in trouble.

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There are (arguably) many who are too heavy-handed and callous when it comes to drug prevention, but don't assume that those who object to drug use are attempting to deny others of happiness or project their values upon others. Some of us are genuinely concerned about the physical and emotional welfare of our fellow man.
Ah, but how do you define physical and emotional welfare? As pointed out above, people are different. You cant always use your own standards to judge what is good for others.
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Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2009, 17:17:14 EST »

An artist who had his hands crippled? What does he have left to live for?

This is such a tragically narrow view of the value of one's life. First of all, few if any people are so one-dimensional that they would not be able to find something else fulfilling. Even in this example, if art was the artist's only passion, they may find ways to adapt (like learning to use their feet) or channel that passion into something else (such as teaching art classes).

Personally, I feel life is always worth living. It may sound corny, but life is a treasure. Rare is the situation where you are irrevocably incapable of appreciating it.

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He knew the risk and he chose to take it, and thats all there is to it. The rest of us were only as affected by it as we chose to be. This is an important concept, by the way. Drugs, alcohol, other peoples diseases and injuries due to stupidity, you CHOOSE how much you want it to affect you. And if you choose to be deeply agitated by some random stranger who cant control his drinking, or by some crack addict who gets involved with a bad crowd due to his addiction and gets himself killed, then i say you are a bigger idiot than them.

I've never been satisfied by this argument.

Most people "know" the risks of their poor decisions, but they don't truly appreciate them. This is because they've failed to properly internalize fact into knowledge; the risks are just buzzing gnats that annoy rather than being genuine deterrents.

Furthermore, you're making the assumption that people make completely independent decisions. This is false; we are all predisposed towards making certain decisions over others. Many end up assuming great risks because they erroneously perceive that risk as being minimal or they have come to believe that the decision is either necessary, the best option, or the lesser of evils.

As an aside, it is not idiotic to be upset when others disrupt you. It may be idiotic to dwell upon it or get excessively angry, but while its affecting someone (or if it is a persistent problem), that person is perfectly justified in being upset and seeking to resolve the displeasurable situation... You'd (presumably) complain if someone started harassing and chastising you; I reserve the right to complain if your drunken debauchery is keeping me up at night. Having a right doesn't justify abusing it.
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Ihlosi
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2009, 17:28:05 EST »

By their very nature, mind altering substances have to be experienced before you can pretend to know much of anything about them.

Knowing about their biochemical effects is enough to make a statement about which ones are a bad idea to try. Just like you don't need to experience third-degree burns to say that getting them is a bad idea and a very painful experience.
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Ibian
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2009, 17:41:36 EST »

An artist who had his hands crippled? What does he have left to live for?

This is such a tragically narrow view of the value of one's life. First of all, few if any people are so one-dimensional that they would not be able to find something else fulfilling. Even in this example, if art was the artist's only passion, they may find ways to adapt (like learning to use their feet) or channel that passion into something else (such as teaching art classes).
There is an entire famous British play based on the idea. Then they made it into a (pretty decent) movie.

Come to think of it, the guy was paralyzed from the neck down. It had been a while since i saw it.

Personally, I feel life is always worth living. It may sound corny, but life is a treasure. Rare is the situation where you are irrevocably incapable of appreciating it.
Agreed, for the most part. But again, people are different. Maybe you dont have a problem being a burden to society and useless to everyone, sitting on your butt all day and having nurses 50 years younger than you changing your diaper, all the while your brain is dying before your body does, but i plan to either have my doctor kill me or do it myself before i reach that point. Also im not sure i would wanna keep living if i ever lost basic mobility.

I've never been satisfied by this argument.

Most people "know" the risks of their poor decisions, but they don't truly appreciate them. This is because they've failed to properly internalize fact into knowledge; the risks are just buzzing gnats that annoy rather than being genuine deterrents.

Furthermore, you're making the assumption that people make completely independent decisions. This is false; we are all predisposed towards making certain decisions over others. Many end up assuming great risks because they erroneously perceive that risk as being minimal or they have come to believe that the decision is either necessary, the best option, or the lesser of evils.
What you are saying is that people are stupid.

And i agree. Most people are very stupid in a variety of ways. And the only way for stupid people to learn is to suffer the consequences of their actions. Even if you could bail them out every time things almost went wrong for them, they wont appreciate you for it.

Quote
As an aside, it is not idiotic to be upset when others disrupt you. It may be idiotic to dwell upon it or get excessively angry, but while its affecting someone (or if it is a persistent problem), that person is perfectly justified in being upset and seeking to resolve the displeasurable situation... You'd (presumably) complain if someone started harassing and chastising you; I reserve the right to complain if your drunken debauchery is keeping me up at night. Having a right doesn't justify abusing it.
Most of the time people get upset over things they really dont have any business getting upset about. Like our good friend wodan, for example. If he has problems with drugs in his family or among his friends, then it is his family/friends he needs to deal with, not drugs. If he does not have any problems like that then what bloody business is it of his if someone he will never even meet gets high once in a while?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 17:45:39 EST by Ibian » Logged
Blue Boy from Red Country
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« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2009, 17:41:44 EST »

By their very nature, mind altering substances have to be experienced before you can pretend to know much of anything about them. Asking someone who is against drugs if he has ever tried them is perfectly legitimate.

This is like saying you have to get stabbed by a knife before you can appreciate what it'd be like to be to knifed to death. Certainly such an experience would greatly improve your comprehension, but those of us without such experiences can still extrapolate from what have experienced.


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It concerns me that we have developed a society where blame is more important than responsibility. The people who suffer from drugs, suffer out of their own choice. The drugs are not to blame, they only have themselves to blame for not having the mental fortitude to quit in time.

Is it really the drug addicts fault if they lack mental fortitude? I have it in abundance, but I know plenty of people due to the pain they've had to endure lack the ability to weather hardships.

I do agree with you regarding blame versus responsibility. I do expect people to be responsible for their own welfare, but I also expect people to be responsible for helping those cannot help themselves. Also, as much as I would prefer to "live and let live," I honestly feel many lack the wisdom to live responsibly; I cannot stand idly by and pretend they are just living life as they see fit.

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Ah, but how do you define physical and emotional welfare? As pointed out above, people are different. You cant always use your own standards to judge what is good for others.

Physical welfare is pretty simple; I define it as having a body that is functioning in a matter that promotes its continue existence and having the resources to ensure it continues to do so. (For example, having access to enough food to be properly fed.) I see emotional welfare as having stability, responding appropriately to a given situation and having those feeling to pass as opposed to having lingering emotional states that inhibit the ability to experience others - ideally, people should enjoy a state of happiness that promotes continued happiness. This is opposed to having inflated "highs" that ultimately undermine the ability to be happy without the particular stimulus.

Alright... that's enough for now. Tongue
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Ibian
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« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2009, 17:43:19 EST »

By their very nature, mind altering substances have to be experienced before you can pretend to know much of anything about them.

Knowing about their biochemical effects is enough to make a statement about which ones are a bad idea to try. Just like you don't need to experience third-degree burns to say that getting them is a bad idea and a very painful experience.

Sure, but if you have never tried any drugs then you really should not be trying to make the harmless stuff illegal, as is far too often the case.
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Ihlosi
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« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2009, 17:48:29 EST »

Sure, but if you have never tried any drugs then you really should not be trying to make the harmless stuff illegal, as is far too often the case.

You can tell what's harmless and what's not just from biochemistry and from studying what it does to other people. Absolutely no need to try anything on yourself.

Oh, and "mental fortitude" does very little when dealing with substances that affect neurochemistry. Just like it won't keep you awake when the anaesthesiologist turns on the isoflurane.
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Ibian
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« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2009, 17:50:15 EST »

By their very nature, mind altering substances have to be experienced before you can pretend to know much of anything about them. Asking someone who is against drugs if he has ever tried them is perfectly legitimate.

This is like saying you have to get stabbed by a knife before you can appreciate what it'd be like to be to knifed to death. Certainly such an experience would greatly improve your comprehension, but those of us without such experiences can still extrapolate from what have experienced.
Please dont do this.

What we have here is a so called logical fallacy and they annoy the bloody hell out of me.
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Ibian
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« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2009, 17:52:52 EST »

Sure, but if you have never tried any drugs then you really should not be trying to make the harmless stuff illegal, as is far too often the case.

You can tell what's harmless and what's not just from biochemistry and from studying what it does to other people. Absolutely no need to try anything on yourself.
Blue boy gets a headache from sugar. Meanwhile i dont get headaches from drinking until i pass out. You very much do need to try this sort of thing for yourself before you can have a halfway decent idea what is and is not safe.

Oh, and "mental fortitude" does very little when dealing with substances that affect neurochemistry. Just like it won't keep you awake when the anaesthesiologist turns on the isoflurane.
For the really hard stuff, it applies before you decide to start taking it. Most drugs dont fall under this category.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 17:54:51 EST by Ibian » Logged
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