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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Petrik View Post
    Mill's view has broad currency only in a dogmatically libertarian world that presumes the common existence of behaviors that have zero third party effects. In the real world such examples are few and far between. Self-abuse damages others, and it is perfectly rational, and fair, for those others to seek ways of regulating against such damage. The key is proper calibration, and that requires the recognition that perfection is not attainable.

    While I am not a libertarian, I do at least appreciate their attempt at consistency, even if that consistency may be more superficial than they acknowledge. They hold that society has no right to prevent a man from taking highly risky and addictive recreational drugs but also hold that society has no duty to assist that man when those risks mature into medical or financial distress. The problem with liberals (in the modern American sense of the term) -- as opposed to libertarians -- is that all too many think a sustainable society can be organized that not only allows people to exercise all manner of self-destructive behaviors (we wouldn't want to be judgmental) but also allows the costs of those behaviors to rest with society (more specifically those taxpayers who behave responsibly).

    A reasonable, thoughtful (and if I may say so, very well written) response. I am afraid that you may consider my reply to be something of a craven swivel; however, I shall advance it in any case. Acknowledging, of course, that any deterministic non-linear system (in this instance Post-Industrial society) cannot be presumed to exclude a sensitivity to even the minutest of effects, nevertheless, we are obliged to disengage any tendency towards moral tyranny in proposed amelioration. You may consider that self-abuse damages society whilst I believe that unrestricted population growth will annihilate society. I am certain that you will be able to appreciate where this line of discourse is destined so I will spare you the denouement…..
    Ephesians 5:16 (NKJV)


  2. #52
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    ^I'm fairly sure that curtailing world wide breeding just isn't going to happen. I'm equally sure the addicts will get their drugs and that self destructive behavior will continue. However, I truly resent that the rest of society must pay for anyone's personal decisions, whether substance use or child birth.
    Clothes don't always make the man

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    It is sad and truly unfortunate that we are so quick to discount the collateral damage resulting from the various forms of addictive behavior that we are discussing in this thread and a few that have yet to be mentioned.

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    ^ A fair point, Eagle, but unfortunately for society but more so for the individuals themselves, some people, whether through temperament, or some quirk of DNA, or unfortunate experiences in life, are destined to become addicts. It goes beyond deliberate choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Langham View Post
    ^ A fair point, Eagle, but unfortunately for society but more so for the individuals themselves, some people, whether through temperament, or some quirk of DNA, or unfortunate experiences in life, are destined to become addicts. It goes beyond deliberate choice.
    Studies do indeed demonstrate the some people have greater predilections for certain types of addictions than others, but such predilections are hardly evidence of predestination or biological materialism. Even children learn to resist temptations. Nonetheless, given the existence of such predilections, it plainly stands to reason that some casualties should be expected to the extent behaviors vulnerable to addiction are socially acceptable (e.g., alcohol and gambling). However, experimenting with behaviors that are socially prohibited in large part because of the risk of addiction, (e.g., cocaine or heroin) can only be regarded as an irresponsible -- indeed reckless -- deliberate choice.
    Last edited by Mike Petrik; June 16th, 2017 at 10:05.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Petrik View Post
    ... Experimenting with behaviors that are illegal in large part because of the risk of addiction, (e.g., cocaine or heroin), however, is an irresponsible deliberate choice.
    I won't disagree with that. However, some people just are more irresponsible than others - risk-takers and creative people sometimes, and arguably a tendency to be irresponsible, to court risk, is simply the other side of the coin or is a necessary adjunct to creativity, without which the world would be poorer. Not just artists, musicians, but clever businessmen, politicians, writers and thinkers - many have at least dabbled.

    Not really germane to my argument, but I was recently told by someone who had suffered an unfortunate hunting injury that morphine makes a damn good cocktail!

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langham View Post
    I won't disagree with that. However, some people just are more irresponsible than others - risk-takers and creative people sometimes, and arguably a tendency to be irresponsible, to court risk, is simply the other side of the coin or is a necessary adjunct to creativity, without which the world would be poorer. Not just artists, musicians, but clever businessmen, politicians, writers and thinkers - many have at least dabbled.

    Not really germane to my argument, but I was recently told by someone who had suffered an unfortunate hunting injury that morphine makes a damn good cocktail!
    It is appropriate for society to tolerate risk-taking when the benefits can be socialized as well as the costs, just as it is proper for society to regulate or prohibit risk-taking when only the costs can be socialized. A man might decide that the benefit of the "high" produced by shooting heroin is worth the risk of addiction, etc., but society might well decide to deprive that man of the right to make such a decision if that benefit is limited to that man while the cost is inevitably to a large extent socialized.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaver View Post
    A reasonable, thoughtful (and if I may say so, very well written) response. I am afraid that you may consider my reply to be something of a craven swivel; however, I shall advance it in any case. Acknowledging, of course, that any deterministic non-linear system (in this instance Post-Industrial society) cannot be presumed to exclude a sensitivity to even the minutest of effects, nevertheless, we are obliged to disengage any tendency towards moral tyranny in proposed amelioration. You may consider that self-abuse damages society whilst I believe that unrestricted population growth will annihilate society. I am certain that you will be able to appreciate where this line of discourse is destined so I will spare you the denouement…..
    Shaver,
    Thank you for your response, which per usual is very thoughtful. Leaving aside the dubious merits of the population growth example, your point -- assuming I understand it correctly -- is well taken. Yes, we must always be alert to the "gradual eclipse of liberty." But the boundaries of various liberties intersect and are inevitably in constant tension with each other, and therefore must be subject to negotiation and compromise through the democratic process. As long as (i) lawmakers are subject to the people, (ii) freedom of speech is respected, (iii) minorities are protected by due process and equal protection and (iv) the right to leave a nation is unimpeded by force or law, then tyranny should be avoided pretty much by definition. As a matter of general principle, a free society can choose to organize itself with more or less libertarian or paternalistic assumptions, but these assumptions must be complementary rather than incompatible. To be succinct, it is hopelessly naive to believe that a society can organize itself so that it both (i) allows people to harm themselves as long as they don't hurt others and (ii) accepts the financial responsibilities associated with remedying such self-harm. Such a society is no more sustainable than a banking system that allows banks to keep the profits of prudent loans and bill the government for the losses of imprudent loans. Sooner or later one runs out of other people's money, to paraphrase the late Lady Thatcher, for no other reason than rewarding bad behavior at the expense of good behavior inevitably results in good behavior insufficient to compensate for bad behavior.
    Last edited by Mike Petrik; June 16th, 2017 at 19:21.

  9. #59
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    Looking at users the lions share of the problem is that they are running with the wrong crowd, which weakens them. They are not guarding themselves from there emotional weaknesses. Manipulation. Back when I was a teenager the social rule was, if you don't smoke cigarettes then you are not cool, being mocked came with that if I didn't join the crowd. How many people caved in? I figured that wreaking ones body is not cool, so I stayed away from smokers. A doctor told a neighbor that if he didn't change the definition of cool that he was going to be real cool six feet under in the grave. He had been running with the wrong influence, a powerful influence it was. It is the same for those who are around drugs, whether users or dealers, they're both losers.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Petrik View Post
    Shaver,
    Thank you for your response, which per usual is very thoughtful. Leaving aside the dubious merits of the population growth example, your point -- assuming I understand it correctly -- is well taken. Yes, we must always be alert to the "gradual eclipse of liberty." But the boundaries of various liberties intersect and are inevitably in constant tension with each other, and therefore must be subject to negotiation and compromise through the democratic process. As long as (i) lawmakers are subject to the people, (ii) freedom of speech is respected, (iii) minorities are protected by due process and equal protection and (iv) the right to leave a nation is unimpeded by force or law, then tyranny should be avoided pretty much by definition. As a matter of general principle, a free society can choose to organize itself with more or less libertarian or paternalistic assumptions, but these assumptions must be complementary rather than incompatible. To be succinct, it is hopelessly naive to believe that a society can organize itself so that it both (i) allows people to harm themselves as long as they don't hurt others and (ii) accepts the financial responsibilities associated with remedying such self-harm. Such a society is no more sustainable than a banking system that allows banks to keep the profits of prudent loans and bill the government for the losses of imprudent loans. Sooner or later one runs out of other people's money, to paraphrase the late Lady Thatcher, for no other reason than rewarding bad behavior at the expense of good behavior inevitably results in good behavior insufficient to compensate for bad behavior.
    I'm not so certain that these four 'as long as' points (laudable as they may be) are sufficient to exclude tyranny. This said I suspect that you and I will never find common ground vis-a-vis the tyranny of Capitalism...... as it is our right to pleasantly dispute the definition. However, eight people owning equivalent wealth to 50% of the global population seems to me to satisfy the definition of 'cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary abuse of power' by any interpretation one cares to apply.

    Acknowledging a smidgen of the scurrilous in my 'offspring' example please allow me to introduce a more reasonable comparison to substance abuse: carnivorous diets. Eating meat is unequivocally proven as the poorer option healthwise when compared to vegetarianism. However, for those who still will not accept that - vegetarianism is a superior allocation of resources, the water and grain required to make a burger and so on. Even further, for those who are capable of caring about such things, the horror of the cattle and poultry industries - a holocaust of creatures who cannot defend themselves, billions of cruel deaths annually. We do not legislate against this appetite, it is so codified that even intelligent folk may glibly disregard the carnage, disassociate themselves from their complicity. Carnivorism is unhealthy, it is destructive to the environment and it requires moral ambiguity to sustain itself as a practice. In context I am inclined to allow a few folk to get high when they fancy it without being excessively critical.
    Ephesians 5:16 (NKJV)


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  12. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaver View Post

    ... Eating meat is unequivocally proven as the poorer option healthwise when compared to vegetarianism. However, for those who still will not accept that - vegetarianism is a superior allocation of resources, the water and grain required to make a burger and so on. Even further, for those who are capable of caring about such things, the horror of the cattle and poultry industries - a holocaust of creatures who cannot defend themselves, billions of cruel deaths annually. We do not legislate against this appetite, it is so codified that even intelligent folk may glibly disregard the carnage, disassociate themselves from their complicity. Carnivorism is unhealthy, it is destructive to the environment and it requires moral ambiguity to sustain itself as a practice. In context I am inclined to allow a few folk to get high when they fancy it without being excessively critical.
    I would agree with most of your argument, except for that of carnivorism being unhealthy or requiring moral ambiguity.
    I have met one or two living advertisements for the benefits of a vegetarian diet; but perplexingly, many rather unhealthy looking vegetarians.
    Last edited by Langham; June 19th, 2017 at 11:29.

  13. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaver View Post
    However, eight people owning equivalent wealth to 50% of the global population seems to me to satisfy the definition of 'cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary abuse of power' by any interpretation one cares to apply.
    Bill Gates certainly didn't get his wish for president. He actually made more millioneers than than anyone else. Other CEOs of other companies kept the money (not saying he or not cheat, bully other companies and people). 'cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary abuse of power' describes the Democrat party. The democrat party refuses to teach children in schools how to invest so they won't be under other peoples (mainly the democrat party) thumb. The US school system is about teaching children to work for other people, instead of creating jobs by creating a business. So many people, working for other people, get a government handout, nowadays, as the Democrats idea of learning is taking over the public schools more and more. If you want your children to be above slavery send them to a private school. For most people the only way out of slavery is by investing; what public schools require those lessons. Even colleges that have these classes do not require them. College students who take these classes and act on them find themselves paying off college loans way way sooner and way easier.

    Invested money is practically free money. Once you have accumulated enough a job is merely a hobby. For example, buy a jet to fly charitable people to distant countries, and supplies, (Republican), instead of having some boss looking over your shoulder at some slave job, (Democrat).

    I'm rather opinionated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WA View Post
    I'm rather opinionated.
    And ignorant or uneducated. Or both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmrfld View Post
    And ignorant or uneducated. Or both.
    "Shut up," he explained.

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