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  1. #201
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    That's a very strong assertion.
    Perhaps I was too general. Free will is virtually always present in the decision to use potentially harmful substances.

    Short of someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to take drugs, I have to wonder, under what realistic circumstances is free will actually removed?


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Does being lied to by omission count as being mislead? If it does, then you'd have a very hard time proving that anyone hasn't been mislead in that manner, which would create great complications.
    If drugs were legal as with tobacco and alcohol, the government could regulate the production of them and require that labels with accurate health warnings be printed on the packaging for all of them. The resultant purity of production would also dramatically reduce health issues related to street adulterants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Secondly, this might be a matter of compassion. A lot of people seriously regret these decisions, and the results can be life ruining. Doesn't it seem like a drag to just let people mistakenly ruin their own lives?
    It seems like a drag to not inform the people of the health risk, yes. I believe this problem would be solved if drugs were regulated like tobacco and alcohol--how many people these days honestly don't know how unhealthy cigarettes are?

    It's a drag to let people ruin their lives, but it's more of a drag to forcibly restrict their right to choose for themselves once they've been adequately informed of the possible risks.



    This wouldn't strike you as a disturbing trend? I think it would be preferable to try and remove the cause for all of this suicide. I typically don't think masses upon masses of people being driven to destroy themselves is desirable.
    Assuming we're talking about an addictive substance here and not a mind control device that literally forces mass suicide to the total exclusion of free will, you must remember the most basic rule of economics: humans behave rationally, in their own self-interest. Whether or not you agree with their reasoning, many people obviously consider the short term benefits of drugs to be worth the long term health issues.

    As I mentioned above, the serious dangers posed by tobacco, alcohol and numerous prescription drugs have been publicized abundantly across the Western world, and yet millions of people still choose to smoke and drink. Who are you to tell them they can't?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  2. #202
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Perhaps I was too general. Free will is virtually always present in the decision to use potentially harmful substances.

    Short of someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to take drugs, I have to wonder, under what realistic circumstances is free will actually removed?
    Again, I suggest maybe addiction. After all, withdrawal effects are painful, distressing, but relieved if you take the drug again. It's not going to kill you (unless it's alcohol withdrawal) like the gun would, true, but it's still like being tortured until you take the drug.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Assuming we're talking about an addictive substance here and not a mind control device that literally forces mass suicide to the total exclusion of free will, you must remember the most basic rule of economics: humans behave rationally, in their own self-interest. Whether or not you agree with their reasoning, many people obviously consider the short term benefits of drugs to be worth the long term health issues.
    That most basic rule has always been wrong. Game theory tests have heavily demonstrated how irrational people can be. And not only do people have inconsistent and unreliable levels of rationality, rationality itself is only half of the picture at best. There is the serious matter of perception. Perception is a fundamental part of sound decision making. I speak of the capacity to gain more information and to access the information you already have. So even if a person was totally rational (and none are), they could still completely fail to achieve their own desires if they were deficient in perception.

    This is why a doctor can tell you what's good for you. Yes, you and only you can really know what you want, but does that mean you have the best idea of how to actually achieve it? I presume you would not want to painfully die from a medical condition, but the fact that you don't want that doesn't mean you would be better at preventing it than a trained and certified physiologist.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    As I mentioned above, the serious dangers posed by tobacco, alcohol and numerous prescription drugs have been publicized abundantly across the Western world, and yet millions of people still choose to smoke and drink. Who are you to tell them they can't?
    Someone that knows better, perhaps. I'd rather not argue the details of whether I actually am, but only make the point that authority is not a completely invalid concept. See the doctor example again.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #203
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    You're right, murder does directly infringe on another's rights and it is more severe and a more blatant display. However, those that abuse substances are on the track of slow suicide. Not only that, but drug usage gives way to robbery and burglary, neglect of family and children, mismanagement of finances, altered state of mind that can result in severe mood swings and odd behaviors, and the list goes on. What's the benefit to legalizing hard drugs? An escape from reality? That's productive. Basic liberties? Restraints are put on freedoms that carry too many risks.
    You ask what the benefit is, it's a reduction in crime, violence, and corruption because we force everything into the open, where everyone can see. You (and many other anti-drug people) refuse to acknowledge this because it absolutely crushes your argument. Instead, you put your fingers in your ears and scream "LALALALALALALALALALALA".

    Speaking of poor comparisons... Reflect on my last bit.
    It's a far better comparison than yours as far as the infringement of rights is concerned. If you can't recognize this...well...I think you should avoid political discussions from now on.

    How many of our "wars" are doomed to fail? Just about all of them, if your measure is for complete eradication. Why is vehicular speeding against the law? Because it's unsafe, to you and potentially to others. When there is ample risk and not one redeeming quality to suggest leniency for an act, it should be banned. -- Someone mentioned Communism... How about common sense.
    Where is the black market that was created by making speeding illegal? Oh wait, there isn't one.

    You refuse to acknowledge the problems that are created by prohibition. Until you do, you'll never understand this issue.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #204
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Someone that knows better, perhaps. I'd rather not argue the details of whether I actually am, but only make the point that authority is not a completely invalid concept. See the doctor example again.
    Authority fails in situations where it creates a black market. I'd be with the anti drug people if prohibition didn't create a black market. But the resultant negative factors far outweigh any positive factors (and it's debatable there are ANY positive factors) associated with prohibition. We have drug king pins that are billionaires because of this. Mexico's government is collapsing due to corruption directly related to drug cartels. Even if drug usage increased by 50% (and there's nothing that suggests it would, look at Portugal), it would still be worth it to legalize drugs because of the reduction in crime, alone.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #205
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Again, I suggest maybe addiction. After all, withdrawal effects are painful, distressing, but relieved if you take the drug again. It's not going to kill you (unless it's alcohol withdrawal) like the gun would, true, but it's still like being tortured until you take the drug.
    Maybe so, but you chose to take the drug to which you became addicted in the first place.

    I see where you're going with this, and prohibition might actually be somewhat reasonable if the black market were not an inevitable consequence of free society banning products that people will always want.

    If prohibition actually did anything to stop drug use, maybe I could get behind the addiction = removal of free will idea, but it doesn't. It only creates artificially high prices and thus vast amounts of wealth and power for the criminal leaders.


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    That most basic rule has always been wrong. Game theory tests have heavily demonstrated how irrational people can be. And not only do people have inconsistent and unreliable levels of rationality, rationality itself is only half of the picture at best. There is the serious matter of perception. Perception is a fundamental part of sound decision making. I speak of the capacity to gain more information and to access the information you already have. So even if a person was totally rational (and none are), they could still completely fail to achieve their own desires if they were deficient in perception.
    I should clarify my definition of "rational." People virtually always behave in whatever way they perceive to be in their best interest--that is being rational. They may do things which you, from your perspective, consider to be silly or unreasonable, but they are ultimately done for the rational reason that the person believes they will be beneficial to him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    This is why a doctor can tell you what's good for you. Yes, you and only you can really know what you want, but does that mean you have the best idea of how to actually achieve it? I presume you would not want to painfully die from a medical condition, but the fact that you don't want that doesn't mean you would be better at preventing it than a trained and certified physiologist.
    Fair enough, but misses the point. It's important that we make an adequate effort to inform people of the risks they're taking with drug use, not forcibly make the decision for them by making a blanket assumption that no one can handle them responsibly. Out of curiosity, do you support prohibition of alcohol or tobacco? Both kill way more people every year than all illegal drugs combined (black market-related violence notwithstanding.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Someone that knows better, perhaps. I'd rather not argue the details of whether I actually am, but only make the point that authority is not a completely invalid concept. See the doctor example again.
    That's a little arrogant, isn't it? I'd argue that you're someone who knows from personal experience that drugs aren't good for you, and you're going to have a difficult time showing that this experience should forcibly extend beyond you. As for your doctor example: yes, doctors can tell you what you should do in order to be healthy, and people should have access to this knowledge, but we're also free to disregard this knowledge and choose to remain unhealthy if we so desire. There's no law forcing anyone to seek medical treatment if he doesn't want to.

    People may be operating on extremely different fundamental value systems than yours--suppose that my value system is purely hedonistic. Suppose that I know all the possible negative consequences of choosing drugs, I know how unhealthy they are, and yet I choose to use them anyway. You still seem convinced that anyone who uses drugs can't possibly understand all the risks, and it's because you refuse to accept differing value systems which may be willing to accept health risks in exchange for the relief offered by drugs. You don't "know better"; you just value your health more than a drug user does.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #206
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Maybe so, but you chose to take the drug to which you became addicted in the first place.

    I see where you're going with this, and prohibition might actually be somewhat reasonable if the black market were not an inevitable consequence of free society banning products that people will always want.
    One idea is that black markets can be combatted in ways much more efficient than now. Another idea, probably more interesting, is that people will not necessarily want things so much, all the time. I'm personally interested in looking into what motivates people to take drugs, so as influence the sources of those motives for the purpose of stopping drug use. Of course there will always be drugs users, but I think it can be heavily reduced.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    If prohibition actually did anything to stop drug use, maybe I could get behind the addiction = removal of free will idea, but it doesn't. It only creates artificially high prices and thus vast amounts of wealth and power for the criminal leaders.
    I'll get to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I should clarify my definition of "rational." People virtually always behave in whatever way they perceive to be in their best interest--that is being rational. They may do things which you, from your perspective, consider to be silly or unreasonable, but they are ultimately done for the rational reason that the person believes they will be beneficial to him.
    That's little consolation if they thought wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Fair enough, but misses the point. It's important that we make an adequate effort to inform people of the risks they're taking with drug use, not forcibly make the decision for them by making a blanket assumption that no one can handle them responsibly. Out of curiosity, do you support prohibition of alcohol or tobacco? Both kill way more people every year than all illegal drugs combined (black market-related violence notwithstanding.)
    I know people with this stance always use the prohibition era in their defense, but it can be used against them too, to an extent. I will not speak of places like Mexico, but I know in the USA death from alcohol is higher even if you do factor in crime related deaths. We must ask, if you let someting be legal, and allow its prices to drop to their naturally low levels, does root itself into the society and expand, and become a serious problem in its own right? In a philosophically ideal world, I would want there to be no alcohol. I have no respect for it. But, I have not yet decided what I want to do about it in the real world, because it is very complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    That's a little arrogant, isn't it? I'd argue that you're someone who knows from personal experience that drugs aren't good for you, and you're going to have a difficult time showing that this experience should forcibly extend beyond you. As for your doctor example: yes, doctors can tell you what you should do in order to be healthy, and people should have access to this knowledge, but we're also free to disregard this knowledge and choose to remain unhealthy if we so desire. There's no law forcing anyone to seek medical treatment if he doesn't want to.
    No, I know they aren't good for most other people. I've never even taken drugs, I'm not at all attempting to use my own experiences for this. I am instead observing the pattern I have seen in drugs users. It can be from people I personally know, but also material I have read on the matter. People clearly harm themselves, not just physically, but psychologically, in ways they did not want or intend. the odds of this may be different depending on the drug used, but some drugs just seem to have a near guaranteed catalog of regrets.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    People may be operating on extremely different fundamental value systems than yours--suppose that my value system is purely hedonistic. Suppose that I know all the possible negative consequences of choosing drugs, I know how unhealthy they are, and yet I choose to use them anyway. You still seem convinced that anyone who uses drugs can't possibly understand all the risks, and it's because you refuse to accept differing value systems which may be willing to accept health risks in exchange for the relief offered by drugs. You don't "know better"; you just value your health more than a drug user does.
    Psychological research shows a remarkable correlation between Hedonism and depression (wish I had links, but I've actually gotten my information in paper format here). It's generally assume that they both enforce each other, and you get a spiral. I do think most people don't really know what they're getting into with a hedonistic lifestyle, or that they don't realize better options (that is, some know what they are getting into, but do it because they think it's the best thing they've got). I'm not really talking about physical health then, I am saying hedonists suffer psychologicall most of the time. Yes, I am being probablistic, but why not? We are talking about law and all of society, it's not something one can guide at a case study level, and shape in it entirety based on exceptions to the rule. We are all one species, and there's actually not a hell of a lot of difference between two specimens of one species. Science is increasingly demystifying psychology and uncovering genuine patterns in human behavior. Now you don't have to tell me about all the pitfalls of this approach to psychology, I am aware of them... But I do believe that while has the potentialy to go wrong, it is rooted in fundamental truth. I think, there is a limit to human uniquity, even if that creeps you out.

    I want to throw something that also undermines the basis of most of this chain of discussion, which Haphazard mentioned. Justifying drug use by saying "it's my life, my body" is disengenuous. The effects of people being ravaged and killed drugs definitely bleeds onto the people around them. Drug users are not islands.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #207
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Authority fails in situations where it creates a black market. I'd be with the anti drug people if prohibition didn't create a black market.
    Maybe there's a way to do both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Even if drug usage increased by 50% (and there's nothing that suggests it would, look at Portugal), it would still be worth it to legalize drugs because of the reduction in crime, alone.
    There could very well be reasons that Portugal is the way it is that are totally unrelated to matters relevant to the USA. Secondly, I find the latter assertion somewhat questionable.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #208
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Maybe there's a way to do both.
    I don't see how. Got any ideas?

    There could very well be reasons that Portugal is the way it is that are totally unrelated to matters relevant to the USA. Secondly, I find the latter assertion somewhat questionable.
    Was there a reduction in violence when we ended alcohol prohibition?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #209
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't see how. Got any ideas?
    I've only got some fuzzy ideas for now. They have potential to be fleshed out. My advice to others is simply to investigate it more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Was there a reduction in violence when we ended alcohol prohibition?
    Apparently, yes. The issue wasn't whether that happened, the issue is which is better... having to deal with these criminals, or a heavilly intoxicated society.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #210
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It's a reduction in crime, violence, and corruption because we force everything into the open, where everyone can see.
    It's also a compromise in our nations' morals and values. If there's legalization, without government aid in supplying it, the reduction in crime, violence and corruption would be minor.

    It's a far better comparison than yours as far as the infringement of rights is concerned. If you can't recognize this...well...I think you should avoid political discussions from now on.
    I disagree, and this rebuttal seems like a cop-out to me. Since when does someone's farts do anything but tingle the nostril? Give me a break. Have you spent a minute of your life in a big city? Have you ever met a junky? Have you been in areas where drugs are rampant? Set the legal issues aside, heavy drugs are a parasite on society and for it to be condoned through legalization... Welp, not gonna happen. Not in your lifetime.

    Where is the black market that was created by making speeding illegal? Oh wait, there isn't one.
    You obviously missed the point I was making. A "black market" has nothing to do with it.

    You refuse to acknowledge the problems that are created by prohibition. Until you do, you'll never understand this issue.
    Negative. When did I say there were no problems tacked to prohibition? I've made my argument and message very clear. I'll sum it up again for you:
    It's an endless war, with costs, yes. The drug business would be just as dangerous and detrimental to society were it to be legalized without government aid. Were the government to get involved, condone it, tax it whatever, that's a big compromise in morals. There's already programs funded to help people get off the stuff, now we're going to supply it? Ass backwards.

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