Last Update: 26 Feb 00
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REPLY #10 TO
(R) Have just read your essay on 'Drugs' and have a reply for you. From my point of view, your definition of 'drugs' is ok., but then you move into a mode that reeks of political correctness.
(MB) No, political correctness speaks more of a mode of thinking in which a view is upheld for hypocritical or self-serving reasons that have little to do with whether or not the view is actually true or false. I try to seek the truth whether or not the view is popular or which side of the political aisle it resides within.
(R) If you make the point that there are innocent victims suffering as a result of drug use by selfish individuals indulging themselves in private then you have jumped to the premise that victimhood exists at all. It ain't necessarily so.
(MB) If you are going to try to argue that there are no such things as "victims", you will be defending a view which would have to lead to an advocacy of dismantling almost all of our entire criminal justice system and result in little more than societal anarchy.
(R) By assuming that people have no control over where they are and who they rub shoulders with you have totally disempowered them.
(MB) That's not true at all. People have no control over the random actions of the people they will encounter while going about their business.
(R) Have you considered that people are not wandering around randomly and that in fact although they may not be fully conscious they have in fact chosen to be where they are.
(MB) Of course. However, just because I might freely and consciously choose to take a walk in the park does not mean that it is my fault if I get mugged. It also does not mean that the mugger should be excused on the grounds that I just happened to be "in the wrong place at the wrong time". The mugger is still responsible for his actions.
(R) If our premise is 'there are are no victims' then a completely new social dynamic appears. It's called 'freedom' and with it comes the joy and personal responsibility of doing what you like. This includes exploring the ingestion of substances for what ever reason.
(MB) You are confusing "freedom" with "anarchy". Our society enacts laws which define the few things that its citizens are not permitted to do. You have complete freedom to do anything else which is not restricted. The purpose is not to enslave the population, but to ensure its general welfare. When a conflict arises between the welfare of the general population and the welfare of an individual, the general population is considered more important.
(R) Some reasons may not appear palatable to the politically correct, such as- a reaction against authority but the truth is that people are entitled to have whatever reasons they like to motivate them.
(MB) It doesn't matter what your motivations might be. In our society, certain actions are not permitted while everything else is allowed. Social vigilantism may have reasonable motivations, but it is not how change is effected in our system. There are numerous legal ways to protest and call for change. Doing whatever you want to do despite the laws of our society is not one of them.
(R) All the legislation in the world will not change that. We are essentially free spirits with the ability and will to create, destroy whatever we care to imagine and if we choose to create the need for a substance to do it, that is ok. too.
(MB) That sounds all well and good, but it's little more than empty talk that merely attempts to justify certain behaviors that lead to much more harm than good. Certain Drugs aren't illegal because our society is trying to suppress your freedoms. They are illegal because the observed and demonstrated consequences of their use are overwhelmingly negative for the general public.
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