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Old 03-31-2007, 05:27 PM   #61
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Ah but driving drunk is putting other people at a risk of harm as much as firing a gun off in random directions on a street.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:48 PM   #62
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And alcoholics don't put their families at risk just by drinking? Serious psychological harm = serious bodily harm under the law. Use of drugs impacts many people around you. Impacts your employer. Impacts the society in terms of economics (surely it is not the best social utility to have health care costs drained on cirrhosed livers or liver transplants....)

Your libertarian views would only work in some universe where nobody's actions affected another human being.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:54 PM   #63
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Is libertarianism now hedonism? Does the ability to purchase alcohol mean that we all must abuse that drug? Would the legalisation of cannabis mean that we would all need to abandon our lives to become potheads?

I do think that the freedom to use drugs is good and it is excercising control over our minds, most people are capable of doing it in a somewhat responsible manner and making informed choices about their drug use - does that mean that people don't make bad choices, no - but even if it gets put under a harsh degree of regulation they will still make those bad choices illegally.

Libertarianism is utterly incompatible with the social democracy and civil society; if you looked at the libertarian party of the US the answer to the question of healthcare costs is pretty self evident.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:57 PM   #64
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Originally posted by anitram
And alcoholics don't put their families at risk just by drinking? Serious psychological harm = serious bodily harm under the law. Use of drugs impacts many people around you. Impacts your employer. Impacts the society in terms of economics (surely it is not the best social utility to have health care costs drained on cirrhosed livers or liver transplants....)
All of these perceived harms must be set against the (more difficult to measure) benefits of alcohol.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:57 PM   #65
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Originally posted by financeguy
One point to note, alcohol consumption per capita in America has actually declined very significantly in recent decades.
Yes, and as said in the surveys in Europe less people are drinking, but the ones who do drink more.


Of course that doesn't count for everyone, and addicts not included.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:02 PM   #66
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Besides binge-drinking, another thing I've been noticing a lot lately is people drinking while taking certain drugs. Two years ago, a fellow student died after taking sleeping pills and one drink.
that sounds a little extreme. he must have taken a lot of sleeping pills, or been allergic to them. while mixing alcohol and sleeping pills is a very bad idea because they amplify their effects, dying from a sleeping pill and one drink is quite unfortunate.
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:06 PM   #67
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I'll have a glass of wine or two but I'm I've learned that I am powerless over other people's drinking, their behavior and attitudes. I'm better off if I keep the focus on myself.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:50 PM   #68
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what is an underage drinking ticket? is it like a fine you have to pay?

Coming from a small country town in Australia, I don't know one person who hasn't gotten totally pissed, and done dumb things, or passed out or chucked everywhere (so foul! )

BUT as i've now hit the middle twenties, those people i knew have now become more responsible drinkers, and have grown out of that "lets get mashed" type of thinking - i know I have.

So while I agree that alcoholism is a bad thing, I think most kids who drink grow out of it, and its all a bit of fun on the way to adulthood. And those few that get caught in the net - well there are support structures for them to get help.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:56 PM   #69
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Coming from a small country town in Australia, I don't know one person who hasn't gotten totally pissed, and done dumb things, or passed out or chucked everywhere (so foul! )
Yes, I think what is considered to be 'alcoholism' very much varies from culture to culture.

I do think that what often gets missed in threads like this is that cultural assumptions which apply in America, are automatically assumed to apply elsewhere - the two drinks three or four times a week, which in Ireland, qualifies as moderate, even relatively light, social drinking, is taken to be evidence of binge drinking, possibly even of alcoholism, in the US.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:04 PM   #70
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Yes, I think what is considered to be 'alcoholism' very much varies from culture to culture.

I do think that what often gets missed in threads like this is that cultural assumptions which apply in America, are automatically assumed to apply elsewhere - the two drinks three or four times a week, which in Ireland, qualifies as moderate, even relatively light, social drinking, is taken to be evidence of binge drinking, possibly even of alcoholism, in the US.
And that even applies to this thread vs. the reality of most Americans' attitudes. I don't know anyone who would consider a few drinks several times a week to mean alcoholism. And it's pretty commonly accepted by most people I know that kids in high school/college are going to mess around a bit with alcohol and hopefully grow out of it as they get older.

Maybe the culture is slightly different than in Europe, but it's not exactly a country of people who all disapprove of any form of drinking to get drunk either.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:18 PM   #71
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And that even applies to this thread vs. the reality of most Americans' attitudes. I don't know anyone who would consider a few drinks several times a week to mean alcoholism.
Who on this thread thinks that?

Alcoholism is a serious disease. Going out to a bar 2-3 nights a week while in college is something entirely different than systematic drinking. I don't see that anyone here implied that a few drinks several times a week is either equivalent to binge drinking or alcoholism.

There certainly are cultural differences. But just because a culture defines alcohol consumption differently doesn't mean somebody isn't an alcoholic. I only now realize my grandfather was an alcoholic. Drinking alone at 11 am is not normal. Sneaking flasks of alcohol you bought at the market into your nursing home to drink all day is not normal. Sitting at a tavern with three other old men until your son in law has to go get you, 4-5 days a week is not normal. It isn't "oh, he's an old man, that's what old men do." It's alcoholism. Maybe if somebody had the strength of character to overcome culture, his end of life would not have been what it was. I regret it every day.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:20 PM   #72
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I was only referring to what financeguy said, I honestly don't know if anyone else mentioned thinking that in the thread. I was just taling about his post...
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:34 PM   #73
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Originally posted by anitram
There certainly are cultural differences. But just because a culture defines alcohol consumption differently doesn't mean somebody isn't an alcoholic. I only now realize my grandfather was an alcoholic. Drinking alone at 11 am is not normal. Sneaking flasks of alcohol you bought at the market into your nursing home to drink all day is not normal. Sitting at a tavern with three other old men until your son in law has to go get you, 4-5 days a week is not normal. It isn't "oh, he's an old man, that's what old men do." It's alcoholism. Maybe if somebody had the strength of character to overcome culture, his end of life would not have been what it was. I regret it every day.
Well, I don't know. It could be seen as just a different type of normality. Alcoholism can be a surprisingly civilised way of life, and being mildly inebriated at unusual times of the day and night has brought joy to millions. Never forget that the man that saved us from Nazism was the well known drunkard, Winston Churchill.

Actually, when it comes down to it, practically all of the artists, politicians, thinkers and writers I admire were drunks, or addicts of one form or another.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:44 PM   #74
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alcoholics can contribute things to society. the only problem is they lead miserable lives, make their friends and loved ones miserable, and die miserable deaths.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:59 PM   #75
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Originally posted by financeguy


Well, I don't know. It could be seen as just a different type of normality. Alcoholism can be a surprisingly civilised way of life, and being mildly inebriated at unusual times of the day and night has brought joy to millions.
No, it isn't. If you think that it's normal for an old man in a nursing home to go buy homemade wine and then drink it until he no longer knows where he is and ends up wandering out on the street and into the countryside so the police are searching for him for 24 hrs and his family is petrified that he's FROZEN to death, then that's fine. I am telling you that it is alcoholism. (ETA: This happened more than once)

And I don't care if it brought him great JOY to drink himself to a stupor, it made our lives a living hell. So yes, let's let alcoholics drink at unusual times and in unusual amounts because it brings them joy - who cares about the 30 other people whose lives they are ruining.

It was this idiotic attitude of "it's Eastern Europe, old men drink" that made for a sad, depressing ending. Maybe if people there pulled their heads out of their asses some people's lives would be different.
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