Re: MD Biological - Terrorism?

From: Arlo J. Bensinger (
Date: Thu Dec 16 2004 - 04:28:27 GMT

  • Next message: Phaedrus Wolff: "Re: MD Is Morality Relative?"

    Greetings Platt, Dan...

    I had said:
    Other drugs I can see being regulated as pharmaceuticals are now, by
    prescription and under the supervision of a doctor (to treat pain, for

    Platt then asked:
    So, you know what's best for others? :-)

    I reply:
    No, I don't, but I would imagine a doctor should be able to make this decision
    based on context and involvement, the same way they can legally administer
    morphine. From what I do know about certain drugs I can see a reasoned argument
    declaring some beneficial under medical supervision. It is a hypothetical level
    of "restriction" some drugs, based on reason and not fear, may be best dealt
    with this way.

    My point, as I am beginning to think you deliberately obfuscate :-), is that the
    Intellectual response to social patterns is not to destroy them in favor of the
    biological patterns, as you claim those darn hippies want to do, but to reason
    logically over each particular biological level pattern and decide, based on
    logic and reason, appropriate levels for social restrictions of these
    biological patterns.

    As it stands now, it is most certainly not "Intellectual". It is static
    Victorian social morality. Hence, I can walk down the steet in Germany (or any
    other European or South American country) while drinking a bottle of beer, but
    in *America* I am violating Victorian sensibilities, and am thus committing a

    To switch to alcohol, in order to make the point, Intellectually we can see that
    there is no harm to societal patterns by allowing citizens to enjoy a beer in
    public. But conservatives holler that it will destroy society as we know it,
    and use fear to convince people that allowing citizens to stroll down the
    street and drink a bottle of lager will turn us into a nation of hobos and
    drunkards. Fear, fear, fear.

    I had written:
    Not being an expert on all drugs, I could see that some (maybe things like
    crystal meth?) should remain remain fully restricted (but for Intellectual
    reasons, not Victorian morality or fear).

    Platt asked:
    What "intellectual reasons" for the restrictions?

    I reply:
    Without being an expert on everything that's out there, as I said, I couldn't
    tell you. There may be some that pose valid social threats, and for them,
    Intellectually, I could see restrictions. One hypothetical I was thinking about
    was drugs that would result in birth defects even after a period of non-use.

    I had written:
    Addiction is the problem, and what we should address always is to the
    underlying culture that leads to addiction (whether oxycontin, marijuana,
    alcohol, nicotine, heroin or valium).

    Platt asked:
    What "underlying culture?"

    I reply:
    Consumerism that fosters addictive behavior. Poverty that fosters hopelessness.
    Let's take this to another thread though, or back to the Capitalism thread,

    I had said:
    But I do believe that people, exercising Qualtiy decisions, can make sound
    choices about their lives and bodies, and will choose (as Pirsig states)

    Platt asked:
    So, some people (not all I presume) can overcome negative cultural influences
    (whatever you say those may be) and choose wisely? If so, can I assume you have
    no objections to privatizing social security?.

    I reply:
    *Most* people choose wisely, not some. As for social security privitization,
    there are more issues involved, but I'll give you my short response.

    Understanding investment strategies requires complex knowledge of markets. And
    it requires the ability to suffer loss (it is "risk" capital, after all). For
    those with the ability and the means, I say go for it. If you are saavy enough,
    and feel you are able to withstand the risk, you should certainly be able to
    invest privately as you choose. For others, who do not feel they have the
    investment saavy, nor are willing to take the risk, society is morally
    justified in providing a safety net. There is only one caveat I'd make to this,
    and that is: if you opt out and FAIL, you are not entitled to the social
    security at all. Period.

    How's that?

    I wrote:
    I take it you are of the belief that people will not choose wisely, and so
    the conservatives should choose for them?

    Platt responded:
    No. As I stated, I personally am in favor of legalizing drugs. But, the
    majority of people (not all) through their elected representatives have
    decided against what I want, citing the social costs involved. As far as
    I'm concerned, if you want to blow your brains, go right ahead.

    I respond:
    I am pleased with your personal beliefs on this, Platt, but a little dismayed
    that a supporter of the MOQ would justify "morality" on a "majority decision".
    Doesn't that place the social level above the Intellectual?

    And again with the "blow your brains". You are really into that whole
    anti-hippie thing, aren't you? :-)

    I had written:
    You see the insulting assumption conservatives make about what you do
    if it wasn't for them "deciding what best for you"?

    You replied:
    An example of an Arlononsequitur.

    Then I responded:
    Non-sequitur? The comment was directly related to what you said. You
    clearly state that "legalizing drug use" is "blow(ing) your brains and
    end(ing) up a blithering idiot lying in a gutter". Just like Pirsig said,
    you are making some pretty arrogant assumptions about what people would do
    if conservatives did not have Victorian morality in place.

    Dan, take note, as you likely already have, this is the scare and fear
    conservatives use to trump up their Victorian morality. If we "legalize
    drugs" everyone would be blithering idiots lying in gutters. Don't fall for it.

    You responded further:
    Please excise "all" and "everyone" from your dichotomies. :-)

    I reply:
    Fair enough. "If we legalize drugs, Dan will be a blithering idiot in the
    gutter". I suppose it was Dan's ability to make quality decisions you were
    referring to?

    I had written:
    So we should criminalize cholesterol, nicotine, alchohol, deep-fryed food, ...
    because ALL of these things have very high direct and indirect costs on drug

    Platt wrote:
    " . . . costs on drug use"?? Another Arlononsequitur.

    I clarified:
    Sorry, the "on drug use" was an result of copying and pasting. The sentence
    should have read: "So we should criminalize cholesterol, nicotine, alchohol,
    deep-fryed food... because ALL of these things have very high direct and
    indirect costs on society".

    Platt wrote:
    Many leftists (not all) are proposing just such. Didn't some hospital just today
    demand that McDonalds be removed from the premises?

    I reply:
    Just like some rightists are demanding that our Hooters be shut down. If I
    haven't convinced you yet that your party is just as guilty as the left in
    seeking to impose "what's right" on others, no one can. ;-)

    On to cholesterol... not criminalized, of course not, but we need to keep an
    educational message out there to counter the advertising. American eating
    habits are improving, slowly but we're getting there.

    As to McD's in a hospital, well... I can see where it would be like putting in a
    tavern- unhealthy food at a place of healing? Who disputes the McDs food is
    unhealthy? I think the hospital is exercising good judgement. If there was a
    McDs "next door" to the hospital, then the hospital would just have to live
    with it (unlike the people who eat that crap).

    I had asked:
    What you avoid is that your initial support to criminalizing drugs was that
    their effects produce a high financial cost for society to treat. If this is
    your reasoned justification, then how can you continue to support the legality
    of nicotine and/or alcohol? Both of which have a much higher
    financial cost on society to treat.

    You responded:
    I don't support criminalizing drugs.

    I reply:
    Well, I did not see this in your posts, so okay.

    I had said:
    Remember that Pirsig did not say that the biological quality was
    unilaterally opposed to social quality, only that it is moral for social
    patterns to repress biological pattern when they are threatened. The
    pursuit of biological quality (for a harmless example consider the eating
    of chocolate) is a completely moral activity when not threatening to
    destroy social patterns. The Victorians used fear to restrict biological
    acts they found offensive, by claiming they are "destroying society", but
    as Pirsig and many other have seen, this was not an Intellectual endeavor,
    it was replicating static social patterns of a particular religion. Pirsig
    rightly placed the Intellectual above this, and we can thus (and should) be
    guided by Intellectual reasoning, and not the fear and doomsday lies of the

    Platt responded:
    I agree with all that except the bit about "doomsday lies" Some (not all)
    drug takers in fact blow their brains out, both metaphorically and literally.
    Some people care about what happens to others.

    I reply:
    Yes they do, and we call them "liberals". ;-)

    I had written:
    Pirsig partook of at least one peyote ceremony, and he did not end up a
    crack cocaine addict.

    Platt replied:
    So you admit some drug takers do end up as addicts?

    I respond:
    Why do you imply this is some sort of revelation? Certainly some do end up as
    addicts, as they do with nicotine and alcohol. The solution is to work with
    education, and work to reduce whatever context has fostered the addictive
    behavior. We'll never end all addiction, but we should not prohibit my ability
    to walk down the street and drink a beer because of it.

    I wrote:
    So far, your reasons as to how they "threaten" social patterns were (1)
    they produce a high health care cost on society, to which the response
    would easily be that you are also in favor of banning nicotine and alcohol, or
    (2) marijuana use leads to crack cocaine addiction, to which is easily shown is
    false and is nothing more than the use of fear to persuade, not to mention is
    an arrogant assumption about the Quality decisions people make.

    Platt responded:
    My reasons are that society has decided through democratic means to
    restrict drug use because of costs to society (health costs, poor job
    performance, threat to others, etc) and that marijuana use is usually the
    first step towards cocaine addiction, as documented many times. As for
    "Quality decisions," I assume you mean that ALL decisions aren't Quality
    decisions. :-)

    I respond:
    And again, the will of the majority does not make something "moral", only
    "legal". I am not arguing the drugs are illegal, only that according to the
    MOQ, many of these restrictions are immoral.

    "ALL decisions are not Quality decisions"?... My gut instinct is saying, yes, on
    some all levels all our decisions are a response to quality. How could they not
    be? This question got me though, I'm not sure... hmmm....

    Platt wrote:
    I'll await your "intellectual reasons" for restricting crystal meth for

    "Crytal meth" was a hypothetical example. Whether it in actually should be
    restricted, and to what level of restriction, I do not have the necessary
    information to say.

    Of course, with many of these drugs, like we do with alcohol, we should
    criminalize certain behaviors while under the influence. DUI should certainly
    be illegal, for Intellectual reasoning does tell us that this behavior poses a
    threat to the social fabric (by threatening the lives of others, creating
    unsafe conditions for others, etc.) (You and Dan already mentioned this, I am
    just clarifying my position).

    I had said:
    PS: Here IS a non-sequitur... if "leftists say 'if it feels good, do it', the
    righties say 'if it feels good, do it in a closet, and if you are busted blame
    the liberal media for corrupting your righteous, conservative values''".

    You responded:
    That's an Arlononsequitur alright.What were you smoking when you wrote that?

    I repsond:
    Afraid beer and wine, and an occasional Akvavit (Bommerlunder!) or
    Jaegermeister, is about as strong as it gets for me. As for smoking, I prefer
    the clean air.


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