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Thread: Alcohol is a hard drug

  1. #61
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vonny View Post
    It's because God works in mysterious ways.
    I am not sure if I feel very comfortable with being likened to a god...
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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  2. #62
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    I am not sure if I feel very comfortable being likened to a god...
    Not a god. God.

    Don't feel insulted by the comparison. He speaks very highly of you. I know. He tells me things. Through the TV.

  3. #63
    Jai Keshava NikolaiI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable View Post
    Sorry - it did look as though I was personalising the argument, and that's because I didn't record the whole thought process.
    Ah, no problem, friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable
    So, what I meant to say was that I think your argument isn't entirely objective, but is based on a pre-existing assumption that tends towards the negative. I'd offer a couple of supports for that.

    First, although the benefits and costs of alcohol are not summable let alone comparable, you make the choice that the latter outweigh the former. I'd say that a tendency to think the worst without having any objective reason to do so is evidence of pessimism.
    Then it may be an issue of framing. I'm not "thinking the worst" without any objective reason. What I mean is, human life is invaluable. Somewhere around 2.5 million people annually die from alcohol related deaths worldwide. But in general, I'm not thinking about those kinds of numbers or statistics, but rather the individual cases that occur near me. Like if 1,000 people in my town die a year from it. To me, that loss of human life is heavier felt than the good caused by alcohol. True, it is impossible for me to gauge precisely how much good is caused by it on the whole, and all I can do is a rough approximation based on obsevation and inference. And my value of human life is a subjective one, granted - and it is significantly based on not only the realized good but also the potential good. But on the whole, the entire thought process is a reasoned progression, if based on certain subjective values. Not just "Oog, bad more than good."

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable
    Second, there's this:
    Quote Originally Posted by NikolaiI
    . . .
    I'm all for thought experiments as part of the rhetorical arsenal, but this isn't one really, because it has a conclusion built in to it. So it's more a speculation about the future - and of all the futures you could have speculated, you chose the one that involves worldwide catastrophe - which does not, I'd suggest, imply a mindset of joyous and dew-kissed anticipation of the treasures tomorrow may bring.
    I may not not have explained well. Or I guess, obviously I did not. I will try to. Put another way - let's say in your house, of all your possessions, there is one that is irreplacable. The rest can be replaced, but this one cannot. What is your attitude towards this object, then? If it is of value to you, you would keep it at all costs.

    Or let us say; you lived somewhere, in a house, and your house was furnished, etc., you had books, amenities, but nothing that could really be traded for money value. Now let's say you had $1,000 in cahs. But for some reason, there was no way you would ever be able to earn another dollar. It would be possible for you to earn your food by work, but in general it would be rather laborious for you. (This a hypothetical situation, a fixed system and not a happy reality, but it is only to make the point). That $1,000 dollars would be very valuable to you, would it not? Now you knew the facts of the situation, what would you do with that $1,000 dollars? Use it all up at once?

    Now, as for the "of all possible futures," part, where you say I am pessimistic because I picked the one that was included global catastrophe. Well I was trying to make a point, but you missed it and wrongly concluded I'm pessimistic. Now I've really failed, because pessimism is one of the least desirable traits that I've ever seen in person. Vivekananda's philosophical stance that weakness is the only sin definitely has merit to it, and pessimism is certainly connected to weakness.

    When we discovered gasoline, we discovered a miracle fuel. It gave more energy when it burned than anything we'd ever discovered. A few decades after the first cars were developed, they were extremely commonplace, and continued to be so to this day. At some point we figured out that gasoline was a non-renewable resource. By this time, though, it was already unthinkable that we give up our cars. So we burned up oil with no regard for saving it. And we continue to do so. It's neither pessimistic nor optimistic, it's just a fact. We went through that $1,000 very quickly. We may come to a time when we need the non-renewable resources - that took millions upon millions of years to naturally occur - that we burned dry. Now I said may, with no weight towards the likelihood or unlikelihood. The point is, if we'd saved a significant portion of it, wisely, then we'd be okay if we need it in the future or not. But if we do away with all of it, and we do need it, we're out of luck (key word there). It has nothing to do with pessimism or optimism. An incredibly simple solution would be to save some of the black stuff. The government, or somebody, should do this. I'm surprised it's not talked about more, it seems very obvious. Hell, I'll do it if I get around to it. If for no other reason than the profit value.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable
    So, you may say you're not pessimistic, and certainly all I have to go on is what you post - but the posts did suggest that to me, so I think my observation is germane to the argument. It's personal only in as far as it rather takes as read the idea that any view is shaped by the personality of the viewer, so how the viewer views is a valid part of any discussion.
    I suppose it is. Anyway, sorry if I wrote a little too much on something a little tangential.

    And, just so you know, I don't think pessimism is necessarily a bad thing. I do think it has an effect on how one sees the world, but it's not necessarily an unarguable one.[/quote]

    Hm. Maybe it isn't always a bad thing. But usually it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable
    Just as an aside (and not referring specifically to you, Nik), I've noticed that no one ever worries about comments being personal when they are complimentary - although those are just as unsupported and just as irrelevant to the argument as any 'negative' comment. So when anyone suggests that another poster's contribution is evidence of an expansive and sympathetic soul ringing with the harmonies of the universe, no one ever says, "Excuse me - that's a personal comment. Please stay on topic." and then no Mod pops up in bold and kills the thread. Why's that?
    Hm. Well, there are certainly lots of ways of answering this. I have a feeling I heard you say once you're an only child, but have you ever heard a parent say to their child "Be good to your brother/sister"? It's something like that. You've heard of the research showing that when someone performs, or receives, or even observes an act of kindness, that they have an increase in serotonin and a corresponding boost in the immune system? Happiness is extremely important to health, and those comments make people happy more than the other kind, and the moderators want us to be healthy. That's my guess.

  4. #64
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikolaiI View Post
    Hm. Well, there are certainly lots of ways of answering this. I have a feeling I heard you say once you're an only child, but have you ever heard a parent say to their child "Be good to your brother/sister"?
    No, I'm the eldest of five. I thought of myself as a responsible adult by the time I was nine.

  5. #65
    Registered User virginiawang's Avatar
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    I’ve been getting much healthier lately, and to my surprise, I ate a fish twice. It was a miracle for me. I believe I will become healthier than anyone can ever imagine, in days to come, because I am in love with a man who drinks. I believe in the love, my health, and all the beauty of the world, in which I wish to stay for an eternity, to feel his love. It is so beautiful.
    Last edited by virginiawang; 10-28-2011 at 09:45 AM.

  6. #66
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable View Post
    Not a god. God.

    Don't feel insulted by the comparison. He speaks very highly of you. I know. He tells me things. Through the TV.
    Cable? Which channel?
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  7. #67
    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virginiawang View Post
    I’ve been getting much healthier lately, and to my surprise, I ate a fish twice. It was a miracle for me. I believe I will become healthier than anyone can ever imagine, in days to come, because I am in love with a man who drinks. I believe in the love, my health, and all the beauty of the world, in which I wish to stay for an eternity to feel his love. It is so beautiful.
    Single White Male seeking woman who eats fish. Caveat: I drinks a bit.

  8. #68
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    How on earth did you eat a fish twice? lol
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

  9. #69
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delta40 View Post
    How on earth did you eat a fish twice? lol

    Cats do it all the time. Though it's not pretty.

  10. #70
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    Alcohol is a drug, but one we've been consuming since time immemorial. I don't think it would work to try to enforce a ban on. In fact in the United states we have only just gotten back to pre-prohibition rates of drinking.

    In fact I'm really starting to think we should legalise marijuana. We should look into it. How is it working out in Holland, for example. They don't seem to have the problems we do.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  11. #71
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    Alcohol is a drug, but one we've been consuming since time immemorial. I don't think it would work to try to enforce a ban on. In fact in the United states we have only just gotten back to pre-prohibition rates of drinking.
    I agree. You can't unring the bell - maybe drown it out with other bells....but Lord knows what they would be!
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

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