What do you think of Pat Robertson’s comments on marijuana?

At a minimum, Pat Robertson is calling for lower penalties for people who smoke marijuana.  I quite agree, but then I’ve been for legalization of  marijuana forever.  Anyway, what do you think, both about Roberton’s comments specifically, and about how our society should deal with drug (and alcohol) use generally?

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  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    The problem, Y-man, as you know is that arguing with you woudn’t be one paragraph, it would be an endless series of insults and put-downs.  As you well know.  Go ahead, declare victory.  I’m disengaging.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    To Suek
    Overall I agree with you…but you _must_ admit, if gangbangers were limited to knives, it sure would cut down on the drive-by shootings…!!

    Not having nukes would also eliminate nuclear bombardment. If I cut down what I eat to zero, I would lose weight. Both are true statements is it not? How can you have nuclear bombarded cities without nukes being used? How can you have drive by shootings without things to shoot with? But my issue is, is it good to actually do that? Are you now okay and safe from bombardment, if there are no nukes? Has getting rid of nukes been a positive, good, and beneficial exercise? If it worked, of course. Is it still beneficial? Let’s say I stopped eating anything for 1 week. If my goal is to lose weight, that means I’m doing good, right? It’s good for me. Or is it. Even if you could do it, doesn’t mean you should. That’s a basic point here. DQ has failed to make the argument of what should be so given his assumptions. All I hear are echoes in this chamber of ours that don’t end up doing anything to justify the claim that X is good and should be done when feasible.
    A FAE explosion can accomplish much the job of a nuke, it just needs some work and wide deployments. It’s not as spectacular in terms of labor efficiency as a nuke, but dead is dead one way or another. There are many ways to create a problem. Removing guns isn’t solving problems. It’s just replacing one with another problem. A worse one perhaps.
    Of course others have argued the reality of how banning guns wouldn’t work in reality and I don’t think DQ would disagree based upon libertarian policy making. However, the theory that less absolute number of deaths would happen if you could theoretically remove the means in question, I challenge and cast as untrue.
    It’s really a matter of centralization vs de-centralized procedures. Wouldn’t less terrorist attacks happen if the TSA was successful in finding bombs on groped subjects (at least less bombs exploding on airplanes. More bombs exploding in airports)? Would then what the TSA do, be justified if they could in fact defuse bombs? We know it’s a sham and a con and attacks on US soil have either been prevented by the FBI or been defeated by citizen actions, but let’s say TSA was effective in stopping attacks. Would what they now be doing become justified or effective? I say no. I say it’s not an effective way to stop terrorists. Even if TSA could stop terrorist attacks. The issue is a determinate of truth or Epistemological Knowledge. It’s not an issue of policy, although policy is formed upon the philosophy of what is or isn’t true. The question is core ethics. Is it right, regardless of collective benefit or cost analysis. Is it the right thing to do given an indeterminate future.
    DQ is claiming, repeatedly, that knives will cause an absolute, objective, decrease in deaths or even attacks compared to guns (higher level of intent, he said courage). This is basically a Utopian argument. Meaning, if we could somehow create a hive mind and centralize everything and make it actually work, perfection and Utopia would be justified. I say no, it still wouldn’t be justified even if you could get it to work simply because the results aren’t going to be what people think it is. A centralized system, a hive mind even, would still be crippled by things we see with our systems today. Lack of flexibility. Rigidity. Stupidity. Megalomania and so forth. It’s just all be focused in one spot and probably be immortal as a result. That kind of thing just exchanges one type of problem with another and labels it an “absolute improvement”. It’s not an absolute improvement. It’s a just a relative difference or change in the local matters. I’m looking for the ethically correct decision. Not the decision that people jump on because it has the sweetest flavor.

    For example, I hold to the matter that the only real effective way to solve gun crimes without also introducing incubating problems later on, is to de-centralize problem solving away from the police, the courts, the judges, the corrupt lawyers, and the government aristocrats in DC. It doesn’t matter if they could get rid of guns, really get rid of them, from everyone, including gang bangers, because you don’t want the government to be solving your problems for you. Because there’s no guarantee they’ll keep on doing it. Why should they care about you, more than you care about yourself and your family.
    It’s not a matter of “oh, we can’t actually get rid of guns, so I hold to the libertarian position that our policy should be to allow (get it, allow, like the government is doing you a favor instead of you doing it a favor by solving its problems for them).” It’s more like “even if we could get rid of guns, it wouldn’t solve anything in the long term because it is just trading one problem with another”.
    People might think, “so what”. They’d happily main their life for the cost of some money. Sure, people make decisions like that all the time. But what about slavery. Government outlaws guns. Wohoo. Congratulations, now you are a slave as a result. Is that now better than dying by a gunshot when there are far better remedies available? Ones you could have actually done, if you were free to do so without government interference. What’s the libertarian going to say here, yes it is better to become a slave than to die from a gunshot? No, it is not better? If it isn’t better, why do people think less deaths would happen if guns didn’t exist. Is not a value statement that it is “better” or “more right”?

    There’s a fine line between arguing that it is better for less deaths to happen from guns given the costs of centralized authority, and arguing that there’s a factual difference in capability between a gun and a knife. People confuse reality with their emotions all the time. Their emotions tell them that less deaths are good and better. Then they see that it’s easier to kill with a gun than with a knife (because they get stuck in the victim mentality mostly, in reality, both require some advanced or specific skills/training. Relatively, it’s the same in terms of man hours and training time. In fact, marksmanship is harder to learn than attacking with a knife. Especially at long range. Guns are just prepacked violence tubes for idiots, one way of looking at it) So when they see this fact, they then invest that fact with a truth value and now they claim that because they would have a harder time killing people with a knife vs a gun, limiting guns would save lives, and saving lives is good. Thus limiting guns is good if it could work. I call that either a baseless argument, a claim without evidence, or some kind of circular self-justification claim. They don’t really know what’s going to happen. They just want it to be true, and so they believe it is true. It’s not enough to be judged ethically good. Except, perhaps, if your ethics is consequentialism. The biggest benefit, to the biggest number of people. But isn’t that like Utopia? Shrugs.
    Guns are tools. Don’t assign ethical value or truth value to a tool just because it feels right. A tool does not justify social policy, good, evil, or anything else being true. It just is what it is. Bombs go boom. Guns shoot a bullet that has a lot of kinetic force and penetration due to the size+weight of the bullet. People, however, are the thing people should pay attention to using their “common sense”. Whatever that means now. TSA would learn much from that.

    To JJ,
    It isn’t working, and violent crime is up in both countries.

    I would agree with the premise and descriptions listed by JJ. I would also make the counter-claim that if somebody thinks more violent crime is a good substitute for less deaths by gunshots, they (like DQ) should say so. Clearly, concisely, and better now than later. Because there are plenty of reasons why I can explain why that line is wrong. Ethically, factually, morally, politically, epistemologically, and so on and so forth. In the interests of saving my time, I don’t make arguments against imaginary positions, however. If someone isn’t making a claim, what’s the point of refuting a non-existent claim.
    My lesson learned was that you can sue anyone over anything and win not over the facts of the case but through economic predation.
    Also, big companies are in league with Dems to fix the market by crushing competitors with more regulations and taxes.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I will present one example. Let’s say there’s around 50 million people in California.  5 of them are in Oakland. Hypothetically for argument’s sake.
    If you got rid of all the guns in California and Oakland, you could perhaps save 1 million of the 5 from being shot by guns. In place of that, 300,000 would be killed or crippled by knife attacks and brutal crime waves. But you’d still get 700,000 as a plus. So whatever happens to those 300k, doesn’t matter compared to the benefit of a greater number of people who were saved, 700k. Right?
    So, when a terrorist mass Mumbai attack happens and 500k people die from it, because people were disarmed, was it still a good decision to get rid of guns? What if it wasn’t 500k dead. Just 5k dead. Would that still be a good decision to remove guns from Oakland? After all, you still save 695k deaths. It’s good, right? I mean, who cares what happens to the dead ones. I mean, theoretically, yeah, they could have all been saved if they had the power to defend themselves, but removing guns would definitely save 695k lives from early death and tragedy. Still good? Or not good?
    Now having removed the guns, a foreign invasion happens and California is taken over by Islamic law and an Islamic army that enforces it. Is sexual slavery and executions for refusing to pay your jizya or convert, now a good price to pay for 695k people saved from guns?
    The point is, people don’t know what the hell is going to happen when they get rid of guns from everybody. They are just making it up as they go along because it feels good at the time.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    P.S. Guns made women and men equal in terms of force. Get rid of them, and say goodbye to your women’s lib social equality goodies. When it’s back to muscle power being the ruling factor in violence. Guess what, ladies. You’re out of luck. I suppose you could rely on lawyers and the law as power. Heck, lawyers even rely on lawyers in cases against themselves. But how effective that would be… is it worth it to save a bunch of people you don’t know from getting shot by guns, with the certainly that even more women will be enslaved, abused, and put into an untenable power equation as a result?
    is that something ethical. Is that something a libertarian can be proud of. Yes, it is. To some people. It is. And that’s why Libertarian isn’t a serious party in America.