Sunday, January 21, 2007

an anonymous poster.........

posted a fairly rambling and somewhat provocative reply to one of my older articles, and while i certainly make all attempts to adress comments, i seem to have lost the comment.

if you are reading this and are looking for a response. i suggest two things;

firstly, please.....if you are going to take a harshy opposite position to my editorialising, i suggest you identify yourself at least with an e-mail adress or something, and secondly, i sincerely misplaced the response you posted. so, if you care to comment again would you mind indicating the post you are responding to because it is my recollection that you were suggesting an hypocracy on my part......which is possible.....but also the suggestion that i was personally forcing people to quit smoking.

which is factually impossible.........

so send her again and we`ll talk.


Anonymous said...

My comment was to your "making and selling cigarettes is criminal" from september 7 2005.
I referred to your piece "erronious argument" regarding the jaywalking ticket from july 8 2006.

My problem is not that you are personally forcing people to quit smoking, but:
1. That you advocate the forcible closing down, by law, of cigarette manufacturing. So you advocate taking away the free choice of people to buy cigarettes because it will harm their health.
2. This seems to me to be inconsistent with your opposition to a jaywalking women being given a ticket for her own safety.
3. You want a group of highly dangerous people who do business at the barrel of a gun called "government" to protect us, which is absurd. If anything we need protection from government.
Did you see the short video?


dr.alistair said...

mark, thanks for your resubmission.

i advocate the closing down of cigarette manufacturing, the law just happens to be an expedient method as i don`t believe that people had the free choice to start smoking in the first place.

people aren`t given jaywalking tickets for thier own safety. it`s a form of revenue collection.

i don`t want government to protect us. they are absolutely the most dangerous of people who do business at the barrel of a gun.

i watched the video. good luck with that.

dr.alistair said...

in regard to the video. the lexington group strikes me, on the surface, as a good try to bring attention to what the government is really about. but if these guys think that the bought-and-paid-for media is going to post this stuff on thier blog as it were, they have to be dreaming.

Anonymous said...

How is it they didn't have a free choice to start? At the point of their starting, if you offered them $4,000,000 to not start, would they not choose the money?

Unfortunately you are advocating the banning of cigarette consumption by the use of violence. I disagree strongly. If people want to engage in unhealthy activities, that's their rightful prerogative.


BBC said...

Anonymous..... I've smoked for all my teen and adult life. And it is really a stupid frigging thing to do. There are times when we really shouldn't have freewill and free choice.

I support shutting down all such places and sales. I know that it won't work, but I still support it.

Smoking is so stupid. But at least I'm smart enough to know that and I voted for the smoking ban in this state last year.

Raghav said...

well in my country they have a ban on smoking in public, but if you want to kill urself in ur bedroom then go right ahead, suicide is illegal though.
confused ?

dr.alistair said...

mark. the predatory and cynical way that cigarette companies have gone after the youth of our society for the past 60 odd years should be the only clue you need to understand how little choice the youth of four generations have had but to consume this vile substance.
and offering them four million dollars to not start is no choice either.
your arguement falls down precisely because this isn`t about choice, it`s about responsibility.

if you wanted to compare cigarettes with other equally dangerous things that will kill half the people who use them, try hand grenades or land mines or um, rat poison or industrial electric current or a loaded gun with the trigger specially set for competition shooting.
and then apply your position that it`s the right of a person to be able to choose for themselves if these things are ok to use.

then give the manufacturers of these product the right to advertise in national campaigns to children.

then give that specially prepared gun to a sixteen year-old to take to school to kick around with for a bit.

bang. was it your kid that got shot? did the shooting?

have you heard of a character called joe camel?

he was the brain-child of camel cigarettes. aimed squarely at the 8-17 year-old market place, where 95% of all people begin smoking. when joe hit the media there was a giant spike in the consumption of cigarettes in that demographic. y`see, the guys that make cigarettes know thier stuff so joe camel was quite the hit with the kids..........who are now in thier 30`s and 40`s.

dr.alistair said...

and i`m not confused at all regarding raghav`s comparison between smoking and suicide.

the government`s motive is economic.
smoking has become a health issue in most countries to the point where the drain on health care due to medical issues has superceded the revenue from the tax on cigarettes.

it is at this precise time that we`ve seen governments enact a variety of preventitive and restrictive legislations on the sale and consumption of tobacco products.

suicide has far less economic effect on the government.

Mark said...

bbc said: "There are times when we really shouldn't have freewill and free choice."

In the case of murder and theft, sure. But smoking, as long as you respect the lungs of others, isn't one of them. It is my absolute right to smoke.

Your support of shutting down all such places and sales is a violation of my self-determination.

dr.alister. Oddly enough, I was a child once and I chose not to smoke. Advertising didn't and never could force me to smoke. To this day I never smoked anything. That was and is a free choice. Advertising is influence and persuasion. It doesn't eliminate my ability to choose. And my choice is my resposibilty.

bbc and Dr Alister. Please explain where, when and how you aquired the right to forbid me from smoking.

dr.alistair said...

nobody aquires rights anywhere but in courts of law. they are what`s commonly known as legal fictions.
i haven`t ever aquired the right to stop you from doing anything. i`m not a court.

and regarding self-determination.......i don`t think that has a legal definition, does it?

all of this seems to me to be something you are taking personally.

i have stated some positions and helped clarify where asked.

you are a freeman under god in a soveriegn nation. if you wish to feel bound by the actions of the courts then it is you that is recognising legal structures designed to set limits.

personally, don`t care one way or the other if you smoke or don`t or if you blow sheets of flame from orifaces..........

........but please, don`t suggest for a moment that i`m in some way infringing on your um, self-determination.

that would suggest that we`ve had a relationship of some sort or another.

and we haven`t.

dr.alistair said...

refers to soveriegn nations and groups. mark, are you one of those, or are you arguing this ethically in that existentially because you are a part of a nation or a group you should be accorded these rights as an indvidual?

because if you are, then by the same arguement you must recognise and accept the boundary of my self-determination, whatever form i decide to represent it as.

fuck, that`s why i never went to university or smoke dope any more.

but it`s a great way to talk your way into college girl`s um, good books............if you`re bright enough to follow the arguement.

Mark said...

Rights are a moral concept, pertaining to a person's freedom of action, within a social setting.

Rights as such are inalienable, they may be violated, but they can not be taken from you. The right resides with you, not any outside authority.

Whereas legal privileges can be taken from you, or granted to you, as the case may be.

In the societies we live in, which is in fact a slave society, all our rights are in fact violated. Hence whatever we do, we do by means of privilege, granted to us by my slave masters. Makes no difference what it is: "Free" speech, kind of jobs we are permitted to perform, when we are permitted to perform it, the kind of sexual practices we may or may not engage in, etc... etc... It is all preordained by our masters.

Mark said...

"refers to sovereign nations and groups. mark, are you one of those"

Nope. I am a sovereign individual.

And I recognize everyones rights, as I defined rights in my previous post.

dr.alistair said...

generally, when one of these discussions reaches this point, i.e. the moral stance on inalienable rights of individuals, it becomes clear that someone is really just wanting to be pissed off about something and has found a wordy way to arrive at that state.

i am a mental health professional and as such i suggest that people look at how they find themselves feeling the way they do about things.

political arguements are designed to set people at odds with eachother. a way to do that is to invoke artificial absolutes that are pulled out of the aether and suggest that they have been taken away by force of some description.

you`ve accused me of that already.

to jumble politics and ethics and morality together is a dangerous game.

you have characterised me as a violator for not wanting to play your game.

i merely wanted to suggest that we save some damn fool kids from poisoning themselves and you went off on a socio-political diatribe that has me violating you in some way...........

the clear moral position here is that cigarettes are wrong. morally. wrong. ethically. bad.


until they are made out of something non-toxic i will be absolutely and entirely for the complete destruction of the entire industry that exists for providing cigarettes.

and your moral, ethical personal position varies from that.


Mark said...


cars kill people too...

BBC said...

Mark..... The same right that decided that you could be stupid I guess. :-)

dr.alistair said...

give people the permission to expect rights and they lose a sense of reason.

i`m not sure it`s stupidity so much as an intelectual laziness.

and are a necessary mechanism in a productive society. if you do the research you will find that traffic deaths are orders of magnitude less that that of cigarettes, which, other than to be a generator of profit for a cigarette manufacturer, serve no function.

there are some environmental positions that indicate other harm cars do.....but that`s outside the focus of this dicscussion.

Mark said...

"personally, don`t care one way or the other if you smoke or don`t"

"i will be absolutely and entirely for the complete destruction of the entire industry that exists for providing cigarettes."

Those two statements are contradictory. How can I smoke if you have forbidden the production of cigarettes?

"don`t suggest for a moment that i`m in some way infringing on your um, self-determination."

But by banning them you very obviously have violated my self-determination. Why is this so hard to understand?

dr.alistair said...

you can still smoke without a giant industry supporting and profiting from your habit........

your self-determination has some serious self-destructive tendancies.

these rights that you believe you have in an inalienable sense are awfully fragile if they are threatened by my opinion or position.

don`t give me such power.

then you can go back to inalienably enjoying your self-destructive behaviour......until the economic factors that will decide the cigarette manufacturer`s fate obtain.

no matter what we think.

Mark said...

"your self-determination has some serious self-destructive tendancies."

But I don't smoke. Never have. But that is beside the point. Some people like to smoke and you seem to believe you have the right to stop them.

And as you said: "give people the permission to expect rights and they lose a sense of reason."

Hung by your own words. So who is intellectually lazy?

dr.alistair said...

i don`t believe i have the right to stop people smoking. i was talking about my desire to effect a group of cigarette manufacturers in an adverse way. i have never attempted to stop people smoking if they don`t want to.
many confuse thier desires with some concept of rights. you may have a desire to have inalienable rights to all sorts of things and in some grand sweeping gesture offer this to all who hear your words........
...........but others might disagree with helping you to get what you want.

and regarding sef-destructive. i was refering to getting into arguements that give you a headache because your arguement doesn`t stay rooted in reality. you introduced "inalienable rights" as a foundation for saying i was wrong. i could then invent a spiritual entity to who spoke to me who says you are wrong also.

but that would be silly.

catholic silly.

Mark said...

"your arguement doesn`t stay rooted in reality."

Ummm...well no! Inalienable rights are rooted in objective reality.

The concept of rights is not a primary. It is derived from a man's right to his own life. But that's not a primary either and is derived from the correct identification of man's metaphysical nature, which is that of a rational animal. However, even that's not the primary and is further derived from a correct metaphysics (facts) and a proper epistemology (reason).

To be objective means: To identify the facts of reality (out there), according to a correct methodology (in here-the head). The methodology of reason is logic, which in turn, is the art of non contradictory identification. Once the correct facts are established by means of a correct methodology, we may rightly say, that we are being objective.

Every action under the sun, can be objectively judged, if you have an objective standard, against which to judge it.

The standard by which to judge human actions is in relation to: Man's life, as a rational being. (And with everything that this implies.) In the political/social sphere, such a position is covered via individual rights, with the explicit prohibition on the initiation of force/fraud/coercion against others.

dr.alistair said...

hey`ve obviously done some homework on philosophical opinion regarding rights, inalienable or otherwise, but in the real objective world where the bedpost really will hit your toe hard in the dark, you cannot convince me that rights exist objectively for an individual.
they only exist as a consensus. that`s why it is stated that inalienable rights pertain to groups and states....not individuals.
only the socialist ideologue would allow you to chase that one for any length of time.
a clinton possibly?

could you list what you percieve as inalienable rights?

Mark said...

Dr.Alister said: "in the real objective world where the bedpost really will hit your toe hard in the dark, you cannot convince me that rights exist objectively for an individual."

Right, they don't exist in a physical or scientific sense, they are conceptual. Just because people disagree, doesn't prove subjectivity. No matter what you believe in (between the ears), actions have consequences, good or bad in reality and that is what I mean by objective.

"they only exist as a consensus. that`s why it is stated that inalienable rights pertain to groups and states....not individuals.

It's true that they only exist in a social setting. You could say an individual alone on an island has no rights.

Inalienable rights: freedom from force, fraud & coercion.

dr.alistair said...

i agree..........

the concept of inalienable rights sounds nice by the way. a promise of something. a promise of freedom from force, fraud and coercion.

a promise.

not an actual protection.