a reply to: Aphorism
I agree with your very well stated conclusion. But I also think this topic is so difficult and complex, and the very nature of change and volatility
of time and human life, and the varying quantities of humans who change and grow and learn and desire, is the very source, well, the totality of all
things is the source of why all these things are a complex and difficult topic to think about, and beyond thinking about, put into action, and beyond
putting into action, determine better or for worse, and how and why.
Not to mention, but now to mention, the large variance and categories of types of vice, and the amount and ways in which they can be abused and/or
beneficial, and to who and when and for better or worse.
So maybe I can try to find some starting point, and that starting point can be; There is the individual. And there is the collection of individuals
(society, community). There is the need of 'intimate relationship' for the procreation of the human species (I am stating that, because certain vices
may have sexual connotations, and really this topic is just bursting with complexity). There is the need for the collection of individuals to
practice peace, for the maintenance of themselves and the society (if the goal of a society and individual is to flourish, in a lawful society, then
all individuals may be lawful and peaceful and flourishing, but when an individual breaks the peace, the peace of successfully operating society, than
that individual needs to have the flourish gained from their unpeaceful or unlawful ways, broken, this is justice, and it works under the pretenses
of; individuals want to exist, individuals want to exist peacefully, a collection of individuals want to exist peacefully together, a collection of
individuals want to exist peacefully together for they can achieve greater flourish together than alone, if an individual tampers with the peace and
flourishment of another individual, the tampering individual must be justifiably tampered with.
Um... Types of vice. I would separate the more subtle and abstract forms of vice, like pride and envy and greed from the more directly quantifiable
and tangible vices, which may directly relate to the subtle and abstract, overbearing ones; like substance abuse. Sexual abuse. Crime (though I
personally believe in a less than ideal society, crime is justifiable, as for the flourishment of the individual the appropriate means may be far less
practical and rewarding). Things like this.
I recall from your OP you mentioned something like the artist who uses drug. I think there are some modes of thought here, relating to the true
quantifiable and qualitative values of physical, mental, emotional damage produced by the vice. Always, if not harming another individual, what the
individual wants, or in the moment thinks they want.
I also thought to touch upon what I sense from your descriptions, the nature of the need, not only that vice is built into our human nature; our lust,
our hunger, our desire for comfort, our desire to compete and win. So that if much, if not all, good is derived from such things, that is, the
current establishment of the great human society, with all its inventions and comforts and pleasures and joys.
Also, you touched upon the nature of the mystery and the uncertain. In regards to such human progression, and desire for exploration, that by
demonizing desire itself, one is demonizing life itself, for life is desire in various complex forms. That without the mystery and uncertainty, and
the individual (and the collections of individuals) who desire to explore it, to experiment, and tinker and tamper, even if it means sacrificing some
years of their life, or hurting themselves, in the moment it is what they want to do, and without it, there is no progression at all. Because in this
moment, if all individuals and all collective of individuals, only strictly paid attention to, spoke about, thought about, that which is already
known, then it would be impossible to advance to a stage in which, something more than that which is already known and exists, exists, thus, there
would be no invention, or progression. Thus, the very thing which separates, human, from the other animals, is the desire to explore and experience,
no desires, and new explorations, and new experiences.
This, however, says nothing about, abuse, suffering, pain, caused unto the individual by the individual, and onto other individuals by the
There are quantitative and qualitative categories of substances and how they relate to the human body. Many people are addicted to coffee, they
cannot go a day without it, but they function and get the job done, and the negative effect it has on their body under weighs its positive uses. Many
people make the same argument and case for other drugs, and thus alcohol is legal, though I am sure you would agree it is possible to abuse alcohol.
Your argument is not for ultimate pure freedom, because I am sure you believe that at least one law should really exist. If an individual wants to
quit their job, use their savings to only by alcohol, and sit on the street corner and drink from sun up to sun down, because they value above all,
like many people might, pleasure, and they state that that substance gives them pleasure, you would say this action is good, that this person is
right, strictly because he is doing what he wants, and his freedom, as long as it doesnt in some sense of absolute high law, damage another person, he
ought be free to be free, to make his choice. But what the rest of society, who does not want to deal with such a person in their public space?
And now I have lost steam, and am sorry I cannot spend the time going back and editing some of my more sloppy thoughts. Great OP topic though and
your last response was thorough and good.
Another question after thought; If the overwhelming majority of hardcore drug users and such, who due to their vices developed physical,mental,
emotional damages and now are struggling to survive, are taken and acclimated into peaceful and flourishing communities with education, understanding,
cooperation, care, and productive work, and the overwhelming majority of them, state (though this is one of the tricky parts, how to know the value of
such a momentary statement and feeling) that if they had access to such a community, such a society, they would have rather worked to sacrifice their
drug addictions, their vices, then sacrifice their ability to live healthfully in such a flourishing, joyful society, then what would you say about
that? This is kind of the nature of education, and prevention, and some of what your OP is about, is a hardcore, maybe far from perfect, reactionary
reaction to such a thing.
edit on 3-11-2014 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)