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GolgothaTenement's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by GolgothaTenement

This line of argument is ridiculous: it's immoral BECAUSE it's illegal. So drinking alcohol is immoral in Islamic theocracies because it's illegal there, but it's not immoral in the west, because it's legal here. Similarly, it is immoral to smoke marijuana (as Carl Sagan did, for example) in America, because it's illegal in America, whereas it's not immoral in Amsterdam, because it's legal there.

Prohibition of alcohol in America is the most obvious analogy; anyone drinking a beer during those years would be, apparently, responsible for all the murders Al Capone committed to get to the top of the pyramid of gangsters. It's amazing that otherwise reasonable people (ie, non-religious people) think that the problem is drug use, rather than drug prohibition. I saw a debate recently with the Protest the Pope guy on the right side and Eliot Spitzer and that rank individual Peter Hitchens on the wrong one recently, and even the wrong side which wanted to continue prohibition admitted that 9/10 of drug users are not addicts. To think you can ban human nature is puritanical and ridiculous. Ban sex, ban alcohol, ban video games, ban pornography... etc... this is the theocratic approach and I'm amazed any scientific rationalist would agree with it. Human use of intoxicants goes back to prehistory.

As Sam Harris says in the following clip - which talks about how and why religion is a major force behind prohibition - "The problem with the prohibition of any desirable commodity, is money."

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 19:24:19 UTC | #937065