miilliee

Alcohol??

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If someone *needs* to drink to have a good time, they're probably an alcoholic. That doesn't mean enjoying alcohol -- as only one of many things that can be fun -- is inherently wrong or 'less than.' All of my friends are fun to be around when they are sober. They are also fun to be around when they've had a drink or two (or, rarely, even more). It's not an either/or thing.

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Good luck arguing that these are stupid reasons. (I'm heading to work now so I may not reply immediately)

I reckon this is pretty clearly a challenge. Not sure why I got wishy-washy on that point in my second post. I'm fine with the challenge, but I'd normally phrase it with less cockiness. Oh well

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There's a difference between drinking, and getting drunk.

Having a drink has little difference than drinking a regular drink in moderation.

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I reckon this is pretty clearly a challenge. Not sure why I got wishy-washy on that point in my second post. I'm fine with the challenge, but I'd normally phrase it with less cockiness. Oh well

 

And my apologies for coming off as so arrogant.

 

That's judgemental ..

It's judging reasons, sure. It is absolutely judgmental. There's some twisted notion floating around that making judgements is a bad thing. It's not - it's how we operate. I make a judgement on the reasons there are to drink. Namely, they all fall into four categories:

 

Positive-Internal reasons: drinking alcohol because it makes you feel good, makes you happier

Negative-internal reasons: drinking alcohol because it takes your focus away from negative internal events (sadness, anxiety, etc.)

Positive-external reasons: drinking alcohol because it makes social gatherings more enjoyable

Negative-external reasons: drinking alcohol because you wish not to be left out of what everyone else is doing and feeling (it's easiest to conform)

 

I looked at all these reasons, and decided they were all stupid reasons. I made a judgement on these reasons, and evaluated them as poor excuses to intentionally intoxicate oneself. Therefore, I do not drink.

 

Nothing wrong with being judgmental. There's something wrong with being HASTILY judgmental.

And you might be thinking I'm judging everyone on their character. That's not my intention with my (as Matthew put is so eloquently - and I don't say that sarcastically) "blanket statement".  However, if someone drinks, they shouldn't care about being judged by it. We all need to act in a way that we want others judge us by. That's why we make the value decisions we do.

 

I don't mean to say drinking is "immoral" - I think it's not necessarily a moral issue, but can be. So I'm not saying it's immoral to drink. I think it's generally irresponsible (despite advertisements aimed at teaching "drinking responsibly"), but that's only my opinion. I don't know everything.

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Nothing wrong with being judgmental. There's something wrong with being HASTILY judgmental.

And you might be thinking I'm judging everyone on their character. That's not my intention with my (as Matthew put is so eloquently - and I don't say that sarcastically) "blanket statement".  However, if someone drinks, they shouldn't care about being judged by it. We all need to act in a way that we want others judge us by. That's why we make the value decisions we do.

So, I (obviously) haven't agreed with EVERYTHING you have said. However your last post was very thoughtfully written, and makes me see your thought process a little more clearly... not that it changed my viewpoint :) , just that I'm understand a little more. If I understand it correctly, the 4 reasons that you came up with are stupid, to you. Others may not agree, but this is your view, and it works for you. So, it's ok... for you. No one should take that away from you. I don't think your original statement came across this way. It came across as though, in FACT, there are only 4 reasons to drink, and they are all stupid... which could lead people to think that you are calling THEM stupid, simply for thinking differently than you. (For instance, I enjoy a glass... usually a half a glass... of wine on occasion. Simply because I like the taste, and it does have a relaxing effect. I can take it or leave it, but it can be enjoyable. This isn't wrong... for ME.) Maybe I misunderstood your original post, because this post seemed to say 'This is what words for me', where your last post seemed to say 'This is right, and everyone else is an idiot'. So, maybe I just mistunderstood.

 

The reason I pulled just this excerpt is to give an observation that I made, based on what you have specifically written HERE. Actually, I agree with you to a point. We should all live our lives in the manner to which we want people to see us. I have said, more than once actually, that we should all live our lives as though a movie will be made about us someday... Most people don't want to be seen in a nasty/mean/fill in any bad adjective here, etc etc. Most want to be seen as a good/kind/loving or whatever person. I might word it a little differently than you have, though. I don't want people to look at my life and 'judge me'. I want them to look at my life and see certain things, hopefully good things, but judgement is God's job.

 

I, also, think that we all do this kind of thing (such as a 'blanket statement') at some point or another, when we don't even realize it. The problem, with even our thoughtful judgement, is when we state our views and make them sound as if everyone else is wrong... no matter what they think. Then people tend to get a little... shall we say, perturbed. Simply because it appears as though the person speaking thinks they know better, and are smarter than, everyone else. That if you don't do what they do, you're an idiot. I mean, there are some extreme views that, I think, most people can agree on. Such as (for the subject of alcohol) too much, or feeling as if you can't live without it, etc etc, is probably going to lead to nothing but bad. However, aside from that, there are boundaries that we each set for ourselves, in deciding what is ok, or not ok, for us as our own individual. That's not to say that what my boundary is, is good for you. Or, what your limit is, is good for the next person. It's the same as anything else. We have to feel it out as we go, figuring out what works for us, and what does not.

 

To be clear. I'm cool with you thinking differently than me. I just thought I'd share my observation.

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So, I (obviously) haven't agreed with EVERYTHING you have said. However your last post was very thoughtfully written, and makes me see your thought process a little more clearly... not that it changed my viewpoint :) , just that I'm understand a little more. If I understand it correctly, the 4 reasons that you came up with are stupid, to you. Others may not agree, but this is your view, and it works for you. So, it's ok... for you. No one should take that away from you. I don't think your original statement came across this way. It came across as though, in FACT, there are only 4 reasons to drink, and they are all stupid... which could lead people to think that you are calling THEM stupid, simply for thinking differently than you. (For instance, I enjoy a glass... usually a half a glass... of wine on occasion. Simply because I like the taste, and it does have a relaxing effect. I can take it or leave it, but it can be enjoyable. This isn't wrong... for ME.) Maybe I misunderstood your original post, because this post seemed to say 'This is what words for me', where your last post seemed to say 'This is right, and everyone else is an idiot'. So, maybe I just mistunderstood.

 

The reason I pulled just this excerpt is to give an observation that I made, based on what you have specifically written HERE. Actually, I agree with you to a point. We should all live our lives in the manner to which we want people to see us. I have said, more than once actually, that we should all live our lives as though a movie will be made about us someday... Most people don't want to be seen in a nasty/mean/fill in any bad adjective here, etc etc. Most want to be seen as a good/kind/loving or whatever person. I might word it a little differently than you have, though. I don't want people to look at my life and 'judge me'. I want them to look at my life and see certain things, hopefully good things, but judgement is God's job.

 

I, also, think that we all do this kind of thing (such as a 'blanket statement') at some point or another, when we don't even realize it. The problem, with even our thoughtful judgement, is when we state our views and make them sound as if everyone else is wrong... no matter what they think. Then people tend to get a little... shall we say, perturbed. Simply because it appears as though the person speaking thinks they know better, and are smarter than, everyone else. That if you don't do what they do, you're an idiot. I mean, there are some extreme views that, I think, most people can agree on. Such as (for the subject of alcohol) too much, or feeling as if you can't live without it, etc etc, is probably going to lead to nothing but bad. However, aside from that, there are boundaries that we each set for ourselves, in deciding what is ok, or not ok, for us as our own individual. That's not to say that what my boundary is, is good for you. Or, what your limit is, is good for the next person. It's the same as anything else. We have to feel it out as we go, figuring out what works for us, and what does not.

 

To be clear. I'm cool with you thinking differently than me. I just thought I'd share my observation.

I said I have my opinion, but I by no means meant to propose a relativistic argument. It's easy to say that morality is relative - it allows us to do whatever we want to do. But I didn't mean that. I don't think those reasons to drink are stupid "for me" - I think they're inherently "stupid", and I think anyone who believes these to be good reasons is missing some fundamental truth in life. I can't say I'm right, but I also will not say that it's all relative.

 

I'm not going to call anyone stupid. But I think people can make stupid decisions - I've made too many. We all act in ways that aren't virtuous.  People need to be more rational about these things.  We get defensive and argumentative because someone argues against a particular action we engage in - we take it personally, we want to protect our egos, and we get defensive, usually by just saying "Well, I do this, and that's okay FOR ME." I think we're all too afraid to look at ourselves as maybe not who we want to be. I think all of us would benefit from an openness to our flaws - if we take something like "Drinking alcohol is stupid" personally, we can do one of two things - disagree, or agree, but both after reflecting on our behaviours.

 

And what you said about judgement is exactly what I'm talking about.  We want people to see us as good. But have you noticed that when we tell people not to "judge us", we don't really mean it? We mean we don't want people to "judge us NEGATIVELY'. I don't think ANYONE would have a problem being judged positively.

 

I think a major disagreement about the morality of alcohol has to do with who we think is affected. Does it affect only us? Or can it possibly impact others?

 

DISCLAIMER: This is my "intellectual/philosophical" side - hence the blunt language. I feel keeping it intellectual instead of emotional actually allows for genuine understanding and discussion. But I appreciate your points. You thought them out, and gave me something to talk about. So thanks for such a thoughtful reply. :)

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I understand what you are saying. However, I'm not sure that I understand your 'I can't say I'm right, but I can't say that it's all relative' statement. Don't you have to feel that you are absolutely right, and everyone else is wrong, OR believe that everyone has a view and yours is right FOR YOU.

 

I agree that judgment can be good or bad, but in most contexts it is applied as bad.

 

Also, just to let you know, sometimes I get frustrated when other are 'put down' even though I DO NOT do what they do. Tattoos, for instance. I know, not this thread, but just as an example. I don't think they are wrong, I just don't want any. So, the argument that we get defensive simply because someone tells us that something we partake in is wrong, does not always apply. Not to mention, that some things are ok for me, but not for others. The world is full of differences, and we are not ALL exactly the same.

 

So, is it wrong, in your personal opinion, for me to like to have a glass of wine once in a while simply because I like the taste and that it helps me relax just a bit? I am not hurting anyone by doing this, I'm not even out in the world... I'm with my mom and/or sister, or have a sip (once) with friends. Is it wrong that in this way, and because I have contemplated this part of myself for many many years... (What, like the last 20 years or so) and have realized that it's not bad in EVERY situation. I have also factored in my faith, too. That, if Jesus though it was ok to turn water to wine for a celebration, and His teachings of 'Everything in moderation', makes it ok for me to be ok with once in a while. As long as I don't abuse it. I don't have to agree with you, but I am curious. Given that I have given it this much thought, am I still inherently stupid? Am I still missing some fundamental truth in life? Mind you, it's ok if you think I am stupid in my thoughts. Just as it is ok for me to think you are wrong.

 

Ok, this sounds much harsher than I intended. It is mere curiosity. I don't care if you feel differently than me. I just want to understand what you are saying. I like to understand people. Not that I'll keep discussing it with you, or keep trying to understand you. lol I do have a point where I just realize that it's not going to happen. Just that I do like to TRY and understand what other people are thinking and I, clearly, don't understand you.

 

I do agree that we should take more responsibility for our own actions, and decisions. That we, too easily, do what 'feels good', and need to reflect on ourselves from the inside, more often. What I seem to differ on is that it's just that we are not always going to come to the same conclusions of what is ok, or 'stupid'.

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Alcohol? Nope not at all. It's not my thing.

I only drink it if is nonalcoholic. Lots of Christian churches near me make their own wine and beer.

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I wouldn't really consider it generally irresponsible either. Having a glass of wine with dinner or a beer after a long day isn't acting irresponsibly.

Getting shitfaced and then climbing behind the wheel would be.

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Alcohol? Nope not at all. It's not my thing.

I only drink it if is nonalcoholic. Lots of Christian churches near me make their own wine and beer.

I totally respect, and understand, that. Until my very late 20s, I was the same way.

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There are more reasons to drink than those four random ones... Just sayin'.

Those aren't "four random ones". The examples were just that - examples. The model is from Cooper (1994), after previous research efforts gathered a large inventory of self-reported motivations for drinking alcohol. So, not random.

 

Positive-internal means you strive to make yourself feel good with substances. Negative-internal means you attempt to distract yourself for negative feelings with substances. Positive-external means you engage in substance use in order to make social gatherings more enjoyable. Negative-external means you engage in substance use to avoid feelings of being left out of social gatherings.

 

What other reasons would there be?

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What other reasons would there be?

 

Maybe the reason that basically every consumer of alcohol in this forum listed for drinking?

 

We like the way it tastes.

 

I spent 2 1/2 hours last night slowly sipping and greatly savoring 1 1/2 glasses of Haut Médoc, my favorite French wine. Drinking Haut Médoc is easily one of the top most exquisite flavor sensations I've ever had. In fact, the only other tasting experiences I've  had that were better were expensive meals at nice restaurants. And the best of those meals, in Bordeaux on Christmas Eve 2010, involved eight courses over three hours accompanied by four different kinds of wine described to us by the sommelier.

 

It's fine that you think the four reasons you listed to drink alcohol are stupid. But you're ignoring what everyone else has said about why we drink, and I find that very haughty and dismissive.

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[T]he best of those meals, in Bordeaux on Christmas Eve 2010, involved eight courses over three hours accompanied by four different kinds of wine described to us by the sommelier.

 

That sounds like a dream evening to me! I've always been fascinated by wine pairings; experiencing the way a well-paired drink complements a meal is definitely one of the reasons I consume alcohol.

 

I also don't get how "drinking alcohol because it makes you happier" is a bad thing. I do tons of things because they make me happy. Sure, it can become a negative if you rely on it to make you happy, or if you indulge in it at the expense of other people's well-being or your own long-term best interests, but the same is true with anything.

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What about drinking as a sign of respect... And no, I dont mean pressured into drinking because someone hands you a drink and you'll disrespect them if you don't take it... I'm talking about raising a glass to my fallen hero, my army angel up above. Honoring him in such a way, which is tradition in my family, is a wonderul thing to be a part of. I'm not doing it to fit in or feel better or because I have to. I'm doing it because after all he's done for me, I WANT to raise a shot of whiskey to the sky and thank him for letting me be a part of his life for the short four years I knew him.

That reason doesn't fall into any of your four categories and it is certainly NOT stupid! So please, do not try to say it fits into one of those categories or say that in your opinion it is stupid!

 

This brings up an important point: alcohol is often included in a lot of important cultural and religious traditions/rituals. Toasting the fallen, the eucharist, shabbat, and many more. It seems like that pretty cleanly falls outside of the four categories that were listed.

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That sounds like a dream evening to me! I've always been fascinated by wine pairings; experiencing the way a well-paired drink complements a meal is definitely one of the reasons I consume alcohol.

 

It was my first Christmas without my family because I couldn't afford to fly home. My friend and I traveled together and treated ourselves to one perfect, expensive meal. It's easily the most expensive meal I've ever purchased (90 euros for everything; set price and menu). It's also the only meal I had with official wine pairings. It was truly one of the highlights of my two years living in France. One day I hope to do something like that again!

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I do drink. Not every day. But I do have a few drinks, I never been drunk. And I don't drink to get drunk. One of my hobbies is wine tasting

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While you guys have been arguing passionately about alcohol, I'm just sitting here enjoying a glass of non-spiked fruit punch :P

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My country was colonized by the Portuguese in the 1600s and the legacy they left behind was the Roman Catholic religion and getting the good Buddhist people of this country to consume alcohol (in my predominantly Buddhist culture consuming alcohol is a vice which people are taught to renounce.) Christianity was thus introduced hand in hand with intoxication and to this day Christians are identified here as party loving drunks.

 

I come from a family of very sober Sabbath keeping Christians and no one in my family has had anything to do with alcohol. I was very vocal about wiping out the menace of alcohol and more recently drug abuse and contributed to the best of my ability to get people involved in the temperance movement in my country. I spoke to people about liver damage, brain damage and the effects of alcoholism on families…. until life played the best joke of all on me. My Dad who was the role model in all of this, was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis and then, stage 4 hepatocellular carcinoma at the age of 66. He lived only a month after diagnosis and did not suffer at all for someone with advanced cancer.

 

Since then, I have begun to question my campaign against alcohol. You make an exit either way. Too much alcohol may hasten it but each to his own is what I would say now. In this world of instant self-gratification where one might consider a drink a necessity of life as opposed to if the man next to you has had a decent meal or not, the zeal I had earlier is now replaced with something like indifference. I still care very deeply about people in my country destroying their lives and families because of alcoholism but if that is the way they choose to live whilst knowing the adverse effects, I take a step back when it comes to showing I care.

 

PS: I know I have not really answered the original question and that this thread is not about alcoholism :). I just thought of sharing my personal experience and have no intention of offending anyone or getting involved in the general debate on the ethics, morality or intellectual soundness of it all. :)

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... each to his own is what I would say now...

 

PS: I know I have not really answered the original question and that this thread is not about alcoholism :). I just thought of sharing my personal experience and have no intention of offending anyone or getting involved in the general debate on the ethics, morality or intellectual soundness of it all. :)

You're right, about this thread not being about alcoholism, but you are also correct about what that particular disease can do to the body and mind. :) So, from your post I chose to focus on your 'each to his own' comment. I don't think a drink is important, at all, and really didn't know what to take from the rest of your paragraph there. So, I chose to just focus on the part that accepts that we all have different views. :) By the way, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope you are doing better now, but losing someone is never easy. Also, I think you're very cool for standing up for what you believe to be right.

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I don't drink alcohol. I've taken a sip from some alcoholic drinks to understand why people drink em.

After tasting, I was like: why the hell would people drink THIS?

 

It tastes BAD, it STINKS and it's LITERALLY, POISON.

 

Reasons I'm not drinking alcohol: well, I don't have a reason to drink! I don't plan on getting drunk, ever and it stinks.

 

Just 2,5 liters of water is good enough for me to have a healthy life.

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What about drinking as a sign of respect... And no, I dont mean pressured into drinking because someone hands you a drink and you'll disrespect them if you don't take it... I'm talking about raising a glass to my fallen hero, my army angel up above. Honoring him in such a way, which is tradition in my family, is a wonderul thing to be a part of. I'm not doing it to fit in or feel better or because I have to. I'm doing it because after all he's done for me, I WANT to raise a shot of whiskey to the sky and thank him for letting me be a part of his life for the short four years I knew him.

That reason doesn't fall into any of your four categories and it is certainly NOT stupid! So please, do not try to say it fits into one of those categories or say that in your opinion it is stupid!

This is a discussion. Telling me to not continue this discussion simply so you can come out victorious in our debate is not respectful - you chose to continue this discussion with interesting points, and I have every right (and frankly, out of respect, and interest) to discuss it further. And as long as I don't call PEOPLE stupid, I don't see what's wrong with saying that SOME OPINIONS (which happen to be held by some people) are stupid. It's not my fault people hold the opinions they do, and I will judge opinions separately from the person that makes them. So, I mean this with the utmost respect: I will not stop thinking critically about this issue and presenting my points simply because you say I can't.

 

As for the reason you gave, that's External, and can be classified as both positive or negative. Positive in the sense that alcohol consumption is a sanctioned cultural event, supposedly because it makes social gatherings more enjoyable. And "raising a glass" because it is tradition is doing so because it makes social gatherings more enjoyable.

Negative in the sense that being left out of that type of tradition will produce negative feelings of social isolation, and maybe a sense of disrespect ("You DON'T want to honour this fallen man?" If you choose to forgo this tradition because you do not drink, you're seen as not honouring this person). Granted, your reasons seem more Positive-External, but no doubt for others in the same situation, Negative-External reasons can be motivating.

 

But this reason you give also touches on something really interesting - why do we raise a glass containing, specifically, an alcoholic beverage? Why not lemon juice? (I would say this is a Positive-External reason.) It's interesting that we make the argument from tradition, but frankly, it's an empty reason. Doing something because that's tradition can't hold up as a good rule to live life by, considering it has caused so much trouble in our history.

But more importantly, we need to think about WHY it is tradition - and I argue it is because of Positive-External reasons, and it is maintained through both Positive-External and Negative-external reasons.

 

Obviously, you're interested in our discussion (if nothing more than making me cry and beg for mercy as you mercilessly destroy me with arguments, which I respect ;) ) - otherwise, you wouldn't keep responding to my comments. But I'm weary of bringing very heavily emotion-laden content into this discussion, like honouring our dead loved ones. It's a fair point, absolutely, I think the point you made is GREAT! I'm concerned, however, that since I'm trying to keep this discussion objective and intellectual, my reduction of something you hold so dear to you is going to immediately be seen as my being insensitive, and that's not true. I respect loved ones who are gone, and I honour them in my thoughts, my prayers, and soon I will be visiting tombstones to honour them further. I'm not belittling the honouring of past loved ones - I just think the role of alcohol in this honouring warrants critical thought.

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Maybe the reason that basically every consumer of alcohol in this forum listed for drinking?

 

We like the way it tastes.

 

I spent 2 1/2 hours last night slowly sipping and greatly savoring 1 1/2 glasses of Haut Médoc, my favorite French wine. Drinking Haut Médoc is easily one of the top most exquisite flavor sensations I've ever had. In fact, the only other tasting experiences I've  had that were better were expensive meals at nice restaurants. And the best of those meals, in Bordeaux on Christmas Eve 2010, involved eight courses over three hours accompanied by four different kinds of wine described to us by the sommelier.

That's not what EVERYONE has said - that's an overgeneralization. BUT... that's a good point. BUT you could say the same kind of thing about marijuana, which tends to be more even in for-vs.-against. You could say the same thing about many things. What I see from almost everyone is a liking of how alcohol relaxes you, not the taste. I get is some people like the taste of alcohol (I personally would rather drink liquid elephant feces), but that doesn't seem to be the common denominator here.

 

Enjoying something is not bad. And maybe a glass of wine does not intoxicate you. But I think if anyone comes to the verge of even SLIGHT intoxication, they're making a mistake. I think too many consequences can come from intoxication - not necessarily immediate, and not necessarily for oneself - that it's simply not worth the enjoyment. Dancing can be enjoyable, and doesn't cause car crashes.  Playing cards can be enjoyable, and typically is not involved in domestic abuse.

It's an overgeneralization, certainly. But with some foundation to it. I think we should all put personal pleasure VERY LOW on our priority list, because I think preoccupation with pleasure interferes with meaning.

 

People might STICK with drinking because they like the taste. But I'd be hesitant to say that's the reason they started (for they wouldn't know its taste). I would say people are most likely to start drinking for positive/negative, internal/external reasons. If one says they started so they can "try something new", it raises the question - why was this something they wanted to try? My money's on External negative reasons, or vicariously experiencing External Positive reasons (i.e., seeing people have better times with alcohol than without).

 

These are my thoughts, not yours. I welcome your thoughts. As long as you're being respectful (which it seems like you have been - no complaints), I would love it for you to shoot me down! These discussions are fascinating, and they have rather profound implications. These are important, and FUN!

 

Your point was very intriguing, and is still challenging to my theories. Thanks! :D

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I understand what you are saying. However, I'm not sure that I understand your 'I can't say I'm right, but I can't say that it's all relative' statement. Don't you have to feel that you are absolutely right, and everyone else is wrong, OR believe that everyone has a view and yours is right FOR YOU.

 

I agree that judgment can be good or bad, but in most contexts it is applied as bad.

 

Also, just to let you know, sometimes I get frustrated when other are 'put down' even though I DO NOT do what they do. Tattoos, for instance. I know, not this thread, but just as an example. I don't think they are wrong, I just don't want any. So, the argument that we get defensive simply because someone tells us that something we partake in is wrong, does not always apply. Not to mention, that some things are ok for me, but not for others. The world is full of differences, and we are not ALL exactly the same.

 

So, is it wrong, in your personal opinion, for me to like to have a glass of wine once in a while simply because I like the taste and that it helps me relax just a bit? I am not hurting anyone by doing this, I'm not even out in the world... I'm with my mom and/or sister, or have a sip (once) with friends. Is it wrong that in this way, and because I have contemplated this part of myself for many many years... (What, like the last 20 years or so) and have realized that it's not bad in EVERY situation. I have also factored in my faith, too. That, if Jesus though it was ok to turn water to wine for a celebration, and His teachings of 'Everything in moderation', makes it ok for me to be ok with once in a while. As long as I don't abuse it. I don't have to agree with you, but I am curious. Given that I have given it this much thought, am I still inherently stupid? Am I still missing some fundamental truth in life? Mind you, it's ok if you think I am stupid in my thoughts. Just as it is ok for me to think you are wrong.

 

Ok, this sounds much harsher than I intended. It is mere curiosity. I don't care if you feel differently than me. I just want to understand what you are saying. I like to understand people. Not that I'll keep discussing it with you, or keep trying to understand you. lol I do have a point where I just realize that it's not going to happen. Just that I do like to TRY and understand what other people are thinking and I, clearly, don't understand you.

 

I do agree that we should take more responsibility for our own actions, and decisions. That we, too easily, do what 'feels good', and need to reflect on ourselves from the inside, more often. What I seem to differ on is that it's just that we are not always going to come to the same conclusions of what is ok, or 'stupid'.

For sure!!!! I think we're thinking sort of the same thing! :) You DO understand!!! :')

 

I say I can't say I'm right, because I know that, objectively speaking, I am a subject, and with my subjectivity comes biases, flaws, potential for error, and limited capacity through which I may seem the world. I believe my point to be the "right" point, but I know I have to say that with some hesitance.

 

I think there is somewhat of a moral valence to alcohol in general, and I don't believe it's person specific. I think drinking alcohol is a light moral wrong (what I would call an "irresponsibility" - it has the potential to produce negative consequences, and thus should be avoided, though it may not have immediate/direct consequences).

 

I REALLY appreciate your perspective, it's challenging to my absolutist moral view, and intellectual challenge is so important and fun. You're softening me a little bit... DARN YOU!!! :P

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Enjoying something is not bad. And maybe a glass of wine does not intoxicate you. But I think if anyone comes to the verge of even SLIGHT intoxication, they're making a mistake. I think too many consequences can come from intoxication - not necessarily immediate, and not necessarily for oneself - that it's simply not worth the enjoyment. Dancing can be enjoyable, and doesn't cause car crashes.

 

But pretty much anything people enjoy can have negative consequences, either for the self or for others. Dancing is actually a good example. If you dance carelessly, you can accidentaly hurt someone by hitting them or falling on them. And the people I know who dance professionally, or aspire to, have almost universally sustained some kind of horrible, life-long injury by their late teens/early 20s because of the strain that it puts on one's body.

 

So basically, it's not the activity, it's your personality, and your ability to moderate the activity that makes the difference. Even when I've gotten very drunk, I've *NEVER* thought it would be a good idea to get behind the wheel of a car. And my boyfriend becomes sweet and giggly when he drinks -- he has never gotten violent or aggressive at all. Heck, to use another one of your examples, I get WAY more surly and aggressive when I play cards (as I am very competitive and, admittedly, a sore loser) than when I drink. I've stopped playing cards all together because I don't like the aspect of my personality it brings out, but I continue to drink, because at most it makes me feel a little more talkative, and a little more sleepy.

 

 

People might STICK with drinking because they like the taste. But I'd be hesitant to say that's the reason they started (for they wouldn't know its taste).

 

I don't know how any food tastes before I try it: hence the age-old parenting philosophy of making their kids try at least one bite of a new food before allowing them to decide they don't like it. I first started drinking because I was fascinated by wine pairings, and I wanted to see if there was any legitimacy to the idea. That's the truth. It wasn't until years and years later that I started to drink with any intent of feeling intoxicated. I used to be very opposed to altering my consciousness in any way. Now, I'm OK with certain substances like alcohol and caffeine, that are non-addictive in most people (alcoholics are the exception, not the rule) and don't seriously affect your personality or perception of reality. 

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I don't drink, never have, and don't plan to.  For me it's less of a moral thing and more of a personal thing.  I don't believe that drinking wine in itself is sinful or anything, I just straight up have no interest.  I'm more of a sparkling juice, water and herbal tea kind of guy.

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