[ExI] playing psychologist

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Mon Aug 27 12:58:28 UTC 2018

I wrote:

>What is the difference between those drugs and 
>alcohol? Too many irresponsible people ruin 
>their own lives, and the lives of their spouses and children.

Will Steinberg replied:

>Sorry, but you don't understand.
>Should we make it legal to own nuclear 
>bombs?  How about .50 caliber machine guns?  Or, 
>what about sarin?  Sell it at 7/11?
>The issue of legalization is a complicated one, 
>and I used to lean towards the 'legalize 
>everything' viewpoint, but it is a silly, 
>pie-in-the-sky teenage anarchist dream.  Murder 
>isn't legal.  Some things--like murder--SHOULD 
>be illegal; I think most of us would agree on that.

You're changing the subject to a strawman. I made 
a direct comparison between two different 
categories of ingested substances. One that is 
legal and ruins or ends far more lives than the ones that are illegal.

>Heroin, meth, and crack are very dangerous to 
>have around a normal population, sorry to say.

So are cars. So is alcohol. Especially the 
combination. And we make it legal for people to 
manufacture, sell, possess, and use both 
products. We constrain who can, based primarily 
on age. We recognize that the combination is a 
danger point, and are tough on people who use them both at the same time.

Heroin per se—i.e., sans adulterants—is, AFIAK, 
safer and less addictive than tobacco. I've heard 
for at least forty years the accounts of people 
who were addicted to both, who said smoking was much harder to quit.

Meth is prescribed in the US as a Class II 
pharmaceutical. Heroin is prescribed in the UK as 
a Class A drug.  It is particularly used for 
palliative care of terminal patients there, and 
certainly should be permitted for that use in the US.

Now, you haven't mentioned cocaine (also Class 
II). Are you okay with its joining marijuana or 
do you see it as an implicit precursor to crack?

>I don't believe they should be legal, and I also 
>believe I have more experience with the matter than you do.

Appeal to authority is also a fallacious 
argument. And "trust me, I know more" makes it even more fallacious.

If you know more, then stick to the subject and 
argue with evidence and rigor. Everyone here is 
smart, numeric, and capable of rigor.

In *my* experience—discussing the merits of SDI 
with the inventor of the hydrogen bomb, the 
merits of bridge vs. chess with a world champion, 
the mass production of observational spacecraft 
with an eminent space scientist, etc.—actual 
experts can make their case. And don't mind doing 
so with someone who is civil, intelligent, and genuinely interested.

>   Not to be overly critical, but legalizing 
> everything ever is a nebulous and dangerous viewpoint.

And it's not one I advanced. You did.

-- David.

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