The Instigator
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Theunkown
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Alcohols use as a socially acceptbale narcotic should be banned forthwith

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/13/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,867 times Debate No: 60406
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (28)
Votes (2)

 

iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro

In this debate I propose that alcohol should be banned as a socially acceptable narcotic. To elaborate, this means no more drinking wine, beer, vodka etc.

I am not pushing for the termination of ethanol's use in research and medical related fields this is purely in the social sphere.

Definitions:
Narcotic: A class of substances that blunt the senses, and that in large quantities produce euphoria, stupor, or coma.
Alcohol: Ethanol (CH3CH2OH)
Banned: To make officially illegal.
Forthwith: Without delay i.e. as soon as possible.

I hope we can have a good debate. Any questions please ask in the comments.

Important: BOP is shared. This is something I say for all debates I instigate (as of 6/27/2014). It makes voters vote on what is presented and not look for a semantic reason to vote against or for someone.

Ideally, the BOP is on Pro, but its not possible to prove anything beyond doubt. So in effect if we are to apply BOP to any debate then Con automatically wins. By sharing BOP, I make the debate arguments open to a more rational non semantic vote. And I avoid the terrible "Lest I remind you BOP lies on Pro in this debate, and they have not met their BOP".



Theunkown

Con

I will not give an argument since Pro has not give one and we need to have equal number of rounds to debate.
I await his round 2 arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro


Thanks to Theunknown for taking this debate challenge. From past experience I know this will be a good challenge. Additionally, I would like to apologize for not writing in the proposition that first round is for acceptance. Thanks for letting it slide, I really appreciate it.



Before I begin my arguments, I want to say I have been handed a piece of gold i.e. a manuscript published yesterday in Nature. I just want everyone to know I am not an author of this manuscript and I did not know about this publication prior to staring this debate. I say this as it seems so timely as if I was setting my opponent up. Now onto the debate.


Help those who cant help themselves


We should strive to help people, I hope my opponent does not disagree with this. The problem is that some people are not able to help themselves. Recently, there was a study which showed that some people have risk profiles which means they will abuse alcohol if they are presented with the opportunity.(1) As such, surely as a responsible society we should help those that cannot help themselves. In fact the general conclusion of the manuscript is summed up well in the abstract where the authors say “These models were accurate and generalized to novel data, and point to life experiences, neurobiological differences and personality as important antecedents of binge drinking. ” This means some people are prone to abuse alcohol and they cannot help themselves, and the only way to help is to make it impossible to obtain alcohol.


Now, someone may argue that everyone should be able to choose how they want to live your life. But is this true when the person is not actually making the choice as this study points out. This is similar to saying a depressed patient should be allowed to commit suicide, even when clearly any depressed patient who has recovered due to intervention will tell you they are greatly pleased that they got helped.



If we follow the line of reasoning that anyone should be allowed to do anything they want in their life, then we need to accept anything. That means allowing people to make incorrect decisions when under the influence of alcohol, such as driving, committing suicide, murdering or fighting. Should we be allowing people in our society to act irresponsibly when they are not making the choice as they are genetically unable to be responsible for themselves.



Alcohol is as dangerous as Heroin or Cocaine


No one will deny the negative effects of Heroin or Cocaine use, as these drugs are known to be highly addictive and very dangerous so much so that they are classified as schedule 1 and 2 respectively.(2) However, a study published in the Lancet showed that alcohol is totally more hazardous than both Heroin and Cocaine on society and a personal level.(3) Additionally, it was shown that alcohol is more harmful on a personal level than Amphetamine, Cocaine, Anabolic steroids, Ketamine and LSD among others. This is interesting as the negative health effects of Ketamine, Anabolic steroids etc are very well documented.(4,5)


Effects of prohibition versus legalized consumption


The question will surely arise that y banning alcohol we will just be driving the market underground. Yes, this will happen probably like it happened during Prohibition. However, lets be honest drug abuse sky rockets when it is legal compared to when it is illegal as we have seen in the case of Marijuana use in Colorado “daily use was more common in Colorado: 23 percent of them reported consuming marijuana 26 to 31 times a month, compared to a national rate of 17 percent.”.(6) Remarkably, the legalization of Marijuana in Colorado has lead to a decrease in teen use. But, as they are outside the law it shows that by prohibiting drug use for teens (i.e. more effective control) the rates of abuse decrease.(7) As such, all the modern (and hence relevant) evidence shows that by limiting the availability, i.e. banning, of alcohol we will in effect be reducing its consumption.



Closing Remarks



In closing, there is another option to pursue naturally, but one that is way more ineffective and unfair in my opinion. Every person has to get screened for markers to determine abuse chances and then they get labeled either as a user or non-user. This is impractical and expensive, the best goal would be to protect everyone from the chance of abuse and stop alcohol use outright. Additionally, the risk factors pointed out are not the only possible reason for abuse and as such someone could become an abuser due to a life crises.(8) As such an alcohol abuser could still pass the genetic screening, however still end up causing damage to themselves and society at large.(9)



In this round I have shown there are very valid reasons to stop alcohol consumption as it is prone to abuse, and is in fact extremely harmful on a personal and societal level.



I now hand the debate over to my opponent for opening statements.



(1) http://www.nature.com...



(2) http://www.justice.gov...


(3) http://www.sg.unimaas.nl...


(4) http://www.drugabuse.gov...


(5) http://www.drugabuse.gov...


(6) http://www.forbes.com...
(7) http://www.thedailychronic.net...


(8) http://www.mayoclinic.org...


(9) http://www.cdc.gov...



Theunkown

Con

*Quotes from Pro are italicized and underlined*

Economy

Already in the global financial crisis, many countries have a high unemployment rate such as spain, bosnia and greece[1] with more than a quarter (bosnia is close to a 1/2) the people unemployed.

Banning alcohol will lead to loss of the many jobs of people working with or closely with the alcohol sector. From the wine company's executive to the grape farmer whose grapes are essential for wine, all socio-economic classes will be affected from the prohibition of alcohol.


Governments will also lose tax revenue. [3]


Prohibition vs legalized consumption

Pro says that the US state of Colorado saw an increase in consumption of marijuana when it became legalized. How can this be measured for when it is illegal? Do people tell the researchers they are breaking the law? How can the number of users be properly measured if the substance is illegal



Freedom of Choice

If we follow the line of reasoning that anyone should be allowed to do anything they want in their life, then we need to accept anything. That means allowing people to make incorrect decisions when under the influence of alcohol, such as driving, committing suicide, murdering or fighting.


Reasonable laws worldwide state that driving under alcohol's influence is illega despite the fact that most countries do have legal alcohol.
Pro's argument is under the premise that denying people the liberty of drinking what they want to provide security from being alcoholic (which most drinkers do not become). As Benjamin Franklin said, "Any society that would give a little liberty to gain a little security, will deserve neither and lose both". This quote is true in this context.

If you plan to give the liberty to drink alcohol with the intention to gain the security from alcoholics and the risk of being subject to alcoholism yourself, you will lose both the liberty of drinking what you want and you will lose security.

Why will you lose security? My next point discusses this.



Effects of Prohibition.

Alcohol will still be made and sold during a prohibition and just like drug cartels there will be 'alcohol cartels'. Gangsters like the infamous Al Capone are a good example of what will hapen if alcohol is prohibited. The so-called war on drugs is doing terribly, we do not want a war on alcohol as well. This is not security.

To make matters worse, the illegal alcohol has no government regulation, so there is a chance that it is hazardous to health. This is not security.[2]
Common people who love a refreshing beer will be turned into outlaws just to have the freedom to drink what they want. This is not security


"Criminal organizations will mostly profit from prohibition and, that in return, will promote other illegal activities. And that will organize criminal organizations even more."[2]
This is defenitely not security




Victimless crime:

Those who turn out to become alcoholics moslty only affect themselves. It can be argued that Alcoholics affect the people around them, but then the people can just leave their company if they so wish. If its affecting them so badly then they can just leave. Nobody is forcing them to stay around them. As for drunk driving, you can put stricter laws on that.






Sources:

[1] http://www.ilo.org...

[2] http://www.lessonpaths.com...;

[3] http://prezi.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro


Thanks to my opponent for their opening statements. In this round I plan to rebut the arguments presented as effectively as possible while asserting my position. Although the re-assertion of my position will only be done where there is overlap between our respective arguments.



Economy



My opponent has a valid and logical argument regarding job losses if the alcohol industry is shut down. To deny this is argument is absurd and so I will not contest it. However, I will point out that by placing this job loss we are effectively placing a monetary value on a life. While a person who may be unemployed for a while may suffer short term, a person incapacitated due to alcohol (alcoholism or hospital/death due to an alcohol related accident) suffers a far larger monetary loss. This monetary loss can be calculated in terms of loss of family, employment opportunities, time in jail etc which all have a negative effect on society and personally that is far greater than the loss of a job which can be replaced.



Economies change to fit the supply and demand. The fact that economies are failing is due to bad economic decisions which did not follow basic supply and demand rules. i.e. loaning money when there is no money to loan, or loaning money when a person cannot pay it back is not a good economic strategy. As such the disappearance of the alcohol market for the common good will result in a new business as there is more disposable income available to spend



As for governments losing revenue, I think thats a false argument. As most taxes from sin tax go towards partly paying for the negative health effects of said “sin”.(1,2) As such by removing the “sin” the tax is not needed as it was there to fill the gap. Also we should realize that states or government using sin tax to make up budget deficits are in fact going against the initial idea of sin tax and thereby are acting unfairly towards people that want to drink or eat donuts. By erasing this sin tax the government will effectively have to act fairly towards all its citizens.



Prohabition vs leagalized consumption



To answer Cons question. Yes, people do tell the questionnaires that they are breaking the law by participating in marijuana use. I think its important to realize this information is confidential. In the same way that you can tell your lawyer you murdered someone and they cannot report it to the police, its confidential.(3)



Freedom of choice and Effects of Prohibition



My opponent has pointed out that prohibition will likely lead to Al Capone style gangs as happened during the Prohibition years. My personal opinion is that I do not believe this is true, as the statistics show that murders due to organized crime stay the same regardless of police activity (pg 54 of source 4). As such there is no reason to believe that prohibition will create a less safe society if anything society will stay the same or get safer. I believe societies will get safer as international crime statistics are showing a general decrease with time (page 15, 16, 72 of source 5) while policing is becoming more efficient (pg 92 and chapter 6 source 5).



Regarding government control. It is important that my opponent needs to show that alcohol is in fact safe enough to be government controlled. This will be difficult when it should be noted that the lethal dosage of alcohol is more dangerous than that of heroin, cocaine, LSD or marijuana (see pg 4 of source6).



Victimless Crime



In my previous round I have provided sufficient evidence that shows that alcohol is anything but a victimless crime. In fact according to my citations its verified that alcohol has a very negative societal effect. In contrast all my opponent has done is made an assertion that alcohol is safe, this assertion I (and voters should) refuse to accept without proof.



Now I hand the debate back to my opponent to refute my arguments.



(1) http://www.investopedia.com...


(2) http://mercatus.org...


(3) http://www.sgrlaw.com...


(4) http://www.unodc.org...


(5) http://www.unodc.org...


(6) http://www.americanscientist.org...


Theunkown

Con

Economy

While a person who may be unemployed for a while may suffer short term
When the demand of grapes for alcohol production reduces, the grape farmers will suffer immensly and it will not be short term either.
Due to monetary issues, many farmers in Inida commit suicide, more than 290 thousand farmers have committed suicide since 1995[1]. Who is to say that a similar situation cannot happen in a country where alcohol is prohibited, especially where wine is a popular alcoholic beverage.

As such the disappearance of the alcohol market for the common good will result in a new business as there is more disposable income available to spend
And that disposable income will be used to buy unregulated, illegal and hence, far more dangerous alcohol.


Prohabition vs leagalized consumption

Yes, people do tell the questionnaires that they are breaking the law by participating in marijuana use.
I doubt every single marijuana user would tell the truth during the time where marijuana was illegal. I would not tell the truth if I were them, neither would many people.


Freedom of choice and Effects of Prohibition

Pro says that Al Capone style gangs will not happen since the statistics show that murders due to organized crime stay the same regardless of police activity
Police activity? What does that have to do wiht anything? This needs clarification.
What Pro fails to realize is that instead of honest alcohol businessmen making money, the alcohol 'cartel' and gangesters will be the one making money in the event of a prohibition

Regarding government control. It is important that my opponent needs to show that alcohol is in fact safe enough to be government controlled.
Safe enough to be government controlled? That does not make any sense.

it should be noted that the lethal dosage of alcohol is more dangerous than that of heroin, cocaine

But how many people actually take the lethal amount of alcohol? Almost every person who drinks does not drink a lethal amount. If Alcohol is so dangerous and deadly, why then do people take it, fully educated of its deadly affects? Simple, because they prefer shorter lives of intoxicated paradise. Who are we to decide that for them?

Should we increase the education about alcohol's so called deadly affects? yes, should we ban it? no.


Why was the United States prohibiton [of alcohol] act repealed?

What we need to realize is that the United States of America did have such a prohibition of alcohol for 5 years. The fact that they chose to repeal such a prohibition itself shows that it was not such a good idea. An excerpt from a quote below by a 1925 US Journalist sufficiently summarises why the prohibition act was repealed.

"None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater."[2]

Even people who supported the prohibition initially came to oppose it since they found the act to be detrimental more than beneficial to society


Alcohol has health benefits

Beleive it or not, alcohol has health benefits provided you take it in moderation[3],
a) It may reduce your chance of getting diabetes
b) it reduces your chance of stroke
c) it reduces the development of heart disease.

Infact everything edible has health benefits in moderation but health detriments in extremities. Perhaps we should ban burgers and french fries because of the growing obesity problem which leads to heart disease, stroke and diabetes which are coincidentially the things that alcohol helps with!


Victimless crime

In my previous round I have provided sufficient evidence that shows that alcohol is anything but a victimless crime
Yes, such as drunk driving. But then again put more stricter laws on that. As far as home abuse in concerned, the person being abused can leave the presence of the drunk abuser and go to the police

In contrast all my opponent has done is made an assertion that alcohol is safe, this assertion I (and voters should) refuse to accept without proof.
I did give proof (i will cite the source again[4]).

Just because some people who drink alcohol become drunk drivers and abusers and at times kill people, does not mean that prohibition is the best solution.
Is banning Islam to prevent terrorism or banning christianity to prevent homophobic abuse and bombing of abortion clinics viable solutions? There are some muslims, christians and other religions who take the extreme side. This does not mean that that religion should be banned. Likewise Alcohol should not be outright banned anywhere in the world.



Sources:

[1]http://www.nytimes.com...;

[2]http://www2.potsdam.edu...;

[3]http://www.mayoclinic.org...;

[4]http://www.philforhumanity.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
iamanatheistandthisiswhy

Pro


Thanks to my opponent for a fun debate. I do believe however, that my opponent has not proven their position as multiple assumptions are made. I would like to lay out these assumptions before I reiterate my case.



Assumptions



My opponent has assumed that grape farmers will commit suicide as they will suffer immensely. However, this dismisses the fact that grapes are not only used for wines, but also as table food and in dried fruit/jam. Additionally, to make this jump to the case in India is a false argument as the India case has a lot to do with over lending from dubious money lenders and the opening of markets to global competition. This comparison is a false analogy as it has nothing to do with their crops not having use, it has to do with crops not been able to be sold.



Again my opponent assumes the disposable income will be used to buy illegal alcohol. This could be valid if my opponent can refute my arguments made for a stronger more efficient police forces and dropping crime rates. In fact my opponent needs to show that police are becoming more inefficient and the crime rate is growing which would be counter to the evidence presented so far in this debate.



Regarding whether Marijuana users tell the truth. I think this makes sense as how would the statistics be gathered if they did not? My opponent has only been able to make an assumption that users will not tell the truth.



In the last round my opponent asks me to expand on the point of what do I mean by more police activity. This means a more efficient police forces which translates into a drop in crime as the statistics provided show. This also means that the correlation to Prohibition and organized crime is flawed. In the wold today as I pointed out in the previous round crime is decreasing, violent crime is decreasing and organized crime is decreasing. There is no rational reason to expect an increase in crime with the prohibition of alcohol.



Regarding the comment by my opponent that “perhaps we should ban burgers and french fries because of the growing obesity problem”, perhaps we can debate that at another point in the future as this is not the topic under debate at present.



Lastly, my opponent creates an analogy between extremists in Islam and Christianity as being the same as alcoholics or alcohol abusers. I do not think this analogy is justified as religion is a psychological issue and alcoholism/dependence/abuse is a genetic issue. As such this analogy fails to make its impact and I would like voters to remember that in their decision and not be swayed by an emotional plea.




My Case



While my opponent likes to draw parallels between Prohibition and organized crime/illegal alcohol as the only outcome of banning of alcohol, he has no addressed any of the arguments which I have presented in both my previous rounds. For example he has not adressed the fact that there are factors that are beyond the control of most people that drive them into alcoholism and we should protect them. This means these people are not displaying free will (free choice) as my opponent would have you believe. In fact, my opponent refuses to consider that alcohol in fact has dramatic effects not just on a personal level but a large societal impact.



This impact is important to consider when I have shown using various studies that alcohol has been shown to be more harmful than both heroin and cocaine. Additionally, I have shown that alcohols lethal dosage is lower than that for heroin, cocaine and Marijuana. My opponent just brushes this off by saying “but alcohol is good for you ….It may reduce your chance of getting diabetes …... it reduces your chance of stroke…..it reduces the development of heart disease.. ” which is fine but as I said in the opening statement this debate excludes the prohibition of alcohol in research and medical related fields. Additionally, my opponent has to preface his statement by saying alcohol “in moderation” which is a problem as I have pointed out as some people are unable to drink alcohol in moderation. Its these situations of not drinking in moderation which create the societal and personal problems I have explained.



My opponent has also dropped my argument against sin tax and equality, maybe it will get addressed in the last round.



In closing when my opponent says “Just because some people who drink alcohol become drunk drivers and abusers and at times kill people, does not mean that prohibition is the best solution. ” Then my opponent surely has to push for the legalization of any substance that people want to use even if we know said substance is extremely harmful as only “some” people will abuse it. This is absurd, as a society we are meant to care not only for society in general but also individuals.



I once again thank my opponent for a fun debate and hand the debate over for the final time.



Theunkown

Con

Grape Farmers

The possibility of suicide definetely increases as grape farmers have far less income, and they will find it hard to pay any loans that they may have. Although grapes have other uses, a prohibition of alcohol will still lead to lower demand of grapes and thus, grape farmers will suffer significant losses.
Many farmers will not be able sell their produce and make their daily bread if there is lower demand.



Disposable income and illegal alcohol

my opponent assumes the disposable income will be used to buy illegal alcohol. This could be valid if my opponent can refute my arguments made for a stronger more efficient police forces and dropping crime rates. In fact my opponent needs to show that police are becoming more inefficient and the crime rate is growing

I do not see why I need to prove that the police are becomming more inefficient and that the crime rate is growing in our timeline. I am merely saying that crime will increase and disposable income of alcoholics will be used to buy illegal alcohol. All Pro says is that since the crime rate is currently dropping, this will not be a problem.
In a timeline with alcohol prohibition the crime rate will rise and disposable income will be used in illegal alcohol. This is only a matter of history repeating itself.


Marijuana users

My opponent has only been able to make an assumption that users will not tell the truth.

And it is a very reasonable assumption, is it not? I would not tell some random people who claim to be surveyors that I break the law.


Police activity and crime

In the wold today as I pointed out in the previous round crime is decreasing, violent crime is decreasing and organized crime is decreasing. There is no rational reason to expect an increase in crime with the prohibition of alcohol.

The quality of the United States police did not drop all of a sudden when the Prohibition act was issued. Likewise, the US police quality did not rise all of a sudden when the act was repealed.

Maybe since the police forces in the modern day are more efficient, perhaps crime will be less of a problem compared to the Prohibition era in the US. But there will still be a significant rise in crime.


Fast Food - Obesity analogy

“perhaps we should ban burgers and french fries because of the growing obesity problem”, perhaps we can debate that at another point in the future as this is not the topic under debate at present.

This is completely relevant to the topic. As I am making a comparison of banning alcohol to banning burgers and french fries. I simply stated that pro's suggestion to ban alcohol to solve drunk driving is akin to banning fast food to solve obesity.


Religion- Extremism analogy

Again, this analogy is completely relevant and justified. But more interestingly Pro actually hurts his case in this rebuttal since he mentions that alcohol dependence is a genetic issue. So, isn't banning alcohol akin to torture in a way?

The alcoholic needs alcohol due to a genetic issue, it cannot be solved. It is wrong to deny the person what he/she needs. Furthermore, if it is a genetic issue, then prohibition will not solve it, but will force the alcoholic to satisfy his needs by any means necessary (alcohol gangs and cartels).

If alcoholism is a genetic and unsolvable issue, then Prohibition of alcohol will make criminalism a genetic and unsolvable issue.


Pro's case rebuttals

the fact that there are factors that are beyond the control of most people that drive them into alcoholism and we should protect them


That factor is that alcoholism is genetic as pro himself said. I discussed above that said alcoholics will satisfy their needs even if it means becoming a criminal. After all, it is in their nature.


This means these people are not displaying free will (free choice) as my opponent would have you believe.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, has free will when it comes to genetics. But satisfying the urge to drink alcohol is free will and it should not be denied to anybody.


my opponent refuses to consider that alcohol in fact has dramatic effects not just on a personal level but a large societal impact.

I did consider it and I agreed to it. However, I also said that those who do not want to deal with the alcoholic do not have to. If your spouse is an alcoholic and you really cannot tolearate life with said spouse, then get a divorce. I doubt my opponent even read my arguments properly


Additionally, my opponent has to preface his statement by saying alcohol “in moderation” which is a problem as I have pointed out as some people are unable to drink alcohol in moderation

Some people are unable to drink in moderation, logically, they are even more unable to stop drinking alcohol all together.
Prohibtion of alcohol will force such people to smuggle alcohol, fight alcohol wars similar to drug wars, join former alcohol business owners and make gangs. etc etc

Not only will the abusers continue to take illegal alcohol (which is more dangerous as disscused earlier) but the people who drink in moderation will be denied the health benefits of alcohol.


Conclusion

This debate is essentially history repeating itself. Pro is just like many of Americans who supported the 1920's prohibition based on the very same reasons Pro states in the debate. Once the prohibition act was passed, the majority who supported the act switched sides.

Prior to US prohibition, it may have been a good idea to ban alcohol and was a good topic of debate, just like it is now. But when it actually happens, soon enough everyone will regret it just like in the 1920's let us not repeat history's mistakes and no, a more efficient police force will not deter people with genetic issues to stop taking alcohol one way or another.


"Any society that would give a little liberty to gain a little security, will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin
Debate Round No. 4
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tknapp863 2 years ago
tknapp863
Personally, I hate alcohol. I think it's one of the most dangerous controlled substances in the world and its use should be discouraged. However, we are all humans and we all have to live in this world and for some the only way to stay sane is to relax with a few drinks in the safety of their own home or to socialize with like minded individuals at a bar. While it would never be my choice to get drunk, a responsible adult should be allowed to do as they choose. If someone infringes on the rights of another or hurts someone else, we should not blame the drug but the person on the drug themselves. They chose to drink and drive, now they should live with the consequence. The thing that sticks out most to me is that every adult should have the right to choose. For me personally I would have killed myself a long time ago without marijuana, even though it is illegal where I live. I'm quite sure there are people who feel the same way about alcohol use. Making alcohol illegal will not make the world safer, it will just fall on criminals like Al Capone to brew their own alcohol and smuggle it from place to place. Making its use illegal will not stop people from drinking alcohol so any one who believes in prohibition is sadly mistaken. While I do believe there should be a drug/alcohol free society that people can choose to live in, there should also be somewhere that responsible adults can enjoy their drug of choice safely because there will always be people who enjoy using drugs.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
Yeah, it's easier arguing for a tobacco ban than it is for a ban on alcohol, tbh. It's more difficult to claim that smoking harms others, and it's a simpler system of detection for enforcement (without a historical basis for harm), not to mention that electronic cigarettes present a decent alternative that satisfies the nicotine problem. I'd say it's a more even argument.
Posted by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
@whiteflame: Thanks for the comments.

Honestly, I was interested in debating proposition to test the water as such. I don't drink for health reasons and find it amazing that people are all for banning cigarettes and other things like trans fat but are so hesitant to ban alcohol. It seems like serious cognitive dissonance to me based purely on health aspects. Maybe using Cons arguments I can start a pro tobacco argument next :)
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
...Alright, so sorry for not posting them in reverse order... only realized after I posted the first one that I should have done that. Also, note that Parts 7 and 8 are actually parts 6 and 7, as part 6 isn't listed in the current grouping. So it's only a 7 part RFD. Not long enough.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 8)

3. Effects of Prohibition

There's a lot of strong possible arguments under here, but only as a group are they really powerful, and that's mainly due to a lack of elucidation.

The increase in crime is definitely something to fear. Pro's argument that law enforcement has gotten better tacks this back a bit, but realistically this is still a big problem. The links to show that should have been made obvious, but they really weren't. People are alcoholics in status quo. That craving doesn't decrease post-prohibition. Ergo, they will do anything to get alcohol. Criminal organizations capitalize on that desire, make tremendous amounts of money, build huge underground enterprises. Sure, law enforcement may be better, but so are the criminal organizations themselves. Making more criminals of the people who are addicted to drinking alcohol and need their fix doesn't help either, especially if the case is made for why taking these criminal actions make them more likely to commit other criminal acts.

I buy that drinking illegal alcohol, unregulated by the FDA, presents a problem, but again, evidence could have been provided and clarified.

Lacking all that, I still buy that there's a significant harm here.

Conclusion:

At this point, you might be able to see my problem. If I'm basing it off of harms to alcoholics and those in their immediate vicinity, Pro is winning this, though not by a lot. On the other hand, if I look at the broader community of all drinkers, Con's winning that there's a small but significant harm to them. The benefit is greater for a smaller number of people, but the harm has a wider range of effect.

For me, what it comes down to is what's more assured. I get enough evidence from Pro to believe that it's more likely that his impacts will play out as he says they will. Without seeing similar evidence from Con, my vote goes to Pro.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 7)

Pro is telling me that alcohol is harmful to these people specifically in a higher manner than for others. Con is telling me that banning alcohol is uniquely harmful to these people and pushes them towards criminal activity. I can see both arguments, and though I'm giving a bit more weight to Pro's, Con's manages to do a lot of damage to a very central argument here.

Strong arguments:

1. Effects of prohibition vs. legalized consumption

I hesitate to put this under strong arguments because I didn't view it as all that powerful from the outset. However, the lapse in responses from Con has pushed it up to this level. Pro tells me that there will be a significant decrease in usage that results from prohibition, and given that he's the only one that presents evidence on this front, I buy that argument. Con's rebuttal that the survey was flawed is reasonable, but never gets the support it needs to defeat this argument. Yes, it is plausible that people lied to the survey takers in order to shield themselves from legal action, but given that the surveys were kept confidential, I need more than just "they were scared for reprisal" as the reasoning. Hence, I agree with Pro that alcohol usage will decrease.

2. Dangers of Alcohol

This was a stronger point, but realistically it's solely an argument of impact, and it could have been made better, especially since Con conceded that it's true. I've seen quite a few charts on this, and there are a lot of good ways this could have been framed. The capacity to overdose is certainly one of those, but it's not a lot by itself. Effects on society at large are the really big problem with alcohol, and if Pro had spent more time there, this could have been massively important. As it is, this is just a strong-ish argument.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 5)

The second problem is that he understates what they did. They didn't just look search for a genetic problem that correlated with dependency on alcohol, they looked at about 40 variables to predict this. Generally, this makes the study appear more straightforward than it actually is, and it makes it seem like there's a large portion of the population that has this problem. But I can't tell, from reading what I can see on the topic, how many people fit into this group. Lacking that, it's difficult for me to say what impact comes of this.

The third problem is that Pro never actually states why people need to be protected from themselves. I'd really need to buy that this paper is showing that many people would just become zombies who couldn't make a rational decision upon seeing a bottle of beer, which doesn't appear to be what the paper proves, in order to buy this point hook, line and sinker. It seems to me that this combination of traits only increases the likelihood that drinking will become an addictive practice for them. We don't know how many drinks it will take, nor do we know if they'll ever even drink at all. So the question remains by the end of this position " why should they be protected from an activity they would still choose to engage in, even if it's only choosing to drink their first beer? There are reasons why one might argue that, but I don't see that here

The last problem is Con's turn. Now, the turn only comes in the final round, though it's a response to a given statement from Pro, so I can at least include it (if not as strongly as it should have been). Con argues that these people will be criminalized. Not quite all the links are there (e.g. some of these people will have gotten addicted before the ban, many will get some level of access after the ban, and therefore will have to feed their addictive habit), but the point stands as important.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 4)

2. Economics

This should have been HUGE, but it wasn't. I buy that many farmers will be put out of work, and that wineries will close, though the loss here is never quantified (it wouldn't be all that hard " just look up the number of people employed by wineries). The loss to tax revenue just seems like a small issue since it's never impacted.

When I saw this position, I thought it would be blown up tremendously. Areas like Napa and Sonoma in California have economies that are almost solely dependent on the wine industry and the resulting tourism. Closing down their wineries, or even just turning their production towards grapes for general consumption, would absolutely sink them, leaving ghost towns behind. The beer market is also huge, and every single brewery would have to be closed. Many of the top restaurants in the country are frequented based on a large collection of fine wines and imported beers " these would be hit very hard as well. Bars across the country would have to shut their doors or become speakeasies. The impact here is huge, and you don't need suicides as an impact to make this tremendous.

So I buy that there will be some level of loss, and that suicides may occur to some small extent, but this position is just too small to factor in tremendously.

3. Help those who can't help themselves

I know that this is what Pro built much of his argumentation on, but I'm having trouble with it. For one, I can't access the whole article. It would have been better to provide a link to a page like this that provides some explanation of how they went about it than just to show the abstract:

http://www.sciencedaily.com...
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

5. Victimless crime

This argument was a poor one to provide. At best, this just mitigates Pro's position, stating that the only people harmed are the drinkers themselves. I buy Pro's rebuttal that alcohol as a societal effect, but this argument really should have been more powerfully linked. Think about it " how many families are broken up as a result of alcoholic parents? How many drunk driving accidents exist? Alcoholics Anonymous exists for a reason. Peoples' lives are ruined, and they drag many others down with them in a lot of instances. Without seeing all of this, I can only buy that it's a societal impact, and therefore that each alcoholic affects more than just themselves, though I have little idea of what the magnitude of that spread is.

6. Appeal to Authority

Con states in R3 that many of those who initially supported prohibition turned against it with time. I understand why this argument was provided, but it does little to help his point. The reasons given in the quote are really what help, as they establish a series of problems that were associated with prohibition, but they're mainly just restatements of his other points. It just doesn't do a lot for Con beyond establishing a little stronger of a historical basis for what might happen.

Middling Arguments:

1. Health benefits

This seems like a decent point, but it's very difficult to weigh in the round, untouched as it is. This is a good example of what I was talking about initially " I don't know how to pit this against drunk driving accidents and overdosing. I need some idea of what moderation looks like, how many people engage in moderate drinking (you often assert that it's far more than are alcoholics, but without evidence), and how long their lifespans are likely extended by. Without all that, this just comes off as a minor, if broad, impact.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

However, the last two sentences here, regarding what happens when prohibition starts for these people, is important. I'll get to it as I go further.

3. The "sin" tax

Much as I thought this was an interesting point, it just never weighs much in the debate. Governmental fairness seems like an easy point for Con to turn, though he doesn't do it, as one could easily argue that it is lost when the population is denied access to a simple pleasure like alcohol by their government. The idea that paying a little more out of pocket to purchase that alcohol is less fair than the loss of that alcohol altogether seems absurd to me. But given that that argument wasn't made, and that fairness is never weighed within the debate, I simply discard this argument.

4. Freedom of Choice

I know where Con was going with this argument, but it just came out weakly without much in the way of links. It really doesn't match up to the title (I'd like to have seen some arguments on why people should be able to make the decision to drink, as most people do), and the loss to liberty is something that's inherent to the resolution. Really, this is only meant to be a lead-in to arguments regarding what happens to crime following implementation. That doesn't do much for your argument.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
iamanatheistandthisiswhyTheunkown
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by ThatChristianGuy 3 years ago
ThatChristianGuy
iamanatheistandthisiswhyTheunkown
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: From what is presented to the audience, it is clear that the dangers of alcohol far outweigh the benefits. The argument by con of "an ordinary guy wanting to have a refreshing beer" is like saying "an ordinary guy wanting to have a refreshing heroin shot". I find it appalling that con would show such little value for human life.