Atheists only: Answer this question about smoking and atheism.

Sapient
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Atheists only: Answer this question about smoking and atheism.

If an atheist smokes cigarettes...

Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Is it something else altogether?

Do you even cherish your life? Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

I have my own opinions here, however I think this thread could illustrate to our audience how we view the world. It could show them how logic works, how philosophy works. This thread is featured in here, and this is the only halfway decent argument she had. So feel free to let her know what you think about this, she'll probably see it... talk slowly.

This thread is in the freethinkers forum. We don't allow theists to post in this particular forum, as it's our escape from a world with the logically challenged. Theists, feel free to read on, and create a thread in atheist vs theist about it.

- Brian Sapient


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I don't see the point of

I don't see the point of smoking. You willfully addict yourself to nicotine, spend your money on something completely unproductive merely for an image of being a smoker.

 I wouldn't say that it contradicts living life to the fullest since it is an experience.  Never having been a smoker I'm not aware of the potential world of exotic flavors.  However any potential greatness of the smoker universe is offset by seeing people scrounging through ashtrays for half used smokes to satisfy their addiction because they can't afford the $5 a pack.

Then we can add that the money goes into the coffers of the Republican party as the tobacco lobby favors the Republican party so it propels the influence of the Christian right in Washington. 


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Sapient wrote: If an

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest? Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live? Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment? Is it something else altogether? Do you even cherish your life? Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

My answers to the questions are:  No, no, no, maybe, yes, yes.

Smoking is an addictive habit - worse than some habits, not as bad as others.  With all we know about it, smokers take a calculated risk by smoking.  The same calculated risk commuters take everyday driving to and from work.  The bottom line is that it is an individual risk and no one else's business.  Given the genetics in my family, smoking will hardly make a dent in my overall health.  Then again it might.  Then again, I could die Monday morning on my way to work.  Then again, I could die tonight from a brain aneurysm.  Knowing that, I do cherish my life and live it to the fullest. 

 

 


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Quote: Does that mean the

Quote:
Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

Define "loving life to the fullest." Does that mean, "Living as long as possible" or "Gaining the most subjective pleasure vs. time alive" or simply "Gaining as much pleasure as possible, despite shortening one's life significantly."

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

Why would it? The whole question presumes that living as long as possible is the only possible goal for someone who believes in only one life.

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

If you could choose between 5 years of absolute bliss and 10 years of abject misery, you'd probably choose the five years, right? So it makes sense that smokers who know that they are shortening their lives have made a decision that they cherish smoking more than longevity, right?

Quote:
Is it something else altogether?

I'd say so. Many things can shorten our lives: Overeating. Additives in foods. Air pollution. Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, trusting that our parachute will open. Boxing. Bungee jumping. Driving cars.

Everyone makes decisions every day as to whether things are worth the risk. It's called cost-benefit analysis. Think of it like an economy. If you live in Maine, lobster is really cheap. You can eat lobster every day if you like. You won't come close to breaking the budget.  But, if you live in Nebraska and want lobster, you better be prepared to part with a lot of your hard earned money. Or, maybe you don't like lobster, and you think it's stupid to spend that much, whether you're in Maine or Nebraska.

Well, everybody's right. If you don't like lobster, don't spend $10, or $75 on it. Spend your money on something you like. If you really like to smoke, smoke. You're spending years of your life, but that's what you've decided you value more -- just like when you spend $75 (part of your life, if you have a job!) on lobster.

Quote:
Do you even cherish your life? Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

Yes. I cherish my life, and I try to experience everything I can to make myself and those around me as happy as possible. Thanks for asking.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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What is death to a typical

What is death to a typical atheist?

 

What do we think will happen to us after death?  I’ve thought about this quite a bit.

 

As an atheist, believing that I will not exist beyond my body, what will it really matter if I live to be 112 fat and happy or die miserably at the age of 17? 

 

One second after I die, will I care how long I lived or how that life was lived?

 

If I have a long and fulfilling life, will that matter to me one second after death?  Is Alexander the Great chortling over the press he still gets with us still living?  Is he pleased over how much of a badass he is taken to be today?  He’s just gone.  As far as Alexander cares he himself never existed.  Really doesn’t matter now or one second after he died, (To him at least), anything that happened to him during his life.  Or when he died.  Or if he even ever existed at all.

 

We can gather things during life to display later within that life.  Or think about.  But that is only valid while you still exist.  Can anyone gather things during life that matters at all after you no longer exist?  To that person?   No.

 

I can study my ass off, become one of the most educated apes on this planet and die celebrated by all of humanity at the age of 110 years of age, but one single second after I’m dead, to me, it doesn’t matter if I was an aborted fetus.

 

If I do something that can possibly end my life sooner will that really matter one second after I die?  The end result is the same.  You no longer exist.  No memories, no regrets, no pride at any past deeds.

 

You’re just gone.

 

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Kelly and I just wanted to

Kelly and I just wanted to note that we think the first few answers were very intelligent.  Already we're pleased at how logical you are approaching the issue. 

 You have pleased us oh children of the cult, send us your money.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Being around cigarette

Being around cigarette smoke or even residue from cigarette smoke makes me ill.  Once, a friend who smoked sent me an afghan she had made.  It was lovely, but I couldn't stand to be near it until it had been washed.   Because cigarette smoke makes me feel ill, I am a fan of laws that prohibit smoking in public areas.  When California passed its anti-smoking laws, I could actually go into restaurants again and enjoy myself.  

Because smoking can cause others to feel ill, smokers should limit smoking to private times and areas.  When smokers complain about not being able to smoke wherever they want, I tell them I would not be allowed to go around with aerosol bottle of carcinogens, randomly spraying them in other people's faces.  Your right to smoke stops where my right to breathe begins.

 That said, let me address the questions. 

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest? Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live? Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment? Is it something else altogether?

I view smokers as people who made a mistake that is very hard to undo.  We all make mistakes and (I daresay) we all make mistakes that endanger our lives.  I doubt there is anyone who can say he or she has lived his or her life in a completely safe and savory manner. 

People do stupid shit all the time.  They drive over the speed limit and take chances when they shouldn't.  They eat foods they shouldn't or too much of a kind of food they shouldn't.  They sabotage their lives in small ways.  I doubt anyone could say, "I've lived a mistake-free life.  I've never done anything to endanger my health.  I've never wasted a single second of my life."  

Some mistakes can be habit-forming or downright addicting, like smoking cigarettes or overeating.  There are other mistakes that are more invisible and less addictive, but they are still mistakes.

Just because I don't want to breathe someone else's cigarette doesn't give me a right to judge those who have made the mistake of learning to smoke.  I've observed that nicotine is a very tough addiction to beat and that it sometimes takes many, many tries to kick the habit.  I do feel, however, that someone who is rational will do what they can to stop smoking.  I'm doing what I can to stop the stupid mistakes I make.  Luckily, the little ways I sabotage my life are less visible than smoking, so I don't have to deal with self-righteousness in that regard.  Thank the god that doesn't exist for small favors!  I never took up smoking. Smiling

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It depends really... If

It depends really...

If they are hooked on it and cannot stop, then my answers are no, no, no, yes, yes.

If they haven't even tried to stop and don't care about the habit, then my answers become inverted (except the last one).

Its a tricky issue, but I'll be blunt. We do not live in 1950 anymore (when even doctors smoked, sometimes in the OR). So unless that is when you started and are now totally hooked, then you have to be an idiot to start smoking. Truly, I know of no other product or fruit of human labour where the product consumed is specifically designed to kill the consumer. True, I know of many in which the product is designed for the consumer to kill other people, but I believe cigarettes are unique in that a product whose sole purpose, aim and design is that of killing its user, usually slowly and painfully, could actually sell so well... 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote: I view smokers as

Quote:
I view smokers as people who made a mistake that is very hard to undo.  We all make mistakes and (I daresay) we all make mistakes that endanger our lives.  I doubt there is anyone who can say he or she has lived his or her life in a completely safe and savory manner.

...

Quote:
Because smoking can cause others to feel ill, smokers should limit smoking to private times and areas.  When smokers complain about not being able to smoke wherever they want, I tell them I would not be allowed to go around with aerosol bottle of carcinogens, randomly spraying them in other people's faces.  Your right to smoke stops where my right to breathe begins.

 Just chiming in for the sake of clarification.  I don't disagree with anything you've said, and I recognize that you made the disclaimer that none of this really addresses the question.  It gives me a chance, however, to say more.

I'm not a smoker.  Never have, never intend to.  In Athens, there's a ban on all smoking in public places, so I rarely have to go into a bar where everyone's smoking.  I prefer it that way, even though my business actually suffers because of it.

However, I would never get behind any legislation to ban smoking, nor do I approve of so-called "sin taxes."  I'm of the opinion that anything someone chooses to do in private, or in private buildings, is entirely their own business.

As for the addiction part of it, clearly nicotine is a nasty drug, and the tobacco industry knowingly gets people addicted.  However, you show me someone in a modern country who doesn't know that cigarettes are very addictive, and I'll show you someone who is dumb enough that they probably ought not reproduce.  Unfortunately, smoking will probably take too long to kill them...

Hmm... I seem to have gotten a little sidetracked.

Oh... yeah.  My point was that the stuff about it being addictive is entirely true, but somewhat beside the point.  It is a choice to smoke.  It's a very difficult choice to quit, but that doesn't mean it isn't a choice.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: Oh...

Hambydammit wrote:

Oh... yeah. My point was that the stuff about it being addictive is entirely true, but somewhat beside the point. It is a choice to smoke. It's a very difficult choice to quit, but that doesn't mean it isn't a choice.

Yup.  Becoming a smoker is a stupid choice.  And if you've noticed, it's usually the very young who make such a stupid choice, often before they are able to think critically.  In those cases, the cigarette companies carry some of the blame. They are "proselytizing" youngsters to become smokers.  

There are reasons we have juvenile courts.  Kids do not and cannot think like adults because their brains have not fully formed.  They act like they will live forever: driving fast; joining the military; taking up smoking.  Until they're fully in formal operational stage, they are not entirely in command of rational thought.

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[rant on] I am so very

[rant on]

I am so very tired of the smoking debate.

I'm so very tired of everyone else deciding what's best for me. We all have bad habits.

Some people would like to see all smoking banned. What's next? Mandatory exercise? Regulating the diets of all citizens?

Oh wait! New York has got a foothold on that already by legislating the content in restaurant food. Big Brother Lives! One by one we're legislating away freedoms.

I love my first cigarette in the morning as well as my last cigarette at night. Although I haven't been able to smoke at my desk at work for about 20 years, I still miss my cigarette with that first cup of coffee.

I have no desire to quit.

Someone doesn't like cigarette smoke? Perfume gives me a raging headache. Is it banned? The odor of a fresh orange or fresh banana physically and completely turns my stomach and I have to leave the area. Are they banned?

Just as I have to avoid the things that physically affect me, people that are sensitive to cigarette smoke have to do the same. The crappy part is that it's now politically correct to force smokers out of areas, but not those who wear too much perfume (or peel bananas/oranges).

I'd rather have someone smoke and drive than to have someone drink and drive.

I'd rather be a smoker than an alcoholic.

I do try to have smoker's courtesy. I won't light up while you're still eating. I won't light up in your car if you're not a smoker. I won't light up in a non-smoker's home. I won't exhale in your direction regardless of whether or not you're a smoker.

I will, however, light up in my own home regardless of who is visiting.

Hambydammit wrote:
So it makes sense that smokers who know that they are shortening their lives have made a decision that they cherish smoking more than longevity, right?

KNOW they are shortening their life? How about "possibility of shortening their life"? Calculated risk.

I agree that the tobacco manufacturers intentionally made cigarettes more addictive to promote sales, but it is a choice to smoke and I happen to enjoy it.

If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I'd hate to think I would die grumpy because I was quitting. 

[/rant off]

 

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I beg to differ. I ripped

I beg to differ Iruka. I ripped apart my first creationist when I was sixteen. My father was so proud...

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Weed might be more healthy,

Weed might be more healthy, cheaper (per month), and more rewarding.

If I was going to do any drug, besides caffine and not thinking about laws, it would probably be weed. Smoking is just feeding an addiction and only feels good because it stops the bad feeling it gives you.

I don't see a good reason for smoking a see many negative effects. The only reason I can think for smoking is if your already doing it, addiction.

I don't like the idea of any drug though at they tend to alter my precipitation of reality, too bad thats the only reason to do it though...

I'm with hamby on the issue of "loving life to the fullest."

For me the risks of smoking don't out weight the possible, if any, rewards so I don't see it as a good move. That said it doesn't mean a person isn't loving/living life nor does it mean they don't cherish it.

Smoking would most likely lower a person's life span, but cherish doesn't always mean stretch it out as much as possible. I would, but I'm not adventurous and my view of life is different from others.

There is also the issue of quality of life. If I felt I couldn't act freely, living in a police state, I'd take actions to fix the problem. If that ended my life or put me in jail so be it. Right there I said I would risk my life for the quality of it. If a smoker thinks their ciggs add to their quality of life I'm not going to tell them that they don't value life.

I think for most smokers it comes down to the addiction not just wanting to do it. Meaning no addiction no ciggs. Addiction includes the negative effects of trying to stop.


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Susan wrote: Some people

Susan wrote:
Some people would like to see all smoking banned. What's next? Mandatory exercise? Regulating the diets of all citizens?

I don't really mind the smoke, but I'm a bit of a pyro...

I don't really want a diet I'm all for a pill or solent green. Yes, I will eat people or people by product.

Sticking out tongue no not really, but the perfect diet would be people. Everything the body needs because its everything the body IS.


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Quote: KNOW they are

Quote:
KNOW they are shortening their life? How about "possibility of shortening their life"? Calculated risk.

Susan, your sentence is better than mine.  I shall adopt it as my own.

Iruka, the debate over cigarette marketing and targeting kids is an entirely different debate, which I shall not enter at this point.   Suffice it to say I have strong opinions.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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deludedgod wrote: I beg to

deludedgod wrote:
I beg to differ Iruka. I ripped apart my first creationist when I was sixteen. My father was so proud...

Some teenagers are more rational than others. Smiling  I should know better than to speak in absolutes. 

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Are you seeing a pattern

Are you seeing a pattern here? Smiling

Gee, atheists don't all think alike.  Ain't that somethin'?

Gotta go...gotta write my monthly check to the Cult of the Rational Response Squad. Eye-wink 

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Susan wrote: I am so very

Susan wrote:

I am so very tired of the smoking debate.

I'm so very tired of everyone else deciding what's best for me. We all have bad habits.

Some people would like to see all smoking banned. What's next? Mandatory exercise? Regulating the diets of all citizens?

I've begun to notice that certain businesses will not hire smokers. That should be illegal. 

Quote:
 

Oh wait! New York has got a foothold on that already by legislating the content in restaurant food. Big Brother Lives! One by one we're legislating away freedoms.

I love my first cigarette in the morning as well as my last cigarette at night. Although I haven't been able to smoke at my desk at work for about 20 years, I still miss my cigarette with that first cup of coffee.

I have no desire to quit.

 

Coffee and cigarettes. Mmm. Quitting? I've thought about it. I think I'd miss it too much, even though I do plan to live forever. Still, it's a quality of life issue. We SHOULD be able to smoke if we want to, there shouldn't be all kinds of diseases associated with it. Just like people who are alergic to strawberries should be able to enjoy them. There ought to be cures for all these things, because that really would enhance life.

Quote:
 

Someone doesn't like cigarette smoke? Perfume gives me a raging headache. Is it banned? The odor of a fresh orange or fresh banana physically and completely turns my stomach and I have to leave the area. Are they banned?

Ooh, can we ban cheap perfumes? Pretty please???

Quote:
 

Just as I have to avoid the things that physically affect me, people that are sensitive to cigarette smoke have to do the same. The crappy part is that it's now politically correct to force smokers out of areas, but not those who wear too much perfume (or peel bananas/oranges).

I'd rather have someone smoke and drive than to have someone drink and drive.

I'd rather be a smoker than an alcoholic.

I do try to have smoker's courtesy. I won't light up while you're still eating. I won't light up in your car if you're not a smoker. I won't light up in a non-smoker's home. I won't exhale in your direction regardless of whether or not you're a smoker.

I will, however, light up in my own home regardless of who is visiting.

Same. 

Quote:
 

Hambydammit wrote:
So it makes sense that smokers who know that they are shortening their lives have made a decision that they cherish smoking more than longevity, right?

KNOW they are shortening their life? How about "possibility of shortening their life"? Calculated risk. 

Like I said, I've got high hopes for medicine within my lifetime that we'll fix a lot of the human condition at some point (starting with ageing, hopefully).


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Quote: Like I said, I've

Quote:
Like I said, I've got high hopes for medicine within my lifetime that we'll fix a lot of the human condition at some point (starting with ageing, hopefully).

Crike... like we need to live any longer!  There are already like 2 billion too many of us...

 

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Let me preface this by

Let me preface this by saying I smoked for twenty two years until I applied the principles by which I try to live the rest of my life, examining my behaviors and actions and bleiefs and attempting to justify them as reasonable based in what I know of reality. Once I realized that in all likelihood smoking would kill me, as it did my grandfather, and that the only reason the 'enjoying it' excuse was true was by the fact that I was addicted, thus enjoying it was kind of circular, I could not find any reason why I shouldn't quit.

For anyone who wants to quit let me tell you how. Its really easy and based completely in rational thought. When you feel as if you want a cigarette, don't smoke one. Its really that simple. I had a 2-3 pack a day habit for years and in the end it just came down to quitting by not smoking. No patches, no gum, no hypnotism, just don't light a cigarette when you want to smoke a cigarette. Voila. Eh, it worked for me.

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

If they love smoking then they are loving life to the fullest. However, it shows a disregard, or failure to consider, long term consequences which is definitely irrational. The person could, of course, have a death wish but this is against the nature of life and thus is still irrational.

If I enjoy sticking my tongue in eletrical sockets I would probably say that sticking my tongue in electrical sockets was living life to its fullest. This doesn't excuse the stupidity of my behavior. (Not calling smokers stupid, just the behavior). 

 

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

No, but it definitely shows a breakdown in their rational thought somewhere along the line. People, atheists and theists alike, seem to be perfectly fine with chunking rational thought out the window when the rational conclusion is something they don't wish to face. Smokers are no different.

They can still believe they only have one life. They just can't claim they are acting in a manner which is rational for a being who has only one life. 

 

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Thanks for getting that damn Kool & The Gang song stuck in my head. That's going to make for an enjoyable day 

 

Quote:
Is it something else altogether?

Smoking is an irrational, dangerous, and pointless behavior. I see no other way of looking at it. 

Quote:
 Do you even cherish your life?

When she'll let me. 

 

Quote:
Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

See last response. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Susan wrote: I'm so very

Susan wrote:
I'm so very tired of everyone else deciding what's best for me. We all have bad habits.

Some people would like to see all smoking banned. What's next? Mandatory exercise? Regulating the diets of all citizens?

Ha!!  Last weekend I was sitting on my balcony enjoying a smoke.  One of my neighbors comes out and strikes up a conversation with me.  He noticed I was smoking and made a tsk tsk tsk sound and said "You know that is bad for your health, don't you?"  I blinked a couple of times and then smiled and said nothing.  It was all I could do to stop myself from commenting that his wife is about 150 lbs overweight and perhaps he should focus on her health instead of mine.  

So....yeah - if they ban smoking, then exercise should be mandatory along with dietary restrictions.  People that are significantly overweight are causing my insurance premiums to go up due to excessive health care needs.   I have discussed my smoking with my doctor and he was unable to come up a health reason for me to quit.  I don't smoke enough to adversely affect my health according to the studies and all tests keep coming out clean.  

(btw - I don't usually keep quiet when someone says what that guy said to me.  Generally, they shut up when I tell them their comment is the equivalent to seeing an overweight person eat a piece of cake and telling them it is unhealthy.  How do they know anything about that person's health?  They don't.  Ahhh...but it isn't 'pc' to comment on someone's weight these days.  Open season on smokers, though.) 


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Well, it's up to you to

Well, it's up to you to create your own purpose in the one life you have, and if smoking doesn't interfere with that, I say go nuts.

My purpose is to live to be eighty-two years old, because by then I will have finished my sixty year long video project. While smoking won't necessarily restrict my lifespan, I figure it's a better bet not to. On top of that, I find the taste and smell repulsive. Given these factors, from the perspective of my life goal, smoking is harmful and irrational. Not to mention totally fucking gay.

But like I said, if it doesn't hinder your purpose, feel free to puff away. Just do me a favor and carry breath mints around so I don't get a waft of charred horse cunt when we speak face to face.


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Susan wrote: [rant on] I

Susan wrote:

[rant on]

I am so very tired of the smoking debate.

I'm so very tired of everyone else deciding what's best for me. We all have bad habits.

Some people would like to see all smoking banned. What's next? Mandatory exercise? Regulating the diets of all citizens?

Oh wait! New York has got a foothold on that already by legislating the content in restaurant food. Big Brother Lives! One by one we're legislating away freedoms.

I love my first cigarette in the morning as well as my last cigarette at night. Although I haven't been able to smoke at my desk at work for about 20 years, I still miss my cigarette with that first cup of coffee.

I have no desire to quit.

Someone doesn't like cigarette smoke? Perfume gives me a raging headache. Is it banned? The odor of a fresh orange or fresh banana physically and completely turns my stomach and I have to leave the area. Are they banned?

Just as I have to avoid the things that physically affect me, people that are sensitive to cigarette smoke have to do the same. The crappy part is that it's now politically correct to force smokers out of areas, but not those who wear too much perfume (or peel bananas/oranges).

I'd rather have someone smoke and drive than to have someone drink and drive.

I'd rather be a smoker than an alcoholic.

I do try to have smoker's courtesy. I won't light up while you're still eating. I won't light up in your car if you're not a smoker. I won't light up in a non-smoker's home. I won't exhale in your direction regardless of whether or not you're a smoker.

I will, however, light up in my own home regardless of who is visiting.

Hambydammit wrote:
So it makes sense that smokers who know that they are shortening their lives have made a decision that they cherish smoking more than longevity, right?

KNOW they are shortening their life? How about "possibility of shortening their life"? Calculated risk.

I agree that the tobacco manufacturers intentionally made cigarettes more addictive to promote sales, but it is a choice to smoke and I happen to enjoy it.

If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I'd hate to think I would die grumpy because I was quitting.

[/rant off]

 

Amun RA!! Same crap is pulled by the pollitcally correct left and right with "hate crime" legislation.

If this type of premtive legislation continues, the only freedom anyone will have will be imprisoned in their brain.

How about this folks? If you dont like something dont partisipate in it. But dont be pricks and tell others they cant do something. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
KNOW they are shortening their life? How about "possibility of shortening their life"? Calculated risk.

Susan, your sentence is better than mine. I shall adopt it as my own.

Thank you. 

Hambydammit wrote:
Iruka, the debate over cigarette marketing and targeting kids is an entirely different debate, which I shall not enter at this point. Suffice it to say I have strong opinions.

The marketing to teens for cigarettes and booze is a very bad thing.  I also have very strong opinions about that.

Yes, that's an entirely different debate for another thread if someone chooses. 

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Sapient wrote: If an

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

No it means they're exercising their right to smoke a cigarette.  As long as they don't do it in a public zone then they can do it if they wish. 

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

No, it just means they like to smoke and are exercising their right to do so. 

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

I've had some damn good smokes. 

Quote:
Is it something else altogether?

Nope.  It's just a B&H or a Malboro. 

Quote:
Do you even cherish your life?

Sure.  I wouldn't be here if I didn't. 

Quote:
Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

Nah.  Can't be arsed.  Must be getting old. 

Quote:
I have my own opinions here, however I think this thread could illustrate to our audience how we view the world. It could show them how logic works, how philosophy works.

What does enjoying a smoke have to do with one's world view?  Sure, it's bad for you - which is why I gave up - but so are a multitude of other things we do.  The point of living one's life to the fullest is to do the things you enjoy and... hell, enjoy doing them.  If smoking is one of those things that makes you happy then go ahead and do it.  As long as you're not hurting anyone else then knock yourself out.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Personal Choice

1. If an Atheist smokes that means they are making a choice for their own lives, if it brings them pleasure then so be it. I mean I am sure you know the health risks involved but if you still wanna smoke then it's your own choice.

2. How can it contradict the notion that they only have one life to life? I mean if you smoke while your alive then you are fully understanding that you have one life to live....and if you wanna smoke during that life then it's your choice.

3.No it doesn't contradict the notion that you cherish every moment...you might cherish the fact that you are enjoying a cigarette. I mean true you might not cherish getting lung cancer but it goes back to the first question. It's your choice.

4. I try to live life to the fullest and I cherish the time I have...I do what I want with my life as long as it doesn't hurt other people. I don't smoke ciggs but I do smoke the occasional ...well ya know..but if I am around people who don't like it, I don't do it.

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Before I get to answering

Before I get to answering Sapient's question I wanted to say that I have always thought that smoking was the single dumbest thing that anyone could ever do.  I dare anyone to come up with something dumber than smoking cigarettes. 

Inspector Mustard said earlier "I've begun to notice that certain businesses will not hire smokers. That should be illegal."

Why?  There is nothing wrong with discriminating against smokers.  If I were hiring someone and found out that they were a smoker it would say to me that they lack very basic reasoning skills and because of that I would not want them on my staff. 

However, I am against anti-smoking laws.  We shouldn't be making laws telling people how to run their business to this extent.  The polite thing to do would be to leave the public area and smoke outside, but we shouldn't be making laws forcing people to be polite.

 </rant> on to the questions...

 

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

Smoking takes away a lot from a person's life.  I've never been a smoker so I can't really say what people get from it, but I'm sure I am better off without it.

However, not everyone would.  For a very few people out there I'm sure that the positives outway the negatives.  So just seeing that someone is smoking doesn't mean they aren't living life to how they see to be the fullest. 

 

Sapient wrote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

Again, for some people the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to smoking so I don't see a contradiction here

 

Sapient wrote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Nope.  Smokers just cherish their moment's differently. 

 

Sapient wrote:
Is it something else altogether? Do you even cherish your life? Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

 I always try to live my life to the fullest.  For how I live my life not smoking is a large part of that.  I love to be active and play sports and if I smoked I wouldn't be able to do those things as well as I do now.

 

One more comment to make about the questions in general.  The questions kind of assume that all atheists are critical thinkers with good logic skills, but of course we all know this isn't the case.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Sapient wrote: If an

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

Nope it means that you hate God everyone know that the only reason us atheists do anything. Just to spite God. 

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

No 

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

No. Perahps we cherish the sweet rush of nicotine. Besides If the theists would shut the fuck up I'm hopeful that by the time I reach cancer age stem cell research will have yielded a cure.

 

Quote:
Is it something else altogether? Do you even cherish your life?

Yep my lfe is fucking great. I dont really smoke any more but I spend a afir portion of my youth smoking, snorting, dabbing and popping a variety of substances. I counted all of that as part of my life I had some great times.  

Quote:
Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

Yes I do and when I smoked I did then too. The smoking, along with the rest of my hedonistic youth, was very much part of living life to the full. I can honestly say that my experiances in sweaty techno rave clubs in the mid ninties, chain smoking fags and rushing my tits of on a cocktail of drugs where amonst the "fullest life experiances" I have had. It was fucking great! and, whilst age has taken its toll and means that can no longer hack the pace, I really dont regret a minute of it. 

 


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I really....Really enjoy my

I really....Really enjoy my smokes.I have no intentions to quit smoking. Im sure my health is not to good from it either. Every morning I wake up and my lungs are on fire. But even so...I still really enjoy my smokes! Tongue out 

I have never been sure of what it means to live life to is fullest. There are alot of things in life I cant do and will never do. Responsibility sometimes gets in the way of living life to the fullest. So I dont know how to respond to that question

 

I do believe I have only this one life. I however do not see the need to extend it out as far as possible. I smoke cigarettes, drink a couple beers every day after work and eat some very unhealthy foods. On top of that I drive my car everyday in rush hour traffic.There are plenty of things that could potentially kill me.Ideally I will be around at least long enough to raise my children. But were not really givine a choice on when we die anyway. Laughing

I dont cherish every moment. Some moments really piss me off and I wish they would just hurry the fuck up and pass.

I might add more to this later but it is time for my smoke break!


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V1per41 wrote: I dare

V1per41 wrote:

I dare anyone to come up with something dumber than smoking cigarettes. 

Hijacking a plane and flying it into a building because you were told in all seriousness that you will be rewarded with virgins in the afterlife.

Armed with no body armor and just an AK-47 you engage in warfare with a mechanized army that has vastly greater technology.  This is done because some bearded guy told you to wage jihad against the invaders.  This despite the fact that the person who told you to do so doesn't seem compelled to put himself in the same danger.

Thinking that scientists have a secret agenda and for some reason actually gain something by lieing and saying that the Earth is much older than 6,000 years and that evolution is true.

Believing that Intelligent Design is a real scientific theory and that it should be taught in school.

Thinking that the Theory of Evolution is "a theory in crisis".  Even though the only people that seem to say evolution is bullshit are fundamentalist christians.

Thinking it plausible that before Adam and Eve sinned Lions and Tigers were vegetarian.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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I don't smoke personally,

I don't smoke personally, even though both my parents have. I really can not take the smell. I simply have absolutely no tolerence for it. That's not to say I don't tolerate smokers. Well, I'll tolerate them while they're not smoking. While they are, I don't want them anywhere near me. I don't know. To me, smoking is much more than an addiction, but it consumes lives. I mean, whenever my parents get a chance, they'll light up. Even if it's only a 10 second walk out of our car to walk into a restaurant, they still have to have the precious cigarrette. The same goes for alcohol for me (even though I'm 19, that's not stopping any of the other kids my age). I've seen a few lives ruined by those kinds of drugs, and frankly I don't want to get involved.

However, I'm all for freedom. Everyone who smokes is well aware of what they're doing, and how they're hurting themselves. There have been many studies that say secondhand smoke doesn't hurt you, and some that says it does. Either way, I do know that I find it hard to breath while I'm around that smoke. I'm glad in my own selfish way that the "smoke free" acts were passed in Ohio. I can now go to restaurants and bowling alleys without coughing and getting pissed off. Then again, now it would seem that the smokers are being discriminated against.

EDIT:  Also, here should be the big question though about discrimation.  Which do you think is the better choice?

1)  Public places are open to smokers and non smokers.  If non smokers do not like the smoke, then tough luck.

2)  Public places are not open to smoking.  If smokers want to smoke, they'd have to go outise.  Tough luck.

No matter which you choose, one group is going to be unhappy. I think that places that are privately owned though should have the authority to decide which of those options they will use.  If I can't give my money to someone because I can't stand the smell of smoke, I suppose I'll find someone who will take it instead.

 

 

 

JESUS SAVES!!! .... and takes only half damage!


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I wish more places would ban

I wish more places would ban smoking in public. Giving other people cancer isn't a right - same as the 2nd ammendment doesn't give you the right to start shooting randomly in a crowded place. And technically, smoking ISNT a right.

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lucidfox13 wrote:   Which

lucidfox13 wrote:

  Which do you think is the better choice?

1)  Public places are open to smokers and non smokers.  If non smokers do not like the smoke, then tough luck.

2)  Public places are not open to smoking.  If smokers want to smoke, they'd have to go outise.  Tough luck.

of smoke, I suppose I'll find someone who will take it instead.

 

 

 

As a smoker I willgladly go outside to enjoy my smoke if it is required that I do so. I dont smoke in my own home so I will respect that someone dont want me smoking inside there home or business. It was all fine and good when i could step outside and have a smoke. But now in Albuquerque New Mexico you are not allowed to smoke outside if its city property. Which quite frankly pisses me off. I got told to put out a smoke a couple weeks ago when I was out at the lake fishing by some security guard who let me know that I could be fined for smoking on that property. I think that law has gone to far. I think I should be able to enjoy my smoke outside.


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Keeping on topic and ignoring the politics (for once in my life)

If an atheist smokes cigarettes...

Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

I don't see how. A cigarette is an instant pleasure that can lead to negative side effects later on in life. I don't see how that's any different than a great big steak, that might maybe someday lead to a heart attack. A cigarette is a way to live that moment to the fullest, and that moment might just be all you have left.

Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

I can't find any way to make this conclusion follow from the premise.

Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Certainly not. A good smoke is just another way to cherish that particular moment.

Is it something else altogether?

Not for me. Sometimes a cigarette is just a cigarette. (Or a pipe, or a hookah, or...)

Do you even cherish your life? Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

I can't speak for all smokers or all atheists or any cross-section of the two, but I certainly do.


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AbandonMyPeace wrote: As a

AbandonMyPeace wrote:

As a smoker I willgladly go outside to enjoy my smoke if it is required that I do so. I dont smoke in my own home so I will respect that someone dont want me smoking inside there home or business. It was all fine and good when i could step outside and have a smoke. But now in Albuquerque New Mexico you are not allowed to smoke outside if its city property. Which quite frankly pisses me off. I got told to put out a smoke a couple weeks ago when I was out at the lake fishing by some security guard who let me know that I could be fined for smoking on that property. I think that law has gone to far. I think I should be able to enjoy my smoke outside.

AMP - You know I adore you and this is yet another example of why.  I have not smoked inside since long before it became mandatory and I do not smoke in my house.  

I agree that the law has gone way to far on this issue.  What about the friggin bus and diesel truck fumes I am forced to inhale when I am stuck in traffic?  That is enough to make me puke and it severely pollutes the air but no one seems real interested in putting an end to that.  I certainly understand the offensive smell issue, but now that they have decided to ban smoking outside too, when are they going to do something about all the other offensive smells?   


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jce wrote:   AMP - You

jce wrote:

 

AMP - You know I adore you

Awww! Laughing

Heres the way I see it. It seems like a step towards taking away just a little bit of freedom. I suppose if they got away with this one its only a matter of time before another small thing is taken away. You can see what happens from there. Im trying to spare a rant here on the topic. Its jut really damn annoying. And yes. They will eventually ban all offensive smells. Tongue out

One day I was listening to a local talk radio dj who was taking call on the subject. Some guy called and said "People should not be able to smoke in any place of business because I do not want to take my kids out in public and have them inhaling smoke."

Give me a fucking break. I want to know what strip club or bar that guy wants to take his kids to. Im all for keeping it out of family establishments. Please let the adults keep there adult activities. Cool

 


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I'll answer in theistese,

I'll answer in theistese, and then I'll answer honestly.

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

Theistese: They are loving their lives, but that's because it's evil. Atheists love evil. In fact, the reason that they smoke is because it reminds them of the smell of burning christians. 

Honest: While I'd never smoked a cigarette, I think the claim that those who do smoke don't love their life fully is ridiculous.

Sapient wrote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

Theistese: It proves they think they're better than us. They probably think they evolved 2 sets of lungs or something. How could a big explosion in space give you 2 sets of lungs? Answer me that, atheists!

Honest: How could it possibly contradict this notion? It only means that the smoker enjoys smoking (or is addicted to it) 

Sapient wrote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Theistese: Of course it doesn't! You cherish every moment that you give others lung cancer and send them to hell quicker! You ought to be killed! God bless you.

Honest: I don't think anyone cherishes every moment anyway. 

Sapient wrote:
Is it something else altogether? Do you even cherish your life?

Theistese: Of course it's something different! Smoking is their way of destroying the lungs of good christians in order to weaken opposition to their master, Satan. Atheists DO cherish their lives...but they're foolish! This life is all they'll getting before they go to Hell, where they will get to smoke FOR ETERNITY!

Honest: Nope, nothing else to it. People just like to smoke. I cherish my life, more or less. But no one can cherish it fully.

Sapient wrote:
Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

Theistese: WITHOUT JESUS YOU CAN'T LIVE YOUR LIFE TO THE FULLEST SO DON'T TRY!!!!11111

Honest: Not right now, but someday, I'll probably live life to the fullest soon enough.


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Smoking

Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

When I became a vegetarian for health reasons I was asked “Then why do you still smoke?” I answered, “Smoking is bad for me. I know it will kill me and I make a choice. Eating meat is not supposed to kill people. I should be able to eat something labeled “food” from the market and be reasonably confident that it won’t kill be. But meat often does kill folks.” Later I took into consideration how my choice to smoke affects others, the burden it puts on the health system if I got cancer, how my getting sick would affect others and the simple fact that it smells bad, your breath your clothes. Funny how when you smoke you don’t notice the smell. I guess this doesn't really anser the question. Oh well, too bad.

Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

Smoking doesn’t mean somene doesn't understand mortality.

Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Not if they’re addicted. Addicts have a hard time quitting what they’re addicted too, (that’s why they’re called “addicts”) no matter how much they love life.

Is it something else altogether?

I dunno, maybe.


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Watcher wrote: V1per41

Watcher wrote:
V1per41 wrote:

I dare anyone to come up with something dumber than smoking cigarettes.

Hijacking a plane and flying it into a building because you were told in all seriousness that you will be rewarded with virgins in the afterlife.

Armed with no body armor and just an AK-47 you engage in warfare with a mechanized army that has vastly greater technology. This is done because some bearded guy told you to wage jihad against the invaders. This despite the fact that the person who told you to do so doesn't seem compelled to put himself in the same danger.

Thinking that scientists have a secret agenda and for some reason actually gain something by lieing and saying that the Earth is much older than 6,000 years and that evolution is true.

Believing that Intelligent Design is a real scientific theory and that it should be taught in school.

Thinking that the Theory of Evolution is "a theory in crisis". Even though the only people that seem to say evolution is bullshit are fundamentalist christians.

Thinking it plausible that before Adam and Eve sinned Lions and Tigers were vegetarian.

 

Hmmm, those are all pretty good.  I suppose I stand corrected.  I was getting more at smoking being the dumbest possible action one can take.  But I now agree that mass murder is much worse.

I would still probably say that smokin is dumber than believing in ID as the former costs more money and has a more negative affect on one's body and on the people close to you.  Of course believing in YEC and/or scientology are pretty damn near close to the bottom.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Quote: Does that mean the

Quote:
Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

Not necesaraly, how a person lives life to the fullest is up to them.

Of course cutting a few years off the end, would make it easier to have it filled.

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

Just becuase he/she is an atheist doesn't mean that the person believes in a singuler life.

Quote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?

Again, that would be up to the person.

Quote:
Is it something else altogether?

Dunno

Quote:
Do you even cherish your life?

Yep.

Quote:
Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

As well as I can... although many people would say otherwise.

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


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V1per41 wrote: I would

V1per41 wrote:
I would still probably say that smokin is dumber than believing in ID as the former costs more money 

I dont even know what ID means for sure. But I do know that I can go to the reservation near my house and buy a carton of smoke for $10. I can smoke for a bit over a week on $10. I think most everyone can spare $10 a week on doing something that they enjoy doing. Wink

 


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    When does it become

 

 

When does it become an issue of addiction instead of choice anymore? Alcoholics make the same arguements for their addictions but in the end how much of it is the addiction speaking instead of the person?

When are you talking to a person, and when are you talking to the drug?

The "enjoyment" of cigarettes for most people could just in fact be them staving off the withdrawl symptoms. Do they enjoy breathing in harsh chemicals when they start? How many people that enjoy it now, had to force themselves to get into the habit?

 Do we let people take cocaine all the time just because they enjoy it? Do we let people shoot up heroin anymore because they enjoy it? Before these drugs were made illegal they were "luxuries" of class as well. 

Where do we draw the line between responsible habits, and habits based on pleasure? As patrons of logic, science and reason any arguement based on the "pleasure" of the substance should be taken with a grain of salt due to the addictive nature of the drug.  

 For example the "living life to the fullest" paradox that seems to arise when smoking comes up. If you live life to the fullest by excercising a "right" to indulge in an addiction, then where is the "fullest" part? How can you speak on behalf of living life to anything when you become ruled by your habits?

 

To those that are "sick" of this debate maybe what makes you so sick about it is confronting the fact that you are actually addicted to a harmful, disease causing substance. You can dress it up as much as you want, but as atheists i thought we were supposed to be champions of responsible reality, and not wishful reality?

 

Belief needs questioning and criticism, not respect.


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Sapient wrote: If an

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes... Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest? Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live? Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment? Is it something else altogether? Do you even cherish your life? Do you even try to live life to the fullest?

I think I'll let someone far wiser than myself handle this one. Take it away.

Bill Hicks wrote:
Here is my final point. About drugs, about alcohol, about pornography and smoking and everything else. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?

I don't smoke. I tried it. I didn't like it. It tasted awful. I could see myself smoking if it tasted good. Shit, I eat fast food and I drink Pepsi in copious amounts. Obviously, I'm not a health nut.

I know people that smoke, though. There has to be something about it that they enjoy or they wouldn't do it. I think that can be part of loving life. It doesn't contradict the notion that we have one life to live. Where the fuck do you even get that shit? And why tobacco? Why not alcohol. Alcohol will fuck up your liver. You could die from it. I digress... It doesn't mean that they don't believe they have one life; it just means they don't particularly give a fuck about the way they die. Quite frankly, I don't either, but my money's on drowning.

So you can't light up and cherish a moment? Some people celebrate by smoking a cigar. A lot of dads buy cigars when they have little boys or girls. Are you telling me that a proud papa loves his child less because he wants a Macanudo? That, too, is stupid.

Do I cherish my life? I'm 18. What do I really have to be nostalgic about? "Boy... remember last week?" That's not so much a stupid question as it is a non-applicable one.

Do I live life to the fullest? I'm on an internet message boad. I'm a full time college student. Probably the only person in recent history to truly live his life to the fullest was Hunter Thompson. He rode with the Hell's Angels. He ran for office. He got a woman out of prison. He wrote great stories. He spoke his mind. AND HE FUCKING SMOKED, TOO! ... all manner of substances, at that.

I think this topic is ridiculous. That's why I posted here. I live for the ridiculous.


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Chase wrote: To those that

Chase wrote:

To those that are "sick" of this debate maybe what makes you so sick about it is confronting the fact that you are actually addicted to a harmful, disease causing substance. You can dress it up as much as you want, but as atheists i thought we were supposed to be champions of responsible reality, and not wishful reality?

 

I am addicted to a harmful, disease causing substance. Its a choice I made on my own some years ago. I do not force people that do not want to join me in getting lung cancer to do as I do.I will smoke outside so you dont have to inhale toxic fumes that just might kill you.Maybe...Just maybe some people are sick of this argument because we dont feel it is someone else place to tell others what they should or should not do just becuase it might one day make us ill or even kill us. I obviously cant speak for everyone on that feeling. But I will tell you I am a grown man capable of thinking for myself. I do not need others to try to save me from myself.


Textom
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No True Smoker

I'm with Susan and AMP on this one. Only someone who has never been addicted to cigarettes could fail to understand why people smoke.

If you've been an addictive smoker, you understand the intense, unique pleasure and satisfaction that you get from a cigarette. I know what the brain scans say, but it doesn't feel like relieving withdrawl symptoms--it just feels good. And there's no substitute for it: I quit ten years ago and I have no intention of going back, but I still have cigarette dreams.

Remember the Star Trek Next Generation episodes about the Nexus and how nobody who hadn't been there could understand how awesome it was? I'm sure that episode was written by an addicted smoker.

So in that sense, enjoying the experience of smoking can contribute to a fuller life.  I also found personally that quitting (which is still the hardest thing I've ever had to do) happened at a time in my life when it helped my personal growth and taught me a lot of things I couldn't have learned about myself if I had never smoked.  So if I had it to do over again, I'd still choose to smoke. 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Textom wrote: Remember the

Textom wrote:

Remember the Star Trek Next Generation episodes about the Nexus and how nobody who hadn't been there could understand how awesome it was? I'm sure that episode was written by an addicted smoker.

This gonna show how nerdy I am, but that was one of the TNG movies. It's the one where Picard and Kirk meet. Yeah... I feel bad for knowing that and pointing it out.


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Sapient wrote: If an

Sapient wrote:
If an atheist smokes cigarettes...
Does that mean the atheist is not loving life to the fullest?

The fullest of what? Smoking a fag could be the most pleasure some people get others may find it horrible. Does it shorten your life? Well maybe but life is about quality and not about how long it lasts imho. How about smoking a few whilst your young and partying then giving it up around 30 and waiting for the wonders of science in 2040.

Sapient wrote:
Does it contradict the notion that they believe they only have one life to live?

A star twice as bright burns twice as fast? What are you saying? Longevity is the be all and end all.

Sapient wrote:
Does it contradict the notion that we cherish every moment?
Does anyone cherish EVERY moment? I think if I was busy cherishing EVERY moment I'd miss what I was cherishing.

Sapient wrote:
Is it something else altogether?
Most likely.

Sapient wrote:
Do you even cherish your life?
Yep, otherwise I'd be wandering across the motorways/freeways and jumping of cliffs for a laugh.

Sapient wrote:
Do you even try to live life to the fullest?
There's no such thing.


kellym78
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Chase wrote:

Chase wrote:

When does it become an issue of addiction instead of choice anymore? Alcoholics make the same arguements for their addictions but in the end how much of it is the addiction speaking instead of the person?

The fact that one is addicted to a substance does not mean that he/she is not making a choice to continue using the substance to which he/she is addicted. Breaking an addiction is difficult, and most people do not enjoy withdrawal symptoms from any substance, but that doesn't preclude a conscious choice to continue using a substance.

Quote:

The "enjoyment" of cigarettes for most people could just in fact be them staving off the withdrawl symptoms. Do they enjoy breathing in harsh chemicals when they start? How many people that enjoy it now, had to force themselves to get into the habit?

 

Actually, the brain restructures its response to nicotine after a certain period of use to cause the pleasure centers of the brain to be stimulated by nicotine moreso than in those who don't or rarely smoke. This is the general mechanism behind any addiction.

Other than that, smoking may be pleasurable in other ways--personally, it's the physical act of smoking that I enjoy. Others enjoy the stimulant effects. I don't think that anybody "forces" themselves to start smoking. Either you enjoy it or you don't. So, you continue or you don't.

Quote:
Do we let people take cocaine all the time just because they enjoy it? Do we let people shoot up heroin anymore because they enjoy it? Before these drugs were made illegal they were "luxuries" of class as well.

Personally, I support the legalization of drugs for multiple reasons. But as to your point, do we let people drink coffee because they enjoy it? Caffeine is highly addictive. How many coffee drinkers don't want to stop drinking coffee just to stave off withdrawal symptoms? Caffeine has negative side effects and long term consequences as well.

Quote:
Where do we draw the line between responsible habits, and habits based on pleasure? As patrons of logic, science and reason any arguement based on the "pleasure" of the substance should be taken with a grain of salt due to the addictive nature of the drug.

It is clearly rational to do that which gives you pleasure as long as that doesn't involve harming another individual. Why do you have sex? I bet you've done it just because it is pleasurable and not solely for the purposes of procreation.


Quote:
To those that are "sick" of this debate maybe what makes you so sick about it is confronting the fact that you are actually addicted to a harmful, disease causing substance. You can dress it up as much as you want, but as atheists i thought we were supposed to be champions of responsible reality, and not wishful reality?

Nobody here who smokes thinks that it's good for you. We aren't engaging in wishful thinking--we are choosing to do something that we know is damaging despite that fact because we enjoy the activity. Lots of activities are potentially dangerous, and yet people do them.

As far as the "responsible reality" comment, I don't even know what that means. Reality is neither responsible nor irresponsible. It's not my job to make other people's choices for them or be the bastion of "responsibility".


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tru.dat

kellym78 wrote:
(A whole bunch of truth.)


Chase
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Quote: The fact that one is

Quote:
The fact that one is addicted to a substance does not mean that he/she is not making a choice to continue using the substance to which he/she is addicted. Breaking an addiction is difficult, and most people do not enjoy withdrawal symptoms from any substance, but that doesn't preclude a conscious choice to continue using a substance.

So then we must ask how much of the speaker is the addiction, and how much is the person?

Quote:

Actually, the brain restructures its response to nicotine after a certain period of use to cause the pleasure centers of the brain to be stimulated by nicotine moreso than in those who don't or rarely smoke. This is the general mechanism behind any addiction.

I didn't know that, but it makes sense. Things like this kind of make smoking seem dishonest to me. Again it brings for the question how much of the speaker is the addiction, and how much is the person.

 

Quote:
Other than that, smoking may be pleasurable in other ways--personally, it's the physical act of smoking that I enjoy. Others enjoy the stimulant effects. I don't think that anybody "forces" themselves to start smoking. Either you enjoy it or you don't. So, you continue or you don't.

 

I didn't put that statement forth as some kind of arguementative judgement on smokers, i was just curious because when i started smoking, thats how it happened.

Quote:
Personally, I support the legalization of drugs for multiple reasons. But as to your point, do we let people drink coffee because they enjoy it? Caffeine is highly addictive. How many coffee drinkers don't want to stop drinking coffee just to stave off withdrawal symptoms? Caffeine has negative side effects and long term consequences as well.

That is a good point, however there is nothing more than increased blood pressure risk involved with too much caffene. With ciggarettes there is direct evidence linking it to lung cancer. As for the legalization of drugs? I have mixed opinions, and thats a totally different discussion.

 

Quote:
It is clearly rational to do that which gives you pleasure as long as that doesn't involve harming another individual. Why do you have sex? I bet you've done it just because it is pleasurable and not solely for the purposes of procreation.

In the end in the western world it does come down to personal choice, and due to the abilities and freedoms that i personally have, i realize that at this moment in time, i can't have my cake and eat it too. If you wish to shorten your life and limit your chances to do things physically, that essentially is your choice.

Quote:

Nobody here who smokes thinks that it's good for you. We aren't engaging in wishful thinking--we are choosing to do something that we know is damaging despite that fact because we enjoy the activity. Lots of activities are potentially dangerous, and yet people do them.

There is a difference between: "Known cause for terrible suffering and death" and potential danger.

Quote:
As far as the "responsible reality" comment, I don't even know what that means. Reality is neither responsible nor irresponsible. It's not my job to make other people's choices for them or be the bastion of "responsibility".

I meant to say "thinking." I think i was distracted at the end of this post and didn't read it over heh. That being said your statement is a little hypocritical considering your profession of "rationally responding to irrational thinking etc." You raise yourself up as a bastion of rational thinking.

To be honest your post seems to bring across a message of "it's my life i'll do what i choose just because i have the right to. So what i was asking is "Even though we have the "right" to willfully put poison into our bodies and let them manipulate our internal chemistry to further the "pleasure;" knowing the consequences why would you be willing to shorten your life and your ability to live on this world for a 10 dollar high, when there is so much to learn about the world? Wouldn't your rational and intellectual drive to become greater push you beyond the need for a cheap physical gratification at the cost of your own life?

Of course it is your own choice, and feel free to excercise that, but you shouldn't really get angry or upset when people question the validity of your rational and "fullfilling" stance on intellectual clarity and quality of life through atheism when you openly embrace compromising your life for a cheap high.

I think one of the best quotes on this issue that sums up my thoughts on smoking would be this:

"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

Moralists and theologians place great weight upon the moment of conception, seeing it as the instant at which the soul comes into existence. If, like me, you are unmoved by such talk, you still must regard a particular instant, nine months before your birth, as the most decisive event in your personal fortunes. It is the moment at which your consciousness suddenly became trillions of times more foreseeable than it was a split second before. To be sure, the embryonic you that came into existence still had plenty of hurdles to leap. Most conceptuses end in early abortion before their mother even knew they were there, and we are all lucky not to have done so. Also, there is more to personal identity than genes, as identical twins (who separate after the moment of fertilization) show us. Nevertheless, the instant at which a particular spermatozoon penetrated a particular egg was, in your private hindsight, a moment of dizzying singularity. It was then that the odds against your becoming a person dropped from astronomical to single figures."

- Richard Dawkins (excerpt from Chapter I, "The Anaesthetic of Familiarity,"
of his 1998 book Unweaving the Rainbow)

 

I do not hold anything against those who smoke, I just think it's irrational to give up some of your life for something so materialistic, and then to plug your ears and ram it under the guise of "freedom of choice" when there is a lot of information that points to smoking changing the chemistry of your body to accomadate the pleasurable high that it gives you, while at the same time slowly killing you.

 

...and now for the last point: "Smoking does no harm to anyone but myself, and that shoudl be the way people look at it." 

 That is just flat out wrong. What about the people who love and care for you? Right now my girlfriend smokes and it breaks my heart that she is addicted to this habit because if she lets it go on too long it will rob her of the chance to experience and live life and enjoy all of it. She is already at a stage where it's brutal coughing and spitting in the morning. She has decreased physical stamina, and has a problem focusing and thinking things through when those infamous "cravings" start. 

 Now you can justify it under freedom of choice etc, but there has to be a line drawn where there is a distinction made between freedom of choice, and being exploited for a dollar. There has to be a line drawn where you are actively choosing to kill yourself, and you are ruled by your addiction. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belief needs questioning and criticism, not respect.


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Chase wrote: Things like

Chase wrote:
Things like this kind of make smoking seem dishonest to me. Again it brings for the question how much of the speaker is the addiction, and how much is the person.

I'm not a fan of the psychology fad that separates addictions from people.  No matter how addicted I may be to something, I'm still responsible for my actions and choices.

Chase wrote:
I just think it's irrational to give up some of your life for something so materialistic, and then to plug your ears and ram it under the guise of "freedom of choice"

I'm also not a fan of the argument that automatically characterizes certain kinds of decisions as denial.   As an ex-smoker, I can say I knew quite rationally what the risks were and made a rational cost-benefit assessment of the decision to smoke.  The benefits were worth the potential costs (until they weren't anymore).

That's also why I eventually decided never to smoke generic or discount cigarettes--only Nat Shermans.   IMO if you're going to enjoy a habit that kills you, you should make the most you can of it.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert