## Is it immoral to do illegal drugs?

• 256
If I spend $1000 one year on illegal drugs and 3% of that money ends up in the hands of mexican cartels or Al Qaeda (and ignoring the fact that if it was legal, then that would not be the case), do I need to justify my contribution of$30 to global terrorism? Surely my use of plastic water bottles is a more major moral failing?

And perhaps you might consult your larger community on how they feel about your engagement with illegal drug infrastructure.Depending on my experience, I might think it the greater morality to shoot you - after all, they merely meet a need, but you are the problem.

I just want it to be clear to any 3rd party, why I deserve to be shot :smile:
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Depending on my experience, I might think it the greater morality to shoot you

Americans! :gasp: Guns aren't the answer to everything! Thinking about it, guns aren't the answer to anything.

Seriously: can you offer some sort of reasoning behind your claim? Please explain how killing someone with a gun is more moral than their using illegal drugs?
• 2.4k
Seriously: can you offer some sort of reasoning behind your claim? Please explain how killing someone with a gun is more moral than their using illegal drugs?

I didn't say it was. It might help if you could read and understand English, and, you ask me to explain something, but all you do is make unsupported claims that you decline to support. Go back and read, and try to understand. Maybe get some local help?

You all make it very clear that you-all hold that morality is strictly personal, that there is no immorality intrinsic to breaking the law. Then I suggest that someone who believes as you do might find something very moral that perhaps you might not, and you-all lose it. It's time for you-all to examine your own thinking, because to date all you got is ignorance and stupidity, tempered, to be sure, with some consistency.

If you argue that it's not immoral to break the law by taking illegal drugs, then how can you argue against someone who would hold it moral to prevent you from breaking the law?
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Seriously: can you offer some sort of reasoning behind your claim? Please explain how killing someone with a gun is more moral than their using illegal drugs?

I didn't say it was. It might help if you could read and understand English

That seems awfully harsh and insulting considering the post that Patter-chaser was responding to looked like this:

If I spend $1000 one year on illegal drugs and 3% of that money ends up in the hands of mexican cartels or Al Qaeda (and ignoring the fact that if it was legal, then that would not be the case), do I need to justify my contribution of$30 to global terrorism? Surely my use of plastic water bottles is a more major moral failing?
— ZhouBoTong

And perhaps you might consult your larger community on how they feel about your engagement with illegal drug infrastructure.Depending on my experience, I might think it the greater morality to shoot you - after all, they merely meet a need, but you are the problem.
— tim wood

Care to explain how your response here DOES NOT suggest that in some cases (at least) it is more moral to shoot someone than to use drugs? As far as I can tell, it does not even need to be implied. It is fairly directly included -
I might think it the greater morality to shoot you
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Care to explain how your response here DOES NOT suggest that in some cases (at least) it is more moral to shoot someone than to use drugs? As far as I can tell, it does not even need to be implied. It is fairly directly included -

I might think it the greater morality to shoot you — tim wood

I thought that, but it's nice when someone else does too. :wink: :up:

Some people fall back on insults when their position is challenged. Sad.
• 2.4k
Depending on my experience, I might think it the greater morality to shoot you - after all, they merely meet a need, but you are the problem.

Do you understand English? The first clause, "Depending on my experience," did you read that? If you did you clearly did not understand it. Try this: "Depending on my experience [playing golf - if that were our topic], I might get a hole-in-one." I do not play golf. Get it? It's a hypothetical.

The point is that you decide that for you to break the law is not in any way immoral - for whatever reason. I posit the individual who like you decides he (or she) can similarly break the law. In the case of illegal drugs, it's not a stretch to imagine someone shooting someone. But the question is, while you might not like getting shot, what are you going to argue against the shooter? That he did a bad thing?

Now, I have several times in this thread offered a definition of morality/immorality and have made clear several times that morality is an issue in public actions (like obeying/breaking laws). And that some laws are candidates for being broken on moral grounds, and so forth. Now it's time for you - you-all - to lay out your argument supporting the proposition that no immorality attaints breaking any law. Not just claim it or rant it, but demonstrate it. This thread is 28 pages in without that argument. Time now to put up or own up and quit the field.

Proposition: It is not immoral to break the law. In support, Zhou, Pattern-chaser, et al. All yours.
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Proposition: It is not immoral to break the law. In support, Zhou, Pattern-chaser, et al. All yours.

Oh, no. This is binary thinking at its worst and most imperceptive. The OP asks "Is it immoral to do illegal drugs?" Our answer, to summarise, is "not necessarily", while yours is "yes".

If I say to you "I'm not convinced that P" (where P is, as usual, some proposition), I am not saying "I assert that P is FALSE". Do you see? Just because I'm not sure if P is TRUE doesn't mean I believe P is FALSE. It means I'm not sure. It means I believe that either of these positions could be correct, or even neither of them, if there's something we missed.

This is a nuanced argument. There are cases where it is immoral to break a particular law, in a particular set of circumstances, and there are cases where this is not so. I will not argue for X or for NOT(X) when it is obvious that sometimes one is the case, and sometimes the other. Morals and law sometimes overlap, sometimes not. Nevertheless, they are distinct. They are not the same thing.

All yours.
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I think you either need to define morality/immorality or accept my definition. It seems that for the law that you find moral cause to break, it is not immoral to break it. I should like at this point to disqualify any notion of "personal" morality. Were there to be such a thing, then there is potentially moral justification for anything at all. And if that be the case, morality itself disappears. Agree?

So. You decide on moral grounds to break a law. Before you make that determination, do you accept that there always already exists a moral obligation to obey the law as law? Perhaps we need to define "law." I define law for these purposes as the expressed will of the community - that aspect of will that is best expressed as law, having the compulsive force of law. Implied is that the law is a good for the good.

It is this latter obligation I maintain exists, and that does not go away. Apparently you suppose that in breaking a law, its status as law is annihilated as if it never existed. Or alternatively you suppose that law as law is not in any way morally binding on you.

Are all laws good and for the good? If not, is there an understanding that you get to make that determination by and for yourself, and to act accordingly? As noted above (somewhere) this is just nullification and revolution writ small. It is an attack on the community.

It seems to me that if you acknowledge a moral obligation under law, then you must agree with me. And the only way out is to deny that there is any moral obligation to obey law; that any obligation is established by each law, law by law.

In sum, as you say, two different things: 1) morality/immorality of breaking the law as law, and 2) the morality/immorality of breaking a particular law.

And to be sure, there is an additional "catch" to breaking a law: that the breaking must be for or toward some greater good, and that's a high and difficult standard to meet.
• 1.2k
I should like at this point to disqualify any notion of "personal" morality. Were there to be such a thing, then there is potentially moral justification for anything at all. And if that be the case, morality itself disappears. Agree?

No. Consider: I am a paedophile (no, I'm not, this is a little thought experiment), the greatest bogeyman of our time. To me, my practices are morally acceptable. To you, and to many others, they are not. But we can all agree that my practices are illegal.

Morality does not disappear in such cases, which only illustrate the personal nature of morals. Morality varying from person to person does not make it disappear. Hair colour varies between individuals, but colour does not disappear as a result.

do you accept that there always already exists a moral obligation to obey the law as law?

No. I accept that my community places certain obligations upon me, and if I disobey them, I will pay some kind of penalty. My community does not try to impose its morals onto me, and if it did, I would resist. Everyone does this, don't they?

you suppose that in breaking a law, its status as law is annihilated as if it never existed. Or alternatively you suppose that law as law is not in any way morally binding on you.

The latter. But the law does bind me, it's just that that binding is not a moral one. It's a simple and unqualified binding that my community places upon me: that I conform to its will, or get punished. My community is not a moral authority, it's just my community. I am a member, and it has certain expectations of me as a result of my membership.

Are all laws good and for the good?

Now you're just asking whether laws and morals are inextricably linked or not. They are not. They are not unconnected either. They overlap, but they remain distinct.

the only way out is to deny that there is any moral obligation to obey law; that any obligation is established by each law, law by law.

No, the obligation(s) are put in place by my community, all of them (probably including me). My community doesn't tell me what's right and what's wrong. It's religions that do that. It just tells me what it expects of me.
• 256
Do you understand English? The first clause, "Depending on my experience," did you read that? If you did you clearly did not understand it. Try this: "Depending on my experience [playing golf - if that were our topic], I might get a hole-in-one." I do not play golf. Get it? It's a hypothetical.

Yes, we get it. Notice when you say "breaking the law is immoral", we answer "it depends" but then give examples where other morality obviously trumps following the law (Schindler is a nice easy one in case you forgot).

We understand that I said
If I spend $1000 one year on illegal drugs and 3% of that money ends up in the hands of mexican cartels or Al Qaeda (and ignoring the fact that if it was legal, then that would not be the case), do I need to justify my contribution of$30 to global terrorism? Surely my use of plastic water bottles is a more major moral failing?
And then you responded,
Depending on my experience, I might think it the greater morality to shoot you - after all, they merely meet a need, but you are the problem.

However, you don't give an example. To people like Pattern-Chaser and I, there is NO CONCEIVABLE SCENARIO where I deserve to be shot based on my actions above. But you are claiming there is. So Pattern-chaser asked for an example. Depending on what possible experience would lead to the conclusion that I should be shot for my actions above? And beyond that, show that the action of shooting me was less of a moral failing than my breaking the law?
• 2.4k
However, you don't give an example. To people like Pattern-Chaser and I, there is NO CONCEIVABLE SCENARIO where I deserve to be shot based on my actions above. But you are claiming there is.

No. I am not. And it is now crystal clear that you do not understand English. If it's for you a second language, then you're doing very well indeed, but nevertheless, you're not getting it. And don;t ask, because the explanation is just above. Go back and reread it.
• 2.4k
I should like at this point to disqualify any notion of "personal" morality.
No. Consider: I am a pedophile.... To me, my practices are morally acceptable.
Hello-oo. That's why I move to dismiss the notion "personal morality."
Morality does not disappear in such cases,
Yes. Exactly.
My community does not try to impose its morals onto me, and if it did, I would resist. Everyone does this, don't they?
Do you drive the speed limit most of the time? Do you dump your trash appropriately - you don't litter do you? You're in favor of and support public education and public health initiatives, yes? You have electricity and running water where you live? You travel on public ways? Do you benefit from participation - or even just presence - in your community? And on and on and on.... Pretty much all of this and more most folks do out of willingness and an understanding that it's all for greater goods. Not because they're forced to by a law and a gun.

And besides, I have nowhere suggested that law is an imposition of morality - though I suppose in places that attempt is made - only that it is immoral to break the law.

Or alternatively you suppose that law as law is not in any way morally binding on you.
— tim wood
The latter. But the law does bind me, it's just that that binding is not a moral one. It's a simple and unqualified binding that my community places upon me: that I conform to its will, or get punished.
How does the law bind you? If you're just itching to break "immoral" laws, then how does that law bind you?
No, the obligation(s) are put in place by my community, all of them (probably including me). My community doesn't tell me what's right and what's wrong.
So you drive on whatever side of the road you feel like driving on, whenever you feel like driving on it?

To be moral is to accept being a member of a community, many communities. It is to accept the obligation to the other, as they accept a similar obligation to you. If you're not in that, then you need to do two things. Probably a lot more than two things, but at least these two. Grow up! And learn to think better!
Proposition: It is not immoral to break the law. In support, Zhou, Pattern-chaser, et al. All yours.
This was just above. What are your responses so far? One, mainly. that law and morality are not the same thing. NO ONE has said they were. Then for the rest, no argument at all, just claims. That doesn't cut it. And it doesn't really matter on TPF if you do not understand these things even well enough to articulate a reasoned position - but it does matter that it is apparently the level of your maturity. And that's bad.

Since you ignore other questions. Let's try this. A person decides it's moral for him to break a law. You hold that it is not - even that harm and damage will likely result. But by your standards, his is a moral decision and act, and it is not immoral for him to break that law. What do you do?
• 256
I thought that, but it's nice when someone else does too. :wink: :up:

Some people fall back on insults when their position is challenged. Sad.

Well, I tried my best, but this has gotten a little ridiculous (I guess it was already ridiculous by the end of the OP). Keep up the good work :smile:
• 1.2k
To be moral is to accept being a member of a community

How do you connect right and wrong to accepting community membership?
• 2.4k
How do you connect right and wrong to accepting community membership?

Hi. Remember this? It's just above. Leaves the question if you bother to read, and if you read, do you understand what you read. Not an insult, a question, because your posts call it into question.
Do you drive the speed limit most of the time? Do you dump your trash appropriately - you don't litter do you? You're in favor of and support public education and public health initiatives, yes? You have electricity and running water where you live? You travel on public ways? Do you benefit from participation - or even just presence - in your community? And on and on and on.... Pretty much all of this and more most folks do out of willingness and an understanding that it's all for greater goods. Not because they're forced to by a law and a gun.
Do you benefit from participation - or even just presence - in your community?
Where did I say anything about "accepting community membership?"

Anyway. Answer: We are all members of communities. Being member of a community imposes moral obligations. Choosing to not perform according to moral expectations is immoral.

1) Do you deny that you are a member of a number of communities?

2) Do you deny that being a member of a community imposes obligations?

3) Do you deny that choosing to disregard an obligation is itself immoral?
• 1.2k
Where did I say anything about "accepting community membership?"

Here:

To be moral is to accept being a member of a community
• 1.2k
Being member of a community imposes moral obligations.

Says who?

Do you deny that being a member of a community imposes obligations?

No, but the obligations are not moral obligations. Being a member means accepting the rules of the 'club'.
• 2.4k
Being member of a community imposes moral obligations.
— tim wood

Says who?
Does it matter? Is that what your morality is, such as you're moral, what someone tells you to think or do?

Do you deny that being a member of a community imposes obligations?
— tim wood

No, but the obligations are not moral obligations. Being a member means accepting the rules of the 'club'.
Time for you to define morality/immorality. On your answer here I conclude you do not know what it - they - are.

To be moral is to accept being a member of a community
— tim wood
How do you connect right and wrong to accepting community membership?
Where did I say anything about "accepting community membership?"
— tim wood
Here:
To be moral is to accept being a member of a community
— tim wood
What I wrote is - it's just above, three or four times- "to be moral is to accept...". That's what I wrote. Do you separate morality from matters of right and wrong?

It's pretty clear that you pretty much deny all of it. But it makes no sense to deny it. That's why I'm interested in what you think morality is. Perhaps like some others you feel morality is a matter of feeling - when you feel it, or feel like feeling it. I buy that morality is mainly a matter of reason.
• 1.2k
Is that what your morality is, such as you're moral, what someone tells you to think or do?

No. I think that may refer to a law. :chin:

Time for you to define morality/immorality.

Morality is knowing what is right and wrong, and using that knowledge to make judgements of what is right and wrong in situations that arise in RL.

I buy that morality is mainly a matter of reason.

This may be the core of our mutual misunderstandings. I am not at all sure that reason alone is sufficient to explain or understand morality. Emotions and feelings play a large part in determining what is right and wrong, which is why morality is personal. What's right or wrong for me may be wrong or right for you, if you see what I mean.
• 2.4k
Morality is knowing what is right and wrong, and using that knowledge to make judgements of what is right and wrong in situations that arise in RL.
And how does this not have a communal component? Does knowing the right from the wrong impose any obligation?

Emotions and feelings play a large part in determining what is right and wrong,
Big difference here. It is reason that identifies and determines. Emotions/feelings can be a check, but not a good check and sometimes a wrong check. Or have you never been around children of any age? (Including, unfortunately, adult children of any age.)

If you think your actions are moral because you feel good about them, then maybe they are and maybe they are not. If you think your feeling good about them means that your actions are moral, then you're exactly wrong. No need to take my word for it; I'm not that smart. Just do some reading.

Meanwhile we're irreconcilable.
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Does knowing the right from the wrong impose any obligation?

Yes, of course. It imposes doing-right. Sometimes, we are able to recognise and obey that imposition. :wink: In theory, where you live, we do that all the time, of course. :smile:

If you think your actions are moral because you feel good about them...

Straw man. No-one said this. Tawdry. :vomit:

It is reason that identifies and determines. Emotions/feelings can be a check, but not a good check and sometimes a wrong check.

You think this is the case, in real live humans in the real world? I think this is an "ought" rather than an "is", on your part. It is usual for those sympathetic to science/logic/objectivism to deny or minimise the impact emotions and feelings have on our lives and on our decisions, but empirical observations show the lie. Right or wrong ( :smile: ) people behave according to their emotions and feelings, maybe more often than they listen to the still small voice of reason?

Millions of poor US citizens voted for Trump. Reason or feelings?
• 2.4k
to deny or minimise the impact emotions and feelings have on our lives and on our decisions,
Neither, but attempt to understand and if and as necessary, control their influence.

Emotions and feelings play a large part in determining what is right and wrong,
If you think your actions are moral because you feel good about them...
— tim wood
Straw man. No-one said this. Tawdry. :vomit:
?????

Right or wrong ( :smile: ) people behave according to their emotions and feelings, maybe more often than they listen to the still small voice of reason? Millions of poor US citizens voted for Trump. Reason or feelings?
And the world may shake for it! In the case of voting for Trump, there appears to be good evidence that their vote was an expression of a denial of reality in favour of some personal fantasy. If so, I'd call that stupid ignorance, not rising to the level of immorality. But those do his bidding, those are manifestly deeply immoral.
• 1.2k
Emotions and feelings play a large part in determining what is right and wrong, — Pattern-chaser

If you think your actions are moral because you feel good about them...
— tim wood
Straw man. No-one said this. Tawdry. :vomit: — Pattern-chaser

?????

"feel good about" = (morally) "right"? No: straw man.
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