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Anat of Arg Worksheet I

Dependence on particular economic interests as well

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dependence on particular economic interests, as well as to equalize the opportunities of candidates, for [6] their merits ought to count more than their money does in winning. (Adapted from Beardsley, Thinking Straight ) 19. [1] Every individual is capable of injuring or killing himself. [2] This potentiality is a fundamental expression of human freedom. [3] Self-destructive behavior may be regarded as sinful and penalized by means of informal sanctions. But [4] it should not be regarded as a crime or (mental) disease, justifying or warranting the use of the police powers of the state for its control. Therefore, [5] it is absurd to deprive an adult of a drug (or of anything else) because he might use it to kill himself. (Thomas Szasz, “The Ethics of Addiction: An Argument in Favor of Letting Americans Take Any Drug They Want”) 20. [1] Clearly, the argument that marijuana--or heroin, methadone, or morphine--is prohibited because it is addictive or dangerous cannot be supported by facts. For one thing, [2] there are many drugs, from insulin to penicillin, that are neither addictive nor dangerous but are nevertheless also prohibited; they can be obtained only through a physician’s prescription. For another, [3] there are many things, from dynamite to guns, that are much more dangerous than narcotics (especially to others) but are not prohibited. (Thomas Szasz, “The Ethics of Addiction: An Argument in Favor of Letting Americans Take Any Drug They Want”) 21. [1] Public intoxication, not only with alcohol but with any drug, should be an offense 3
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punishable by the criminal law. Furthermore, [2] acts that may injure others--such as driving a car--should, when carried out in a drug-intoxicated state, be punished especially strictly and severely. [3] The right to self-medication must thus entail unqualified responsibility for the effects of one’s drug-intoxicated behavior on others. For [4] unless we are willing to hold ourselves responsible for our own behavior, and hold others responsible for theirs, the liberty to use drugs (or to engage in other acts) degenerates into a license to hurt others. (Thomas Szasz, “The Ethics of Addiction: An Argument in Favor of Letting Americans Take Any Drug They Want”) 22. [1] If a person could be mistaken, then the person lacks knowledge about the matter. [2] Even when a person is not mistaken, if the person could be mistaken, the person does not know what they believe is true. Thus [3] a person knows something only if the person could not be mistaken. (Cornman, et al. Philosophical Problems and Arguments p. 47) 4
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