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OfflinePhluck
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Registered: 04/11/99
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Emotional opinions.
    #4328534 - 06/23/05 02:37 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

"Alcohol killed my brother. It turned him into a shell of a man, tearing his family apart, before he finally died of liver failure. I've seen first hand what drinking will do to a person, and if you had seen what I had seen, you would know that we need to remove alcohol from our society. Drinking WILL destroy you."

We've probably all heard a story like that. It could be about any drug, really. You might even hear things like that about other activities that have risks involved, like dangerous sports or even things like tattoos and piercing.

Of course, such an example is quite extreme. A lot of people drink, but most don't become alcoholics, and out of those that do, it's not too common for someone to die of liver failure at a young age. It's a big planet though, with a lot of people, and eventually, someone will face the most severe consequences for their actions. Smoking pot doesn't usually cause tons of problems, but it's not hard to find a few examples of people who truly wasted their lives on it, smoking tons of it, constantly, destroying their relationships with their friends and family, and ruining themselves financially. It's extremely rare, but there are even a few people who might end up devoting themselves to nitrous oxide to the point where they abuse it so often that they end up making a deadly mistake.

When we're affected by an incident like this personally, it becomes very easy to see the drug or activity as much more dangerous than it is. If your only knowledge of rock climbing, for instance, is that it's how your best friend died, you're going to see it as an extremely dangerous activity, even though the vast majority of people involved take the proper safety precautions.

This is the reason that there are so many stupid warning labels on things, and out of control safety regulations. Playgrounds these days are becoming increasingly bland, due to pressure from people to make them safer and safer. The odds of a child choking to death on the chain from a swingset are almost laughably low, but with 250 million or so people in the US, it's bound to happen at some point, and one angry grieving parent with enough motivation is all it takes for a law to be passed that makes swings safer and a lot less fun.

It's hard to tell someone who has lost a good friend of family member that they are being unreasonable. Sometimes, accidents happen. Something unlikely occurs, and someone dies. It's very difficult to accept the idea that your loved one was killed by plain old bad luck. We all want to be able to blame someone or something. It's part of our human nature to want to have something to fight against, some kind of battle that we can win and make things right.

If someone's father dies from alcoholism, and they fight to make their county into a dry one and succeed, it feels like they may have saved someone else. They've defeated the evil that harmed their father so much. Or someone's son gets their collar caught on the merry-go-round and chokes to death, and they succeed in having merry-go-rounds banned from fairs.

Neither of those things were really all that dangerous, but nearly everything on the planet has the potential to cause a freak accident.

Keeping your emotions in check can be a very difficult thing to do. Everyone is guilty of having opinions based more on emotion than reason, it's inescapable. We should all try to do our best to avoid it though, try to analyse your strongest opinions and beliefs. We can't be perfect, but if we put in the effort to avoid this kind of thinking, more people will recognize that it IS common, and will be ready to be self-critical and prepared for improvement.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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InvisibleLiz
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Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 6,962
Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: Phluck]
    #4328603 - 06/23/05 02:54 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

Great post.  :thumbup:


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Remember, remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.




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OfflineOrganic
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Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 5,774
Loc: Overlook
Last seen: 8 years, 16 days
Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: Liz]
    #4328617 - 06/23/05 02:57 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

This is a realization I would wager many of us have had...the important part is to keep it in practice

Great post :thumbup:


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InvisibletrendalM
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Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 19,867
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: Phluck]
    #4328622 - 06/23/05 02:59 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

:thumbup:


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
Male

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 60,941
Loc: the sky
Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: Organic]
    #4328623 - 06/23/05 02:59 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

Quote:

Organic said:
This is a realization I would wager many of us have had...the important part is to keep it in practice

Great post :thumbup:




Yeah, so hard to do sometimes though.  Great post.


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Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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Offlinemikeytwice
Wanderer

Registered: 06/21/05
Posts: 195
Last seen: 1 year, 6 months
Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: Liz]
    #4328632 - 06/23/05 03:01 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

Si, I agree entirely. I was thinking about this yesterday morning. It is much easier for people to place the blame on some substance as it negates any sort of personal responsibility - these substances contain some magic Essence that manages to demonize certain individuals. Now, some people do turn into monsters, in some sense, but it isn't as if these drugs aren't just exacerbating latent tendencies...

And you're right, it's important to realize these emotional reactions within ourselves as to look at things logically. On the other hand, I suspect that emotion plays a part whenever we assign meaning, so one also should avoid turning into some cold robot. Just trying to be honest with yourself is where to be. Unfortunately this is not so easy sometimes, for the veil of illusion tempts us from within and out...


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InvisibleCalifornia
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Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 70,673
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Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: Phluck]
    #4328656 - 06/23/05 03:09 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

That is why I am a student of the Stoic school.


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Offlinemikeytwice
Wanderer

Registered: 06/21/05
Posts: 195
Last seen: 1 year, 6 months
Re: Emotional opinions. [Re: California]
    #4328696 - 06/23/05 03:23 PM (12 years, 4 days ago)

Alcohol ruined your brother's life, and now a karate chop is about to ruin your face! Take that!


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