Rushing to please before the election; does anybody think the (UK) 1971 Misuse of Drugs act has had its day?
Is there any collection of laws that has not been chopped, changed and kneeded into a different shape weeks before a general election (by both the main parties). The current bullying actions of Alan Johnson…keeping his eye on the the populist press/election in hand, as well as bending down low for them whenever they squeal, which has led to another drug advisor joining the exodus of others must make many wonder should this 40 year old book of laws be scraped, and discussed again, for it seems any time we come across a story concerning a drug with a funny nickname, or a sweet and young girl (usually white) splashed across front pages – who dies through drug taking, whoever is in power with their eye on the ratings makes a swift dash to either ridicule drug experts, or wants to tweak and change one part of the 1971 (note the year…) Misuse of Drugs act to make Mr D. Mail have orgasms while he writes a letter to his favourite paper?
Would it be better to scrap the Act and start again…with not a paranoid and populist-ranting M.P. in sight?
In the fight to ‘win the war on drugs’ successive governments have taken up impossible stances to appease the far right and the church.
The stance we are left with is that of being in a war that is not only impossible to win but, is costing the country a fortune and making some very nasty people very rich.
The only alternative, that has a chance of winning, is one that was used, on a trial basis from 1987/8 until 1992/3 in one of the towns on the periphery of Manchester.
In this trial the town used was picked because it was average town. It had a population of some 30,000. It had the national average breakdown of age ranges in the correct percentages, the correct percentage of unemployed, drug addicts and crime statistics.
A Doctor was assigned to register every addict in the town and put them through an assessment, then supply them their drug of choice on a two day prescription.
It took this Doctor three years to get every addict in the town signed up and once he’d done that, the dealers went away, they obviously couldn’t compete. What this did was to make the ordinary citizen feel more at ease, to such an extent that people started using subways and underpasses again in safety. People started to ‘promenade’ of an evening again. That is to go out for a stroll, during which they would stop and talk to complete strangers, as well as friends. The ordinary non-addicts of the town stopped using anti-depressants. Which saved the NHS a great deal of money. The NHS also saved money because of the drop in injury’s received by people who used to get ‘mugged’. There was also savings because of the drop in treatment to addicts, who stopped getting infections due to using other people’s needles.
The police had an easier time because they had less crime to deal with. In the final year of the ‘experiment’, the national average crime rate went up by 26.7% but, in this town crime went down by 28.4%, that is an effective drop in crime of just over 55%. Court and prison costs went down substantially as well.
The cost of this experiment was minimal. A heroin addict on £100 per day of street smack, was supplied with enough pure heroin, Millax (a cutting agent), ties, needles, spoons and syringes , for two days at a time, at a cost of £4.
Addicts that were working at the time, were more able to keep their jobs and dignity. They didn’t have to find ways of making so much extra cash to feed their habits.
The only people speaking against this way of dealing with the drug problem, were the ultra rightwing and the churches, who had, what they call morality reasons for objecting.
Why are “some” Christians so immoral regarding homosexuality and gay marriage?
It’s ok to dislike homosexuality. We can like, or dislike, anything or anybody we choose.
It’s NOT ok to force one’s morality onto someone else via laws and enforcement …. like “forcing” homosexuals to NOT marry whilst giving yourself the right TO marry.
These Christians are utterly immoral people in this regard. They should feel ashamed of themselves.
Fireball ……. you have serious English comprehension difficulties. Try reading my post again son.
Saddle …… your reply is a GREAT example of Christian immorality.
GC …. your immorality is spectacular and there for all to see in your cruel and inhumane words.
Anglican leaders from around the world have clearly stated their opposition to the “victimisation or diminishment” of gays and lesbians, saying demonising and persecuting them was “totally against Christian charity and basic principles of pastoral care”.
“We say that no one should have to live in fear because of the bigotry of others.”
The mormons poured millions into forcing through prop 8 in CA: to ban gay marriage. In August 2010 the court held that to be unconstitutional. On 15 June 2011 the San Francisco court upheld that decision because it violates the constitutional rights of citizens. On 7 February 2012 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck the California law again finding that the California state constitution banning same-sex marriage violated principles of due process and equal protection under the law.
The court found that the ban violates equality laws to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing so. Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California. The constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.
It is now awaiting the Supreme Court verdict which is expected to uphold the early court decision.
If that happens then gay marriage will become legal everywhere and that will be marriage and not civil partnership!
In the UK The intolerance, bigotry and homophobia from Chrsitians resulted in it being classed as a hate crime with severe sentences. It has led to the government framing legislation which if enacted will replace “Civil Partnership” with full marriage.
The loving god works in mysterious ways.
I’m losing my faith in Christianity and am strongly considering Agnosticism… Help?
Ok, well first off I’m 17. I’ve been losing my faith in God for many reasons and I’m on the brink of totally trashing it and taking up a form of Agnosticism (Basically I believe in logic, science, etc. but do not ignore the fact there could be a being(s) beyond comprehension surpassing physical laws and others.)
I have been angry towards most Christians for a while now, I find their ignorance offensive, even though I consider myself a Christian. I feel like whenever I see something on facebook or somewhere else on the internet I want to counter it with scientific proof and how they’re bigots and don’t seem to understand not everybody believes what they believe. I have also recognized many fallacies and just things that make no sense in the Bible and also things that I feel a loving God would not do (Yes, I know God works in mysterious ways, but there are seriously questionable things in there).
I started SERIOUSLY considering Agnosticism these past fews days after getting into science (More specifically Astronomy) when I learned about the vast galaxies, universes, and how insignificant we are. How there is so much more life out there. I can understand how God could have created it all and watch over other extraterrestrials(Which is never mentioned in the bible), but the scientific methods are also much more logical and interesting (Yet mostly theories, which will takes thousands of years to figure out). I can’t seem to bring myself to believe that a god created all of that and yet still have all the flaws the bible often depicts. It just makes no sense to me.
Back to Christianity- I have accepted Christ as my saviour (Numerous times, actually, because I feel like some of the times I didn’t know what I was asking for). If I accepted him as my savior how am I feeling this way? I’ve done some bad things in my life (Sex, illegal substances, stealing, lots of other criminality), and I know God forgives all of that (There is a verse somewhere in John that addresses it)- But how am I straying so far from him and his principles if I have accepted him as my savior? Did I do something wrong when accepting him? I still believe in SOME of His morals, and I’m not a bad person for the most part.
How, as a saved Christian my whole life, have I come to the brink of denying his principles and possibly existence? How have I come to the point of seriously questioning this and believing he does not exist?
I feel like I’m only keeping my faith so I don’t go to hell… And I remember there being a verse saying that Christ will deny me if I do that? (I don’t recall the exact verse, if you know it please tell me). But if I’m ‘saved’ and turn away from God that means I’m going to hell? Some verses say I will, but some say I won’t. Why does it contradict itself?
SO many other people believe in their OTHER gods just as much as Christians believe in THEIRS. They ALL think they are right.
I’m sorry if this all makes no sense and if I’m repetitive, but it’s a very frightening issue and my heart is divided on this issue and I can not decide this without help. This is a serious issue that will potentially change my life forever.
I’m going to be praying all the rest of the week, and see if anything might sway me from choosing agnosticism.
Please help me. This is a difficult part of my life. I would like answers from Both Christians AND Agnostics/Athiests please.
too long;didn’t read: I don’t know if I should leave my Christian faith for Agnosticism/Athiesm and need help choosing.
Part 1 of 2, from Dalinian
Firstly, let me celebrate your honesty, candour, and vulnerability in asking for help in this way. It’s so refreshing to ‘meet’ a young man who exhibits such open hearted courage in revealing his doubts about the religious faith in which he was raised. I salute your bravery, my friend. So now let’s address some of your substantive issues.
“I started SERIOUSLY considering Agnosticism these past fews days after getting into science (More specifically Astronomy) when I learned about the vast galaxies, universes, and how insignificant we are.”
I know how you feel – I’ve a life-long fascination with scientific astronomy and cosmology, from the age of 10, when I used the telescope my Dad gave me to show him the rings of Saturn and the Galilean moons of Jupiter. Two of the reasons why practically all cosmologists are atheists are that (1) not only are there no more significant gaps in scientific cosmology for a ‘God of the gaps’ to explain away, but also (2) there’s simply mountains of evidence that from the Plank time after the Big Bang (10^-43 seconds) to now (c. 13.7 billion years later), nothing but natural laws and processes have determined how our cosmos has evolved over time.
But I’d caution against feeling insignificant – for more, see my previous ‘Best Answer’ at:
• How do you respond to the modern notions of the immense size and age of the universe?
In particular, I’m with Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams in believing that discovering the truth about the immense size and age of our universe emphasises how important we are in being able to comprehend…
• ‘The View from the Center of the Universe – Discovering our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos’
» website – http://viewfromthecenter.com
» video download, 303 MB – http://viewfromthecenter.com/files/NASA-Ames-Lecture.mp4
“I’ve done some bad things in my life (sex…”
Despite the Christian dogmatism, sex is absolutely NOT a “bad thing”. Our sexuality – straight, gay, bi, trans – is as natural and good as our capacities for altruistic kindness and loving our friends. Get self-educated in safer sex techniques, to optimise sexual health for you and your sex partners, and enjoy expressing your sexuality – it’s a major part of what makes you human, and deserves to be celebrated, not repressed as in the conventional Christian tradition.
The other risky activities you mention are all pretty standard for your age; the more you comprehend what we know collectively about the physiology, patterns and experiences of teenage risk-taking behaviour, the more empowered you’ll be to make more well-founded decisions in the future; for instance, see:
• ‘Teenage Risk-Taking: Teenage Brains Really Are Different From Child Or Adult Brains’, in ScienceDaily, 2008
» more info – http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Teenage+risk+taking+behaviour
» Google scholar – http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=Teenage+risk+taking+behaviour&oi=scholart
“I’m not a bad person for the most part”
Despite the appallingly demeaning Christian doctrine of ‘Original Sin’, neither you nor I nor anybody else is a “bad person” AT ALL. The most valid over-generalisation is that we are all good people, but occasionally, like everybody else, you may make a poor decision, or do something wrong. That is an integral part of the human condition, and it does NOT define the whole of your being-in-the-world as “bad”. You’re obviously smart enough to learn from your mistakes and wrong actions, as we all do.
Despite the preposterously arrogant Christian assertion that only their God is the source of all morality, these days anthropology and evolutionary psychology are beginning to demonstrate that human morality is as much an evolved trait as eye colour or language acquisition – for more, see my previous two-part ‘Best Answer’ at:
• Is morality an inborn quality or acquired/human construct/subjective concept?
End of Part 1 of 2, from Dalinian.
I’ll pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster to deliver Part 2/2
Can animals other than humans on earth have morals?
For example, is it morally wrong for a Dolphin to rape a person?
Dophines have also been known to engage in gang rape. Is that morally wrong?
Or is it all “instinct”?
atheists, what do you think?
So, what you’re saying is, non-human animals cannot have a set definition of what is socially acceptable (a loose definition of morals)?
Animals are not created in the image of God and are not under law.
Animals have not received the knowledge of good and evil..there is neither morality nor immorality with animals.
There is no such thing as a loose interpretation of morality.
A loose interpretation of morality is called imorality.
Who’s definition of morality do you follow?
What makes his judgment better than yours or mine?
How do we define morality?
Without an absolute truth how do we judge? Who is the judge?
Does society itself set the standard? Hasn’t history itself proved society can not?
Most societies base the idea of morality on religion even then they tend to miss the boat.
There are no moral animals because animals have no judge nor teachers.
If an animal could overcome instinct would it be beneficial to it’s survival?
How would an animal decide what is moral?
Would a Tiger decide killing is imoral and therfore become a vegitarian?
What moral laws could an animal place itself under?
What type of morality are we looking for?
The only thing we could determine when seeking moral animals would be known as instinct which is survial of the species.
Is the DEATH TO GAYS law in Uganda really inspired by AMERICAN Evangelical Christians?
…The U.S. evangelical group “The Family” pushed for the death penalty for gays in Uganda. The are several U.S. politicians that are member of this group..
Is this a new Christian Fundamentalist strategy in fighting the Devil to hit easier targets like gays instead of abortion clinics and MDs?
Christians love to talk about their morality. Is this thing in uganda a example of their morality?
YEAH! Blame the White Man! It’s Whitey’s fault!
What is? Why… EVERYTHING is, of course!
Apparently we’re not only Pure Evil, we’re also Omniscient….
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