Video Games

I'm Guessing Their Characters Were Not Lawful Good

|

You know how it is: You sit down at your computer to play a little Dungeons & Dragons, and when you look up your kids are starving. "A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect," A.P. reports. Experts are divided on whether the parents, Michael and Iana Straw, deserve as much respect as drunks, junkies, or crackheads who neglect their children:

Last month, experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is like alcoholism, while others said there was no concrete evidence it's a psychological disease.

Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video game addiction's correlation to child abuse is "a new spin on an old problem."

"As we become more technologically advanced, there's more distractions," Killen said. "It's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it's video games or meth, it's a serious issue, and [we] need to become more aware of it."

I'm not sure what counts as "concrete evidence" of "a psychological disease" in the AMA's book (or the APA's book, which is the one that really counts). But I think Killen is right that the addiction processes are essentially similar. He's wrong, though, when he claims "it's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children." If it's so easy, why do most parents manage to remember to feed their kids, despite the world's myriad distractions? To say someone is an addict does not absolve him of responsibility for his actions (or inactions). People are rightly judged by the habits they cultivate.

[Thanks to Kevin Killough for the tip.]

Advertisement

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Diagnosis = excuse

  2. Disorder = excuse

  3. As soon as I’m done vomiting, I’d like to get after the business of starving these assholes to death.

    And by “these assholes” I mean the parents and anyone sick enough to excuse their behavior as a mental disorder.

  4. Police said hospital staff had to shave the head of the girl because her hair was matted with cat urine.

    That’s pretty fucked up.

  5. The crucial question is whether video games are analogous to good drugs like alcohol, where they can merely be heavily taxed and regulated; or bad drugs like marijuana, which will justify an armed assault squad to break down my door if they get a report of someone playing Super Mario Bros. 3.

  6. Mr. Sullum does bring up some interesting points here. What exactly is a “mental disorder”, and how can it be distinguished from “poor behavior”?

    I get the feeling that the more we learn about the human brain, the more we’ll come to the conclusion that all undesirable behavior is a disorder or disease, since nobody can really control their own thoughts or mental processes.

    In other words, I suspect the concept of “free will” in regards to human mental processes will soon be a thing of the past. Which, if you’re a pessimist, might lead to mandatory “treatment” of any behavior seen as undesirable by whomever it is makes those decisions.

  7. since nobody can really control their own thoughts or mental processes

    Oh, yes we can, Dan. The practice of cognitive and behavioral therapy is the deliberate alteration of one’s own manner of thinking and behavior with the goal of altering one’s own emotional and physical state for the better.

    Behavioral and cognitive therapies are successfully used for chronic pain patients as well as for those suffering various mood disorders. It’s simply a matter of retraining one’s mind to respond differently to certain stimuli.

    We absolutely DO have the power to control our thoughts and mental processes.

    So you see, you don’t have to be an idiot, Dan T.

  8. If you’re a pessimist? No mandatory treatment for optimists, huh? Cool!

  9. If you’re a pessimist? No mandatory treatment for optimists, huh? Cool!

    That’s the best news I’ve heard all year!

  10. You can’t blame Dan T. He fails his Intelligence Check in almost every thread.

  11. Oh, yes we can, Dan. The practice of cognitive and behavioral therapy is the deliberate alteration of one’s own manner of thinking and behavior with the goal of altering one’s own emotional and physical state for the better.

    Behavioral and cognitive therapies are successfully used for chronic pain patients as well as for those suffering various mood disorders. It’s simply a matter of retraining one’s mind to respond differently to certain stimuli.

    But if we have the power to change our own thoughts, why do we need such therapies?

    Free will is an illusion. Your brain controls (and in some ways creates) you, not the other way around.

  12. And his Charisma check too.

  13. If you’re a pessimist? No mandatory treatment for optimists, huh? Cool!

    In the future, both optimism and pessimism will be declared disorders and subject to treatment!

  14. Because, Dan T., although we have the power to practice differential calculus, we need to take a class to learn how to do it.

    You’re not really this stupid, are you?

  15. That doesn’t bother me one way or the other.

  16. Sorry, but Dan T. is more right than even I want to admit.

  17. Experts are divided on whether the parents, Michael and Iana Straw, deserve as much respect as drunks, junkies, or crackheads who neglect their children:

    How much respect would that be?

  18. Dan T.,

    Food for thought:

    Again, it depends on what the meaning of “free will” is. … We may want to distinguish between people who are literally in a fugue state and hallucinating, and people who are compos mentis and who can be held responsible for their actions in the mundane sense that punishment may deter them and others. It may be that free will is the most convenient way of summarizing that difference, in which case it would continue to exist, but in a scientific translation, that is, a brain state within certain normal conditions. – S. Pinker

    Note that this does not imply that people who are addicted to something are existing in an abnormal brain state condition.

  19. You sit down at your computer to play a little Dungeons & Dragons

    LOL You are really dating yourself there Jacob. Nobodies played D&D for almost twenty years.

  20. Actually, the steady progression of newly minted “addictions” is having the opposite effect to me, Dan.

    Instead of making me conclude that everything is an addiction, it’s making me think that the claim of addiction was always BS.

    Heroin addiction is outside of the experience of most people. Therefore, when it was argued that heroin addicts had no real choice, it was understandable that people would nod their heads and say, “Well, shucks, I can believe that. Those poor blighters can’t resist it!”

    But having medicalized that issue, people just couldn’t resist medicalizing everything else. And frankly, “video game addiction” is just “being too fucking selfish and lazy to feed your kids” by another name. “Gambling addiction” is just “being stupid enough to think you’ll beat the casino in the end” by another name. And if not being willing to put the video game controller down is an addiction just like heroin addiction, then I no longer have any sympathy for heroin addicts.

  21. Nobodies???? Well it’s a word now

  22. This is frightening. Do you guys believe that we can’t train our minds to do anything?

    Were you literate when you popped out of your mother’s womb? Were you potty trained? Did you know how to hold a fork?

    I’m baffled.

  23. Warren…buddy….D&D is in the article, g. Jacob didn’t make it up. And it is not Nobodies. You are really revealing your education level. LOL!

  24. Free will is an illusion.

    George Will doubly so.

  25. YOU WANT MERCY?

    I’M CHAOTIC NEUTRALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

  26. “You’re not really this stupid, are you?”

    Dan T. is just presenting the side of Simon Pritchett, since Hugh Akston already chimed in. For fairness, you know.

  27. “Free will is an illusion. Your brain controls (and in some ways creates) you, not the other way around.”

    If your brain controls you, then you have no choice but to believe that your brain controls you. Meaning that you do not reach such a conclusion (or any conclusion!) based on argument or evidence or logic or reason. Rather, the conclusions you reach are solely a result of how your brain is wired and are thus predetermined; you would reach this conclusion in spite of any argument or evidence to the contrary.

    Thus, by claiming that your brain controls you, you concede that you have no true knowledge about anything. Your beliefs are completely predetermined by the physical makeup of your brain–including your belief that your brain controls you.

  28. Actually, the steady progression of newly minted “addictions” is having the opposite effect to me, Dan.

    Instead of making me conclude that everything is an addiction, it’s making me think that the claim of addiction was always BS.

    I don’t want to say that everything is an addiction. I think that the best definition of a true addiction is when a person continues to engage in behavior that he knows is causing him harm.

    Consider this – the difference between you and a herion addict is that the addict’s desire for herion is stronger than his willpower to resist it. You would be an herion addict, too, if something in your mind changed to make the attraction to the drug stronger than your ability to resist it.

    Usually, it’s the drug itself that accomplishes this – drugs are often addictive because part of their effect is to create the desire for more.

  29. Do you guys believe that we can’t train our minds to do anything?

    I’m not sure who you’re arguing with. I believe the software/hardware analogy is always apt when discussing the brain. You’re born with a piece of hardware with a pre-printed Operating System. The nature of the hardware and OS are a function of evolution. There are basic commands built into the OS. But then, you can load new software in to make the hardware and OS do what you want it to do, within the preset limits of the capabilities of said hardware and OS.

    This all means that the spiritual concept of free will is one I disagree with. But the complexities of the hardware, OS, and software, make accurate predictions of what an individual will do at any one time nearly impossible…even if the answer is almost certainly a cause/effect based on already loaded software and current environmental variables. The impossibility of prediction is in my mind the true nature of “free will”.

  30. Tony:

    But someone who says “your brain controls you” could still be a computatonalist or somesuch, they’re not necessarily an eliminativist. For instance, if I say “my computer’s hardware controls it,” this doesn’t mean software inputs don’t make a difference on some levels of processing.

    Anyway the parents should just be sterilized, starving to death seems harsh.

  31. Mr. Sullum does bring up some interesting points here. What exactly is a “mental disorder”, and how can it be distinguished from “poor behavior”?

    T-Nad:

    It seems like you could shine some light on this. Is your habitual trolling of this website something that you are compelled to do and have no control over, or is it just poor behavior?

  32. Thus, by claiming that your brain controls you, you concede that you have no true knowledge about anything. Your beliefs are completely predetermined by the physical makeup of your brain–including your belief that your brain controls you.

    That is true, but it has little to do with whether I’m right or wrong. 1+1 does in fact equal 2 regardless of my reasons for believing so.

  33. Is there anything innately impossible about a drug that improves willpower? I don’t think so. In fact, I think that there already are drugs that do that in a limited sense, such as Zyban and other anti-depressants. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we operationalize what people mean by that cognitive faculty, will-power, and then focus efforts on creating drugs or other modifications to enhance it, rather than just hand-wringing when people with a small natural endowment do wrong?

    I think one of the things many people assume is that willpower is a binary quality. I think it’s something you can have to differing degrees, and to different degrees for different things. My will to resist heroin is strong; to resist reading blogs, weak.

  34. T-Nad:

    It seems like you could shine some light on this. Is your habitual trolling of this website something that you are compelled to do and have no control over, or is it just poor behavior?

    I guess I do it because in my mind the rewards outweigh the costs. The rewards being that I enjoy arguing unpopular positions and have learned many things by doing it. The costs being that I could be doing something more productive and I have to endure a certain number of insults. But my immunity from letting insults get to me has become pretty strong, as you can imagine.

  35. 1+1 does in fact equal 2 regardless of my reasons for believing so.

    We spent two months in One Dimensional Real Analysis proving this, so even some facts aren’t as straightforward as they seem.

  36. True enough. My comments are to the epistemological implications of your claim, not the metaphysical truth of the matter.

    But your conclusion implies that the premises of your claim can be dismissed, as being made by one who is predetermined to believe the truth of the premises. I can also dismiss any belief I have in the truth of the premises, for that too would have been predetermined. Further, if I accept the conclusion, I would also have to conclude that I was predetermined to accept the conclusion.

    This leads to a severe form of skepticism, in which one cannot believe that they know the truth value of any proposition–including whether one’s thoughts are predetermined. And the result is a strange contradiction, for:

    If (I believe that my thoughts are predetermined), then (It is not the case that I believe that my thoughts are predetermined).

    Although I can also dismiss my disbelief in contradictions, since I am predisposed to believe in the law of non-contradictions.

  37. re: Nobodies

    Warren meant “nobody’s” — the contraction of “nobody has”. However, “nobodies” is a word, as in “Those losers are a bunch of nobodies.” G&C M-W cites it back to 1581.

  38. But your conclusion implies that the premises of your claim can be dismissed, as being made by one who is predetermined to believe the truth of the premises. I can also dismiss any belief I have in the truth of the premises, for that too would have been predetermined. Further, if I accept the conclusion, I would also have to conclude that I was predetermined to accept the conclusion.

    This leads to a severe form of skepticism, in which one cannot believe that they know the truth value of any proposition–including whether one’s thoughts are predetermined. And the result is a strange contradiction, for:

    If (I believe that my thoughts are predetermined), then (It is not the case that I believe that my thoughts are predetermined).

    Hmmm…I suppose that’s true, and I suppose that being the case one must either admit that

    a) in the end, all beliefs are irrational or

    b) there is no such thing as a belief; what we call beliefs are really just “best guesses” which means we must admit that we could be wrong

    Of course, some things are defined as being true if you believe them, for example if you think you love somebody then you do love them.

    Anyway, the lesson here is to stay away from video games.

  39. Everyone has missed the point:

    Role-playing geeks should not be allowed to reproduce.

    Even libertarians must concede this.

  40. I hate to give these losers the benefit of the doubt but the fact that their explanation so damn pathetic does give it a whiff of legitimacy.

  41. We spent two months in One Dimensional Real Analysis proving this, so even some facts aren’t as straightforward as they seem.

    Dude, I spent like a week in kindergarten on that. I think we got all the way to 5 + 5 = 10 that same week. I think your time could have been spent more wisely.

  42. “Hmmm…I suppose that’s true, and I suppose that being the case one must either admit that

    a) in the end, all beliefs are irrational or

    b) there is no such thing as a belief; what we call beliefs are really just “best guesses” which means we must admit that we could be wrong”

    Or c) believing that my thoughts are predetermined leads to contradictory results, and therefore I cannot believe the original premise that my thoughts are predetermined.

  43. This is a case of misplaced preferences. This couple preferred playing video games over feeding their kids. That’s not a disorder or a disease in my book. That’s just a lack of consideration for your offspring. It’s a choice and criminal. The one fact I don’t think is mentioned yet is that they managed to feed themselves through their trying time of being “addicted” to video games.

  44. But did they feed their cats?


  45. Or c) believing that my thoughts are predetermined leads to contradictory results, and therefore I cannot believe the original premise that my thoughts are predetermined.

    It’s a contradiction either way – if I don’t believe my thoughts are predetermined, then it means that I have free will. And if I have free will, I can choose to believe that my thoughts are predetermined.

  46. Role-playing geeks should not be allowed to reproduce.

    Maybe gamers’ usual lack of success with women serves an evolutionary role that we’ve never realized.

  47. MP, I was speaking to Dan T. and jf. I’m sorry, I should have been more plain.

    At any rate, I like your thoughts on free will. Have you a newsletter to which I may subscribe?

  48. God damn, I wish I could get addicted to a game again. I remember being addicted to “Doom,” lo so many years ago, I guess while I was in college, and then being addicted to “Angband” when I was in grad school. Those were good times; I was never bored, always knew where to turn for some fun. Now I play a game for two or three days and I am bored with it.

  49. YOU WANT MERCY?

    I’M CHAOTIC NEUTRALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

    Perhaps you’d care to advertise your alignment via T-shirt (or thong)?

    Disclaimer: Not my cafepress page; I am friends with the dude, though.

  50. How many kids went hungry just because I read this whole thread?

  51. Dan T’s arguments = fuel for the future thought police and recognizing any and all anti-social behavior as a thought disorder to be cured by state mandated medication.

    now time to develop my tin foil hat

  52. Dan T’s arguments = fuel for the future thought police and recognizing any and all anti-social behavior as a thought disorder to be cured by state mandated medication.

    now time to develop my tin foil hat

    The funny thing is that when I pointed this out, I thought I was making a pro-libertarian point. I imagine H&R readers have developed an addiction to arguing with anything I say.

  53. “I don’t want to say that everything is an addiction. I think that the best definition of a true addiction is when a person continues to engage in behavior that he knows is causing him harm.”

    But that would mean that in high school I was addicted to not doing my homework on time. I knew it was causing me harm, and I continued to do it. What is left out of that equation is that I enjoyed the period of idleness that not doing my homework allowed me.

    I could previously have accepted the concept of addiction as a situation where the withdrawal of a stimulus would cause you to suffer pain that went beyond the mere absence of the pleasant stimulus. Heroin addicts purportedly don’t just lose the pleasure associated with a narcotic when they stop taking heroin – they experience separate, distinct and additional withdrawal pain. Or at least, that is the claim of addiction professionals.

    The problem I’m having is that NOW addiction professionals are trying to tell me that people who like to gamble or who like to play video games suffer “withdrawal”, and it’s looking more and more to me like they’re including annoyance at not taking part in a fun activity as “withdrawal”. If you like to play video games, and are annoyed or bored when you aren’t allowed to play them as much as you like, some addiction professional somewhere will validate your infantile outlook by jumping up and saying, “You’re addicted! You’re experiencing withdrawal!”

  54. I’m not sure what counts as “concrete evidence” of “a psychological disease” in the AMA’s book (or the APA’s book, which is the one that really counts).

    I suggest: “Can our members charge for it?”

  55. “I don’t want to say that everything is an addiction. I think that the best definition of a true addiction is when a person continues to engage in behavior that he knows is causing him harm.”

    In the end though you still prefer the outcome over the adverse results of continuing the behavior. It is still a choice, not a disease/disorder.

  56. huh? you thought arguing that there’s no such thing as free will aka personal responsibility was a libertarian point?

  57. Is there anything innately impossible about a drug that improves willpower? I don’t think so. In fact, I think that there already are drugs that do that in a limited sense, such as Zyban and other anti-depressants. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we operationalize what people mean by that cognitive faculty, will-power, and then focus efforts on creating drugs or other modifications to enhance it, rather than just hand-wringing when people with a small natural endowment do wrong?

    Possible benefits to humanity aside, the implications of pharmacological research into the origins and modification of will make my blood run cold.

  58. OMG! I’m addicted to this fucking website! I know it’s a non-productive waste of my time and therefore “bad” for me, but I can’t seem to stop!

  59. Fluffy, you’re correct that my definition was lacking.

    Also, I suppose there are distinct differences between a physical addiction (herion) and a psychological one (gambling).

    So I don’t know if video gaming is really an addiction. But at the same time, there certainly does seem to be a certain number of people who play them to the extent that it would be hard to not think something is not wrong with them. Perhaps the gaming is the symptom, not the cause?

  60. huh? you thought arguing that there’s no such thing as free will aka personal responsibility was a libertarian point?

    My very first post was addressing the rather scary idea that in the future any behavior that is deemed undesirable by authorities could be classified as a “disorder” and therefore subject to “treatment”.

    Only later did the thread turn into a debate about the nature of human will.

  61. horsewithnonick: Why does that make your blood run cold? Consider Odysseus and the sirens. Odysseus told his men to tie him to the mast, because upon hearing the sirens, he would want to go to them, even though it meant death. With a simple behavioral intervention, though, he imposed a far-sighted rationality upon his native will. If drugs can stand in for that mast, why not embrace them?

  62. Stephen Thomas –

    Because if such a drug were possible, it is possible that in the course of researching it you would discover the “Wacky Make Women Want to Blow You” drug and the “Wacky Make Subject Populations Clamor for Enslavement” drug, and unfortunately those are likely to find a more motivated market than the “Sensible Resist Siren Call of Cigarettes” drug.

  63. Fluffy @ 10:50 said it all very neatly.

    The too often used tactic of dodging responsibility by saying ‘the other thing made me do it’ excuse is something too many lobbyists and lawmakers pick up and act on.
    They then regulate or outlaw ‘the other thing’.

  64. Fluffy: As for the former, they can’t patent alcohol, so that’s out. As for the latter, since when have we needed a drug for that?

  65. Something’s wrong with your analogy, Stephen Thomas. None of Odysseus’s crew had to be tied to a mast, because they chose to avoid the “addictive” agent in the first place.

    Seems more to me that Odysseus decided he had to prove all those heroin “addicts” were just a bunch of pussies.

  66. Siren addicts, rather.

  67. Responsibility isn’t a very helpful concept from a social justice perspective. The more we care about responsibility, the better histrionic liars who are adept at faking emotion will do. I think that responsibility is a helpful concept from an individual perspective, but only to a certain degree. Taking too much responsibility for things, habitually, is a warning sign for depression.

    In a case like the present one, it’s been manifestly shown that the parents either wouldn’t or couldn’t take responsibility for their kid. Which one should determine only how we feel about it, not what we do about it. As I said, I pull for sterilization and then release. If you can’t take care of kids, you can’t have kids. But what’s the point of a prison term or what have you? I doubt they’d learn to be good parents in prison.

  68. “Michael Straw is an unemployed cashier, and his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work, according to court records. He received a $50,000 inheritance that he spent on computer equipment and a large plasma television, authorities said.”

    Yeah, I think the larger problem is that they’re probably not very smart or responsible people to begin with. If wasn’t D&D, it would have been something else. Some people just shouldn’t have kids.

  69. Son of A! :

    Well, his crew put wax in their ears, but yeah, they effectively avoided the sirens. Although many of them joined the very-similar Lotus Eaters.

    Hey, if a drug that increased willpower to the extent of that mast existed, I can’t say I wouldn’t shoot up every now and then. Just to take the edge off, d’njya know. This assuming that a clean source were available…

  70. I guess I do it because in my mind the rewards outweigh the costs. The rewards being that I enjoy arguing unpopular positions and have learned many things by doing it. The costs being that I could be doing something more productive and I have to endure a certain number of insults.

    No doubt you could quit any time you want.

  71. I actually know someone who got child custody from his ex, because the ex repeatedly neglected her child to play AD&D.

    It’s not the game. I’m an avid gamer myself, for thirty years, and she is the only one I know with such a twisted priority set.

  72. Oh, so you agree that the no free will argument could be used by authorities to control human behavior and that was the point you were making. I misunderstood.

  73. But what’s the point of a prison term or what have you?

    Prison does not exist to reform the offenders who get caught. It exists to discourage future offenders.

    (well…some people do embrace the revenge angle to prison, but I reject that on principle)

  74. Right, but these people are so stupid that no amount of discouragement will work. We’re not dealing with Randian supermen here. If your children starving to death isn’t a large enough disincentive, would prison time be?

    Also, in terms of discouragement, I think sterilization is more to the point, as it directly stops these people from procreating again. As an added benefit, they can keep working, and benefit the rest of us, instead of imposing a tax-burden in jail.

  75. Er, the above post (12:38PM) by “MP” is actually by me, responding to MP. Sorry!

  76. Oh, so you agree that the no free will argument could be used by authorities to control human behavior and that was the point you were making. I misunderstood.

    Yes. First I tried to point out how the concept of no free will could be a problem, and then I argued that it was true anyway.

    Such is the life of a troll.

  77. In re Lotus Eaters: touch?.

    Just to pull everything together: I’m currently playing AD&D (pencil and paper version) with some friends of mine. My character is a pusher.

    Also: Fifty large for a computer and a plasma TV? This story is ten years old, right?

    Finally: My first ever trip to the hospital as a patient introduced me to Dilaudid. I never understood why people would willingly hurt themselves to obtain pain meds. Now I do. I confess that I was a little bit sad when they told me I could go home. But it passed quickly enough.

  78. Rereading my last post, I think I’m addicted to colons.

  79. I’m with Fluffy. Way too much is passed off as addiction. I still use the old school definition of addiction and believe that there must be physical withdrawal symptoms for it to exist. Alcoholism is addiction. Compulsive shopping, gambling, cleaning, screwing or gaming can be problem behaviors but not addictions.

    Of course, I’m just an opinionated housewife, not a healthcare professional.

  80. LOL You are really dating yourself there Jacob. Nobodies played D&D for almost twenty years.

    Well, there was my really, really creepy room mate in college freshman year who flunked out form playing it all the time with his weirdo friends.

  81. Nobodies played D&D for almost twenty years.

    The couple played D&D Online, a crappy MMO, not pen&paper D&D, which is still going and awesome.

    This story was on Fark the other day. The guy also pissed away an inheritance of 50 grand on stuff like plasma televisions. To me, the problem is not addiction, the problem is being a self-centered jerk. If “self-centered jerk” is a disorder I can diagnose a dozen people every time I drive to work.

  82. I wouldn’t say he’s a self-centered jerk.

    After all, if he’d wisely invested the $50K in mutual funds for his retirement, he’d still be selfish.

    His problem is that he’s a paste-eating cretin.

  83. First I tried to point out how the concept of no free will could be a problem…

    Yeah, that was weird, Dan T. I found myself thinking you’d made a good point, and I thought I must have mis-read something. Then you came in with the deterministic arguments, and the universe seemed balanced again.

    Oh, and I do think mediageek nailed the problem. The parents are 15th level Assholes.

  84. “It’s easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it’s video games or meth, it’s a serious issue, and [we] need to become more aware of it.”

    No it’s not. Who are these ‘tards? Let me guess, the idiot uttering the above doesn’t have any kids. Neglecting your children means that you have no empathy, ergo, getting addicted to something while you have children shows that you have no empathy.

  85. Here’s a website you may find useful. http://www.addicted.com is a site for friends, families, and those who suffer from various addictions.

  86. Fluffy gets it: “Instead of making me conclude that everything is an addiction, it’s making me think that the claim of addiction was always BS.”

    Addictions are all BS, and I’ve had most of them myself. Hell, I spent five years as a heroin “addict” and I knew countless others. I takes real work and dedication to be an “addict” but I was willing to put in that effort. Why? because I fucking well enjoyed being high. I’ve heard all the whingeing from dope sick junkies and I’ve been there myself more than a few times. It’s straight up bullshit. Kicking is no worse than getting the flu and we’ve all done that.

    But then I’m also one of those people who thinks it’s easy to lose weight by simply eating less food, so maybe I just don’t understand. I call bullshit on people who say they “cannot” control themselves. The problem is that thew “will not” control themselves.

  87. mediageek, I didn’t say he was selfish, I said he was self-centered. Planning for the future, although it may rationally benefit yourself, is not something that a self-centered person does.

  88. Kicking is no worse than getting the flu and we’ve all done that.

    Daniel,

    While I’m inclined to agree with you, I have it on good authority that people show up to the emergency room… in an ambulance because they have the flu. So either addictions aren’t that bad, or having the flu is way worse than we give it credit for.

    😉

  89. Are most libertarians Chaotic Good?

  90. Kicking is no worse than getting the flu and we’ve all done that.

    That is correct in regards to opiates.

    Now barbiturates or alchohol are another matter as one can develop a physical dependencey in which abrupt cessation results in convulsions and death.

  91. Yes, I know opiates aren’t that tough to kick… Is that what you hear in the general media? Nope. And yet, I do agree. When (if) you get admitted to prison they ask about drug use: opiates get you nothing; benzodiazepines (Xanax,Alprazalam, etc…) get you a controlled come-down) That’s because benzodiazapines can cause death with withdrawl.

    All this has nothing to do with the notion of free will. We have it or we don’t. I do.

    I kicked all of these cold and went deaf for three months in the process. Big deal.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.