Tag Archives: addiction

Religion vs Methamphetamines

Got a response on my Religion Promotes Crime page.

Hi, Folks!
We all need to be open-minded and avoid being a bigot and an attitude of a doctrinaire.
As a free-thinker, I believe it’s one’s upbringing, surroundings, mind-frame, outlook and attitude that decides and determines one’s lifestyle and future.
Any Religion, for that matter, is not at all to blamed for all the evils that exists or are committed by individuals. As such, you cannot generalize on any count.
Every Religion, without any exception, teaches and preaches humanitarian values that lead to welfare of mankind and every society.
All Religions’ teachings are ethical and spread moralism.
God’s blessings on Patriarch Abraham, Lord Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Lord Buddha, Lord Zoroaster, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Baha’ Ullah, Lord Nanak Devji, Lord Mahavir!
Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Bahaism, all are good Religions, leading you, ultimately, to the same God-Rabb-Elohim-Allah-Khuda-Yazdaan-Bhagwaan-Eshwar-Deo-Dei, all leading us to the same path of peace and propagating humanity.
Please don’t blame the Religions, blame your own misunderstanding and lack of awareness, your mental level, as you are unable to grasp and understand the true meaning and message of the Holy teachings of all Religions.
I shall do a treatise on this subject, later on, in more details.
Hope, for the time being, this shall be a food for thought.
God bless ye all!

And this is my reply:

Free thinkers decide their lifestyle and future based on facts, science, and real-world cause and effect, not on what they’ve been told or what makes them feel comfortable within their culture.

If I wrote an article about methamphetamine and point out that meth users statistically commit more crime, does that make me bigoted toward meth users? No. If I met a meth user and automatically assumed he was a thief, that would be bigotry on my part. I do not do that. I also do not automatically assume every religious person is a criminal. That would be bigotry. But simply pointing out logical cause-and-effect and showing statistics cannot be construed as bigotry. It’s a very manipulative argument that you’ve made, trying to paint yourself as a victim because real-world facts don’t match your world view. I am not under any obligation to ignore reality to make you feel better.

You say, “All Religions’ teachings are ethical and spread moralism.” but notice how you’ve offered not one piece of evidence to support this. Not one statistic about religious individuals, not one example of real-world cause and effect. Not even a personal anecdote. I could just as easily say “meth addiction promotes ethical behavior and moralism. Every meth lab, without exception, provides humanitarian values that lead to welfare of mankind and every society.”
That statement I just made has the exact same validity as yours because neither of us has offered a single piece of evidence.

Bart Simpson, Addicted to Punishments

I watched a recent episode of The Simpsons (Postcards from the Wedge, Season 21 episode 14 – spoilers follow) where Marge and Homer decide to let Bart do whatever he wants because otherwise he’s going to drive them crazy with stress. Bart then gets frustrated with his new freedom and talks about it with the bully, Nelson, who tells him that he’s got to up the ante, to do something really awful to get their attention. Bart takes this advice, then writes a note, pretending to be Lisa, telling on himself so that he would get in trouble.

The specific things Bart did to get in trouble were definitely outlandish, but the core idea behind the episode I believe is quite real and relevant. Kids can very easily become addicted to punishments and discipline. They don’t necessarily enjoy it (though many do), but they can come to a point where they feel more at home while being punished than they do anywhere else. They can become addicted to the lifestyle, which is something I think many parents overlook because they believe that only pleasurable things can become addictive. In these situations, parents and teachers often simply try to increase the dosage of punishments, which can halt the young person’s behavior temporarily, but ultimately drives them further into the lifestyle of punishment addiction.

We can see this in adults as well with the phenomenon of “stupid” criminals, the guys who go out and commit crimes without a plan and without seeming to care whether or not they get busted. It could be that many of these criminals became addicted to punishments when they were children. They’re not actually “stupid” for letting themselves get caught, they are merely addicted to the lifestyle of being repeatedly caught and punished.

Perhaps this has to do with an avoidance of guilt, or the satisfying of guilt. Without that punishment, they must feel guilty for the things they’ve done, and they get on a psychological pattern early in life that allows them to believe that everything’s even again as long as they’ve endured their allotted punishment. This is why I feel that over-use of discipline and punishments is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your children.

Addicted to lost – why television is a bad influence

About a week ago I overheard someone talking about a professor who had spent a whole class period lecturing about video game addiction. He seemed to think it was all a joke, like it’s not a real concern, which is an attitude I find interesting. I wanted to tell him about the episode of Intervention where a guy gave up his family and most of his friends for some video games, or the cases I’ve read about where people have died because they forgot to eat or drink while playing video games.

Certainly you can’t say video games are on the same level as something like crank, but if you compare them with marijuana, you’ll see video games kill more people (though admittedly the numbers are still quite low) and suck away more physical time away from individuals. I can’t help but wonder if many people feel that video game and television addiction is not a real problem because it’s not illegal. Cops aren’t willing to point guns at people and destroy their lives over video games, so therefore they can’t be a real problem.

The day after hearing the guy talking about his class, I saw that Hulu had the first five complete seasons of Lost. I’d tried watching it once and found the first episode to be simple violence porn that somehow didn’t hit me as anything interesting. This time I gave it another chance and have found myself completely addicted to Lost. I’m not sure if I’m subconsciously trying to prove the guy wrong or what.

I’ve been addicted to other television shows in the past, when I’d get them from Netflix or download the torrents. I’ve been addicted to shows like Farscape, The Sopranos, Firefly, 24, Star Trek Enterprise, Arrested Development and probably a few others that I can’t think of, but Lost has just a little stronger pull. I’m already on the third season and it’s this endless string of underground lairs, secret experiments, mysterious fires, lies and deceit, capturing, torturing and mysteries that go on and on and on in an endless tease of questions. I watch one episode after another, and even now am trying to divide my attention between this entry and yet another episode. It’s sucking my life away and my only consolation is that it will end at the sixth season… but there will always be another amazingly entertaining show to get sucked into.

So I’ve been thinking about why television is a bad influence this last week and have read a few arguments on the web. Fortunately a few have pointed out the importance of avoiding over-simplification and claiming that all television or video games are bad, but what I didn’t hear much of was the issue of the sheer volume of time that these activities steal away from people.

So by embedding this in my post am I considered an enabler now? Damn you Hulu for sucking my life away!