|Msrs. Moore and Humpryes-|
Oh, thank you! It's wonderful to see a Randian celebration of ecstatic experiences! I only drink professionally right now, since alcohol interferes with processing hormones, but before I transitioned I used to get smashing drunk about once a month as a fantastic experience, and I love liquers, particularly berries and tropical fruit varieties. On the theory there's enough money in my business that this society will stretch to tolerate imagination, I've been assembling a collection of various liquers (16 so far) and other alcohols to be used as companion to my own style which I will include in my escort ads when I get a place where I can take incalls.
Besides, once I'm done transitioning and don't need so many hormones, I certainly plan to use my collection on my own time! Though likely not so often; this may seem wierd to some here, but I honestly can get into 'intoxicated' states of consciousness without using alcohol and such, a long as I'm feeling healthy and well-rested, it's just a matter of shifting a frame of mind; Paganism, and the Life, have some strange side benefits! ;o
As for 'alcoholism', I don't think there's any contradiction to free will to say that some people are born with greater or lesser sensation to the inner and outer sensory experiences of alcohol; I think Msr. O'Connor gets things very philosophically correct. Of course, the converse is that some people likely have a much greater and finer ability to appreciate alcohol and make use of an intoxicated state of consciousness. I don't think there's any contradiction between recognizing the absolute freedom of the will and the rational nature of desire and saying that we all have different sensory complexes that may drastically influence what makes sense in our particular lives. It's just like with gender; I think it's a complete myth that hormones or chromosomes determine our desires or values, but I think the difference in the rhythms and capacities of male and female bodies matter perhaps a great deal, and so all of the genetic and sociobiological stuff can be factually accurate but not theoretically true and certainly not ethically or politically consequent. The same thing with alcohol; I think biology doesn't make right or wrong, but it can determine the context where the pursuit of happiness translates that drinking is a disvalue, marginal value, or major value to a particular individual.
And BTW, it's the same with marijuana and other drugs. There's no rational ground to apply different standards to alcohol and other mind-altering substances. Some drugs may bring too much pain or hindrance for too little pleasure (tobacco, cocaine, and antidepressants seem to me the most likely candidates), but that has nothing to do with their legal and social respectability. Plenty of Objectivists smoke pot or have smoked pot and hide it in the closet, while wine-drinkers consider their use of the drug an aesthetic subtlety... and then a few conservative Objectivists go on about how drug users are irrationalist monsters. Come on, guys, let's use reason; it's all the same principle.*
Jeanine Ring ))(*)(( - "not all those who wander are lost"
* Except I personally will not deal with anyone who has used crystal meth in the last 24 hours. No moralism, just a personal thing. ~Ugh~, don't ask.