During my transition from Christianity to Objectivism in late 1988, I found myself repeatedly engaged in rationalistic justifications of common Christian dogmas. This one examines alcohol consumption. As Joseph Rowlands explained at SOLOC 4, the "all or nothing" fallacy demonstrates itself here. I published this column in October 1988 in the North Carolina State University newspaper, the Technician. It only received two responses, one supporting my critiques and the other challenging my "all or nothing" approach. I confess now that some studies support positive health effects of moderate red wine consumption, but remain skeptical of the idea that drinking to the point of reducing inhibitions offers egoistic benefits. (Read more...)
Discuss this Article(23 messages)
Robert Tracinksi shared this link today about the dangers to college women of excessive drinking leading to a defenselessness against sexual assault.
I would not limit the induced defenselessness to drunk women. Intoxicated men also put themselves at risk of assault though not usually of the sexual variety. Robbery and beatings can certainly happen to a drunken man.
Some colleges are "dry" and I can certainly appreciate that policy given the poor track record of alcohol on campuses.
College drinking and college sex and college sports ... what about social engagement at that age is not open to condemnation? Even "college engineering" is questionable. Young people are silly. We know that.
Just to note that linguistically, at root, "beer" and "wine" often were the same word until the differences were important. In Hungarian, the word for "wine" is "bor" whereas the word for "beer" so"r (umlaut o sounds like "share") stands alone as a rootword and the only things shorter are the so"-words that mean "dark." The point is that fermentation was old and widely known and easily adopted and adapted. Note, also, that in the Jewish religion is it the unlevened (no yeast) bread that is most holy, perhaps being so much older. Fermented milk is yogurt or cheese. Tea is fermented and dried before brewing.
And today, many people do have yeast allergies. We evolve as we adapt to the food resources in our ecologies.
Myself, I would prefer that all psychotropic foods be legal for development. Our apples and oranges are not at all "natural" but were recently invented, developed, nutured and improved. Look at what we did with aviation and computers. We could all have smart pills and imagination pills and concentration pills. And they wouild be safe and effective and be improved by Moore's Law. Meanwhile, we have beer.
It has been noted that the American revolution began in taverns, whereas the French revolution began in coffeehouses. Make of that what you will.