Andy Postema somehow felt compelled to write:
Although my beliefs about alcoholism and how to defeat it are consistent with Objectivism, they pre-date my knowledge of Miss Rand's philosophy. I leave it to you and Michael, who like to make guesses about people you don't know, to figure how I as a teenager learned what I know about alcoholism today.
As for your equation of alcoholism to suffering from cancer, if that comparison is valid, then why isn't pedophilia the same? Why shouldn't we have an outpouring of compassion for pedophiles who are driven by their "disease" to not just hurt themselves but other people too? How terrible a disease is that!
I've been sitting with this for a while and I still can't understand what you hoped to accomplished by it. Aside from securing bragging rights amongst your buds in your online club house, how does this serve you? There's a whole contingent on this site that seems far more interested in pummeling others with their prejudices (however Objectivist in flavor) than having an intellectually valid discussion. You trot out the straw man du jour, be it "therapeutic culture," or "new puritans," or what have you and bully interested individuals into silence. You latch on to that one word, "disease," and believe you know my mind. Andy, you don't impress me. Go pester someone else.
The pedophile comparison has clarified something for me, however (I always try to do the best with what I’m given). There seems to be a general consensus here that alcoholism is de facto evidence of profound evil, but I have known alcoholics, people who have damaged their own lives through isolation and financial ruin, who have hurt exactly no one other than themselves. Also, in its early stages, an alcoholic can be very high functioning, even though they've become thoroughly dependent on the drug. Like depression, people react to alcoholism in very different ways. So, again, merely believing someone to be an alcoholic, is not proof that you hate them, unless you unreasoningly hate all alcoholics as such.