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Saturday 5 September 2009

A Tangential attack by the new puritans?

Just another good post at Frank Davis.

Regardless of any claims to the contrary, it has always seemed perfectly apparent to me that the war on smoking is above all a moral crusade. The fundamental objection of antismokers to smoking is that it is a vice, a perverse instinct, an unnatural practice, a species of self-abuse. This is where the antismokers start out. This is their underlying conviction.

It is not, however, the main thrust of the case that antismokers actually make against smoking. They do not say, "Smoking is wrong" or "Smoking is bad". Instead they say, "Smoking is bad for you" and "Smoking causes lung cancer". They do not make a direct assault on smoking as something that is immoral in itself, but instead make an indirect attack by pointing to the consequences of smoking, rather than to smoking itself. After all, nobody is going to say that lung cancer is a good thing. And if lung cancer is an evil, and smoking causes lung cancer, then smoking is also necessarily an evil. QED.

Read The rest here.