3 thoughts on “For God’s sake, Robert Frank: just admit that you’re a paternalist”

  1. Posted 14/02/2018 at 09:27 | Permalink

    Christopher Snowdon: “But you would still have free will – and this is the aspect that Frank overlooks.”

    While many of the arguments made in this article are valid, perhaps the one aspect of smoking that Christopher Snowdon overlooks is the addictive nature of smoking. If you are addicted, can you still exercise free will fully and effectively?

    The same argument applies to legalising any addictive recreational drug (and I’d count tobacco products as such). Whilst there are very good arguments in favour, the strongest argument against, in my opinion, is that the producer/seller of these products is selling something that diminishes the ability of the customer to freely not choose their products. For this reason, I think that the law does have a role to play (although I’m not decided about exactly what role).

  2. Posted 14/02/2018 at 21:32 | Permalink

    “If you are addicted, can you still exercise free will fully and effectively?”

    But, many, many people who previously smoked tobacco products exercised free will in ceasing to consume tobacco products. If tobacco products were as addictive as claimed, there would be not such thing as an ex-smoker; yet, we know that that there are many thousands (perhaps millions) of ex-smokers who exercised free will and made the choice to pack it in.

    The notion that addiction trumps free will doesn’t really follow.

  3. Posted 14/02/2018 at 23:22 | Permalink

    Let`s suppose, for the sake of argument, that smoking is contagious. So what? Some people benefit from smoking because the value they place on the pleasure exceeds the (dis)value they place on the heath effects. Whether you “caught” smoking from someone else or chose it for yourself is irrelevant to whether it benefits you. So those who smoke and cause other people to become smokers may be doing those others a favour. If Frank liked smoking, would he claim that, because it is contagious, smokers should be subsidzed?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.