The following is the precursor that lead to this thread about Libertarianism and Socialism and any other  form of government others wish to add to the discussion. 

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I think all drugs should be legal, but all current money being spent on the drug war put into education and safety programs for abusers. If you wan't to abuse thats fine we as a society will help you do it in as educated way as possible and when you recover from your stupidity we will show you how to live clean. the rest of the slush fund could be used to treat the medical conditions both physical and emotional that underlie so much drug abuse in society....

I agree wholeheartedly!

MCT - I reckon we started with this free society and then the parks filled with needles and so a group got together and said - hey lets arrange it so that kids don't get stuck with a needle and get hep b when they are at the park.... and so on and so forth....

This is one reason that I support safe injecting rooms, I would prefer to show people ways to enjoy life without drug abuse. But as its not a perfect world i would at least like to provide a safe environment for them and to insulate them from others.

Veganape,

As far as I know, from a cursory reading of a few studies about 10 years ago, you have to take about the amount of artificial sweetener in a avid human user's lifetime and inject it into a rat daily to see a carcinogenic response. I'm actually under playing the numbers a little. I think the toxic dose even higher than that.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/artificial-sweete...

Also, quickly on diet, people holding up a single dietary item and asking, "Is this healthy?", just kills me. Far far more important than what you put in your body is how much, how often and in what proportion to the other things in your body and how these compare to your genetic predisposition to metabolize/use/remove said substances and your lifestyle/state of hormonal balance.

agreed I actually have a database with my precise daily food sources that I use to calculate nutrition for both my wife and I. In relation to aspartame that is only a limited study and I suspect over time we may see a change it its consumption, actual long term effects take a lot more research and even if it came back as a high risk would anyone stop, I mean has anyone listened to dietary advice anyway. I still stand by soft drink being the worst drink ever created and suspect it is responsible for more deaths than smoking indirectly. HAving a low Kj option is only enabling the problem. People need to see food as what it is and not a source of enjoyment by default, It can be enjoyable but it needs to be nutritious first. I leo think that nutrients need to be listed / Kj and not per gram....this way a person can aim to get their RDI from one set KJ or calorie target...much better

 MCT looked into the studies you mentioned your memory of it seems fairly accurate, may have to reassess my stance on that one...cheers

In general, animals act on instinct. They are not rational. They cannot form the necessary thoughts to think and weigh options so they have no morality. No animal makes a moral choice (I would like to exclude a select few animals that have a rudimentary command of language).

So, I believe that causality is universal. The Earth has formed. Life came or started and grew. No moral decisions were made at this point. Later on when more complex life forms were around, cells with gradients and thresholds resulted in action from stimulus, but not yet thought, concept formation. Billions of years of evolution all going on without a single moral choice being made. No one thought of the future, weighed the options and made a choice. This complex interaction of neurons that gives someone the ability to be responsible for their choices is the start of morality. Would you hold an animal accountable for an irrational burst of violence that kills a small child? Are you going to force your neighbors to finance a jail for wild bears who hurt campers? Animals cannot store their subjective perceptions into objective concepts with language(that's how we do it) enough to be rational and make choices with enough foresight with rationality. They use instinct, in general. That being said, I don't think there is a very clear ontological dividing line, so, as I have said, I am willing to discuss making concessions, maybe on a local level, to protect such valuable beings as this octopus, but until an animal demonstrates some degree of ability to agree to act rationally and not primarily instinctual, which is what your octopus is doing, no rights.

We will not be food for aliens because we don't have a rational right to our lives. We would be food for aliens because they are irrational or very powerful and have no choice but to fight for their survival. Are you saying that 10,000 years ago it was irrational to domesticate farm animals and use them for food, shelter, tools and clothing? Now that we can subsist without it, we should, but it obviously is going to take time.

We are not just the pinnacle of rationality, we are the only species with a robust form. This is our one ability we are best at in the world and it is evidenced by our technology. But we are not the pinnacle of other things animals can do better. I'm not saying we are the best; I'm saying we're rational.

I was born an atheist and never believed in god, but did pretend for the first 13 years.

I have rats and believe me they are more moral than most people I know. They take food to the sick before they eat themselves. They nurse the dying and can tell the difference between sick and dying  (mostly). They groom disabled friends. Form complex relationships and even homosexual lifelong bonds. I have seen amazing things especially when we had 18 of them at one point. They cost me about 3000 dollars a year but live to 4 times their natural life expectancy because of all the vet care and vegan diets. By the way the ones that live longest are the ons that get desexed, this mostly applies to the females. I think this is the theory with phytoestrogen in soy being beneficial in preventing cancers in females, because it lowers actual oestrogen levels through substitution...

I'm sure that our language can just confuse these natural moral behaviours in humans.....

agreed I have often admired some of the words available in other languages and even latin. Unfortunately I am not multilingual and only have cursory knowledge of a few words still I do find it interesting when languages actually have different words for different types of love etc....

vegan - yes i read somewhere about different words for something the other day - which i thought way more enlightened than the english language allows for - 

on the other hand - english has so many more ways of expressing ourselves than french, which only seems to have a few words to express something - not sure if that is a plus or just more confusing.....  when aiming to convey meaning...

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