Smoking Disproves Free Will

One of the things that bothers me is the fact that people just can’t agree on hardly anything. For example, my friend Jamie mentions how people disagree on morality or ethics. Given the fact that people disagree on basic questions such as the meaning of life, whether killing is good or bad, the existence of gods, evolution, and climate change, how are people supposed to work together at solving problems?

My short answer is that people just cannot live together and be happy at the same time. Unfortunately we are all stuck on this planet and are constantly affected by what others do. People cannot work in harmony if they are having conflicting beliefs and desires

Take for example cigarette smoke. When I am bringing in carts at my job, all it takes is one person smoking their cigarette and I start feeling ill. There is no way out of it. I have to walk by them every time I go in and out. For a lot of people, the smell of smoke is unpleasant, but I’m particularly sensitive. I become unable to breath and have to hold my breath while walking by. It’s quite likely that I’m allegic. So obviously from my perspective it’s harmful.

But let’s also consider the harm it’s causing to the smoker. At this point people are aware that it causes lung cancer, heart disease and other problems:

So you would think that something as uncontroversial as this would be one of the top things that people should stop doing. It should have been illegal long ago. You would think people could agree on such a basic thing.

But no, it appears that the people who like smoking want to continue to do so. They don’t care that they are killing themselves and others. And of course the companies who produce them want to keep selling them. It’s a prime example of how a monetary system kills people.

But wait, it’s not exactly that simple. It’s a chemical addiction too:

This is where it becomes extremely important to understand that people don’t have free will or free choice. If we lived in a world where people could literally choose to do whatever they want, then addiction to tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin would simply not be a reality. So I want to make clear that this isn’t anyone’s fault. None of us have a choice in our biology or the conditioning that society imposes on us, but that doesn’t mean that we will forever be chemically addicted to dangerous substances.

I’m not very optimistic at this point that people will agree enough to make the required positive changes in this world, but what I’ll say for now is that it’s best to start with issues that are fairly uncontroversial. Let’s start by eliminating smoking before we even bother debating other topics.

I certainly don’t have any illusions that this post will make a difference. But it’s my thoughts at this time and I am considering listening to debates on this topic. Particularly I’m wondering if there is a single person besides me who thinks that humanity should make changes to eliminate the sale of cigarettes and alcohol. Maybe they will become illegal or maybe stay legal but become obsolete due to other social changes. In any case, that’s what I have to say for now.