Your Opinion: Tobacco

Agree or disagree: “The wisest thing to do regarding tobacco is to completely avoid consuming it. Is it the exact same conversation as the alcohol?

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0 Responses to Your Opinion: Tobacco

  1. Josh says:

    hmm….interesting. I choose to not “consume” tobacco because I get zero smooches if I do. Plus, the pleasure from a cigar just is not enough to justify the huge expense of a decent stoggie that only lasts for a few minutes. So the next question is, what about coffee and tea? Even if they are decaf, they are still expensive. Is it wise stewardship of funds? A good cup of tea probably won’t kill you or someone else, so it’s completely a stewardship issue. And then there’s Xbox…

  2. Derek Lidbom says:

    Interesting…and maybe a topic for a future blog, but I was more interested in how parallel the two conversations would be. So, regarding my question, keep in mind that “wisest” should mean “wisest apart from a religious worldview” (as much as you can separate them).

  3. Stephen says:

    Perhaps quite wise once to smoke a peace pipe.

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’m having a really hard time with discussing these things without first defining what we mean by “wise.” But I’ll let it slide. I know that someone will disagree with me… but…. I’d say that since tobacco is inherently addictive and alcohol is not that it’s probably wise not to start a tobacco habit. Alcohol can be addictive, but I don’t think that (unless you have a chemical intolerance) it is inherently addictive. Of course, it’s also not true that tobacco use forms and addiction for everybody. I once knew a priest who would smoke recreationally (sounds like the beginning of a limerick… almost). He really did just smoke one every once in a while. Fair play to him, I guess. The difference is that a glass of wine every day is good for you, whereas a cig a day most certainly is not. I think I could do it recreationally – I get bored too easily to have much of an addictive personality (although I do have a gluttonous bent – I’d sit down and eat an entire bag of potato chips, but then I wouldn’t eat any for a month), but it really doesn’t appeal to me. And, like I said, even a small habit, one a day, can really harm you, so it’s probably smart not to push your luck. But, it’s a free country.

  5. Jeremy says:

    So, here’s a question for you. When you say that something is a wise choice does it imply that we have a moral imperative to do that thing? It would be very wise for me to not go to movies or eat out or rent video games or go to the fair or do anything for “fun” that costs money, but rather, to take that money and invest it. If someone did that we’d say, “wow, what a wise thing to do.” It would take a lot of discernment and self-control and long term thinking. It would also be incredibly boring. While it is sometimes wise to forgo a pleasure, is it not also wise to try and enjoy life and the things you’ve been given? I think it’s wise to do all things in moderation, including doing all things in moderation.

  6. Scott says:

    Jeremy – were these WISE brand potato chips you were eating? If so then it’s OK.

  7. Derek Lidbom says:

    I think it’s time for me to bring up my worldview in all this. It seems like almost everyone responding holds to a Christian worldview, so I feel like I’ll be steering the conversation and not moving completely off course. I know that a definition of what is wise would be nice, but I found it hard to define without bringing moral absolutes into it. I initially started the topic because I was curious how much progress could be made on stances on alcohol without bringing in a worldview of either relativism or moral absolutes.

    I wondered how long it would take to bring up total asceticism. For a long time, I have had lots of trouble reconciling my belief that I should derive some enjoyment from life (my rights, if you will) and my desire for black and white rules regarding what I should or shouldn’t be doing at any given time. I was a a programmer for a while, and I tend to want to put rules around everything. I tend to be an idealist and I like to think that if I’m doing the right thing (seeking Christ first, living out my commitment to Him and to Sarah), then everything else will fall into place (regarding obtaining wisdom to make good decisions). I have this picture of a world where I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to be bored, or how much personal “me” time I need, or how entertained I am. It seems like I’m constantly at odds with this world, and I can’t ever conceive how someone could deal with being removed from all the (earthly) things that I derive enjoyment from. But, as I read more and more about those who followed Christ the way I want to, it seems like it was less and less about them and their desires and rights, and more about deriving enjoyment through service because their hearts had been transformed so that that was the case. I have to contrast this against the other wise people I know who encourage me to take time out for myself and not let multiple commitments drain me too far. When I look at the information I’m given about Christ’s activities, I see no evidence of Him questioning what his “rights” were. I see an example of servanthood that is unparalleled. And one that I know I’m supposed to emulate.

  8. Jon says:

    I’m still working on a full post, but I think Derek’s asceticism perspective throws a new angle on all discussion. Origen of Alexandria (185-254AD), castrated himself…

  9. Derek Lidbom says:

    I wasn’t preaching complete asceticism, just mentioning it and some of the issues I have when I try to figure out how to act and what to do with my time and money. I meant to say something about a comment that has been made by some people regarding “wisdom” to see where that would lead us. My question is to those who would stand by the phrase “all things in moderation”. Where does that get us. If we all were to agree that extremes get dangerous, that gets us a little closer to wisdom (it narrows the field I suppose). BUT, I doubt any of you would say, “sin in moderation”, or (for the non-Christians) “cheat on your wife in moderation”. So (unless I’m missing something), we’re back where we started: trying to figure out what’s wise. Ok, ok…then “all things that are not sin in moderation”. That helps too. Maybe a lot. So there I am again, fighting for my rights to do something because it’s not sin. What if I were hanging out with Christ for a day? WWJD became something that annoyed me, but the question sticks. Often when I’m making a decision of what to do with my time or money, I would re-evaluate (and often change my mind) it if I had Jesus with me. I think I’m rambling…just more of my thoughts.

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