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Old 07-21-2010, 12:59 PM   #158
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: should you smoke marijuana on your aikido journey

Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
It's not deciding, sometimes the sky is just blue, 1+1=2. I don't get to say 1+1=4 and be credible. It is not my choice, it just is. I can also consider 1+1=4 is incorrect without hating the man who mis-computed. I can think that doing drugs is harmful and counter productive to Budo without thinking the drug user is defined by that action.

Anyone who thinks they "decide" what is right or wrong for others is self-righteous. If you want to do drugs I'm not going to decide that was a wrong choice for your life, but I have a right to think scientifically proven self-destructive behavior is very tragic.

You can use drugs all you want Mary, I mean you can get high then do Aikido if you want. I don't think you are a bad person for it.
Whoa up, Maggie -- I seem to have struck a nerve here. I'll admit that I probably used poor diction in my choice of the word "decide", but I think you jumped to some unwarranted conclusions here. Let's step back and see if we can't make sense of this.

First off, when I said "decide", I didn't mean that in "deciding" what is right and what is wrong, you thereby create some objective reality of what is right and wrong. It is of course an insane proposition to believe that you can create an objective reality of the "1+1=2" sort merely by deciding that it is so. What I meant instead was, how do you distinguish between those things that are "1+1=2" objective-reality wrong, and those things whose rightness or wrongness is a matter of subjective judgment? You can reply "bad is bad" if you want, but a tautology won't answer my question. I want to know if you have some kind of system of moral reasoning that allows you to distinguish between the two categories of "wrong".

I'd also like to say that this discussion isn't about me and my habits, and I think comments like "You can use drugs all you want Mary" verge on ad hominem of a particularly fraudulent type. There's plenty of "If you refuse to virulently condemn practice xyz, you must be a practitioner" rhetoric in the world; let's not add to it here.

To relate this to aikido and to the subject of this thread, I train with someone who, I am pretty sure, uses marijuana for medical reasons. He has never said so and we have never discussed it, but I know some things about his medical condition and I have a nose. The subject of an aikidoka using marijuana is therefore not an abstract one for me, in which I can take an absolute position that is not tested in real life. I've often been accused of wallowing in shades of gray...well, guilty as charged, I guess. Black and white do exist, but sometimes reality forces you to admit that there's a lot of gray as well.
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