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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I couldn't agree more - unfortunately, most people don't read the relevant 'scientific literature' to form their opinions but instead take it from newspapers with a vested interest to entice people's interest and populist politicians who seize on anti-smoking as a way of coming up with policy ideas that will make them seem even a little bit useful and engender them to a public that is more anti smoking than it is not. It doesn't help that doctors make a great deal of money from performance targets which include getting people to quit smoking, and they therefore also have a vested interest to push the case that it is death in a tube more than anyone.

    If you looked for yourself at the 'scientific literature', you would see that while smoking carries risks of a wide range of illnesses, the risks for each of these illnesses actually occurring in lifetime smokers is slim. The chances of a lifetime male smoker getting lung cancer, for example, are 1.5/10.

    Combine the endless list of positive health implications associated with smoking (which curiously no one ever talks about outside of the 'scientific literature') and the small luxury it is for many people and I think it is reasonable to conclude that such risks have been over hyped by a triad of actors each nursing their individual vested interests.
    That's not desperately slim though. If you combine every illness and complication, it's likely that a smoker will develop a number of things. Even if they don't develop lung cancer, it's likely their lungs will be greatly affected. You're basically pumping toxic chemicals into your body for no reason. Apart from illnesses, it will also increase wrinkles, grey hair and has been linked to baldness. I don't think it has been overhyped.

    What are the positive benefits?
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    Teenagers and tweenagers these days are the absolute worst.
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    There are worse crimes than Murder.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I think you're completely missing the point of higher education. You are viewing higher education as a kind of financial investment and it's precisely this view which is resulting in the system being so messed up. Investing in a good education system isn't about the economy, it's about development. We are an intelligent species and live in an intellectual society - access to quality education should be a basic right, not an investment. That is precisely the reason why the most socially progressive societies on the planet, such as Scandinavia and many European countries, have made higher education free. Viewing education as a financial investment is backwards.
    I don't see it universally as a financial investment, but it makes perfect sense to me that the people who receive this education should be the ones to pay for it when they are earning enough to do so. Education is never 'free'; someone always pays for it and I think it is sensible and ethical to place this responsibility squarely on the shoulders of students rather than onto the taxpayer who will almost always be earning significantly less than most graduates at the peak of their careers.
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    (Original post by BrightonDunkley)
    3) All rapists should be castrated
    That's a problematic stance when you consider the blurred boundaries of what qualifies as rape. In cases where the circumstances are complex, or even if an incorrect court decision is made, a person's life could be irreparably destroyed.

    You could qualify the stance, so that it applies to serial rapists perhaps, otherwise it just brings up lots of problems in terms of practicality. That's not even mentioning ethical concerns.
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    that we should let Darwin's survival of the fittest actually happen
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    Feminism in the West is utterly redundant.

    Seriously, please look to some countries abroad where women have no education and a whole host of other issues. Yet all feminism can do in the UK is inflate and create statistics, whinge about cat calling, and demonise men.

    And yes, I have done my research.
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    Charity is more often than not a waste of time, in particular non-sustainable aid
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    (Original post by SH0405)
    That's all well and good. But not smoking is better than smoking.

    Or are you going to tell me otherwise?
    That is an individual decision; I would disagree. The point of my post was to illustrate that the risks have been overhyped and benefits hushed away - and to shed light on why society has pushed this view - rather than to persuade anyone that smoking is better for your health than it is worse.
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    All drugs need to be legalised.

    The monarchy needs to end.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    If you looked for yourself at the 'scientific literature', you would see that while smoking carries risks of a wide range of illnesses, the risks for each of these illnesses actually occurring in lifetime smokers is slim. The chances of a lifetime male smoker getting lung cancer, for example, are 1.5/10.
    15% is a pretty significant risk, given lung cancer is an otherwise rare disease, do you not think?




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    We should remove warning labels off things and let the problem of stupid people sort itself out.

    :ninja:
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    1. Prison life should be near the point of unbearable for people that have committed severe crimes. Murderers should be confined in small cells for 24 hours a day, and never see the light of day. Murderers being deprived of all privileges seems like a necessity to me, yet they often get to roam about with fellow murders playing some prison version of hopscotch. No. Their lives should each be a complete misery. But there are these things called human rights that get in the way of this. I have only one question: WHY SHOULD A MURDERER RETAIN HUMAN RIGHTS?
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I don't see it universally as a financial investment, but it makes perfect sense to me that the people who receive this education should be the ones to pay for it when they are earning enough to do so. Education is never 'free'; someone always pays for it and I think it is sensible and ethical to place this responsibility squarely on the shoulders of students rather than onto the taxpayer who will almost always be earning significantly less than most graduates at the peak of their careers.
    I don't agree. In theory, I'd be more than happy for it to depend on what the person does with their degree. For instance, if someone decides to go into an occupation for the sake of the money which really isn't in the interests of humanity and society, like IB, then I'd agree that it's fair enough they pay for it. If someone decides to go into a comparatively low paying job in the public sector, like dedicating their life to research or teaching, then I think that society should pay for it since they're benefiting from it in the end. That's one of the huge problems with the current system. It's an unfortunate quirk of our economy that the careers which tend to be the most destructive are also those that pay the best. So the people who don't have to worry about their debt will generally be those whose degrees are probably not serving the good of mankind. It just seems incredibly unfair that young people these days who choose less well-paying careers will be in debt for the rest of their working lives because of it. But obviously, that kind of a merit-based system isn't something practically feasible so the next best thing is making it free for everyone.

    (Original post by SH0405)
    1. Prison life should be near the point of unbearable for people that have committed severe crimes. Murderers should be confined in small cells for 24 hours a day, and never see the light of day. Murderers being deprived of all privileges seems like a necessity to me, yet they often get to roam about with fellow murders playing some prison version of hopscotch. No. Their lives should each be a complete misery. But there are these things called human rights that get in the way of this. I have only one question: WHY SHOULD A MURDERER RETAIN HUMAN RIGHTS?
    Clue's in the name? They're humans? Killing another person doesn't make you change species.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    That is an individual decision; I would disagree. The point of my post was to illustrate that the risks have been overhyped and benefits hushed away - and to shed light on why society has pushed this view - rather than to persuade anyone that smoking is better for your health than it is worse.
    You would disagree?
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    (Original post by Asklepios)
    15% is a pretty significant risk, given lung cancer is an otherwise rare disease, do you not think?




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    I wouldn't say so. The risk is massively increased but 85% of not getting lung cancer is a strong enough chance to me, and not reflected by the public and media hysteria towards the dangers of smoking.
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    That I agree with pretty much 99% of things Richard Dawkins says.

    I fully support abortion.

    Education should be free.

    The world would be a better place without religion but it is too late to eradicate it now. I think it would cause even more problems than it already has if we tried to outlaw it all or get rid of it now. Hopefully it just dies out through time.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    If you looked for yourself at the 'scientific literature', you would see that while smoking carries risks of a wide range of illnesses, the risks for each of these illnesses actually occurring in lifetime smokers is slim. The chances of a lifetime male smoker getting lung cancer, for example, are 1.5/10.
    On the other hand, 86% of lung cancer sufferers are smokers... Eliminate smoking and you will practically wipe out lung cancer.
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    'sick' crimes such as murder, rape, paedophilia, child abuse and other victim orientated crimes should have far worse consequences than they do, compared to other crimes such as robberies where nobody gets hurt, for example stealing from a carriage in a freight train can get you more time in prison than killing somebody. Jury's and judges should have more balls
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