Limits of Ethical Relativism (was Polyrelationships)
> Every child, even in the affluent suburbs, is offered the opportunity
> for free drugs at an appalingly young age. If they accept this minor
> bribe, they then get the opportunity, in pretty short order, to have
> a “career” as a drug dealer. But, even that step is not universally
> taken, even by addicts.
I’ll just take quick issue with this. Every child *isn’t* offered
the opportunity. Very few are – usually the tremendously
unpopular kids, or the tremendously popular kids. Simply
because they stand out.
> I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that the reasons for why the
> inner city kids tend to pick the “drug industry” more often than the
> suburbanites has anything whatever to do with sexual practices and has
> a lot more to do with the perception of alternative opportunity enough
> to cause a delay of immediate gratification that drugs give.
I can’t speak for the inner city, but I can speak (somewhat) for
the middle-suburban and the upper-suburban kids. [through
experience, though, and not through questionaires, telephone surveys
and university studies].
Some of my friends around town, and neighboring towns, who are teenagers,
have dabbled in drug use. Usually just pot – rarely anything more
serious. A couple of them have a little “business” – taking
the train to the city (New York City – I’m in New Jersey), and buying,
let’s say, $50 worth of pot, and reselling it for a slightly higher
price for friends.
It’s not a big business for these kids. It is more a suppliment to their
allowance (or their only income, as some of these parents stopped
giving allowances in hopes of their kids getting jobs. Instead of
getting a standard job, though, they relied on “entepreneurial skills”)
Will they be selling this stuff after they go to college? Unlikely.
They seem to enjoy the release pot gives to them – the thrill of
doing something that they’re not supposed to do – and all of that.
Now, I’m speaking for Roselle Park (my town), where, drug-wise, pot is
king. In the nearby town of Westfield, which is more affluent and
the kids are more stifled, typically, by parents “who know what’s
best”, the kids that use drugs seem to be more into cocaine,
acid, and heroin – more expensive, more powerful, and more of
But its still the case – most kids aren’t habitual drug users. But
given the opportunity, most will probably dabble in it, at least
> As a parent, I have spent more than a little time preparing my children
> for _exactly_ the moment you think is so hypothetical. There is nothing
> whatever hypothetical about it. The only difference is the percentage
> who succumb to the con.
True – the opportunity isn’t presented to all or even most kids, to
deal drugs. Those that do (at least in the New Jersey suburban
communities that I’m aware of) probably won’t make it a $1000/week
business, but rather a “service” for their friends, to save up
for a car, for college, to move away from home.
And its not a bad reflection on parents when your teenagers dabble in
drug-use or drinking. Personally, I’d rather see a teen drink in the
basement of a friend’s house, than break windows, vandalize, light off
cars in an junk yard, burn houses.
And for parents that are wondering – teenagers as a whole [speaking
for all of the ones I know, in this area of the USA]
ARE responsible drinkers, especially when it comes to having
a non-drinking buddy drive everyone home. And most, except for the
addictive personalities, learn how to time their drinking, usually
after merely *one* awful experience with drinking!
> And, large percentages (at least as large as society as a whole) of
> those in our prisons had a very conventional Christian upbringing, with
> no UU shilly-shallying about whether morality was relative or absolute.
> So, if being told that there is an absolute morality is so important,
> then one has to explain the religious background of the average
> prisoner being no more “liberal” than society at large.
That’s a darned good question – I’m certainly not qualified to
even ‘suppose’ right now!
> This is not really to brag, but to suggest that those who
> are given simple, “absolute” answers may find themselves reacting
> all-too automatically in stress (e.g. “an eye for an eye”).
> Whether he swings his fists or not,
> I hope my son thinks it through in comparable circumstances.
If your deeds towards your son and in your life, are anything
akin to your words on this newsgroup, then I think your son
will turn out just fine.
Kenneth Udut ku…@ritz.mordor.com
Listowner of Y-RIGHTS@SJUVM.BITNET – discussion on the rights of kids/teens
Topic: Limits of ethical relativism (was: Polyrelationships)
[via https://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.religion.unitarian-univ/W31LuscsFBA/ufkCU_51ihEJ ]