This was the topic of discussion on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/theopiniator
This is what I have to say on the topic followed by what other participants said.
To answer the above question it is necessary to define morality. Morality in itself is a philosophical concept and can be very subjective. But I think morality is the ability to draw line between right and wrong and to stay on the right side. Morality varies across cultures. Killing an animal for its meat is considered right in some cultures and wrong in some. Drinking in itself is an act which is neither right nor wrong. But if morality is the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, then it depends on a sound mind. So, anything that has the ability to make the mind, less sound or unsound has the ability to blur the line between right and wrong. And alcohol is known to have the power to blunt the mental agility. So logically there is a direct link between alcohol and morality. Probably this is the reason why we discourage children from drinking and even in the liberal US the minimum age to imbibe is 21. But another fact is that we are living in times with scant regard for “right’ and ‘wrong”. Life is to be enjoyed at any cost. Anything that aids the enjoyment should be followed while the concept of morality that kills this enjoyment must be suppressed. People start hating alcohol only when it directly affects their lives adversely.
For lot of people drinking symbolizes freedom and independence, But I think drinking has the real power to enslave its consumer especially an addict. And it doesn’t differentiate between a truck driver and a big celebrity. Drinking is a personal choice that a drinker HAS TO make in favor of the drink offered to him. I might be accused of generalising drinking but drinking itself has a history of generalising its subjects.
I remember in one interview, writer Javed Akhtar Sahab (who left drinking after being a regular drinker for long) said “I have taken all the damaging decisions of my life under the influence of alcohol.” I cannot ask and am not asking people to abstain but I choose to listen to Javed Sahab’s words of wisdom. I might be the odd one out in the modern times but I believe that life can be thoroughly enjoyed even without alcohol. I believe God made life beautiful to be enjoyed in senses. 🙂
Following are the other responses in the discussion:
Anurag Singh Chauhan Well drinking is certainly a moral as well as an social issue and it must be given some serious thought. but the question is what our society thinks about alcohol and how it is looked upon? a society consists of different people and with them comes different perspectives! one would say its bad for health and society, and indeed it is, but the effects of drinking depends more upon a persons moral behavior than on drinking itself! a moral person even after getting drunk will try to make sure he dosen’t make a mockery of himself and hurt the ethics of his society while an immoral one will certainly not care about these things!
For some its a matter of free choice and for others poison!.
A beer everyday is the newly evolved mantra for this new generation. A bottle of expensive champagne or wine is the best wedding gift, parties and even the friendship is pompously compared to wine rather than gold. in western cultures if not in india, at a bar or a club people often start their conversation with strangers by offering them a drink. and it has become common with youngsters these days. they use alcohol to celebrate after getting some good news and on the flipside they use it to cushion the effects of bad news, be it breakup(relationship) , bad marks in an exam and what not.
I agree that consumption of alcohol does lead to some negative consequences, but if it really is that bad then how on earth did it survive all these centuries?
I read about a research conducted by a group who explained the positive sides of alcohol in medicine terms and that it assists the body in many ways. wine has been proved to cure strokes, ulcers and some types of cancers apart from helping the heart if taken in appropriate amount. nonetheless, its negative side outweighs all other benefits, including the one where a person tends to lose control over himself and often engages in anti-social behavior.
Apparently alcohol can be held responsible for a lot of negativity in today’s society. for example, Road accidents when a person drinks and drive, and domestic violence.
Too much of every thing is bad, but my question is why even a moderate intake of alcohol is considered insidious? as I’ve stated above, there are certain positives of alcohol apart from enjoyment which have been generally ignored by the society at large.
As does the phrase says “EVERY COIN HAS TWO SIDES”, and so does this. if the world thinks that we are grown up enough at 18 to be considered as adults and can choose the government to run our country, the decision of whether to drink or not, what its good or bad sides and how moral it is, should also be left to us as well.
I think I just wrote an article!
P.S. Don’t Drink and Drive!
Suraj Sharma It depends on society and how it perceives it ,but to me drinking is the root cause of most of the problems that is hurting our society and why our society it is causing impediments even in societies around the world.If the watchdog of your brains leaves it’s place then GOD save you from the wrath of the Satan.Most of the heinous and horrendous crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol and it is the single most culprit in spreading violence against humanity
it certainly is not an insignificant issue and is a sort of menace which should have been taken care of long back but to my utter dismay it is turning into a major horror for the present society.why do you think there is a significant rise in crimes among the juveniles in recent times and it has reached to such a proportion where everyone is crying for alteration in the age of juvenile justice Act.Drinking is directly linked to morality as a person in inebriated state is more likely to obliterate moral fabric of society in more ways than one which in turn influences the society and of course health is an obvious casuality
The western world is the worst hit by alcoholism.United states alone suffers from horrendous effects of alcohol.I have never met a person who has never been in trouble because of alcohol consumption.The only thing which makes us civilized is the watchdog,a sort of mechanism that guide us to do or not to do a certain task or also restrains us from committing any atrocious act but if this mechanism is corrupted,which happens after consuming alcohol,than there is no defense mechanism within the brain to restrain us or save us from committing an act in accordance with our conscience.I have also to come across anyone who has remained moderate in drinking throughout his/her life.Regarding the medical benefit than I must say that it is a trillion or rather zillion dollar industries and medical studies are conducted throughout the world and especially in US to suit the interest of these big industries.
Alka Anuj : Very well written anurag singh chauhan . An immoral and aggressive person will use alcohol as an excuse. The pathetic state of affairs is not sue to increase in drinking, its the lack of values in our own households. We pray to lord Shiv and call Somras immoral? Hmmm …sounds hypocritical . Key is moderation and morality
Your comments are welcome!