View Poll Results: Does prohibition work?

Voters
43. You may not vote on this poll
  • yes, it works

    4 9.30%
  • yes but only on certain issues

    12 27.91%
  • no

    26 60.47%
  • not sure

    1 2.33%
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Thread: Does prohibition work?

  1. #121
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    Re: Does prohibition work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masterhawk View Post
    I've heard the argument that the government prohibiting something generally doesn't work. This usually centers discussion around a certain topic. On other topics, the same people may act like it does work.


    So, does it work?

    yes

    Attachment 67267167


    or no

    Attachment 67267168

    Please explain your reasoning down in the comments.
    I would yes but only on certain issues and even then it depends on the punishments that go with violating that prohibition. For example a prohibition against booze didn't work because a huge chunk of the population liked to drink alcohol. While a prohibition against murder generally works because of the severe punishments and without those punishments the murder rate would even be higher.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  2. #122
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    Re: Does prohibition work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masterhawk View Post
    I've heard the argument that the government prohibiting something generally doesn't work. This usually centers discussion around a certain topic. On other topics, the same people may act like it does work.


    So, does it work?

    yes

    Attachment 67267167


    or no

    Attachment 67267168

    Please explain your reasoning down in the comments.
    I voted NO.

    I based my vote on the notion that "work" in regards "prohibition" means a prohibition on an act or a thing is 100% effective in keeping folks from performing that act or obtaining that thing.
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  3. #123
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    Re: Does prohibition work?

    We need to define terms. What do we mean by work? If the goal 100% elimination of a certain behavior or activity, then no prohibition does not work. It can, however, dramatically curb certain things if properly applied. Sufficiently harsh penalties coupled with vigorous enforcement will make many people reconsider most behaviors.

    With the drug war, neither is in place for the casual user. Getting caught with small amounts of illegal drugs is not a serious offense in most places. And if you take reasonable precautions, you are very unlikely to be caught. Hence we see that a drug's legal status has very little to no impact on its user rates, at least in the long term. The same is true for prostitution, illegal gambling, and other such "vices". So we have a broken system that does sweep some people up into the criminal system, often for arbitrary reasons, and does achieve the "big picture" aim of modifying society's behavior.
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  4. #124
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    Re: Does prohibition work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Felis Leo View Post
    When you say "work" what do you mean? Do you mean reduce the incidence rate of the prohibited act in question? Or total elimination of all incidences of it?

    We currently have laws prohibiting and punishing rape. Rape still occurs. We have laws prohibiting and punishing the creation, distribution, and possession of child pornography. People still consume child pornography. I would argue that nothing will truly eliminate human vice. But I think these instances of predation would occur at an even greater rate if we did not have laws prohibiting them.
    The rate a which vices occur depends on how much society truly deplores them, not by merely having a law. When society is strongly against something, law enforcement has more likelihood of focusing on it. Laws by themselves, in a relatively free society, do little to reduce the rate of any crime that society in general really does not care about controlling. Those laws are often used by rival groups within society to hurt each other by using against each other. Only those laws dealing with acts that society nearly universally condemns will be enforced most stringently and equally across all competing groups within society.
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