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Vices conversation questions

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A "vice" is usually considered to be a personal character weakness. Vices, as such, may or may not be illegal and this will frequently depend on the society.

Vices[edit | edit source]

  • Two drugs - alcohol and tobacco - are considered to be (only) vices - not crimes. However, other drugs are illegal. Is this fair or rational?
  • What activities should be covered by criminal law? How do we decide?
  • What is the minimum age to be able to use your vice legally? What is the age of drinking alcohol in your country? Tobacco? Prostitution (if legal)? To purchase pornography?
  • Which is more important - to protect people from themselves, or people’s right to choose to live their lives in whatever manner they prefer?
  • Prostitution, pornography and the sale of illegal drugs are sometimes referred to as “victimless” crimes. Do you agree? Should these, in fact, be illegal? What do you think the outcome would be if your country legalized prostitution, pornography and the sale of illegal drugs?
  • Some have argued that "victimless crimes" are just another word for "sins" - that they are a holdover from the time when law and punishment were based on religious principles. What do you think?
  • Drinking is generally considered a vice, but it can also be considered to be an illness (alcoholism) or a crime (drunk driving). So should drunk drivers be treated as patients or criminals? If they are treated as criminals, then what punishment is appropriate?
  • Many smokers decide to smoke regardless of the potential risks. Should smoking-related illnesses be treated by the state, that is, the taxpayer; or should smokers be obliged to pay for their own treatment?
  • Could liking chocolate be considered a "vice"? Why/why not?
  • How would you describe the difference between a vice and an addiction? Can they be the same thing, i.e., can you be addicted to your vice?

See also[edit | edit source]