Recreational Drug Use is Moral
When such controversial issues as recreational drug use are discussed, there is often some confusion between legal status and the actual moral justification of the phenomenon. It is true that while legalization of drugs can be either approved or disapproved, the morality behind the issue is rather a philosophical question. Any of existing philosophical approaches can be used to decide on morality of recreational drug use, and the statement can vary depending on the theory. This paper is based on the principles of universal utilitarianism, which leads to the following thesis: recreational drug use can be considered moral.In fact, recreational drug use is not an exclusively modern phenomenon, because it dates back to the days of antiquity or even before. It is interesting that most ethnic groups used to have their own recreational drugs. However, attitude to those drugs could be different depending on social and religious norms of one or another epoch. It is natural that more liberal civilizations and epochs considered drugs acceptable for particular situations of either ritual or leisure. In contrast, societies where severe limitations of public and religious morality were imposed on citizens had negative implications of recreational drugs.
This very general historical overview makes it clear that morality is a changeable phenomenon, which is not absolute. Thus, any estimation of drug use today will be subjective and relative as well.Hence, it is possible to use universal utilitarianism to justify the phenomenon as being moral, and this approach gives enough arguments in favor. As Adam Lee notes, self-determination is one of key principles that makes it possible to suggest that recreational drug use is moral: “we should permit individuals the maximum freedom to choose for ourselves and pursue our own course in life, so long as those choices do not cause others to suffer or infringe on their equal right to choose for themselves”( Lee). So, it is clear that according to this principle responsibility belongs to a person who chooses, and this responsibility is personal. This means that irrespective of whether another person likes it or not when someone takes recreational drugs, they cannot ban them to do so because it would limit someone else’s personal freedom. It is also obvious that while someone’s taking drug does not harm other people; it is their personal business to do so, even if it is bad for their health.Actually, the argument about drugs being harmful for health does not prove that it is immoral. Many things can be bad for health starting from drinking a lot of coffee to working overtime. Yet, none of these are sufficient for saying that these activities are immoral.
They can be unwise but have nothing to do with morality. Lifestyle issues are a matter of personal choice. Of course, as it was mentioned before, one’s freedom ends where another person’s freedom starts. In other words, the criterion of being not harmful to other people is important. Besides, …