I’m Not As Think

How bad is drunkenness, anyway?

This is a bit of a strange topic, so here’s some background. Occasionally, people will use the part of the Bible where Noah becomes drunk after the flood to call him a drunkard, and use that as an argument that he really isn’t that good of a man, so why is he this shining “only just man” according to the story? There’s a lot of problems with this argument, such as that he apparently had never heard of the effects of too much wine before the flood (despite having a vineyard for centuries) so it isn’t as though he was a drunk before the flood. Also, he is only recorded as having gotten drunk once, before he knew what he was doing, so it seems unfair to accuse him of being a habitual drunk. There’s also the fact that he cursed his son Ham and all descendants forever (so a third of humanity) because Ham saw him when he was naked and told his brothers rather than covering Noah, thereby dooming blacks to slavery and hardship for millennia, which is arguably much worse than drunkenness, no matter what.

However, the most annoying part of this argument is hearing it from people who don’t even see drunkenness as bad. If the vice you’re complaining about the “most just man” having, and arguing that therefore he wasn’t that great, isn’t even something you consider a vice, you are making a bad argument. You should stop.

I don’t think Noah was the “most just man” on earth (I don’t think he ever existed), but that’s not the point.

Personally, I have difficulty seeing anything morally bad with drunkenness in and of itself. I think any of us can see how it can lead to bad things, ranging from killing somebody through drunk driving to giving yourself health problems. All of that, however, is from not drinking responsibly. I’m perfectly content drinking rarely or never, but if you want to go out and get drunk every night, feel free. Just don’t drive after and don’t neglect anyone depending on you.

Atheists have bad arguments, too.


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