Utilitarianism as a principle isn't perfect. It embodies the idea of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number, so can leave minorities in a position of disadvantage. Mostly, however, it is the best idea we can come up with - like democracy.
Raising tax on alcohol, restricting access, and lowering thresholds for drinking and driving will punish all drinkers (an estimated 90 percent of New Zealanders drink alcohol) in an attempt to control a few drinkers. It is utilitarianism in reverse.
Geoffrey Palmer, the purveyor of the finest alcoholic deterrent proposals;
"I do not understand why bars need to be open until 6am on a Sunday morning," he said.
No. Neither do I. I don't understand a lot of things that are none of my business. That is why I don't understand them, nor attempt to.
Alcohol use of itself is not evil. The poor health impacts and criminal behaviour which arise from alcohol abuse impose costs which should be borne by those doing the abusing. If we applied that blindingly obvious fundamental the deterrent affect would be significant. The 'no consequences' welfare state is again a major culprit in encouraging buck-passing behaviours.
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