posted by Lindsay on .
Can someone review this and let me know if it is acceptable?? This class was so hard and it has been all i can do to pass it!
Here is the article i chose
Addiction Is a Choice, Not a Disease
Addiction , 2009 Content Level = Intermediate
Dale Netherton, "It's Not Addiction, It's Choice," American Chronicle, March 4, 2007, pp. 1-4. Copyright © 2007 Ultio LLC. Reproduced by permission.
"Addiction is a crutch word that makes it easier for humans to dismiss their personal responsibility for choices."
Dale Netherton is a poet, former newspaper columnist, and regular contributor to American Chronicle. In the following viewpoint he argues that behaviors that most people refer to as addictions are actually poor choices. He asserts that modern society willingly excuses repeated destructive actions in the name of addiction. Netherton advocates that the label addiction be abolished in favor of citizens taking responsibility for their deeds.
As you read, consider the following questions:
Name one specific example given by the author that illustrates the way in which the misuse of addiction has impacted modern society.
According to the author, who benefits from a society obsessed with mislabeling poor habits as addictions?
What two options do people have when it comes to making choices?
It seems every time someone thinks they can't reverse a choice they've made, they attach the word "addiction" to their behavior and that is supposed to exonerate them from making a choice to discontinue what they claim they can't help doing. This illegitimate use of the word "addiction" leads to a myriad of behaviors that require sympathizers claiming to offer support and counseling to these hapless souls that need reenforcement of their mistaken notions.
This phenomena has permeated the highest office in the land under the banner of "an oil addiction." It has permeated the annals of nutrition with [actress] Muriel Hemingway's notion that there exists an addiction to sugar. There may be such a thing as something that is preferable (such as a dreamy state of consciousness) to facing the hard reality of life with personal responsibility but the notion of addiction negates a fundamental aspect of human nature. That fundamental aspect is the reality of making choices.
When a person chooses to do something the first time it is not an addiction. A one time trial doesn't fit the definition of addiction. It is repeated behavior that latches onto the addiction label. Now rationally, how can an initial choice be exempt from poor behavior and a second choice and a third and a fourth, etc. suddenly be categorized as something that choice cannot conquer? How many poor choices does it take for a category of addiction to be proven?
There are many people who quit smoking "cold turkey". Are they then "addicted" to abstaining? Are the only people not addicted to oil the Amish and pedestrians? Are we addicted to ascribing the word "addiction" to every choice that gets repeated over and over again as if initial choice is a choice, but subsequent choices resulting in the same result aren't? It is time to assess whether we are trying to create a culture of dependent consciousness via the notion of "I can't help myself".
Consider the fact that no one yet has identified their propensity to be a couch potato as an addiction to laziness. This phenomena is explained by the retort, "but I don't like physical activity," not, "I can't help myself that I'm too lazy to exercise and I'm addicted to inactivity". If you can't help yourself by what you do, how can you avoid not helping yourself by what you do not do? The reality of choice dominates what you choose to do or not to do. And all the crutches for cognitive evasion will not change this. Any person can choose to quit smoking, quit overeating, start exercising, drink in moderation, drive carefully (by choosing to focus on the road and conditions), show up to work on time, avoid drug use and a myriad of other choices that are being categorized and excused by the notion of dependent addiction.
The foundation of this addiction to "addiction" is a choice to excuse a continuance of a poor choice by avoiding personal responsibility for consequences the continuing poor choices produce. It is a desire for dependence. "I can't overcome my drinking, smoking, drug usage but if someone or something that is not me can help me I may be able to". "But I can't do it on my own". Nonsense. You made the initial choice and you can make subsequent choices. Your emotions may not agree with you but who programmed these emotions? No body is born with a craving to smoke. Smoking must be started and continued by a choice to buy cigarettes, carry matches or a lighter, find a smoking area to "light up" and grind out a butt on the sidewalk or toss it in the ash tray. Did you ever hear a smoker claim "he couldn't help it that he littered the ground with butts"?
Addiction Is a Crutch
Addiction is a crutch word that makes it easier for humans to dismiss their personal responsibility for choices. But to rely on such a crutch word is also a choice. There are people who take personal responsibility and those who seek to avoid it. There are people who admit making a poor choice and try to correct it and there are those who claim they are not choosing to act bad "but they can't help themselves". This the morality of altruism creates for those who want others to sanction and help them with that which they don't want to deal with. Simultaneously it gives a job to those who assume a role for helping those who cannot help themselves (or won't). Addiction creates a class of dependency for those looking for new clients based on their notion of what "being good" consists of i.e helping others. Rationally helping others should rest on the idea that the others are deserving. Altruists seek out the undeserving because in their minds they need help more. If need were a valid criteria and sacrifice truly virtuous there would be many more Albert Schweitzers [a philosopher-theologian who emphasized the power of positive thinking] instead of political advocates of Socialism. So much for the integrity of altruists.
Each person has a choice making mechanism called their mind. They can either train it by learning the rules of good decision-making or they can simply indulge their emotions and equate their feelings with their thinking apparatus. This is a choice. If you declare, "I can't help how I think" You are declaring that your life is a series of personal events that you have no control over. This is a choice you make about the kind of life you will live. If you want to make things happen make choices that lead in that direction. If you want to leave it to others to make things happen and you simply will acquiesce then expect disappointment from choosing this course of action. Life for humans rests on choices they make and there is nothing that can negate this fundamental part of their nature. The invention of false notions like addiction must be negated and rejected. And this is a choice for the reader to consider.
Axia College Material
Critical Analysis Forms
Fill out one form for each source.
• Source 1: Addiction Is a Choice, Not a Disease
"Addiction Is a Choice, Not a Disease" by Dale Netherton. Addiction. Christina Fisanick, Ed. Opposing Viewpoints® Series. Greenhaven Press, 2009. Dale Netherton, "It's Not Addiction, It's Choice," American Chronicle, March 4, 2007, pp. 1-4. Copyright © 2007 Ultio LLC. Reproduced by permission.
Identify the principal issue presented by the source.
That addiction is not a disease at all, but a state of mind.
Identify any examples of bias presented by the author. If none exist, explain how you determined this. I feel that the author was bias because he did not delve into the medical facts of the brain. He only stated his opinion and did not look at the other sides of the issue.
Identify any areas that are vague or ambiguous. If none exist, explain how you determined this.
I did not find any areas of vagueness in the essay. He thoroughly explained his claims. I found no ambiguous claims either; I did not find an example where he used words that could be interpreted in another way.
Do you find the source credible? Explain your reasoning.
I feel the source was not very credible because he has had not training in medicine nor conducted any study on addiction. I feel that he only presented opinionated statements. He generalized statements about making decisions and tried to prove that if you make a decision you should be able to make the decision to stop that action. Only life is never that black and white.
Identify and name any rhetorical devices used by the author. If none exist, explain how you determined this.
Example: “There are many people who quit smoking "cold turkey". Are they then "addicted" to abstaining?”
This is hyperbole because it uses exaggeration and sarcasm. No one would seriously describe people who quit cold turkey as addicted to quitting.
Identify and name any fallacies used by the author. If none exist, explain how you determined this. False dilemma
It is a desire for dependence. "I can't overcome my drinking, smoking, drug usage but if someone or something that is not me can help me I may be able to". "But I can't do it on my own".
This is a false dilemma because it gives the solution to dependency as not being able to make correct choices, but some people that are seriously addicted to a substance are unable to make those decisions to stop because of physical dependencies.
State one argument made by the author.
“If you declare, "I can't help how I think" You are declaring that your life is a series of personal events that you have no control over. This is a choice you make about the kind of life you will live.”
Identify the premises and conclusion of the argument. PREMISE- If you declare, "I can't help how I think.”
CONCLUSION- You are declaring that your life is a series of personal events that you have no control over.
Is the author’s argument valid or invalid, sound or unsound, strong or weak? Explain how you determined this.
This is a weak argument because the conclusion is an exaggeration. Naturally if you declare you can’t help your thinking then you are saying you did not make the decisions in your life is what the author is saying and that to me just is so blatantly vague.
Does the author use moral reasoning? If not, explain how you determined this.
Yes he does many times. He states arguments addiction is just another choice you made. That is