RevJim: Thanks for reminding me of that French quote - discussions with behaviorists always seemed to end like that.

<DW>: There are certain things in life that require decision-making only once then it becomes a habit because life is too short to stop and decide which loaf of bread each and every time.

This is why most people with addictions (alcohol or drug dependancies) are rarely just addicts by choice.

This statement needs a bit of expansion/explanation - as it stands, it is just a tautology. Here in Seattle there is a program that allows homeless people to continue to use alcohol while in residence. It takes a --variable duration-- but they can stop drinking. It seems that when people are homeless they have a great deal of time to fill and the alcohol was a way to numb themselves. Sometimes it is the alcohol that brought them to homelessness but often it was something very different and the alcohol was there at the end.

Sure we call it free will, 'I'm going to choose to order a tea today instead of a hot chocolate but I always order a hot chocolate.' Why?

Now I think we are just arguing semantics. One can always say "based on his upbringing and life experiences he really couldn't have made any other decision". That may work for animals that react instinctively but humans are self-aware and can weigh factors and make decisions that defy pattern. For example, I almost always order the seafood sub at Mr. Sub because it is by far my favourite sub. But, now and then I'll order something different. You can say that based on my experiences, the current weather, what I had for breakfast, etc, that I really had no choice, but since there is no way to test that hypothesis (it cannot be falsified) then it is not a valid hypothesis and not worth considering.

@GrimJack - I believe Mike cited the French quote.

discussions with behaviorists always seemed to end like that.

Here's salient quote:
"Our understanding of human behavior is at the same stage as physics before Galileo." -- Noam Chomsky

@GrimJack - I believe Mike cited the French quote.

Actually, it was a French-canadian way of using a French saying.

I think both because when you start drugs its character defect

That kind of bottles down to why you started. did you start because "it'll look 'kewl', all the kids 'r doin' it" and "no way I'm going to get addicted", sure.. why not? that could be bit of a defect of character (both the starting and the actually fooling yourself)

but you must take into account that not all addictions start like that. there are enough people who get into an accident, have to take pain meds and get addicted to those. now there's a different story, you can hardly say someone who's life would be unbearbable without the pain medication accuse of being a "flawed" person, just because he actually takes the medication, now can you?