Why would anyone refuse alcohol?
The purpose of this site is to document and support the reasons someone would not want to drink alcohol.
Outline of ethical argument against drinking
1. The alcohol industry profits from selling their product to the public.
2. The use of their product results in many negative side effects for society (see detailed lists on this site).
3. When you purchase alcohol and drink "responsibly" although you personally do not necessarily suffer from those negative effects - you help finance an industry directly responsible for enormous human suffering in the world.
For example, the alcohol industry is directly responsible for the alcohol-induced deaths (which excluding accidents and homicides) totaled: 21,634 in the U.S.1 To put that number in perspective consider that the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history killed only about 3,0002. About 7 times more American's will die of alcohol again directly next year. You may believe that the 9/11 victims were innocent and those that abuse alcohol bring their plight upon themselves….but what of the many innocent victims of alcohol such as those killed by drunk drivers, those raped by drunks, or children whose parents got divorced because of abuse or even "normal" use of alcohol.
Would you have a different opinion if Osama owned the alcohol companies and was using them to distribute a lethal drink to non-Muslims (Muslims don't drink)?
It is instructive to think of money as a means of voting. How you spend your money is the kind of world you are voting for — Purchasing alcohol and consuming it contributes directly to many societal ills that are detailed on this site.
Several religions such as Islam and Mormonism prohibit drinking - This comment from a Mormon woman is insightful:
"When you drink you loose your inhibitions. Most times you loose control of your actions- at least to some extent. We believe in being in control of our own actions. God wants us all to have agency and to be able to make choices on our own- anything that impairs those choices we should avoid. Alcohol impairs our choices and our judgment."3
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The Negative Effects of Alcohol
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