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Right thing to do? posted 26 Oct 2006, 17:10 by Will, Peralogue

I was approaching a gas station and a young man asked me to buy him a pack of cigarettes. It was unclear whether he lacked the funds, the age, or simply wished not to expend his funds. What is the most moral course of action I could take? view post

posted 26 Oct 2006, 17:10 by Peter, Auditor

To the extent that you have no reason to believe that the man needed them (i.e. looked stressed, in need of calming down etc.) then I can't imagine what features of the situation might indicate that either giving or not giving the money would be moral. If you had reason to question that the person was old enough to buy them (what would it be, 16?), then you might wonder if they have developed their reason enough to make such decisions themselves (i.e. to smoke), in which case I suppose you might think that you have a duty to protect him by not giving him the money. Possibly you might also have a duty not to break the law (buying ciggarettes for minors). Yeah, but generally I can't imagine that such a situation really being moral at all. view post

posted 26 Oct 2006, 19:10 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

ya, here it's huge fines for someone who buys cigarettes for minors (age here is 19). however, for the right person i will do it, because i remember being a 16 yr old having to get adults to buy me smokes. i don;t smoke anymore, and usually i tell kids to fuck off if they ask me.. like peter mentioned, if it was some dude who looked like he -really- needed a smoke i probably would. view post

posted 26 Oct 2006, 22:10 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

With the limited knowledge you had for the young man the best course of action would be to not give him the cigarettes. view post

posted 27 Oct 2006, 14:10 by alhana, Auditor

This is a dilemna for certain. I agree with WP, at a glance, you don't have enough information to make a decision. I probably would have simply said, "No I am sorry, I don't have any cash on hand." But here is a question for you Will. Do you usually give money to people pan-handling? Would you have bought him a sandwich or a cup of coffee or a soda if he had asked for that instead? As a rule I do not give cash to strangers ever. I might buy them something to eat or drink, but my own moral code does not allow me to give them money. I would never, under any circumstances buy cigarettes. Though it might easy discomfort, that person will not die from not smoking, but he will die from not having a drink or food. view post

posted 28 Oct 2006, 18:10 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Really I think this, while possibly being a right vs. wrong type situation, isn't exactly one that treads to firmly on the idea of whether the question is moral or not. view post

posted 29 Oct 2006, 04:10 by Will, Peralogue

Alhana: Yes, I usually give people money for pan-handling. I probably wouldn't have bought him a sandwich/coffee/soda, but I'd have given him money for that. (I'll give money, not time) All: Thanks for the feedback. view post

hum.... posted 12 Nov 2006, 02:11 by Fruitbat, Commoner

I don't smoke, but most of my friends did or do... I don't think any of them would by the little rug-rat a pack due to the cost, but I'm sure they might offer him a smoke. I guess it just depends on your mood. :wink: view post

posted 22 Nov 2006, 22:11 by Raz, Commoner

Looking at it from an unbiased view, cigarettes have no real benefit except satisfying a physical addiction, which is only seen as a benefit by the smoker. So spending money to purchase things which have ill long term effects with no feasible purpose beyond addicting you... and they're not even for you to become addicted to.. then no lol. I would tell him to get a job and stop being a mooch. If a hobo asks for money so he can buy food and you give him the money, then you see him drinking liquor 10 minutes later, wouldn't you be angry? It doesn't make sense to condone either of them. The only difference is that the kid is asking you straight out for the cigarettes. You may have morals but from his end he's just using you. I wouldn't buy him the cigarettes if he looked like he really needed it though, because he'll always crave them despite his state of mind. view post

posted 28 Nov 2006, 13:11 by Swordsman, Commoner

Hey there, dead thread! I am posting in you! Yes I am! You're operating under the impression that any action you can take short of headbutting the rube would be moral OR immoral. Desire is the only factor here. One person desires cigarettes, another desires the seven dollars he already has. Will the latter give his seven dollars to fulfill the desires of the former? Maybe, maybe not, but don't mistake doing something nice or telling off a guy you meet on the street for a subtle moral dilemma. view post

posted 30 Nov 2006, 15:11 by Sokar, Auditor

Well said..though I would say it is not 'desire' but 'will'.. And seven dollars for a pack? They cost that much in the US..? view post

posted 30 Nov 2006, 20:11 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

That would have to be some high quality cigs to be 7 $ but I agree with Swordsman. view post

posted 01 Dec 2006, 15:12 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

cigarettes here are like $7 or more for the 'value' brands. more like $9 for quality brands. view post

Relatively Undeterminable posted 01 Dec 2006, 19:12 by TheDarkness, Peralogue

there are too many undertermined variables. 1. Amount of money in you pocket (which would determine relative cost to your condition) 2. Experience of the Youth in question (you might have been able to cement your position in his life (memory) as the person who bought him the first cig he ever smoked, which, depending on what you believe could possibly strengthen your chacnes of existing after passing on in the memory of others.) 3. The weather (you might sympathize more if it were raining or cold, especially if the youth in question had no shelter in sight.) All in all, im sure you made the right decision. Good luck next time! view post

posted 03 Dec 2006, 19:12 by Swordsman, Commoner

7 Canadian sounds about right. I'm not going any higher than that because there's no way I'm buying Camels or Davidoffs for some schmuck I don't know. I'm not a frequent smoker, but once every couple months after a bad dinner rush (line cook, preparing to pack up and move to New York to go to the Culinary Institute of America) I'll go through a few packs of those hideous Newport menthols in a night in a fit of self-abuse. view post

posted 03 Dec 2006, 19:12 by Sorcerous-Words, Auditor

Im not quite sure what i would do. although cigarettes are bad for the body...withdrawals are a lot of suffering view post


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