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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 1st 2012, 02:36 PM

First, let me say, anyone can respond, but I mainly am looking for a Christian-based response.

The reason I ask, is because while I am going to school, I am working in retail. When I sell cigarettes, I feel somewhat bad knowing that I may be selling someones son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, etc. Cancer. Now, I'm not saying smoking is sinful, that is another topic, I am asking if it is morally acceptable to sell cigarettes to people, even though they are more than likely knowledgeable to the risks of smoking.

The only way I currently justify it is by saying, "Christ made wine for already drunk people." Which, in a way, is similar to my dilemma. However, this raises the question, then, if these are okay, apart from legal issues, would it be morally okay to sell cocaine, weed, etc.?

I ask before you respond to actually think about you selling any of these things to another person. And think about the harm you might cause them, and the sadness you may cause their family later in life. Think in terms of harming actual people, or supporting their harm, rather than just a concept. A lot of times it is easy to talk about masses of people without really thinking about them personally and to think.of them as just a.concept or a debate, rather than real people. Granted, this is a worst case scenario, but, regardless, please think of.it as such and not just, "they're the ones choosing to smoke."


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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 1st 2012, 03:51 PM

its okay, i mean, its not like you are forcing them to smoke,


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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 1st 2012, 04:01 PM

They are choosing to buy the cigarettes, they're not being forced. I've wondered before why cigarettes are even legal, but not for moral reasons. You can't make something illegal just because it's immoral to some people. If you think cigarettes are immoral, don't smoke them, but you can't really forbid them to anyone else for that reason.





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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 1st 2012, 06:15 PM

I never said I word forbid people from smoking but, I can refuse to sell. Let me ask, if someone wants to die and pays you to kill them, and you do, is this moral? Let me go further to bring up that we shouldn't kill. So, is selling a product that kills someone, moral?


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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 1st 2012, 06:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
I never said I word forbid people from smoking but, I can refuse to sell. Let me ask, if someone wants to die and pays you to kill them, and you do, is this moral? Let me go further to bring up that we shouldn't kill. So, is selling a product that kills someone, moral?
If you don't want to sell cigarettes then you shouldn't have to, they can get someone else to do it. It might not be the best way to keep a job, but it's your choice. I don't really think it's immoral to sell cigarettes if someone wants to buy them, and it's not immoral to smoke them either. It might not be healthy, but I wouldn't call it immoral. If it's what someone wants, you've done nothing wrong by giving it to them.





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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 3rd 2012, 01:49 AM

I think it depends on your personal opinion on the matter and how you feel about it. I know Christians that work in nightclubs - is it moral for them to serve drunk people? Same kind of issue. If you aren't comfortable with it then I would talk to your manager about it and see if it would be possible for someone else to serve cigarettes - but ultimately it is your choice in your opinion on this depending on how you feel about smoking.

Personally, I don't know what I think. I would definately not sell them to someone who was possibly underaged without any ID or someone with fake ID.

You could almost box your job away, and say that you are serving people like they are buying a chocolate bar and not think about what you are selling them. Ultimately that wouldn't neccessarily be how God wanted us to live our lives, but that is one option.

I think you should have a think about your personal opinion on this and if you decide you aren't comfortable with it then as I said, talk to your manager. But if you went into the job knowing you were going to have to sell them, you may want to think about that before going into another job in the future.

Hope that helps!

Take care,
Anna.




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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 5th 2012, 03:51 PM

I could understand your concern if it only applied to cigarettes, but really it extends to alcohol, and even kitchen cutlery like knives which could harm someone. Someone who smokes very casually is very unlikely to develop any long-term health effects. You have no idea once that person leaves the shop if they smoke 20 a day or 20 a week. It's your job to provide a service, not to enforce your own morals on other people. Think of it as a temptation for the people buying, who aren't doing as well as Christ did.




   
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Re: Christians: Is it morally okay to sell cigarettes to persons of legal age? - June 5th 2012, 11:27 PM

I believe every human being has the right to free will. That means each person has the right to think and act on their own. In this case, they have the right to choose to smoke tobacco. It's THEIR decision.

You are employed to provide a product to persons of a requisite age that demand it. Yes, the product is something that will kill many of them in time. But the risks are well advertised, including on the box itself. It would be impossible to claim that one does not know that smoking has harmful health effects. Therefore, the consumer is informed of the risks, and they are making a decision.

The thing is that by your theory, we should feel bad for a ton of the things we do. A bartender should feel bad providing seven shots of whiskey a night to an obvious alcoholic. A fast food employee should feel bad selling that triple-patty McCheese Melt with extra mayo and a Super Sized combo to a man who is so overweight he can't walk without assistance. A landlord should feel bad leasing an apartment to a young single mom in a bad part of town. A doctor should feel bad that someone with a potentially serious injury doesn't want assistance.

The thing is, you are assuming things about a person you know nothing about. They may never contract cancer. They may be smoking to handle coming off of a serious drug addiction. They may have a crappy job and that's how they cope with the stress. They may not be buying them for themselves. They may have no family. Or maybe they do have a family, with a loving spouse and kids and a dog and a house with a picket fence. Maybe they were valedictorian of their Ivy league class. Maybe they have the job of their dreams.

My point is, you can't make assumptions about someone's life. You can't think about the family they have or the people their death may grieve or how bad their medical bills will be. Because it's not your responsibility. It's not your place to try and take blame for someone else's free will.

So if this bothers you greatly take another job, but it is going to happen across your life. What may grieve you about others' choices doesn't mean they should have those morals themselves.



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