Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What is important?

What issues do we consider to be important?  In this regard, consider the mortality due to alcohol and the mortality due to violence.  If you believe the World Health Organization,

3.8% of deaths in 2004 were attributable to alcohol (2.5 million people).  In contrast, violence claims 1.4 million lives a year, of which 58% are suicides.  

Then, of course, the use of alcohol contributes to violence.   As Seth Abramson wrote, in the American context,
Alcohol abuse is likely the most common driver of crime. Alcohol was involved in more than half of the domestic violence cases I tried as an attorney.
It would seem that the traditional cultures of India and of the Islamic world that had strong cultural  taboos and even legal sanctions around the use of alcohol had it right.   Why does a Western cultural norm become a global cultural norm?   But put that aside for now.

Why do we talk more about violence than about alcohol?