View Poll Results: You have the power to travel through time to accomplish one of the following
Kill Hitler 74 77.89%
Prevent meth from existing 21 22.11%
Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:09 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Kill Hitler or Prevent Meth?

OK...wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff happens and you find yourself with the ability to either kill Hitler and prevent the Holocaust, or you can stop meth from existing.

I'm somewhat conflicted here. Hitler was probably the biggest monster humanity has ever produced, responsible for previously unimaginable evil.

On the other hand, I deal with people affected by meth almost every day. Not just the users--they are largely responsible for their own actions, but also the spouses, parents, and especially the children. Nothing I've ever encountered can absolutely destroy a life so quickly. I wish it could be magically purged from the face of the Earth.

So what do you say? Two in the head for Hitler, or no meth ever?
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Last edited by Oakminster; 04-12-2018 at 01:11 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:10 PM
manson1972 manson1972 is online now
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Nothing I've ever encountered can absolutely destroy a life so quickly
Know who else could absolutely destroy a life so quickly?
  #3  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:16 PM
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World War II -six million Jews murdered, 20 Million (?) Russians killed, Great Britain torn apart and poor, the Cold War; I'll kill Hitler.
  #4  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:24 PM
naita naita is offline
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Who knows what would happen if you killed Hitler. Maybe fascism grows stronger across the globe and we get dozens of nazi-like regimes at once at a later date, or maybe the world keeps improving slowly and steadily and things turn out rosy. I say it's worth the gamble.

Remove meth and there are still plenty of other drugs to use and abuse. Maybe someone even develops something worse than meth, depending on how you restrict your hypothetical.

Hitler is the right choice. For Germany and for the world.
  #5  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:26 PM
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I went for Hitler because of the proviso in the OP that said it'd prevent the Holocaust. Personally I think killing Hitler wouldn't have changed much really.
  #6  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:28 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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As bad as World War II was, the world may be a better place today because of it. Modern-day Israel probably wouldn't exist without the Holocaust, the modern-day structure of the international order wouldn't be here, and chances are the world would have eventually have had a World War II anyway, with or without Hitler, but perhaps simply in the 1960s or 1980s instead of 1940s.

So I vote for meth to have not existed.
  #7  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:28 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
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Hitler. While I think there would have been an authoritarian regime in Germany, eliminating Hitler may have prevented the Holocaust.

I think meth users would simply find another drug if meth never existed.
  #8  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:28 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Meth has the potential to affect even more lives than Hitler did, if it hasn't already. In my experience it is several orders of magnitude worse than any other drug because it's relatively cheap, easy to make, highly addictive and readily available. But Hitler is an irredeemable evil, so I really can't fault anyone choosing to take him out.
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Molon labe--Leonidas I

Last edited by Oakminster; 04-12-2018 at 01:29 PM.
  #9  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:33 PM
Living Well Is Best Revenge Living Well Is Best Revenge is online now
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Hitler. Seems like a no-brainer.
  #10  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:35 PM
senoy senoy is offline
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Yeah, if it's just meth, you wanna go with Hitler. Meth isn't even in much use around here anymore, it's all opioids. If you want to say all addictive drugs, then it becomes a more interesting question.
  #11  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:47 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Yeah, if it's just meth, you wanna go with Hitler. Meth isn't even in much use around here anymore, it's all opioids. If you want to say all addictive drugs, then it becomes a more interesting question.
I'm guessing you are not involved with the juvenile or family court system where you live. Meth is an issue in probably about 75% of my abuse/neglect cases. These usually aren't the cases that make the news. They're small, quiet little tragedies that play out over and over again...leading to grandparents or great grandparents trying to raise children on a fixed income..sometimes becoming victims of abuse themselves from the teenagers they're trying to raise...or kids placed in foster care. The lucky ones get adopted.
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Molon labe--Leonidas I
  #12  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:53 PM
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Hitler was one of history's greatest monsters, but he was still just one man, who goes away with the very first bullet to the head.

Meth is literally everywhere, it has no time limit, and it has absolutely no foreseeable end.
  #13  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:57 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Hitler=murder other people. Meth heads=murder themselves. All of the people that Hitler killed never had the choice to not be targeted for genocide. All the people that meth killed had the option of never taking meth.

No contest.
  #14  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:57 PM
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Hitler. Meth, in its prescribed form, actually does some good as well. It lets my wildly hyperactive child sit through class for example.

It is possible that whatever follows is equally bad. I can't know that, however. I do know that what he did was horrendous.
  #15  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:58 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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I'm of the opinion that if not for the Holocaust, the Eugenics movement might've taken a deeper hold both here and around the world. Racism and its related hatreds would've been much more difficult to fight.

Plus if not for Hitler, my parents would never have met.

I vote no meth.
  #16  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:59 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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(Oh, and that's just given the choice between the two. If I were rewriting history with fewer constraints, I'd erase all recreational drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, and pot.)
  #17  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:01 PM
Noelq Noelq is offline
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Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
Hitler. Meth, in its prescribed form, actually does some good as well. It lets my wildly hyperactive child sit through class for example.

It is possible that whatever follows is equally bad. I can't know that, however. I do know that what he did was horrendous.
Yep. Came here to post that.
The active ingredient in methamphetamine, when it was used properly in allergy medications, was a blessing to my aching head. The fake crap they have now just sucks ass.
  #18  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:07 PM
senoy senoy is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
I'm guessing you are not involved with the juvenile or family court system where you live. Meth is an issue in probably about 75% of my abuse/neglect cases. These usually aren't the cases that make the news. They're small, quiet little tragedies that play out over and over again...leading to grandparents or great grandparents trying to raise children on a fixed income..sometimes becoming victims of abuse themselves from the teenagers they're trying to raise...or kids placed in foster care. The lucky ones get adopted.
My guess is that you're not from where I live. I'm from West Virginia. Our NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome-essentially being born opioid addicted) numbers just came out yesterday. We have multiple counties with over 10% of births now having NAS. 1 in every 50 of our children are in foster care and 1 in 25 have been permanently placed with non-birth parents. On average, in every single classroom in the state at least one kid has been taken out of their home largely due to opioid abuse. I think I'm pretty familiar with what opioids are doing. Our meth epidemic was in the early 2000s and it was an absolute dream compared to what opioids are doing - largely because of the percent of the populace affected. Meth was much more confined. It's effects were greater, but the number of people using was smaller. McDowell County as an example has an overdose death rate of over 100 per 100 thousand, which is roughly the same as cancer and coronary heart disease. Opioids are killing us quickly and destroying the fabric of communities.
  #19  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:08 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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If I kill Hitler, I think Stalin would have started WWII, and he wasn't any better than der Fuehrer.

I would pick meth, in part because it would have fewer wide-ranging effects. It's horrible to say, but WWII ended the Great Depression and colonial empires in general. And discredited ant-Semitism once and for all, at least among the civilized.

Regards,
Shodan
  #20  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:13 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
If I kill Hitler, I think Stalin would have started WWII, and he wasn't any better than der Fuehrer.
I don't think he would have. Stalin was a coward. He never took chances that he could avoid. That's one reason he killed so many people; he'd kill anybody who might pose a threat to him rather than take the chance that they didn't.

War's always a risk. I don't think Stalin would have worked up the nerve to start one.
  #21  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:21 PM
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If I kill Hitler, I think Stalin would have started WWII, and he wasn't any better than der Fuehrer.


Regards,
Shodan
It is interesting to consider the Russians attacking Europe without lend lease.
  #22  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:30 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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I'd kill Hitler because without meth some other drug would've come along and done the same amount of damage.

There are dozens of ampetamine like drugs out there, if it hadn't been meth it would've been something else.
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:36 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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If I kill Hitler, I think Stalin would have started WWII, and he wasn't any better than der Fuehrer.

I would pick meth, in part because it would have fewer wide-ranging effects. It's horrible to say, but WWII ended the Great Depression and colonial empires in general. And discredited ant-Semitism once and for all, at least among the civilized.

Regards,
Shodan
Yeah but if that had happened, then eventually the USSR would've lost WW2. Even with lend-lease and the allies providing them with tons of supplies, they lost tens of millions of Russian citizens due to military mismanagement. I'm assuming/hoping any war with the USSR would've been over in 2 years or so, just because of Stalin killing his officers, lack of military hardware and mismanagement.

So had the USSR fallen then maybe the soviet states would've adopted market capitalism instead of centrally planned economics, and as a result in 2018 they'd all be richer than they are now. Which means global levels of development and science would be higher than now. Many ex-USSR states saw their economies quadruple in size pretty rapidly after the soviet union fell.
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  #24  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:38 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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Hitler was addicted to meth so why not both?
  #25  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:47 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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I don't think he would have. Stalin was a coward. He never took chances that he could avoid. That's one reason he killed so many people; he'd kill anybody who might pose a threat to him rather than take the chance that they didn't.

War's always a risk. I don't think Stalin would have worked up the nerve to start one.
He invaded Poland at nearly the same time as Hitler, and had previously invaded and conquered Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Although the USSR got kind of embarrassed by their military's performance in Finland, even though they eventually won. I believe their poor performance was one of the things that encouraged Hitler to invade the Soviet Union. Czechoslovakia would probably not have posed much more of a challenge - maybe less.

Would he have invaded Germany? Don't know. Without the military buildup of the Reich, maybe, and maybe even won.

Regards,
Shodan
  #26  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:48 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Hitler was addicted to meth so why not both?
That wouldn't have made a very interesting thread.

"Let's kill Hitler and eliminate meth!"

<Godwin joke>

<Yay!>

<Screw you, Oak, I'm still mad at something from 10 years ago>

<<thread dies>>
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Molon labe--Leonidas I

Last edited by Oakminster; 04-12-2018 at 02:49 PM.
  #27  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:51 PM
pool pool is offline
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You gotta look at the big picture man, sure killing Hitler might save millions of lives, but if you stop Meth from being a thing you'll never get to watch Breaking Bad on TV.
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  #28  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:56 PM
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You gotta look at the big picture man, sure killing Hitler might save millions of lives, but if you stop Meth from being a thing you'll never get to watch Breaking Bad on TV.
One must, after all, be aware of one's priorities.
  #29  
Old 04-12-2018, 02:58 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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You gotta look at the big picture man, sure killing Hitler might save millions of lives, but if you stop Meth from being a thing you'll never get to watch Breaking Bad on TV.
Well, I never watched it anyway, so I wouldn't miss it. And maybe that creative energy could have been poured into a re-imagined Babylon 5, without all the crap that cluttered up the last season....
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"Yes, but that's because you're a wild human, not a tame human. The likes of you would have to be kept in a zoo, and the keepers would be very careful to never put their tentacles inside the bars"--Lemur866 describing Oak, 11/13/09
Molon labe--Leonidas I
  #30  
Old 04-12-2018, 03:23 PM
Ashtura Ashtura is offline
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Hitler. The victims of the Holocaust didn't really have a choice in the matter (though I sometimes wonder why more Jews didn't get the hell out of there, life was pretty miserable even before they started gassing them).

Meth users have some responsibility for their own problems. I would pick Hitler even if more people died of Meth.
  #31  
Old 04-12-2018, 03:26 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Meth users have some responsibility for their own problems.
True, but they also have victims. The kids, spouses, parents of the addicts pay a hefty price for doing nothing wrong. And I get to deal with the aftermath....
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  #32  
Old 04-12-2018, 03:41 PM
Ashtura Ashtura is offline
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True, but they also have victims. The kids, spouses, parents of the addicts pay a hefty price for doing nothing wrong. And I get to deal with the aftermath....
I'm pretty sure the death of 6M people left a little bit of an aftermath for a lot of other people. And that's just the Jews.

I don't buy that you shouldn't kill Hitler because it could hypothetically make other things worse. That act, especially if it happened early before he had any influence, would have a huge butterfly effect that I don't think one could possibly predict.
  #33  
Old 04-12-2018, 03:49 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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I don't buy that you shouldn't kill Hitler because it could hypothetically make other things worse. That act, especially if it happened early before he had any influence, would have a huge butterfly effect that I don't think one could possibly predict.
Oh I have no problem killing Hitler. Taking him out would clearly be a public service, even if it resulted in an alignment change and loss of experience points.
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Molon labe--Leonidas I

Last edited by Oakminster; 04-12-2018 at 03:49 PM.
  #34  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:02 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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I'm somewhat conflicted here. Hitler was probably the biggest monster humanity has ever produced, responsible for previously unimaginable evil.
This is an artifact of better record-keeping in the modern era. Hitler can't compare with Genghis Khan in terms of percentage of the world killed, and, frankly, given how many times the Bible shows God commanding genocide, our modern distaste for it seems a bit exaggerated in broad historical terms.

Secondly, Hitler was the best thing that ever happened to the Allied war effort: The man was a horrible leader, a micromanager who knew practically nothing, a politicker who let politics get in the way of sound doctrine, a petty tyrant who was so feared by his subordinates it directly aided the Allied landings on D-Day, and, yes, addicted to amphetamines. Knock Hitler out, and there's still a post-WWI German far-right, there's still other demagogues who see the potential for leveraging the German political ferment and street violence into personal power, there's still German business and traditionalist elements willing to cozy up to extremists who promise to help them fight far-left elements, and, maybe, someone who actually knows how to run a country and run a war ends up dictator, instead, so instead of a relatively straightforwards WWII, where Germany beats itself to death against the USSR, the UK, and the US, all at once, it launches a few brief irredentist campaigns to "reclaim lost lands" but otherwise acts as a bulwark against Soviet expansion and inaugurates a Cold War where Germany is left alone to quietly persecute and destroy minorities unopposed.

Quote:
On the other hand, I deal with people affected by meth almost every day. Not just the users--they are largely responsible for their own actions, but also the spouses, parents, and especially the children. Nothing I've ever encountered can absolutely destroy a life so quickly. I wish it could be magically purged from the face of the Earth.
You don't want to purge amphetamines from the face of the Earth, you want to destroy illegal meth labs making a toxic product in toxic conditions, impoverished meth users who can't seek treatment outside of the prison system, and the criminal cartels who run the labs and keep the addicts supplied. Were this 1928 instead of 2018, you'd be wishing for alcohol to be removed from the Earth, and citing practically all of the same things I just mentioned, transposed to stills making wood alcohol, blinded and mentally-devastated alcoholics who drank that alcohol, and, again, criminal cartels running things behind the scenes.

We know what got rid of illegal alcohol production in this country. That much is a simple matter of historical fact.
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  #35  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:12 PM
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Kill Hitler. I rather like speed, though so did he.
  #36  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:20 PM
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Hitler. The victims of the Holocaust didn't really have a choice in the matter (though I sometimes wonder why more Jews didn't get the hell out of there, life was pretty miserable even before they started gassing them).
They couldn't take their property with them. Bribes were required to leave. Of course after the killing began, they couldn't leave. The US had immigrant quotas, I don't know about other countries. Some families probably didn't have enough money to leave Europe. Some moved to other countries in Europe which were taken by the Nazis.
  #37  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:34 PM
Weisshund Weisshund is online now
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If you land back in time and find a living hitler in power, i think you have already failed to prevent the existence of Methamphetamines, they are already there
  #38  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:42 PM
Ignotus Ignotus is offline
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Reluctantly, I choose to kill Hitler. This means altering history, which usually turns out to be a Bad Thing in time-travel fiction. However, preventing methamphetamine (or any chemical) from existing would mean somehow messing with the fundamental properties of the elements, which is practically guaranteed to result in a world without life, at least as we know it.
  #39  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:49 PM
tvaetbjorn tvaetbjorn is offline
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I'm not entirely sure they're largely responsible for their own actions. I've learned more about the underbelly of the world in recent years, and I've come to find there's a point in which drugs cease to be a choice and start being an absolute controlling compulsion overriding all others. That said, why meth? Why not heroin? Crack? I agree that the advent of drugs has resulted in unspeakable evil, countless lives lost. I cannot be sure which side I'd choose.
  #40  
Old 04-12-2018, 04:51 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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However, preventing methamphetamine (or any chemical) from existing would mean somehow messing with the fundamental properties of the elements, which is practically guaranteed to result in a world without life, at least as we know it.
I can't speak for the OP, but the hypothetical could easily keep the chemical order of things intact by just saying that meth would never be discovered. Nobody would stumble upon the recipe or formula for it and it wouldn't occur to anyone.
  #41  
Old 04-12-2018, 05:05 PM
Corry El Corry El is online now
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I don't buy that you shouldn't kill Hitler because it could hypothetically make other things worse. That act, especially if it happened early before he had any influence, would have a huge butterfly effect that I don't think one could possibly predict.
Yes the question of Hilter is how much 'butterfly effect' v. how much 'great man theory of history' (great meaning 'big impact' not 'really good' obviously in this case).

But eliminating one particular drug would accomplish nothing. Already meth is becoming yesterday's news as a drug scourge compared to (synthetic, prescribed, and traditional illegal) opioids.

Also most answers skate by whether one could/would really kill somebody, even Hitler. I guess that's partly from the modern affect that it's somehow putting yourself above others to openly doubt your ability to kill. 'Everyone is capable of it' but not actually. So it's two rather unlike things morally, killing a human being v. 'stopping' a drug. Maybe some of the answers reflect that without highlighting it.

The other flaw in the question (sorry I tend to nitpick poll questions ) is the preamble presupposing killing Hitler prevents the Holocaust but not really emphasizing it, so some will answer based on accepting that premise and others will take the question as if it asks if they accept that premise.

Last edited by Corry El; 04-12-2018 at 05:07 PM.
  #42  
Old 04-12-2018, 05:07 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Plus if not for Hitler, my parents would never have met.
A hell of a rom-com premise if ever I've heard one.
  #43  
Old 04-12-2018, 05:08 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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If the Germans hadn't invented meth, somebody else would have.

I've heard a story, which may be anecdotal, about an opposing soldier who believed he had the opportunity to kill Hitler during WW I and didn't because he wasn't in imminent danger, and always regretted it.
  #44  
Old 04-12-2018, 05:17 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Forget meth, look at how many families alcohol has destroyed, but I wouldn't vote to prevent booze.

Hitler, on the other hand, launched the most devastating war in the history of mankind. He set up factories to try and wipe out an entire race of people. The guy is basically seen as the epitome of evil in all of history. Meth? If it wasn't meth, it'd be something else.

Hitler? Hitler, well he was Hitler.

Last edited by Guinastasia; 04-12-2018 at 05:18 PM.
  #45  
Old 04-12-2018, 06:42 PM
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The problem with time-travel choices such as these is, since there's obviously no experimental results to work with, we have no idea just how far and fast the changes spread from tweaking a single event, or doing away with a single person. Not to mention, if we change history by killing Hitler, do all the quantum dice after that event re-roll themselves, and do different outcomes at that level work up to the tangible physical level on which we live our lives?

It is quite reasonable to believe that if we kill Hitler, we also kill everybody conceived after we do so, and replace them with a whole different set of people - a holocaust far greater than the Holocaust. And even if we don't believe that, certainly over the course of a few decades at most, you'd stop having any of the same people being born.

And anyone who messes with the space-time continuum far back enough to keep the Firebug from being conceived is gonna be in serious trouble from me.
  #46  
Old 04-12-2018, 07:43 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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Originally Posted by tvaetbjorn View Post
That said, why meth?
Because that's the one I deal with most often. I do encounter the others occasionally, but meth is a constant. I can count on my fingers the people I've met that beat it. Meth will make people walk away from their children, spouse, family, home, job, and anything else unlike anything else I've ever seen. I've seen babies born addicted to this stuff.
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  #47  
Old 04-12-2018, 08:07 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Hitler=murder other people. Meth heads=murder themselves. All of the people that Hitler killed never had the choice to not be targeted for genocide. All the people that meth killed had the option of never taking meth.
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Originally Posted by Ashtura View Post
Hitler. The victims of the Holocaust didn't really have a choice in the matter ... Meth users have some responsibility for their own problems. I would pick Hitler even if more people died of Meth.
Wrong. Meth hurts a lot of innocent people who had no choice in the matter. Meth users commit crimes to finance their habits. People get mugged and robbed because of meth. Innocent people get caught in the crossfire in a turf war between rival dealers. Pregnant women use meth and cause serious harm to the baby. Meth users beat their spouses. Meth users drive a car while under the influence and cause multiple fatalities.

The idea that the victims of meth brought it on themselves is absurd. We are all victims of meth in one way or another. And most of us had no choice.
  #48  
Old 04-12-2018, 08:12 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
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It is quite reasonable to believe that if we kill Hitler, we also kill everybody conceived after we do so, and replace them with a whole different set of people
Run that by again?
  #49  
Old 04-12-2018, 08:31 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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Because many people met their spouses through the events of the war. Eliminate the war , they would have never met, the children of that union would never be born. Other meetings would happen instead, and a whole different set of offspring would result.
  #50  
Old 04-12-2018, 09:12 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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Run that by again?
I'm a specific example: My paternal grandmother was a war bride, and only met my paternal grandfather due to the Second World War. Without the war going as it went, my dad is never born, my brothers and I are never born, and my niece is never born. You can imagine that my paternal grandparents, conceived and born before the war, would meet other people and have other children, resulting in who knows how many completely different people three generations hence. Now multiply that by all of the other people who only met due to the war, one way or another.
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