Two VERY unrelated lottery questions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    I know that these are really unrelated and will probably start lots of confusion, but they were things I have been thinking about for a while. Not looking to start a fight, just a simple answer (I know there is one) that will not keep me up at night

    First question -

    If I have a chance to play a lottery and a 3% chance of winning (the prize is about $800 - could be a lot higher), is it worth it? I mean should I take the risk and play or just hang on to my money (entry fee is really low)?

    Now, with a 3% failure rate for condoms, what is wrong with promoting abstinence as the preferred method of contraception? I can understand the argument that teaching only abstinence is sketchy since you do want people to be educated on the subject (I was abstinent until I got married, but I remembered my condom education since we weren't ready to have kids), but I happened to read an article blasting teaching abstinence as an ideal - that it was unrealistic and we shouldn't bother. I just don't get it.

    Second question -

    What is wrong with slot machines? Why is it that we feel comfortable with having a state lottery, which already induces the poor to gamble their money as they blow their income on scratch-offs and Powerball, but we don't like the idea of slots at places that already have gambling (I'm thinking of the racetracks in MD)? I mean, either way the chance of winning is miniscule. Either way, the poor lose more quickly. Either way, the state can control the wazoo out the program. And yet - we blast slots as the bain of our existence, while letting the lottery run wild.

    Me, I think slots are stupid and boring. I can't ever see myself using one. But, I don't see myself playing the lottery either...
     
  2. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #2
    Well, the condom has a 98% success rate and the lottery would have a 97% failure rate.

    Also, condoms are effective against STD transmission, and the lottery is not.

    I don't know what the big deal is. I've no love for gambling, but I can understand how states want to mitigate the loss of revenue to Atlantic City.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #3
    Abstinence education fails because kids will have sex, and pretending that they won't doesn't make it true. Condoms are far more effective than nothing, and getting kids to use condoms won't increase the incidence of sex, it'll just make it safer.

    As a similar example, everyone knows that proper diet and sufficient exercise will keep you healthier. Everyone knows that. Look at all of the overweight Americans. People are going to overeat and under-exercise, no matter what they're taught. And kids will have sex.
     
  4. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

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    #4
    Well, in Georgia where we have no slot machines, the state lottery funds the HOPE scholarship (which allows any student who graduated with a B average in core courses to attend any public university tuition-free, great deal). While I am not naive enough to think that is the only reason, it makes it for it to be easily accepted.
     
  5. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #5
    But that's my point - it's fine and dandy to promote safe sexual practices. Whenever they will start employing that education, its important to know how to practice safely.

    However, coming out against the promotion of abstinence as the only way to be sure of pregnancy/STD avoidance seems silly. It has nothing to do with pretending and everything to do with presenting a fact. Even though everybody knows that exercising and eating well is known by "everybody" we don't stop teaching it because everybody ignores it. We teach both the ideal and the practical. Why can't we teach both - the abstinence crowd doesn't like the condoms and the condom crown doesn't like abstinence. Shouldn't both be presented (or are we going to hide our heads in the sand when seomone presents something that is true but we don't like?)?

    Slot income would go toward education spending (you know we'll need it if O'Mally manages state educational funding they way he managed Baltimore's), but a lot of people are opposed to it. It's funny to watch a lot of the right run their bingo nights and the left enjoy the lottery money all the while they unite to villify slots. We have mandated that going out the the prostitutes on the corners of our communities is fine while banning the brothel in a controlled area is not.
     
  6. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #6
    What moron kid can't figure out that if sex is dangerous, not having it will keep you safe?

    If we teach kids all the dangers of sex: the various vectors of STDs and pregnancy, and how to avoid these dangers by using condoms, birth control, etc. then do we need to have an entire program telling them that not having sex will keep at the former from happening? Isn't this a logical conclusion?
    Abstinence programs have been used as a replacement for sex-education programs and they have been proven a complete failure.
     
  7. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #7
    If the stake money is less than $24 it's a good bet if you are risk neutral. Same applies to contraception in that there is a risk which is balanced by a payoff (struggling desperately not to say payload). I don't really get your point though, are you suggesting abstinence within marriage, or is it in support of a moral view that people outside marriage should not have children?

    Can't help you on that one - most likely it's just reflecting our class based prejudices.
     
  8. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #8
    A lot of morons actually. The problem is that abstinence is promoted as a replacement, rather than as a reinforcement. Although the conclusion that the dangers can be avoided by not engaging in the behavior is logical, there are a lot of folks out there who believe that condoms are 100% effective, that "if I pull out before I ejaculate" she can't get pregnant, and other silly things. What worries me is that sometimes in the rush to educate we forget that people are stupid and need to be reminded that no medical remedy is 100% effective.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9

    Yeah, and the vast majority of 18 year olds have no concept of their own mortality. Risk taking and seeking pleasure are hard wired into the adolescent brain.

    The drug you're pushing is called fear. Fear of a 2% condom failure rate coupled with the fear that a miniscule risk of STD transmission or pregnancy will result.

    What kids need to be taught is the fewer sexual partners they have, the less likely they're going to pick up a bug. The fewer guns they play with, the less likely they're going to shoot someone, the fewer times they cross the street outside of a crosswalk, the less likely they're going to get run over.

    Instead of spreading fear, why don't we teach our children the concept of calculated risk? If these kids feel the need to do something, they need to be educated as to the risks involved not just be threatened with hellfire and brimstone.

    Let's face it, the only way to prevent teenage STDs or pregnancies is to lock the little dears up and force them to wear a chastitiy belt. Is that what you want, a return to the barbaric practices of the Middle Ages or Victorian England?

    Any solution needs to be real not based in fantasy land.
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #10
    At my Catholic High School we had a series of classes for Juniors (a little late for some...) in which we were told the effectiveness of condoms and birth-control, how to use a condom (the whole banana trick ;)) and were given all the various vectors of STDs, including full-color pictures of infections. Gah!

    Kids need to understand what sex means, all the joys and consequences, and that's the best you can do. Abstinence programs, as currently employed, just teach kids NOT to have sex, rather than cover everything, including that condoms are 98% effective and the rhythm method and coitus interruptus are basically worthless.
     
  11. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #11
    And that is the failing that I can't seem to figure out. Abstinence programs shy away from teaching safe sex practices, safe sex programs shy away from abstinence.

    Oh, and that 2% makes a spectacular difference - which is why when I was talking to the wife about this the other day I couldn't get it out of my head. Even a .2% chance would make me nervous. The amount of time, money, and medical involvement that comes with getting pregnant is amazing. We decided to try and have a child, and I still wonder if I know what I've gotten myself into. I think if kids were exposed to the realities of pregnancy (not to mention motherhood), they would consider all the risks. I'm talking a daily video journal of a woman from when she finds out she's pregnant to birth (and why not even a little after). Just watching my wife is enough to make me wonder why anyone would stop shot of a vasectomy if they don't want kids.

    Maybe fear is the answer...:eek:
     
  12. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    I don't know about that second statement. Do safe sex programs really shy away from abstinence? I wouldn't know myself, but if the safe sex programs do their job properly they will do also give the information that condoms aren't 100% safe and say that the only thing that makes you 100% safe is abstinence.

    In my opinion, the job of sex education is to get the facts out to the kids so that they are able to make their own informed decisions. The decisions will also, obviously, be based on their own values, and if one holds the position that kids needs to be taught certain values when it comes to sex, beyond the values that are of a universal ethical nature and of legal nature, then that teaching belongs in a family setting.
     
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #13
    I spend $2 a week to play the Powerball, and why not?

    Yes, the chances of winning the grand prize are astronomically low (1 in 146,107,962 low), however, they are massively higher if I play, as opposed to not playing! ;)

    I'm not sure I agree with the monikor that lotteries are a tax on the poor. I think it's more aptly described as a tax on the stupid.
     
  14. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    I can mostly just guess on this question.

    Controlling slot-machines is a hot theme in Norway, too, at the moment. When it comes to controlling gambling in general, it boils down to allowing people to do what they want with their own money versus reducing the personal grief and the economical hit the society takes by having people fall into gambling debts that destroys their lives and productivity. For some reason it seems to me that a larger portion than what would be expected of those who become addicted to gambling and ruin their lives do so with slot machines. Maybe it's because slot-machines are so immediately available, while other forms of gambling are stretched out over time and require more effort and planning to do.

    I don't actually have a source that says slot-machines addicts make up a larger portion of ruined lives cases, it's more of an assumption I've made after following the debates on this. If there are no reports to suggest this, then I agree that slot-machines can't be considered any worse than other forms of gambling, and shouldn't have stronger restrictions.
     
  15. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #15
    I'm not a fan of slot machines. They're pretty mindless.
    I prefer being a bit more the master of my own destiny (of loosing money), so I stick with craps, poker, and blackjack.
     
  16. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #16
    i think ultimately your view is correct (meaning equal to mine. ;) )... there is no reasons abstinence shouldn't be discussed in the course of a safe sex course which also discusses stds, condoms, and all the other goodies out there.

    i think where the problem comes in is that people who are adamant about teaching abstinence tend to want to teach ONLY abstinence (not all people, of course), and therefore it's an all or nothing proposition. and then *that* attitude sours those pushing for more thorough safe sex education, to the point where abstinence is seen as all or nothing, not something that can be included as one of several options.
     
  17. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #17
    are you "loosing" the money in your coin purse? do you have a string around the top or what? ;)

    poker and blackjack definitely are the way to go. craps is much less of a skill game.
     
  18. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #18
    Quite true, but better odds for me to win at Craps than Poker or Blackjack. Plus, we can all yell CRAPs at the top of our lungs!

    And as far as you know, I don't have a coin purse. But seriously, I hate sitting there and just feeding coins into a slot machine and slapping a button. I could train a monkey and pay him with bananas to do it for me.

    As for loosing money.. well it's gambling. Realistically, it's a loosing bet.
     
  19. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #19
    They aren't supposed to. Abstinence is the first thing they discuss. Condoms, birth control are secondary, with the risks clearly indicated even if used correctly. Other options are discussed as well if the teachers and students can speak openly.

    As said, abstinence only education is just that. With false or no info given about protection. And no discussion. So when they do have sex, they aren't really aware of the realities.
     

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