The purpose of Goodin’s argument is to provide reasoning on why we should ban the smoking of tobacco, He uses to main methods to support his argument, The main purpose of these two arguments is to refute the argument that smokers make a choice to smoke and therefore, prohibiting smoking would take away their rights. The first focus of Goodin’s argument states that smokers underestimate the harmful effects of smoking, That is to say that they convince themselves that smoking is not as detrimental to their health as studies have shown.
According to Goodin this leads smokers to act against their own interest. This is called the “irrationality argument”. The second focus of this argument is the “addiction argument”.
This means that the addictive nature of smoking takes away the ability of smokers to decide their best interests They are so addicted to the cigarettes that they become unable to choose what is best for themselves Therefore, smoking is able to be outlawed because smokers often lose their ability to choose for themselves due to addiction.
The outline of Goodin‘s argument is; we should not outlaw smoking if smokers choose to smoke of their own free will (Premise 1), addiction and self-persuasion by smokers lead to a lack of free will (Premise 2), therefore we cannot prohibit the outlawing of smoking based on the idea of smokers exercising their own free will.
The main issue I find with this argument is in Premise 2. My main issue with this is the two main sources of loss of free will that Goodin sites, addiction and self-persuasion, occur after an individual has already been smoking for a significant length of time.
For addiction and self» persuasion to occur, there must have been some significant level of use to have occurred. Therefore, the outlawing of smoking may not take away the free will of addicts or long time smokers (due to the fact that they don’t have any) but it still takes away the free will of first time or short term users. Under Goodin‘s argument this would be deemed totally unacceptable.