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'Smokers Stand Alone in Blame'

March 17, 1988

Remind me never to study philosophy at Auburn University. The twisted logic of Tibor R. Machan's argument with smokers ("Smokers Stand Alone in Blame," Editorial Page, March 5) doesn't deserve a passing grade. As an advocate of personal freedoms and responsibilities, I was disappointed that Machan didn't do his homework. If he did he would have discovered that for many years the tobacco companies did advertise that smoking was good for you, and smokers were not told of its risks.

Machan's "logic" if applied to other arenas becomes ludicrous. After all, it's not the drug pushers' fault, they merely provide a service to their consumers. The guy who sold you a lemon isn't at fault either because you were stupid enough to buy it.

This is not to say we human beings are always innocent victims. We have a tendency to be stupid, self-indulgent and lazy. And big business tends to be impersonal, amoral and greedy. People and companies both need to take responsibility for their actions. For this very reason we need a legal system that weighs both sides and does its homework, and a society that educates its people so they know what they are to be responsible for.

Now, as to the responsibility of those who educate. . . .

BRIAN P. McENTEE

Altadena

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