Digest of terms

alcohol

an intoxicating stimulant widely known throughout the world, sometimes seen as a source of special insight and illumination, more often controlled as a potential threat to human sanity and relationships. In these many respects it is similar to other drugs. The perception of alcohol as dangerous is evident in its prohibition for Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. Although for Jews and Christians the drinking of wine is a part of traditional celebration, this has been tempered by checks on excess. Temperance movements, at least at their outset, have commonly set out to protect the vulnerable rather than demonise the drink. Social science data which correlates excess with those who have been forbidden that fruit is interesting but the verifiability of that causative relationship is contentious. In the case of Alcoholics Anonymous, the repudiation of alcohol is demanded as a necessary recognition that its power, in both chemical and other terms, can be such that individual good intention disappears.

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