By David Norwood
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Additional resources for Winning With the Modern Defence
4 THE ENFORCEMENT OF MORALITY The ﬁrst argument is the simplest. It runs as follows. • Gambling is immoral. • It is the business of government to try to eradicate immorality. • Therefore it is the business of government to try to eradicate gambling. 30 Gambling and the Public Interest This argument is a valid syllogism. This means that if you accept the premises, you are logically obliged to accept the conclusion. In fact, throughout history and in many cultures today, both the premises of this argument and its conclusion have been taken for granted.
This point is made forcibly by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty. The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection . . The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufﬁcient warrant. He cannot rightly be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.
It is, of course, true that some people use the stock market as a medium for gambling and choose their share purchases by using a pin (the socalled dartboard portfolio). However, the stock market is ﬁrst and foremost an instrument for investment that enables people to participate in the creation of wealth. This means that over time, investors may be expected to make a proﬁt, which is precisely the opposite of what may be expected for the majority of gamblers who bet with commercial gambling operations.