Steroids, Moral or Immoral, the Answer lies within
by Dana Smith
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When you hear people speak of steroids, the caution flag is waved. Rightly so, for they can be dangerous. In this we forget that many things today are dangerous. Steroids, however, foment a cautionary flag and hysteria. It began in the mid-nineteenth century when two scientists identified and isolated testosterone from the testes of roosters and bulls. Pre World War II, German scientists took it and began experimenting with it. Ending up synthesizing it for Hitler’s use for his war machine. Of course, today, we know the goal of all this experimenting they did in pre-war Germany, which was the development of the perfect race.
Moreover, steroids work. That is why people take them. Being a derivative from testosterone, you can ingest it or inject it. With this tool, tissue is built up. While the most astounding effect is on muscle tissue. So you have the ‘anabolic effect’ which actually counteracts aging. It does this by stopping the natural effect of aging, exercise, and oxidation, which is the breakdown of tissue. So when the person takes this product, aging seems to stop. The muscles build up. Many times their former proportions. The use of this product has become so widespread, that it is virtually in every type of occupation. Body builders, athletes, firemen, police officers, and more all have been known to use the stuff.
When steroids were outlawed by Congress, little did they know that even the police would be using them. Here is the first moral question. How can we outlaw the stuff when our own law enforcement agencies use it? The fact that police officers use steroids was the object of an 37 page article titled "Drug Law Enforcement in Crises: Cops on Steroids" by Philip Sweitzer, The University of Baltimore School of Law, 2004. He states that "For police officers, however, this is particularly problematic: Anabolic steroids are Schedule III controlled substances, subjecting users to criminal penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.00 for convictions on a charge of possession with intent to distribute" It should be noted also that in this article, the author says that the criminalizing of these steroids substance has been a disaster, saying that in fact this "may largely be responsible for the secretive, covert overdosing of the drugs in gyms throughout America."
When considering the moral actions associated with steroid use, we must consider this. There is a obvious use of other substances as well, which are legal. Using these are dangerous. Consider the use of Botox. I first saw this on a commercial. It was a familiar term because I knew that botulism was dangerous, as it is food poisoning and would be fatal if not treated properly. The use, however of Botox, which is "a botulism toxin", is used in cosmetics. Many a devotee has put this poison in their system and it was legal. The risk was deemed a good one, for by using this toxin, the signs of aging were reduced. The use of this toxin is not outlawed. There again, we must ask ourselves why do we outlaw the one and not the other?
Pointedly, it is considered immoral, dangerous, and illegal to use steroids, according to the International Olympic Committee. Rick Collins, J.D. in an article titled "Steroids and Sports: A Provocative Interview with Norm Fost, M.D., broached this very subject. The immoral use of steroidal agents. The author points out that this person, whom he is interviewing is no dumb bunny. He is a grad of Princeton (A.B.), Yale(M.D.), and Harvard(M.P.H.). Boy, what a list of qualifications. Wait, there was much more to his resume, but we won’t go on with it. Needless to say, this person has the qualifications to speak. When asked about the Moral nature of using these substances, the Good Doctor said: "It would strike me as one of a thousand things that athletes do to try to gain an advantage over competitors. It is not considered immoral to try to gain a competitive advantage. I would put steroids in the long list of things that athletes do to try to win. Better shoes, better equipment, better training, better coaching than the opponent has. If such advantages were not available to all competitors, then the advantage would be unfair. The usual solution to that is to equalize access. It is remarkable how people brag about manifestly unfair advantages, such as better training facilities, greasy swimsuits, or even superior coaches, and then express outrage about a drug that is generally available to anyone who wants it."
Another expert on steroids, Charles Yesalis, a Penn State epidemiologist and researcher for more than 25 years put it bluntly ""We know steroids can be used with a reasonable measure of safety." In his 1998 book, The Steroids Game, He cites this saying "we know this because they’re used in medicine all the time, just not to enhance body images or improve athletic performance." He further relates from research that steroids were first used for medical purposes in the 1930's, three decades before the current standards of the FDA were placed. Noting also that anabolic steroids or their derivatives are commonly used to treat breast cancer, androgen deficiencies, and to promote red blood cell production.
There has been a "fear factor", to use the familiar phrase, associated with Steroid and its use. The media has done its part in fomenting the hysteria. Athletes, Police officers, Firemen, Muscle builders, Runners, and others have used the stuff for years in one form or another. One author, that has written many articles on this says about the frenzy relating to Steroids "What’s scary is how easily lazy reporters and self-serving opportunists can foment a wave of national hysteria in the absence of facts, evidence, and common sense". (Rick Collins in "Girls Gone Steroids." )
When considering the moral implications of steroid use, the issue itself is a hot one. The societal norms say it is immoral to a point. The law says it is illegal period. But the law is a contradiction, because of the use of Steroids by all avenues of society, including Police officers. The derivatives of steroids and the use of other harsh substances such as Botox in our society have formed a proclivity towards outward appearances. This proclivity is seen on our television, magazines, and other print media. It reveals the true moral issue here. Look good, feel good. This is the goal of success. When children are raised with morals that tell us we are what we look like, this is the real tragedy. It should be considered that the issue here for all, including ballplayers is why? Why do you feel the need to do this? Is it for money, fame, fortune, and success? For many, the issue is just that. We are success driven. Strive to be the best in society. Don’t let anything stop you. This drive makes athletes of all ages, young and not so young to take steroids.
For many today, the issue will not go away. Steroids are here. They are mainstream and infiltrated into the hallowed halls of the athlete’s locker room. But this is just a small proportion of the real problem. This is one, in which, people will do anything to look good, get ahead, and be a real success. We must look at ourselves and address the real problem here. Taking steroids for whatever reason is just as good or as bad as the woman who takes botox to look better. Who is right and who is wrong? The answer to both lies deep in the heart. Congress can legislate, people can wind up in trouble for using steroids, but the real answer is neither. The answer my friend lies within. It is where a moral relativism and real morality clash. The real reasons why people take Steroids are within them. Only they can know for sure why? The actions they are disposed to do reveal the result of their activity. This is found out by the actions of athletes who take the stuff. Their goal is to be pumped up, at their top form, so they can beat their opponent. Here we find the moral relativism saying "the means justifies the end result". As long as I bring home a winning record, then it is okay. This is the reason many seem to be using the stuff. What happens when we teach this method to our children? What will they be doing or taking to achieve the same winning results? Where will this philosophy of the "means justify the end result" finally wind up? No one knows for sure. Right now, we are hung up on the Steroids issue. Within all this lays the answer, which, again, lies within.
For the Believer in Jesus Christ, however, the answer to a person or societies woes, are the Lord Himself. This is that private, individual experience you have with the Lord of Glory in coversion as a result of your repentance.
With this true repentance and new life, the issues of society can be seen in a new light.
For steroids, or whatever abuse a person has. The answer is within. His name is Jesus Christ.
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