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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-22 06:14pm
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So while the precedent was set what the US and other nations could do vs its perceived terrorists/enemies and created the situation where the war on terror has allowed for worse stuff than was allowed in the cold war. But I'd argue against it setting a similar precedent vs someone who would be perceived as an "us". For instance, if the oval office would use a similar modus operandi vs a US militia type situation similar to Waco then I don't think the precedent would be worth that much.


Except it is already going on. What do you think the extrajudicial killing of Al Alwaki was? Or the detention of Jose Padilla? He was held for 3.5 years as an enemy combatant before being removed to a civilian court, and that detention was never ruled unconstitutional because the Bush Administration mooted the proceeding--which maintains as federal precedent the last court ruling, which was that his extraordinary claimed powers were legal.

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So the constitution and laws remain in effect and on paper, but for the current definition of "them" its ignored. Just like with Bradley Manning, not enough people care for due process or the laws on paper over what many consider a betrayal.


And you think... this somehow makes it all OK? That there will be absolutely no "creep" in who is considered an "us" and the legal and social precedent set by these acts will not spill over into other areas? All the government has to do apparently is claim without evidence that someone is a terrorist and they can be locked away and that is fine because people are too short-sighted to notice or care?

Also: you are simply wrong on the whole "white slavery" thing. It was common in some countries either as flexible terms of indenture, enslavement of convicts, and perpetual hereditary slavery.



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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-22 06:30pm
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Missed the direct response, oups, sorry this should have gone first.
Carinthium wrote:
You are assuming that various things (the will of the majority, equal voting rights etc) are inherent goods. How can you justify this?
That could not be deduced from my text so why would you want to go there? While I do think that such discussions have their merit, in this context I see them as distracting deviations from the OP topic.

Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Agreed, the point being that a country could behave morally in one instance and imorally the next irregardless of constitution and still function normally and still be consistant in its actions as long as most don't disagree.
I've already made my argument on a rational basis, so I'm going to pose a hypothetical to you to try and get some clarification.
Actually, no you have not. I easily showed inconsistencies in your statements even in the first post so how you can claim a rational basis is beyond me.
Carinthium wrote:
-You are a judge in a Constitutional country. etc etc etc
-You convict said so-called war criminal. A very unusual group of journalists go up to you and accuse you of undermining the rule of law, breaching your oath of office, and punishing an innocent man. How do you respond?
That is silly. Why do you propose a scenario where I'm not allowed the choice of my response to the dilemma? As in why wouldn't you ask me whether or not I would convict him? Without that choice any answer I give is irrelevant to the argument you are trying to make. Instead you are trying to set me up in a given scenario to limit my responses. Sorry, no can do.
If I were that judge, I wouldn't be making the choices you are trying to force on me.
Carinthium wrote:
This scenario may seem absurd, but it is going to extremes to prove a point.
Such a scenario is not absurd, its relevance to the topic is though. You could probably find plenty such scenarios in recent history alone.
Read up on the Nuremberg trials and you should be able to easily find something akin to this.
But the basis is really simple. Should a judge let a mafia guy go on a technicality?
Carinthium wrote:
In this scenario, you are clearly a hypocrite- you swear an oath to uphold the law (even though you're unaware it will lead to this situation), you deprive your legal rights from a Constitution you are breaking, and you are part of a system that in theory has rule of law but which in practice you are undermining.
This is covered in full in my response to AD and the naive post above. But I don't think you mean deprive there, but rather derive.
Yes, the judge would act hypocritical versus the constitution, but obviously consistent versus his morality otherwise such a judge wouldn't make that choice.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-22 06:56pm
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Alyrium Denryle wrote:
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So while the precedent was set what the US and other nations could do vs its perceived terrorists/enemies and created the situation where the war on terror has allowed for worse stuff than was allowed in the cold war. But I'd argue against it setting a similar precedent vs someone who would be perceived as an "us". For instance, if the oval office would use a similar modus operandi vs a US militia type situation similar to Waco then I don't think the precedent would be worth that much.
Except it is already going on. What do you think the extrajudicial killing of Al Alwaki was? Or the detention of Jose Padilla?
Uhm, AD, you are getting emotional and missing the point. Al Alwaki and Jose Padila are very much covered in the "them over there different than us" indifference of the american public.
Yes its already going on, but that had been going on for looooooooong before Bush or any such precedents.

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
And you think... this somehow makes it all OK? That there will be absolutely no "creep" in who is considered an "us" and the legal and social precedent set by these acts will not spill over into other areas? All the government has to do apparently is claim without evidence that someone is a terrorist and they can be locked away and that is fine because people are too short-sighted to notice or care?
Why this emotional response? I said no such thing. I even said the opposite a couple of times. You are trying to disagree with me when we are talking about the same thing... Why?
I'm stating how things work, not how I'd like them to work. That should be obviuos.
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Also: you are simply wrong on the whole "white slavery" thing. It was common in some countries either as flexible terms of indenture, enslavement of convicts, and perpetual hereditary slavery.
Que? You even want to disagree on that? Come on.
If you really want to continue that line of thinking then I propose we take the slavery discussion into a seperate topic. Because your examples really do not compare with what happened with colonial slavery of mainly black africans (and south american natives). Unless you disqualify your comment with using countries who never outlawed slavery or who continued with serfdom.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 02:16am
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This is an objectively false statement. Please get acquainted with basic legal theory 101. The first principles in play are significantly more basic than that claim and it takes several steps to get from them to your statement.


Perhaps principle is the wrong word- an implicit, or perhaps explicit, legal rule. To use the American Constitution as an example- the Presidency and Congress are given various rights under the Constitution. It is therefore implicit in what they do that their rights come from said Constitution.

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If you wish to discuss specific constitutions or argue situations where there are similarities to them, then say so instead of generalizing from that starting premise. And if a legal power is not specifically defined or listed as belonging to someone, then the only fact of the matter is that the constitution is silent on that score and such a power may be brought into being by legislation of a lesser stature. Only if such powers then conflict with powers, rights or obligations already laid out in the constitution are they unconstitutional.


I am talking about all constitutional states here.

Why should that be the case? You are implicitly claim here that complete sovereignity belongs to the state, even when not granted by the Constitution. This may sound reasonable, but has no legal basis- the state may have the army avaliable to enforce it, but if you're going to make up legal powers not in the constitution you face the question of why they should default to the Federal government, rather than to the States, Local Government, or a completely new entity. It makes much more sense to say that they don't exist.

This strikes me as very naive. It tries to digitize the grayscale of the human condition into a black and white system. Such attempts always fails when shown the real world.

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For instance, everyone and every entity reliant on humans is hypocritical at some point. The only difference being how often, how much and how selfaware we are of it. Just look at partner selection and you should easily be able to come up with multitudes of examples.
So if you don't allow any plasticity in calling someone a hypocrite then all human governements ever and future are hypocrites. Its in their nature.


They are hypocrites- but as most people believe hypocrisy is morally wrong, I was trying to point out that every time governments break their own Constitution they are being hypocritical. Every person who has every acted hypocritically is a hypocrite, and any institution- it's just a matter of degree. However, some are more hypocritical than others and can be condemned reasonably for it. (Governments who regularly enforce unconstitutional laws and punish people for unconstitutional crimes being an example)

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Then look at what you try to infer next, that someone would then consider constitution-breaking as subjectively moral wrong. Nope, just nope. It depends on the moral code of the person and the context. For instance in the US, lots of religious persons even the hardline constitution defenders consider it morally right to break the constitution when it comes to their religion of choice. They simply don't see the contradiction.


Most people consider hypocrisy to be morally wrong. As I have established, constitution-breaking by a government is hypocritical. Therefore, their moral codes extend, even if they don't realise it, to condemn constitution-breaking by government.

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Then for fun take the trope of the law-enforcer when faced with a failed verdict taking the law into their own hands when necessary. It resonates deep with millions of people for a the simple reason that legality does not necessarily follow ones morality.


As I said, it is hypocritical as they have sworn to uphold the law. Some people just fail to think through the consequences of their beliefs.

Quote:
That could not be deduced from my text so why would you want to go there? While I do think that such discussions have their merit, in this context I see them as distracting deviations from the OP topic.


Because you appeal to the example of Aboriginal voting rights as an example of allegedly non-hypocritical constitution-breaking and back it up with those two principles. I'm going there to refute your argument.

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Actually, no you have not. I easily showed inconsistencies in your statements even in the first post so how you can claim a rational basis is beyond me.


I made a mistake in forgetting about non-constitutional countries, but that's the only "inconsistency" you've shown, even by a broad definition.

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That is silly. Why do you propose a scenario where I'm not allowed the choice of my response to the dilemma? As in why wouldn't you ask me whether or not I would convict him? Without that choice any answer I give is irrelevant to the argument you are trying to make. Instead you are trying to set me up in a given scenario to limit my responses. Sorry, no can do.
If I were that judge, I wouldn't be making the choices you are trying to force on me.


I simply assumed it because it seemed a logical extenstion of what you were saying. What would you do, then?

Quote:
Such a scenario is not absurd, its relevance to the topic is though. You could probably find plenty such scenarios in recent history alone.
Read up on the Nuremberg trials and you should be able to easily find something akin to this.
But the basis is really simple. Should a judge let a mafia guy go on a technicality?


I said may seem absurd not because I thought it was, but because I was worried you would accuse me of making an absurd scenario. Since we agree it isn't, let's move on.

As for the question- yes, a judge should let a mafia guy go if he hasn't broken the law. Otherwise, what makes him better than a vigilante? Similarly he should follow court procedure.

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This is covered in full in my response to AD and the naive post above. But I don't think you mean deprive there, but rather derive.
Yes, the judge would act hypocritical versus the constitution, but obviously consistent versus his morality otherwise such a judge wouldn't make that choice.


Unless you don't understand what an oath is or swear a false oath, you are clearly being a hypocrite by swearing to uphold the Constitution and then not doing so. If you don't understand what an oath is you're an idiot, and if you swear a false oath you're a hypocrite in at least one sense (saying you believe one system of morality and following another).

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 02:35am
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Carinthium wrote:
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This is an objectively false statement. Please get acquainted with basic legal theory 101. The first principles in play are significantly more basic than that claim and it takes several steps to get from them to your statement.


Perhaps principle is the wrong word- an implicit, or perhaps explicit, legal rule. To use the American Constitution as an example- the Presidency and Congress are given various rights under the Constitution. It is therefore implicit in what they do that their rights come from said Constitution.


Nonsense. To use the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an example: thousands of words are given various definitions in the dictionary. It is therefore explicit when people use those words that their definitions come from the dictionary. Is this true? Of course not; many people correctly use words with meanings matching the definition in the dictionary, having never looked in it in their entire lives, and having never had a word explicitly defined for them. Similarly, many people use words to mean something other than is what is in the dictionary, and are still understood to be using the word correctly, or use words that are not in the dictionary at all, yet still make themselves understood.

As Edi says, you are skipping far too many steps for your logic to remain rational and correct.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 04:10am
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Maybe just implicit, then? As far as I can tell, you don't seem to have an argument against the idea that it is an implicit legal rule.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 04:37am
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You missed the point entirely. The definitions of words don't "come from" the dictionary at all! It is a descriptive document, holding the consensus (generally speaking, for linguistics experts who may be reading; I am leaving out dialect, vernaculars, etc. for simplicity's sake) of what a word means within a given language community for reference purposes. Prescriptive dictionaries and language-adjudicating bodies e.g. the Académie française, have, with outliers and edge cases, failed in their intended goal of regulating language.

The choice of a dictionary was deliberate on my part. A Constitution is not a document which grants power, it is a document which attempts to lay out the consensus of the people, from whom governmental power ultimately devolves, on what powers, domains, and actions the government in question may take. This is basic political science, and your ignorance of this while attempting to argue complex questions concerning it is both telling and sad.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to lay out PoliSci 101 for you. I can only suggest strongly that before you go wading into debates on constitutionality, you more thoroughly educate yourself on the underlying theory. Locke isn't a bad place to start.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 05:02am
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Maybe in theory, but not in practice. "The people" did not discuss the constitution of any country clause by clause- instead individuals did, and never (to my understanding) individuals voted into office for that specific purpose. Sovereignty does not derive from the people, but from the law- otherwise slightly more than 50% of the people would be enough to amend the Constitution.

I also know enough about Locke to know he talks bullshit- whatever one considers the morally best state of man, it is false to claim that people are born free and equal, for example.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 07:56am
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@C
Its time you start using the preview and read through your posts once before posting. That easily catches most missed quoting.
Also when quoting several different posters in the same post its the polite thing to keep their names in the quote. Like I do vs you. Otherwise people would have to scroll up to see who said what. Its simple copy&paste, so should pose no biggie.
Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
So if you don't allow any plasticity in calling someone a hypocrite then all human governements ever and future are hypocrites. Its in their nature.
Every person who has every acted hypocritically is a hypocrite, and any institution- it's just a matter of degree.
If everyone is a hypocrite, then calling someone that becomes useless. This is why that is not the way they are being used in real life. You need the plasticity. You need to reserve the term for those who break their own convictions (pun intended).
But to make it easier for you lets invent weak-hypocracy which we all continuosly do/get away with and differentiate it vs strong-hypocracy where people become upset.
Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Then look at what you try to infer next, that someone would then consider constitution-breaking as subjectively moral wrong. Nope, just nope. It depends on the moral code of the person and the context. For instance in the US, lots of religious persons even the hardline constitution defenders consider it morally right to break the constitution when it comes to their religion of choice. They simply don't see the contradiction.
Most people consider hypocrisy to be morally wrong. As I have established, constitution-breaking by a government is hypocritical. Therefore, their moral codes extend, even if they don't realise it, to condemn constitution-breaking by government.
Nope, you did not establish that, you have only made such a claim which I'm arguing is flawed.
If someone acts consistently according to their well stated moral system people in general do not think they are strong-hypocrites. Nor that such acts are necessarily morally wrong. Especially when they do it to the point of breaking the law. This is the whole basis of Civil Disobediance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobedience
So you have to contextualize otherwise your generalisations are simply wrong.
Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Then for fun take the trope of the law-enforcer when faced with a failed verdict taking the law into their own hands when necessary. It resonates deep with millions of people for a the simple reason that legality does not necessarily follow ones morality.
As I said, it is hypocritical as they have sworn to uphold the law. Some people just fail to think through the consequences of their beliefs.
Yes, but are you missing the irony of you saying that?
But lets look at the trope since it speaks to the human condition and why you are missing it.
Its because the law-enforcer has sworn to serve and protect and that the law sometimes gets in the way of that which creates the dilemma. So in the trope the purpose of the law-enforcer is not seen by people as upholding the principle of the law but the spirit of his occupation.
Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
That could not be deduced from my text so why would you want to go there? While I do think that such discussions have their merit, in this context I see them as distracting deviations from the OP topic.
Because you appeal to the example of Aboriginal voting rights as an example of allegedly non-hypocritical constitution-breaking and back it up with those two principles. I'm going there to refute your argument.
Did you miss the whole thing with 'if it swings back' and the 'sometimes good sometimes bad' comment?
But really this boils down to you having a very unrealistic use of the term hypocritical.
Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
Actually, no you have not. I easily showed inconsistencies in your statements even in the first post so how you can claim a rational basis is beyond me.
I made a mistake in forgetting about non-constitutional countries, but that's the only "inconsistency" you've shown, even by a broad definition.
Do you really think that
"Most govs do not draw their legitimacy from any constitution, they draw it from power and by the inherent fact of being in control of the gov. " or "In most non-anglosphere democracies, when you come to a situation where the constitution hinders the gov, you simply change it."
only covers non-constitutional countries? If so you're going to be in for a suprise.
Please go read up on the concepts discussed in "The Law of Nations" published in 1758.
Carinthium wrote:
I simply assumed it because it seemed a logical extenstion of what you were saying. What would you do, then?
You do realise that what I'd do personally has nothing to do with the topic at hand, right?
I'd use the arguments from the Nuremberg trials to show that crimes against humanity goes above and beyond what local laws was in effect at the time. I'd then try to see if I have political backing to get something more done like an extradiction to the Haag regardless.
Now I can do that because as a simple judge - there are instances above me to which the criminal can appeal. Giving the judicial and political systems in place time to grind and possibly come up with a better solution than I as a mere judge can provide.

Carinthium wrote:
Spoonist wrote:
But the basis is really simple. Should a judge let a mafia guy go on a technicality?
As for the question- yes, a judge should let a mafia guy go if he hasn't broken the law. Otherwise, what makes him better than a vigilante? Similarly he should follow court procedure.
That's not what getting off on a technicality means.

Carinthium wrote:
Unless you don't understand what an oath is or swear a false oath, you are clearly being a hypocrite by swearing to uphold the Constitution and then not doing so. If you don't understand what an oath is you're an idiot, and if you swear a false oath you're a hypocrite in at least one sense (saying you believe one system of morality and following another).
Nope, again the false black n white dilemma. Example, as a soldier you have usually sworn an oath implicitly or explicitly to follow orders thinking that you will do so. However you can still find youself getting an order that goes against your consistent morality. Like a military coup. Hence you could act morally by not upholding the oath since doing so would violate the spirit of that contract ie defending your country.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 09:36am
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Spoonist wrote:
Nope, again the false black n white dilemma. Example, as a soldier you have usually sworn an oath implicitly or explicitly to follow orders thinking that you will do so. However you can still find youself getting an order that goes against your consistent morality. Like a military coup. Hence you could act morally by not upholding the oath since doing so would violate the spirit of that contract ie defending your country.


Soldiers in the US swear to follow orders in accordance to the UCMJ, which explicitly bans attempting to overthrow civil government. I contest your claim that soldiers usually swear oaths to follow all orders, as opposed to only legal orders.



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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 10:20am
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Feil wrote:
Soldiers in the US swear to follow orders in accordance to the UCMJ, which explicitly bans attempting to overthrow civil government. I contest your claim that soldiers usually swear oaths to follow all orders, as opposed to only legal orders.

Which is a very nice addition, however such oaths are not usually that explicit about the legality angle.
But for instance australia which was used as the example above, don't. Neither do the brits.
Its implicit.
However the legality isn't as clear in all cases. For instance firing into a town you know contains not only hostiles but also civilians. US troops face such decisions all the time in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If you don't want such an explicit thing how about other articles in the UCMJ?
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/ ... uicktabs-8
If one got an order to make a false official statement, then in the current climate of the US most do. Even though that breaks UCMJ.
So its up to your own morality.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 01:29pm
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Carinthium wrote:
Maybe in theory, but not in practice. "The people" did not discuss the constitution of any country clause by clause- instead individuals did, and never (to my understanding) individuals voted into office for that specific purpose.

Perhaps you should educate yourself, like I and others have been saying all along.

Carinthium wrote:
Sovereignty does not derive from the people, but from the law- otherwise slightly more than 50% of the people would be enough to amend the Constitution.

What? Can you please explain the connection between those two clauses? There doesn't appear to be one, at all.

Carinthium wrote:
I also know enough about Locke to know he talks bullshit- whatever one considers the morally best state of man, it is false to claim that people are born free and equal, for example.

See, this is your problem, writ small. You haven't actually read Locke, and have no idea in what context the statements he made about freedom and equality exist; nor do you know about the larger conversation within political theory (e.g. between Locke and Filmer regarding patriarchal impacts on freedom/equality). But you know one half of one sentence, and that's enough for you to write off two fundamental texts to modern understanding of political science!

If you actually had read any of Locke, for example, you'd know that it was not Locke who said "born" free and equal, but Thomas Hobbes, upon whose work Locke expanded somewhat:
Locke, Two Treatises on Government wrote:
To correctly understand political power we must first consider in what condition men are naturally in: that is, a state of perfect freedom to do and say as they wish, limited only by the law of nature, without having to ask permission of anyone.

It is also a state of perfect equality in which no one has more power or authority than anyone else. Nothing is more obvious than that creatures of the same species, endowed with the same gifts of nature and the same abilities, should be completely one to another.

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it : this is reason. This teaches anyone who enquires of it that, being equal and independent, no one ought to harm anyone else in his life, lhealth, liberty or possessions ...... All men are naturally in this state, and remain so, till, by their own consent, they make themselves members of some political society.

If man in this state of nature is as free as has been said, if he is absolute lord of himself and his possessions, equal to the greatest and subject to nobody, why would he part with his freedom and place himself under the control of any other power? The answer is that, although in the state of nature he has a right to perfect freedom, the enjoyment of it is very uncertain and is constantly being threatened by others. For every man being equally free and not many being concerned with justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in the state of nature is not at all secure. It is quite reasonable, then, that man looks for, and is willing to join in society with others for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberty and property.

Was he right about everything he wrote? No. For one, he nowhere included women in his statements than men were equal.

That's why I said his treatises were a good place to start.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-23 02:11pm
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Uhm, AD, you are getting emotional and missing the point. Al Alwaki and Jose Padila are very much covered in the "them over there different than us" indifference of the american public.
Yes its already going on, but that had been going on for looooooooong before Bush or any such precedents.


It has been a thing for a looong time yes. That does not make it OK. I get how people work. I dont like them because of it. The law is supposed to be better than we are. It is supposed to be there to keep our tribalistic bullshit in check.

That vital function that keeps our society working cannot happen if we ignore the law when the people we are murdering are different from us. That way lies madness as who "us" is becomes more and more narrowly defined by majority will. It is bad enough when "the other" is in some other country. It is worse when that concept creeps back into our own population. Do I need to put up pictures of Bosnia to show where that road leads?



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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-24 10:19am
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Terralthra wrote:
A Constitution is not a document which grants power, it is a document which attempts to lay out the consensus of the people, from whom governmental power ultimately devolves, on what powers, domains, and actions the government in question may take. This is basic political science, and your ignorance of this while attempting to argue complex questions concerning it is both telling and sad.

It's not sad - it's a very common misunderstanding, especially in the United States, where the Constitution is treated with almost Scriptural reverence. People use the word "unconstitutional" almost as if it means "blasphemous" or something - like the very idea that something might violate the constitution is enough to dismiss it outright. In other words, in practice most Americans treat the constitution like they treat Holy Scripture: as a prescriptive document.

Also note that the difference between descriptive and prescriptive loses meaning over time, because the act of describing often forms a feedback loop which results in the descriptive document being enshrined and treated as if it was authoritative or prescriptive. Dictionaries are designed to describe how people use language - yet people turn to dictionaries to find out the correct way to use language. So even a dictionary takes on a prescriptive dimension through common usage - and this same feedback loop is what we see happening in the minds of the general public regarding the constitution.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-24 01:21pm
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Carinthium wrote:
EDIT: Come to think of it Darth Wong, are you a utilitarian or something else? What name do you think best fits the moral philosophy you follow?


I think this line is a pretty accurate summation of Carinthium's character, at least so far as I can tell from the two SLAM threads he is currently involved with. All of his arguments seem to be based off of the first paragraph of a Wikipedia entry on a subject, as opposed to any actual thorough understanding of the issues. His comments on Locke and constitutional law in this thread, as well as morality in the other thread, seem to support this. The fact that he seems uncomfortable even addressing DW without having a single word description of his beliefs also seems indicative of this mindset.

Carinthium: I don't mean this as a flame-bait, so please don't take this personally. But as several people in this thread have already said, you should read up in detail on a subject before trying to construct complex theoretical arguments based on that subject. That is not to say you should never discuss subjects you don't entirely understand, as discussion is a great way to learn more about something. But the way your arguments in this thread are structured the only outcome is going to be Edi, Terraltha, and whoever else actually knows what they are talking about slamming their head and calling you stupid.



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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-26 06:30pm
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If everyone is a hypocrite, then calling someone that becomes useless. This is why that is not the way they are being used in real life. You need the plasticity. You need to reserve the term for those who break their own convictions (pun intended).
But to make it easier for you lets invent weak-hypocracy which we all continuosly do/get away with and differentiate it vs strong-hypocracy where people become upset.


1- Not everybody realises the fact that all people are hypocrites, hence the usefulness of the term. In addition, it can be used for accusations of hypocrisy in particular cases (such as now).
2- The trouble with your terms is that humans are inconsistent in what they get upset by. How about weak hypocrisy if it's very complicated why there is an inconsistency and strong hypocrisy if it should be obvious?

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Nope, you did not establish that, you have only made such a claim which I'm arguing is flawed.
If someone acts consistently according to their well stated moral system people in general do not think they are strong-hypocrites. Nor that such acts are necessarily morally wrong. Especially when they do it to the point of breaking the law. This is the whole basis of Civil Disobediance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobedience
So you have to contextualize otherwise your generalisations are simply wrong.


As I have said before, it is hypocritical because they are contradicting themselves- their oath of office, namely. One should not appeal to people in general on the matter.

Finally, the main difference between those involved in civil disobedience and judges/police is that judges/police claim to be upholders of the law and (at least in the judicial case) have sworn oaths to that effect. In theory if not in practice, oaths are the strongest form of commitment a person can give.

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Yes, but are you missing the irony of you saying that?
But lets look at the trope since it speaks to the human condition and why you are missing it.
Its because the law-enforcer has sworn to serve and protect and that the law sometimes gets in the way of that which creates the dilemma. So in the trope the purpose of the law-enforcer is not seen by people as upholding the principle of the law but the spirit of his occupation.


In the case of a judge, who has sworn to uphold the law not to serve and protect, that is clearly wrong. In both cases, this is clearly a repudiation (incidentally) of the doctrine of the Rule of Law and a restoration of something far closer (though not quite at, admittedly) to feudal ideas of sovereignty in which there are rulers who order around the populace for their own good rather than everybody obeying an abstract Law mutable only when it says so.

More importantly, most of the cases of policemen acting as vigilantes (besides being prone to Guantanamo Bay-esque corruption) are related to punishing people for "crimes", rather than protecting society from said people. They also undermine another idea of the Rule of Law- that people should know what they can be potentially punished for.

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Did you miss the whole thing with 'if it swings back' and the 'sometimes good sometimes bad' comment?
But really this boils down to you having a very unrealistic use of the term hypocritical.


You chose a morally loaded example, rather than a morally neutral example. It's thus fair to assume without further clarification that there is an implicit moral argument. As for the term hypocritical, see earlier.

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Do you really think that
"Most govs do not draw their legitimacy from any constitution, they draw it from power and by the inherent fact of being in control of the gov. " or "In most non-anglosphere democracies, when you come to a situation where the constitution hinders the gov, you simply change it."
only covers non-constitutional countries? If so you're going to be in for a suprise.
Please go read up on the concepts discussed in "The Law of Nations" published in 1758.


I am well aware of many such cases existing in practice- however such cases are hypocritical, because the government is contradicting itself. If you were to ask a government spokesman where their right to power came from, they would not justify it by reference to power itself but by having won the last general election- more importantly, as I have argued earlier their use of legal powers from the Constitution implies they don't (and just about EVERY government would deny if asked that they have the right to break the constitution).

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You do realise that what I'd do personally has nothing to do with the topic at hand, right?
I'd use the arguments from the Nuremberg trials to show that crimes against humanity goes above and beyond what local laws was in effect at the time. I'd then try to see if I have political backing to get something more done like an extradiction to the Haag regardless.
Now I can do that because as a simple judge - there are instances above me to which the criminal can appeal. Giving the judicial and political systems in place time to grind and possibly come up with a better solution than I as a mere judge can provide.


It's not an objective moral principle, but I suspect you would care that such an argument leads to inherent chaos- it becomes impossible for a person to know what they could potentially be punished for, as both judicial opinions and societal morality are fickle and change with circumstances- much less so if the Rule of Law was actually upheld. (Incidentally, there is an easy argument for Allied hypocrisy in the event)

Let's assume for the sake of argument that the country where this happened was one where the local dictator withdrew from the United Nations and had not signed up to any treaties on the matter (hence completely legal). Unless you're appealing to God or some idea of Human Rights, where would this idea of a 'higher law' come from? You are clearly making it up for pragmatic purposes.

Acting as a judge, even on a lower level, implies a claim you are upholding the law, making you, if not better, than more legitimate than vigilantes who simply enforce what they see as right (not true in this case). This is true whether appeal exists or not. If the dictator has withdrawn from the United Nations, then he has (temporarily at least) overthrown U.N sovereignty (to the extent it existed to begin with) in the region. He is thus a true sovereign, and legally had pure right to do what he did.

If I were a journalist(factoring for journalistic sensationalism to get my point across), I would accuse you of undermining the Rule of Law and contributing to a world of retrospective legislation where people could be convicted on the government's arbitrary whim. Exaggerated to be sure, but fair enough under the circumstances to justify me saying it.

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That's not what getting off on a technicality means.


Then what do you say it means?

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Nope, again the false black n white dilemma. Example, as a soldier you have usually sworn an oath implicitly or explicitly to follow orders thinking that you will do so. However you can still find youself getting an order that goes against your consistent morality. Like a military coup. Hence you could act morally by not upholding the oath since doing so would violate the spirit of that contract ie defending your country.


My argument's been made for me here about American soldiers, but I'll deal with other cases (not implicit oaths for reasons that should be obvious). The people who make false statesments despite the UCMJ despite it's jurisdiction are hypocrites.

As for the remaining cases, the superiors are bound to serve the government of the day, which is in effect their military superior (Parliament in Australia or Britain, I would think). If a general gives an order to a major who then gives contradictory orders to his privates, the privates (if they know all this) are justified in following the general's orders.

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Perhaps you should educate yourself, like I and others have been saying all along.


You'll have to be more specific- I only have a certain amount of time to spend on these arguments, and I don't have enough time left to look through your material.

Quote:
What? Can you please explain the connection between those two clauses? There doesn't appear to be one, at all.


Because when individuals disagree (which happens in practically every case if not every case in a democracy), the most purely democratic method is majority vote. Anything else is an abrogation of such- perhaps by a Law instituted by the People themselves (in theory), but still a law The People have agreed to submit to.

If the ratio for amending the Constitution was going to be majority consent, the makers of any Constitution could easily have made it so. They wanted limits.

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Was he right about everything he wrote? No. For one, he nowhere included women in his statements than men were equal.

That's why I said his treatises were a good place to start.


What's your philosophical argument to justify men and women being treated as equals, anyway?

A certain argument was made during the French Revolution asking if either the citizen or the minister of the state really believes people are born free and equal. The citizen sees massive hierarchies around him and is taught unconditional obedience in school and to officers of the law. The minister sees people around the world born into slavery with tribes demanding rights over them. (Such as the ones where women had to marry whom they were told or die) Both see natural disparities in ability starting from birth.

It was a Lockean claim that people were born free and equal as well, and his version of it falls apart.

Quote:
I think this line is a pretty accurate summation of Carinthium's character, at least so far as I can tell from the two SLAM threads he is currently involved with. All of his arguments seem to be based off of the first paragraph of a Wikipedia entry on a subject, as opposed to any actual thorough understanding of the issues. His comments on Locke and constitutional law in this thread, as well as morality in the other thread, seem to support this. The fact that he seems uncomfortable even addressing DW without having a single word description of his beliefs also seems indicative of this mindset.

Carinthium: I don't mean this as a flame-bait, so please don't take this personally. But as several people in this thread have already said, you should read up in detail on a subject before trying to construct complex theoretical arguments based on that subject. That is not to say you should never discuss subjects you don't entirely understand, as discussion is a great way to learn more about something. But the way your arguments in this thread are structured the only outcome is going to be Edi, Terraltha, and whoever else actually knows what they are talking about slamming their head and calling you stupid.


It was just for clarification- I wanted to know what his morals were based on, and as I don't read minds (actually most fictional mind-readers couldn't at this distance anyway) I couldn't unless he told me. I'll consider your views when I have the time if I actually lose.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-26 07:09pm
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Three things before I bother to reply.
1 - I've already told you to use proper quoting. Is it that you don't know how its done, or that you are too lazy to be bothered? Both positions can be remedied one way or another.
2 - I'm not here to do your homework for you. Googling isn't hard nor difficult. So if I say that that is not what X or Y means then you should at least show the courtesy of googling it.
3 - You are trying to infer a moral message from me where I've given none. Your insistance of trying to give me opinions or goals that I do not have is not amusing but rather annoying. Either we are discussing general principles or personal morality, pick one - discussing both at the same time is obviuosly confusing you. My personal morality or lack thereof has nothing to do with general principles.


Agreed?

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-26 07:56pm
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1- It's not really that important. I'm not the only one who doesn't do it.
2- If I did, plenty of people would accuse me of not putting the work in.
3- I'm still not completely familiar with leftist cultural environments and the implied distinction between 'general principles' and 'personal morality'. As I understand it, 'personal morality' is implied to be subjective and limited to an individual alone while 'general principles' are implied to be authoritative and come from what most people believe. If so, this view is too retarded to make distinctions based on and I can explain why if asked.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-26 09:57pm
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Carinthium wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
Perhaps you should educate yourself, like I and others have been saying all along.


You'll have to be more specific- I only have a certain amount of time to spend on these arguments, and I don't have enough time left to look through your material.


Really? In the process of quoting me, you stripped the link I included, then asked me what exactly you should learn about? Are you trying to be dishonest, or are you just a lazy shit? I linked you to a description of the very public, very open debate on ratification of the proposed US Constitution, which included summaries, specific cases, and introductions. Even skimming that site would give you a much better understanding of how "the people" did in fact discuss the constitution proposed, clause by clause.

Carinthium wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
What? Can you please explain the connection between those two clauses? There doesn't appear to be one, at all.


Because when individuals disagree (which happens in practically every case if not every case in a democracy), the most purely democratic method is majority vote. Anything else is an abrogation of such- perhaps by a Law instituted by the People themselves (in theory), but still a law The People have agreed to submit to.

If the ratio for amending the Constitution was going to be majority consent, the makers of any Constitution could easily have made it so. They wanted limits.


By what logic do you conclude that the most purely democratic method is majority vote? Doesn't a majority vote effectively say that 50%-1 of the population's voice is silenced by 50%+1, hence nearly half of the "people" ("demos") are ignored? Since when does "consensus" mean "a simple majority"? It doesn't, and it never has.

Carinthium wrote:
Terralthra wrote:
Was he right about everything he wrote? No. For one, he nowhere included women in his statements than men were equal.

That's why I said his treatises were a good place to start.


What's your philosophical argument to justify men and women being treated as equals, anyway?


My philosophical position on that point weighs any being capable of exerting free will, unambiguously expressing desire, demonstrating consciousness, and perceiving joy, pleasure, happiness, sadness, suffering, or pain as being worth roughly equal ethical weight, given that these conditions appear (from research) to be more or less sharp thresholds across which beings can be divided in a fashion the majority of people would agree on. Barring outliers, all adult humans meet all four of those criterion, as do the majority of non-adult humans. What alternative system of judging ethical weight do you propose?

Carinthium wrote:
A certain argument was made during the French Revolution asking if either the citizen or the minister of the state really believes people are born free and equal. The citizen sees massive hierarchies around him and is taught unconditional obedience in school and to officers of the law. The minister sees people around the world born into slavery with tribes demanding rights over them. (Such as the ones where women had to marry whom they were told or die) Both see natural disparities in ability starting from birth.

It was a Lockean claim that people were born free and equal as well, and his version of it falls apart.


Indeed, and had I said "Locke said all you ever need to know about politics, social contracts, and individual and group rights, responsibilities, and privileges," then you might have a point. Luckily for me, I actually said that Locke's Two Treatises on Government are a good place to start, and they are. That's generally how philosophy works: the majority of philosophers who write didn't come up with their ideas in a vacuum, terms and systems emerging from their head full-grown like Athena from Zeus. They read about a preceding system and set of terms from philosophers whose writings they learned from, and wrote in response to those previous philosophers. In order to make sense of the system and terms that exist now, you need to at least grasp the basics of what they were responding to. A more thorough response and self-education on the principles of western politics would start with The Republic, move on through the Christian philosopher era, touching on justice and mercy as extolled by Augustine in City of God, conceptions of law, tyranny, and justice put forward by Aquinas in Summa Theologica, read background and history leading to the Magna Charta, Hobbesian social contract theory in Leviathan, only then coming to Locke's Treatises. After that, one might proceed equitably to political philosophy of the revolutionary period, including but not limited to Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Voltaire.

That would more or less bring you up to speed on most of the developments in political theory needed to understand the Constitution as a document, which would seem to be your main purpose in starting this thread. It would also be a rather nice foundation for a Bachelor's degree in PoliSci or political philosophy, depending on your university. Too much groundwork for you? Too bad, this shit isn't easy.

I've also restored proper attribution to quotes that you inexplicably stripped out, because when you reply to more than one person, indicating whose words you are quoting matters, fuckwit.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-28 12:24pm
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Carinthium wrote:
It was just for clarification- I wanted to know what his morals were based on, and as I don't read minds (actually most fictional mind-readers couldn't at this distance anyway) I couldn't unless he told me. I'll consider your views when I have the time if I actually lose.


The point is that whatever Mike's morals are based on is IRRELEVANT. He made a specific argument ... which you should be addressing based on its own merits. It is a complete red herring whether he believes himself to be a humanist, a communist, or whatever other arbitrary label of your choice. And, in fact, Mike, like most intelligent people, does not shoe-horn the vast array of his beliefs into a single simplistic category, because doing so isn't helpful. Have you noticed that neither Terralthra nor any of the other people debating you have stopped to ask what you label yourself as, instead preferring to focus on the actual stated content of your posts/arguments?



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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-29 07:32pm
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Incidentally Spoonist, I have a hypothetical moral dilemna for you (the views of others might be interesting). Say you're dealing with an autistic or very literalistic policeman or judge, who understood his oath very literally when he took office. Would you consider his moral obligations any different, and what would you do if a problem (in your system) was caused by him taking his oath literally?

Quote:
Really? In the process of quoting me, you stripped the link I included, then asked me what exactly you should learn about? Are you trying to be dishonest, or are you just a lazy shit? I linked you to a description of the very public, very open debate on ratification of the proposed US Constitution, which included summaries, specific cases, and introductions. Even skimming that site would give you a much better understanding of how "the people" did in fact discuss the constitution proposed, clause by clause.


Yes I am "lazy" because I can't afford to devote more than a certain amount of time to arguing here. I assumed you already knew the details or you wouldn't be using them to argue with me.

Quote:
By what logic do you conclude that the most purely democratic method is majority vote? Doesn't a majority vote effectively say that 50%-1 of the population's voice is silenced by 50%+1, hence nearly half of the "people" ("demos") are ignored? Since when does "consensus" mean "a simple majority"? It doesn't, and it never has.


Is this something similiar to Rosseau's "general will" argument (which is bunkum anyway)? The democratic method is to have a vote on the matter and the majority wins- otherwise you have an in-built bias in favor of the status quo, rather than what the people want. Consensus is impossible, so you go for the next best thing.

Quote:
My philosophical position on that point weighs any being capable of exerting free will, unambiguously expressing desire, demonstrating consciousness, and perceiving joy, pleasure, happiness, sadness, suffering, or pain as being worth roughly equal ethical weight, given that these conditions appear (from research) to be more or less sharp thresholds across which beings can be divided in a fashion the majority of people would agree on. Barring outliers, all adult humans meet all four of those criterion, as do the majority of non-adult humans. What alternative system of judging ethical weight do you propose?


I don't because the concept of 'ethical weight' seems suspect on an objective level in the first place. You also have a two problems with your definition:

1- How can you demonstrate free will exists?
2- For each of your criterion, why that particular criterion?

Quote:
Indeed, and had I said "Locke said all you ever need to know about politics, social contracts, and individual and group rights, responsibilities, and privileges," then you might have a point. Luckily for me, I actually said that Locke's Two Treatises on Government are a good place to start, and they are. That's generally how philosophy works: the majority of philosophers who write didn't come up with their ideas in a vacuum, terms and systems emerging from their head full-grown like Athena from Zeus. They read about a preceding system and set of terms from philosophers whose writings they learned from, and wrote in response to those previous philosophers. In order to make sense of the system and terms that exist now, you need to at least grasp the basics of what they were responding to. A more thorough response and self-education on the principles of western politics would start with The Republic, move on through the Christian philosopher era, touching on justice and mercy as extolled by Augustine in City of God, conceptions of law, tyranny, and justice put forward by Aquinas in Summa Theologica, read background and history leading to the Magna Charta, Hobbesian social contract theory in Leviathan, only then coming to Locke's Treatises. After that, one might proceed equitably to political philosophy of the revolutionary period, including but not limited to Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Voltaire.


I've learned Catholic theology to a very basic degree and thus touched on Augustine and Aquinas already, and know a little about the historical content of the Magna Carta anyway. I also note that you haven't refuted the French Revolution-based argument.

Since I genuinely don't have the time to read this stuff up in more detail (I actually have set aside time for the purpose, but that's in six months time), I'll use a few more general arguments against Locke's idea that people are in fact born free and equal:

-In every society (however defined), as much as we might wish otherwise people are subordinated to the rules and their parents at birth
-Discrimination (at least on the basis of seeing potential or lack based on a person's parents) exists in every society. This was particularly true in Locke's time.
-Claiming equality based on "human dignity" and appealing to God for it is a rationalisation based on a lie
-The secular version of this is based on an allegedly equal capacity to feel. But the best that can be said is that people feel to a roughly equal extent, not exactly equal.

It's not technically proper, but I should also point out that this argument leads to some conclusions you may find unpleasant. Hypothetical RAR- A person has a genetic problem which does not impair them in any other way, but impairs their ability to feel emotion- they still can, but they feel every emotion half(or so close to half that the scientists who examine them round off) as strong as an ordinary person. In every other way, they are a normal human being. Do they thus carry half the moral weight?

Quote:
I've also restored proper attribution to quotes that you inexplicably stripped out, because when you reply to more than one person, indicating whose words you are quoting matters, fuckwit.


Most of the people arguing would have IQs of 120+- it should be easy to keep track of who's saying what.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-30 04:50pm
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Carinthium wrote:
Legally, all government entitites deprive their right to exist and make laws either from a legal entity enshrined by the Constitution or from the Constitution itself. Their legal right to make laws comes from the Constitution. Therefore, a government entity which breaches the Constitution is saying, very simply, "I have the right to make laws because the Constitution- you, the people, must obey. I am going to break the Constitution- you, the people, must obey me anyway."


No government would exist if this rule were not broken at least once.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-09-30 08:06pm
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They may or may not deny the previous Constitution or government as unjust, but that doesn't change the point that they are given powers under the Constitution and exercising them as rights from said Constitution.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-10-01 07:18am
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Carinthium wrote:
Incidentally Spoonist, I have a hypothetical moral dilemna for you (the views of others might be interesting).

I'm sorry but if you can't bother with even such small things as quoting properly then I see no further use of you on this board except chewtoy. So I can't really be bothered enough to keep correcting your false interpretations of reality.
You see in reality if you don't cooperate enough to meet minimum requirements of social interaction then people will simply ignore/exclude you. Make of that what you will.

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 Post subject: Re: A Philosophical Question PostPosted: 2012-10-01 07:50am
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Spoonist wrote:
Carinthium wrote:
Incidentally Spoonist, I have a hypothetical moral dilemna for you (the views of others might be interesting).

I'm sorry but if you can't bother with even such small things as quoting properly then I see no further use of you on this board except chewtoy. So I can't really be bothered enough to keep correcting your false interpretations of reality.
You see in reality if you don't cooperate enough to meet minimum requirements of social interaction then people will simply ignore/exclude you. Make of that what you will.


1- Nobody told me it was a social convention, and not all autistics can be expected to figure this out on their own.
2- This is especially true when not everybody does it (e.g. Alyrium Denryle).

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