- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Attempted resolutions and a short reality trip.

Posted by: borg on May 17, 1999 at 15:15:30:

In Reply to: A reply to Borg on property, morals and absurdities posted by Copenhagen on May 16, 1999 at 14:06:02:

: [...]

: :: I think on the face of it, your life is in the hands of the legislators to do as they please. Laws by their very nature regulate the actions that we are able to take.

I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others. -- Thomas Jefferson

Yes. They are made in an *attempt* to regulate *behavior*.

:I am certainly NOT free to take my own life, given that it is against the law.

: :Nonsense. You ARE free to take your own life. How will
: you be prosecuted for doing so?

: Copenhagen... Well, what do you mean by the word 'free'? I would say free means an absence of compulsion. As laws exist against you taking your own life, there is compulsion not to do so hence you are not 'free' to do so.

Freedom to do something is best tested by accomplishing
that which one chooses to *do*. If I have accomplished
my suicide then I was free to do so.

: (Consider do we say "i am FREE to break the law"
: OR "I CAN break the law"?)

Semantics exercise. If you *can* [did] do something you
were *free*. The law is irrelevant in this case.

: The question that you seem to be asking ('how will you be prosecuted') is whether such a law is enforceable. I would grant that this is problematic (although as the good people at McSpotlight noted attampted suicide has been against the law; furthermore in cases where someone has a reasonable apprehension of a crime being commited they can use reasonable force to stop it).

And what happens if no one is there to stop The Lawbreaker
from suicide?

: ::It is only within the boundaries that are crearted by the law that we have scope for autonomous action.

I would rephrase this:

It is usually within the boundaries that are created by
the law that we have some scope for autonomous action.

: :If you mean jurisdictional boundaries, I agree.

: :"Of the 36 ways to get out of trouble, the best is--to leave"
: --old Chinese proverb

: Copenhagen... No, i mean that the law lays down the boundaries of liberty. If you cross those boundaries then you may well forfeit your freedom.


But let's take the case of extradition using a different
boundary, that of jurisdiction.

If I break the law and
go to a country that has no extradition treaty with the country
in which I broke a law, how will I be prosecuted?

: [...]

: :How The Law has become so sacred! It maintains a religious
: quality with so many and yet it is quite easy to avoid and
: has been for thousands of years.

: Copenhagen... Well, the law has a religious childhood. In ancient socieites it was always the priests who laid down the law.

: ::Perhaps i could concede that life 'belongs' to a person, but that is a far cry from calling the life of a person the 'property' of that person.

: :Why the semantics? You either believe you are free or not,
: and act accordingly.

: Copenahgen... No. Property has certain legal connotations (eg i am able to deal in property).

Let's say, for the sake of an argument, that tomorrow the
apparatus [legal system, courts, police, etc] that supports
arrests and convictions for property crimes was abolished.

Do you suppose that the *concept* of property in the general
populace would go with it?

No. They would find other means to protect same.

:Belonging has no such connotations on its own (although it may be considered by some to be a part of the concept of 'property').

If I say a thing "belongs" to me and you, a rational person
dispute this, what is your next "legal" step...since you
seem to be so wrapped up in legalities?

: :: : : Social utility involves the notion of what is best for the majority, a sort of moral calulus. That is all, it requires no further reference to notions of property to act as a justification

I'm missing something here. Would you like to give an
example of this moral calculus?


: : : Well, the principle of utility that Mill annointed was the famous 'harm principle': You are free to do as you wish as long as it does not harm others...i suspect that denying someone a right to life would constitute 'harm'.

: : Why the waffle? No "suspecting" about it. It *is* harm.

: Copenhagen... Is it? Is it harm to end the life of somebody that is comatose with no prospect of recovery? To abort a baby at 1 daY? Is that harm?

Not in my view since my definition of human life is that it must
be conscious of the world around it in some fashion.

But there are many who disagree.

: --
: : McSpotlight: Historical note; during the past history of the UK, attempted suicide (i.e. failed) has been punishable by either death or by life imprisonment...

Amazing. But then the UK govt doesn't have a monopoly on
irrationality any more than any other govt does.

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup