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Old 2013-01-18, 23:24   Link #41
solidguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post


These are specific instances where the law is unfair. However I was disagreeing with the notion that the law is generally unfair. If the Law is unfair, it is the exception not the rule. As a rule the law is constructed to be fair, though it being a human construct there will be instances where the law is not as fair as it could be.

The Law could be unfair in specific cases, but in general it is fair, because by definition the law is the human sense of "fairness" codified. If the law was inherently unfair to it's core, no one would follow it, because the reason people consent to the law is because we think it's fair and just (and laws that are seen as unfair/unjust quickly get ignored by the public at large EG Drug Laws).
When I said law is not fair, I didn't mean law is unfair. These specific examples were there to show that justice and fairness are not synonymous as one can be without the other. And I think you're wrong that people consent to laws because they're fair and just. I think people comply with law in a mutual agreement based off selfish reasons i.e protection from harm, punishment if you do not obey it or you wont scratch my back and i wont scratch yours kinda thing. Thus justice at it's heart is not to provide fairness but to provide order. And sometimes maintaining order is not necessarily fair. Look at laws during wartime periods and see what I mean.

Last edited by solidguy; 2013-01-18 at 23:41.
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Old 2013-01-18, 23:50   Link #42
DonQuigleone
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People do not obey the law purely out of fear or selfishness. They obey the law because they feel it is morally righteous (which encompasses Justness and fairness). You don't choose not to murder simply because it's against the law, most people don't do it because they feel it is wrong. Likewise stealing, rape etc.

When a law ceases to align with people's sense of morality, it quickly becomes irrelevant. Consider Prohibition, sure alcohol was illegal, but everyone drunk it anyway (except the temperance campaigners who passed the laws in the first place, of course ). Just because Alcohol was suddenly illegal did little to alter people's behavior.

Likewise today downloading music or movies is illegal, does that really stop anyone from doing it though?

The state is not powerful enough to force people to obey the law, that's why it's important for the law to be inline with the citizenry's general attitudes, otherwise the law would be unenforceable.

The law is constructed to be just and fair, when people no longer believe a particular law is just, they will try to find every method possible to evade it, if everyone is trying to evade that law, then it's impossible for the police to enforce it, and so the law ceases to be.
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Old 2013-01-19, 23:06   Link #43
solidguy
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It's a symbiotic relationship between people and law. Is it against the law to rape/steal because it is morally wrong or is it morally wrong because it is against the law? I'm not sure if it is inherently in human nature to consider these things taboo, at least not as sure as you are that it is. I mean look at examples of societies where law has collapsed where rape and theft go hand in hand with daily life (or atleast thats the popular depiction of collapsed societies anyway). I'd say somebody living in this place would have at minimum an extremely diminished if not non-existent negative moral attitude to something that is considered normal.

What I believe is at the core of human nature is the desire to survive, not the desire to be morally correct. And this desire is fundamentally selfish.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that the law is not created to be fair but created to keep order. Fairness and all that razzamidaz is a just a bonus.

With that said do you think it is fair if the majority of people download movies and music at the expense of these companies? It reminds me of some quote I heard in some movie (which I admittedly watched online (oh the irony)) "If enough people call a chicken a cow does it become a cow?". Likewise just because a number of people say it is fair to illegally download does it make it so?
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Old 2013-01-20, 00:05   Link #44
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solidguy View Post
It's a symbiotic relationship between people and law. Is it against the law to rape/steal because it is morally wrong or is it morally wrong because it is against the law? I'm not sure if it is inherently in human nature to consider these things taboo, at least not as sure as you are that it is. I mean look at examples of societies where law has collapsed where rape and theft go hand in hand with daily life (or atleast thats the popular depiction of collapsed societies anyway). I'd say somebody living in this place would have at minimum an extremely diminished if not non-existent negative moral attitude to something that is considered normal.
There are certain things that are universally considered "immoral". For instance, matricide. However humans have a capacity to "dehumanize" others. While we tend to treat those we know morally, that does not get extended to strangers. The law takes rules that apply to normal social relations, and extends them to everyone.

Matricide was considered morally wrong first, and that moral wrongness was codified in the law. More obscure things, like copyright, do not necessarily have as strong a moral dimension to it.

Quote:
What I believe is at the core of human nature is the desire to survive, not the desire to be morally correct. And this desire is fundamentally selfish.
Incorrect, humans are social animals, and are almost incapable of surviving alone. "Tribal" societies typically consisted of groups of 20-100 people, with many tribes having ties to one another. Ancient humans lived in an extremely hostile environment, and we lack natural abilities to defend ourselves. We were able to thrive and dominate our environment, however, due to our ability to think intelligently and cooperate. For instance, one man alone has almost no hope of surviving a fight with a lion. 1 man armed with a spear whose manufacture he learned from an older man, has some hope against the lion. 10 men armed with spears, working together, can destroy any lion that crosses their path.

In order to facilitate living together, it was imperative for us to evolve a "moral" sense. It is a very real part of our brains. Without our moral sense, human communities could never have formed and stayed together and we would have been doomed to die naked and alone.
Quote:
Basically what I'm trying to say is that the law is not created to be fair but created to keep order. Fairness and all that razzamidaz is a just a bonus.
Law was created to enable people to live together and easily resolve the disputes they have quickly, fairly and easily. It is an extension of our normal moral sense that allows us to be able to resolve disputes between tribal members.
Quote:
With that said do you think it is fair if the majority of people download movies and music at the expense of these companies? It reminds me of some quote I heard in some movie (which I admittedly watched online (oh the irony)) "If enough people call a chicken a cow does it become a cow?". Likewise just because a number of people say it is fair to illegally download does it make it so?
Fairness is a value judgement made by people. If the people think it is fair, then it is probably fair. (it is possible for people to succumb to logical fallacies).

Let's remember, that until quite recently music was "free". People would sing to pass the time, and there were occasional particularly talented traveling musicians who would travel town to town and support themselves off the equivalent of tips, or by a particularly wealthy patron.

When people bought music in the past, they didn't think of it as buying music, but rather buying the storage medium. The music inside the storage medium did not have a monetary "value". My prediction is that in the future media will switch to being supported by some kind of donation/patronage system, like in the past.
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Old 2013-01-20, 02:18   Link #45
solidguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Incorrect, humans are social animals, and are almost incapable of surviving alone. "Tribal" societies typically consisted of groups of 20-100 people, with many tribes having ties to one another. Ancient humans lived in an extremely hostile environment, and we lack natural abilities to defend ourselves. We were able to thrive and dominate our environment, however, due to our ability to think intelligently and cooperate. For instance, one man alone has almost no hope of surviving a fight with a lion. 1 man armed with a spear whose manufacture he learned from an older man, has some hope against the lion. 10 men armed with spears, working together, can destroy any lion that crosses their path.

In order to facilitate living together, it was imperative for us to evolve a "moral" sense. It is a very real part of our brains. Without our moral sense, human communities could never have formed and stayed together and we would have been doomed to die naked and alone.
Law was created to enable people to live together and easily resolve the disputes they have quickly, fairly and easily. It is an extension of our normal moral sense that allows us to be able to resolve disputes between tribal members.
Every example you have given serves survival. Animals have the instinct to preserve their species which would make killing kin unbeneficial (although there are cases of animals killing kin -_-, for beneficial reasons ofc). Humans being unable to survive on their own leads to social groups in order to survive. Every evolution that man has undergone has served the process of survival.

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan talks about social contracts as being subordinated to the survival of humans. When a social contract no longer serves survival (theoretically) it is shunned (which I think an interesting theme explored in many dystopian stories). If law is derived from people wanting to resolve disputes this still is derived from peoples survival instincts.

Now again this is my personal opinion but I think people submit certain liberties to government in exchange for protection against other people using those liberties in a harmful manner. I honestly believe that if there were zero negative consequences from killing someone in order to gain something people would do it. It is consequence that drives us obeying the law. And it is social order that drives the law. And it is survival that drives social order.

I think what it may come down to is naturalist vs postivist approaches to law. Naturalist law states that law comes from some greater moral compass whereas postivist law is only concerned with the legitimacy of the systems of law in place or the order of the system. Basically one has moral law while the other is amoral law. If you like the positivist law then chances are you believe justice is amoral.

but yeeee tbh I think I've drifted away from the subject and have found myself in the deep end of my knowledge in this topic I'd find it hard to continue without repeating most points or drifting away into a different area. But I did learn quite abit from this discussion cheerio

Last edited by solidguy; 2013-01-20 at 02:33.
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Old 2013-01-20, 02:55   Link #46
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solidguy View Post
Every example you have given serves survival. Animals have the instinct to preserve their species which would make killing kin unbeneficial (although there are cases of animals killing kin -_-, for beneficial reasons ofc). Humans being unable to survive on their own leads to social groups in order to survive. Every evolution that man has undergone has served the process of survival.

Thomas Hobbes Leviathan talks about social contracts as being subordinated to the survival of humans. When a social contract no longer serves survival (theoretically) it is shunned (which I think an interesting theme explored in many dystopian stories). If law is derived from people wanting to resolve disputes this still is derived from peoples survival instincts.
From an evolutionary sense yes, it does serve survival. But the human himself does not think of it in terms of survival. Humans do not work together simply to survive. They work together because it's "just". People do not make moral decisions based on some selfish calculus. They act altruistically, with many being willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the group as a whole. Why? Because it is righteous.
Quote:
Now again this is my personal opinion but I think people submit certain liberties to government in exchange for protection against other people using those liberties in a harmful manner. I honestly believe that if there were zero negative consequences from killing someone in order to gain something people would do it. It is consequence that drives us obeying the law. And it is social order that drives the law. And it is survival that drives social order.
Then civilization would have long collapsed years ago. The only people who can kill without any feeling guilt are psychopaths. Most of us have an inbuilt sense of empathy that means we feel what other people feel. When another person laughs, part of us laugh along with them, when another person is upset, part of us is upset with them, when another person dies, part of us dies along with them.

In general, people find it painful to inflict pain on other people. Only a small number of people need the law to prevent them from killing other people. And they usually end out killing people anyway.

Given a choice most people will try to work together. People will, of course, commit injustices against one another, but it is rarely direct, even in times past when the world was far more lawless.
Quote:
I think what it may come down to is naturalist vs postivist approaches to law. Naturalist law states that law comes from some greater moral compass whereas postivist law is only concerned with the legitimacy of the systems of law in place or the order of the system. Basically one has moral law while the other is amoral law. If you like the positivist law then chances are you believe justice is amoral.
Positivist law seems rather pointless to me. Without morality to justify it, why bother? In an Amoral world a lawless society is no better then a lawful one.
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Old 2013-01-20, 03:57   Link #47
Qilin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solidguy View Post
It's a symbiotic relationship between people and law. Is it against the law to rape/steal because it is morally wrong or is it morally wrong because it is against the law? I'm not sure if it is inherently in human nature to consider these things taboo, at least not as sure as you are that it is. I mean look at examples of societies where law has collapsed where rape and theft go hand in hand with daily life (or atleast thats the popular depiction of collapsed societies anyway). I'd say somebody living in this place would have at minimum an extremely diminished if not non-existent negative moral attitude to something that is considered normal.
This is quite the tricky topic. I'm of the position that individual moral values exist independently of the law. However, laws are often created as the collective representation of those individual values, which are then called "ethics". If the law does not correspond with a society's ethical system, such society would become unstable as a result. I agree with the notion that laws are created to uphold order, so an unstable society is something to be avoided.

I believe you are correct in that the social contract is founded fundamentally with the idea of survival in mind, but the important thing to note here is that a social contract is an absolute necessity for society to exist. Without a social contract, a society would cease to be. If you look from an egoist paradigm, no individual human being, with their survival instinct, would consent to sacrifice part of their own freedom unless there was something to be gained from it. It is that sacrifice of personal freedom and collective motive of survival that society is founded to begin with. Therefore, any law that does not answer to the values of the majority is dangerous to any society.


Quote:
Originally Posted by solidguy View Post
Basically what I'm trying to say is that the law is not created to be fair but created to keep order. Fairness and all that razzamidaz is a just a bonus.

With that said do you think it is fair if the majority of people download movies and music at the expense of these companies? It reminds me of some quote I heard in some movie (which I admittedly watched online (oh the irony)) "If enough people call a chicken a cow does it become a cow?". Likewise just because a number of people say it is fair to illegally download does it make it so?
What I'm curious of here is how you define "fair" to be. Fairness for me isn't some fixed property that you can apply to any situation. It's much closer to how a society chooses to evaluate certain actions against each other, as in what actions are equivalent to what actions. So really. I see no meaning in using the terms "fair" or "unfair" without a specific context in mind.
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Old 2013-01-20, 04:21   Link #48
solidguy
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I feel guilty when I eat a chocolate bar. It doesn't stop me from eating it. When you land a job do you think about all those people who missed out? Who could potentially lose their home for want of more income? If you did feel guilty would you, out of the righteousness of humanity give up your place for them because (for arguments sake) are more well off and can take this blow for the 'greater good of humanity'? I highly doubt it. That's just not how the world is. There are winners and losers. It takes selfishness to be compatible in this world, you wouldn't get anywhere without putting your own interests as your first priority. Maybe I went off topic abit with the killing talk (maybe that's just a reflection of myself coming out @.@) but the point remains people work together out of the interests of themselves. We are social animals but we are also individual animals. We harm each other all the time to benefit from it.

Take the black Friday death in the U.S where people tramped over one another for deals on flat screen TV's. Where was the righteousness and greater good in that? Unless you count that poor soul as a sacrifice to the greater good of consumerism there is none. Or CEO's making exponentially more than their workers, paying themselves bonuses out of the taxpayers money because they can. IDK about you but I see little fairness in that.

What is stopping the workers from storming the office and loping off the CEOs head like they done in the good ole days when you didnt have to be a 'psychopath' to kill i.e the entire history of the human race prior to the modern age (or even today where people are killed all the time ie prisons, wars, SMOKING). Greed is what humans are good at. If we can do it, we will do it. Law is there as a means of stopping us. People are being lawfully 'killed' everyday with chemicals in your products, pollution in the air. Believe me when I say this...if we can get away with it, we will.
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Old 2013-01-20, 04:26   Link #49
solidguy
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post

What I'm curious of here is how you define "fair" to be. Fairness for me isn't some fixed property that you can apply to any situation. It's much closer to how a society chooses to evaluate certain actions against each other, as in what actions are equivalent to what actions. So really. I see no meaning in using the terms "fair" or "unfair" without a specific context in mind.
I'm not out to really define fair but more to show that fair and justice do not go hand in hand. I think I've lost my way quite abit doing that and have probably changed positions but meh, I'm having fun . I do see that problem though through alot of my paragraphs which is why when I need to use it in a specific example I'll say that I think thats fair, which you have every right to refute. Plus I'm hungry and tired so maybe I'll have a break and come back tomorrow...have a little thinking time before I say something I might regret (if I haven't already)
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Old 2013-01-20, 14:43   Link #50
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by solidguy View Post
I feel guilty when I eat a chocolate bar. It doesn't stop me from eating it.
It's about scale. Also, eating the chocolate only effects you. We're willing to treat ourselves "worse" for the momentary pleasure gain. If eating that chocolate somehow entailed harming another person, you might think differently.
Quote:
When you land a job do you think about all those people who missed out? Who could potentially lose their home for want of more income? If you did feel guilty would you, out of the righteousness of humanity give up your place for them because (for arguments sake) are more well off and can take this blow for the 'greater good of humanity'?
Sounds nonsensical. You personally are not harming any of those people, so you have no reason to feel any guilt. However if landing that job involved you personally killing the others who didn't, you might think differently.

Quote:
That's just not how the world is. There are winners and losers. It takes selfishness to be compatible in this world, you wouldn't get anywhere without putting your own interests as your first priority.
You must always take care of yourself first, because if you're gone, then you can't take care of anyone else. However those who do best help others as much as they help themselves. Life is not a zero sum game. There aren't "winners and losers". It is possible for everyone to win, though some might "win" more then others.
Quote:
Maybe I went off topic abit with the killing talk (maybe that's just a reflection of myself coming out @.@) but the point remains people work together out of the interests of themselves. We are social animals but we are also individual animals. We harm each other all the time to benefit from it.
People who only work for themselves tend to be ostracized and eliminated quickly (because they're assholes).
Quote:
Take the black Friday death in the U.S where people tramped over one another for deals on flat screen TV's. Where was the righteousness and greater good in that? Unless you count that poor soul as a sacrifice to the greater good of consumerism there is none. Or CEO's making exponentially more than their workers, paying themselves bonuses out of the taxpayers money because they can. IDK about you but I see little fairness in that.
No one thought someone else would die. They could not foresee that person dying, so they felt they did nothing wrong, and indeed they did do nothing wrong. That person dying was not "unjust" or "unfair". It was an unforeseeable accident. However, now that it's happened once, the company is under a moral obligation to take precautions so that it doesn't happen again.
Quote:
What is stopping the workers from storming the office and loping off the CEOs head like they done in the good ole days when you didnt have to be a 'psychopath' to kill i.e the entire history of the human race prior to the modern age (or even today where people are killed all the time ie prisons, wars, SMOKING). Greed is what humans are good at. If we can do it, we will do it. Law is there as a means of stopping us. People are being lawfully 'killed' everyday with chemicals in your products, pollution in the air. Believe me when I say this...if we can get away with it, we will.
It depends on if you see the other person as human or not. In situations of ethnic cleansing (one of the worst human crimes) the cleanser convinces himself that the other people in question are not people at all, that they are vermin. He can overcome his moral sense by "tricking" himself.

In terms of chemicals, pollution etc. however the people who do that do not think of themselves as killing anybody. They do not perceive the consequences of their actions. If you cannot percieve the consequences, how can you feel guilt? Instead you cut corners out of laziness thinking "nothing will happen", and continue on.
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