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   Author  Topic: What is your dangerous idea?  (Read 1451 times)
David Lucifer
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What is your dangerous idea?
« on: 2006-01-04 15:12:14 »
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The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?

http://www.edge.org/q2006/q06_index.html

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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #1 on: 2006-01-04 20:56:49 »
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One dangerous idea that haunts me: Parental terminiation: the manifest reckoning that the right to life coincides most approximately to the right to vote.  Of course the mother holds absolute choice before birth, but after birth, with the consent of the presumptive father the right to terminate continues until (age of voting {18 in US}).  Of course I often try out various doubts I have about this social arrangement vis a vis children, it seems that over time the idea continues to win with me.  Sometimes for the most perversely conservative ideas as well, such as honor your mother and father, etc.  And at the end of the day I find myself asking "what's so wrong with that?"  I've blown off on this idea in the CoV-pit already, so now I'm presenting it a little more publicly.  Somebody save me, please
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #2 on: 2006-01-04 21:11:17 »
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Quote from: Jake Sapiens on 2006-01-04 20:56:49   
Somebody save me, please

you have gone far beyond saving.

altho', have you asked jesus?
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #3 on: 2006-01-04 21:29:14 »
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Quote from: Mermaid on 2006-01-04 21:11:17   


Quote from: Jake Sapiens on 2006-01-04 20:56:49   
Somebody save me, please

you have gone far beyond saving.

altho', have you asked jesus?

no, but how about if I ask the Mermaid?  She was one of the first ones to tell me how silly I am.  Perhaps she can save me
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #4 on: 2006-01-05 03:44:34 »
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[Blunderov] The repeal of drug prohibition in it's entirety.

It finally strikes me why this victimless 'crime' accounts for such a huge percentage of the prison populations of the west. This rabidly enforced and senseles prohibition is an artifact of the Judeo/Christian tradition which holds that the body is a temple to God. To assert that the body/mind might be advantageously modified by mere human intervention is heretical to this world view. And to actually do so is a very special sort of blasphemy.

This blasphemy can never called by it's name however. To do so would be to admit that the 'sinner' is no more than a slave of God and that the much vaunted 'freedom of will', so magnanimously conceded by God to us so that we might 'truly' love him, is nothing more than an  empty hoax.

And it may also be that this dynamic goes some way to explaining the shock value that tattoos have for  mainstrean western cultural precepts. The people who wear them nowadays often seem to do so as an assertion of 'un-slavery' rather than 'mark of association', the traditional implication.

Outrageous!

Best Regards.

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David Lucifer
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #5 on: 2006-01-06 13:33:51 »
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One of my dangerous ideas is that our western justice and penal system is substantially misguided. A huge amount of effort is wasted trying to determine intent when I think that should be entirely irrelevant to guilt and punishment. The only factors should be whether the defendant caused harm and the extent of the harm caused.

If I default on a legal contract such as a loan it doesn't matter why. The lender doesn't care whether I was bankrupt or malicious or merely incompetent, if I default then I forfeit the collateral or whatever consequences written into the contract. Similarly (I suggest) if I kill someone it shouldn't matter whether it was an accident, or if I was paid, or if I was angry or drunk, or filled with generic hatred for the victim's group. The harm done in any case is the same and I should suffer the consequences.
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #6 on: 2006-01-06 15:03:38 »
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Quote from: David Lucifer on 2006-01-06 13:33:51   

One of my dangerous ideas is that our western justice and penal system is substantially misguided. A huge amount of effort is wasted trying to determine intent when I think that should be entirely irrelevant to guilt and punishment. The only factors should be whether the defendant caused harm and the extent of the harm caused.

If I default on a legal contract such as a loan it doesn't matter why. The lender doesn't care whether I was bankrupt or malicious or merely incompetent, if I default then I forfeit the collateral or whatever consequences written into the contract. Similarly (I suggest) if I kill someone it shouldn't matter whether it was an accident, or if I was paid, or if I was angry or drunk, or filled with generic hatred for the victim's group. The harm done in any case is the same and I should suffer the consequences.

I think the legal term here is strict liability.  Up to some point I agree.  In terms of the contract situation that makes sense to me, and in many other civil situations I bet you get some allies on this idea.  In terms of criminal law, I may disagree a little more.  The intent of mind does give SOME indication of whether the person is more likely to re-offend.  Not all indication of course, and by this reckoning, the drunkard may be almost as liable as the serial killer.  I would agree that we should give strict liability more of a chance (just as I want to give post-partem depression more selective play in reproduction).  So perhaps I haven't caught your dangerous idea yet, but I'm still listening.
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #7 on: 2006-01-08 00:27:29 »
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Considering this thread in its entirety makes me consider one dangerous idea- that the contract is fundamental to a person's rights. People, before being of sound mind, are subject to the laws of welfare. "Sorry, we're keeping you healthy wheather you like it or not for now." Once a tolerable state of sound mind is reached, the bird leaves the coop and flies or falls, it's no one's concern.

Let's say that we arbitrarily make a position on a state of "decision" in a person (person=z). Eg: Z is 18, has visited a doctor at least once recently (even mandatory before 18), and not yet diagnosed with a serious illness. This qualifies z to be of sound mind.

Z now officially leaves the jurisdiction of a state which was mainly concerned with helping z become a healthy, productive member. Now, z is able to make very complex arrangements of pleas with society which can seriously affect z's future consequences for actions. Any pleas lacking falls into standards. The state can minimally care for z, but looks the other way if z wants to make stupid choices.

These contracts are sort of like a trade between society and individuals. "If you at least temporarily forfeit this right, we can offer you this privilege."

Example A: Z can state that z wishes to take personal responsability for dangerous situations, given that z cannot act out aggression on those that do not take this same position. Z's motives can be to assume: "If someone picks on me, and I know they're in the legal state that I am- I can whoop 'em and not get in trouble."

Example B: Z agrees that Z has a relative jurisdiction over Z's biological children relative to Z's might, which includes the fact that z cannot reclaim children that are removed by another person's will. (If the person is a kidnapper, the abductee becomes a foster child). In other words: Z takes care of z's own, but all z has to do is screw up, and someone concerned remove the child, it's out of z's hands. An oversimplified version: "You want to treat your children the way the law doesn't allow? Well, anyone whom lawlessly takes your children is your problem!" It doesn't mean that z has the right to lock kids up in the basement forever. It just means "we look the other way on certain treatments, but all someone has to do is take your kid away."

Example C: Z is allowed to work under any conditions for any pay, if the job suits its description. Z claims: "I know what to demand, and what to put up with. If I can't find a job that doesn't meet my safety demands, society will still provide for my necessities."

The basic rule set for this idea is that (1) The government must always have a safe alternate before the contract. Eg: No one should be forced to take a dangerous job because they'll starve to death otherwise. (2) Contracts must be weighed in their potential effect to those unaffiliated parties. "Sure you can shoot each other. But will anyone be in the crossfire?" (3) Affected parties must all be of relative sound mind, whatever the law determines this is. (Eg: The doctor just says "yes" OR z hires an attorney for a court case in z's privilege to take this agreement)

PS: Excellent thread concept.
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #8 on: 2006-03-31 13:38:50 »
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Another dangerous idea - nuclear welfare.  Give up on nuclear proliferation and just make sure that every country has nukes.  The only safeguards we should worry about are the ones that keep them out of the hands of non-governmental organizations.  World peace through universal fear and deterence.  Is it really all that crazy?
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #9 on: 2006-03-31 13:51:02 »
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Abolish Marriage.  It can all be covered by contract law anyway, and government would simply serve to publicly record domestic agreements, not to give any license or permission.  It would also require per-contract law that all such agreements be bargained-for rather than simply implied, people have to know what they are getting into.  If churches or other community groups wish to sanctify some particular domestic agreements as a "marriage" thats up to them, leave government out of that.
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #10 on: 2006-04-04 10:10:27 »
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Quote from: David Lucifer on 2006-01-06 13:33:51   

One of my dangerous ideas is that our western justice and penal system is substantially misguided. A huge amount of effort is wasted trying to determine intent when I think that should be entirely irrelevant to guilt and punishment. The only factors should be whether the defendant caused harm and the extent of the harm caused.

If I default on a legal contract such as a loan it doesn't matter why. The lender doesn't care whether I was bankrupt or malicious or merely incompetent, if I default then I forfeit the collateral or whatever consequences written into the contract. Similarly (I suggest) if I kill someone it shouldn't matter whether it was an accident, or if I was paid, or if I was angry or drunk, or filled with generic hatred for the victim's group. The harm done in any case is the same and I should suffer the consequences.

This system is used in many cultures (blood money) but in the west Mens Rea or guilty mind exists precisely as an exception to strict liability because intention is considered important in our culture.

I agree with the idea of intention modifying the act.

Where a man rapes and deliberately kills colleague and where a man has consensual sex with his secretary then has a car crash on the way to the office an she dies are two very different acts.

One is rape and murder the other is an act of love followed by a tragic accident.

The only difference between the two is consent and intent. The outcomes are the some (sex and death).

Under strict liability they are treated as the same act.

Animus nocendi and voluntas necandi modify acts like parts of speech modify words. They are necessary for moral comprehension.

My thinking is fuzzy on this (Jurisprudence was never my forte!) so ge gentle with any "corrections" :-)

Kind regards

Jonathan
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MoEnzyme
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #11 on: 2006-04-07 13:56:47 »
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Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-04-04 10:10:27   

Quote from: David Lucifer on 2006-01-06 13:33:51   
One of my dangerous ideas is that our western justice and penal system is substantially misguided. A huge amount of effort is wasted trying to determine intent when I think that should be entirely irrelevant to guilt and punishment. The only factors should be whether the defendant caused harm and the extent of the harm caused.

If I default on a legal contract such as a loan it doesn't matter why. The lender doesn't care whether I was bankrupt or malicious or merely incompetent, if I default then I forfeit the collateral or whatever consequences written into the contract. Similarly (I suggest) if I kill someone it shouldn't matter whether it was an accident, or if I was paid, or if I was angry or drunk, or filled with generic hatred for the victim's group. The harm done in any case is the same and I should suffer the consequences.


This system is used in many cultures (blood money) but in the west Mens Rea or guilty mind exists precisely as an exception to strict liability because intention is considered important in our culture.

I agree with the idea of intention modifying the act.

Where a man rapes and deliberately kills colleague and where a man has consensual sex with his secretary then has a car crash on the way to the office an she dies are two very different acts.

One is rape and murder the other is an act of love followed by a tragic accident.

The only difference between the two is consent and intent. The outcomes are the some (sex and death).

Under strict liability they are treated as the same act.

Animus nocendi and voluntas necandi modify acts like parts of speech modify words. They are necessary for moral comprehension.

My thinking is fuzzy on this (Jurisprudence was never my forte!) so ge gentle with any "corrections" :-)

Kind regards

Jonathan


I think Lucifer's idea is based more on a strict behaviorist approach.  Evolutionary psychology as I understand it is more than strict behaviorism and informs us that the mind as a computer processes intentions as part of its programming.  I therefore have to dissent slightly from Lucifer's approach.  In human justice systems what we seek to respond to is the programming or various intentionalities of the human emergent mind.  One of the problems with this, which I think Lucifer is probably most concerned with, is that people are often deceptive in their revelations thereof.

A behaviorist approach does provide a valid counterpoint comparison when a defendant habitually misrepresents or schemes to hide his/her intentions, but that  has to be measured and discovered over a significant range of a defendant's behavior.  If a defendant's declared intentions consistently run afoul of the actual consequences of their behavior, then it is probably a good indication that the defendant is engaged in a pattern of hypocrisy.  In such a case I would agree with Lucifer that a strict-liability/strict-behaviorism approach is in order.

To summarize, I think Lucifer is validly responding to a common-enough exception, which should get some play when ongoing circumstances call for it.  Outside of that, I would oppose making that the default rule.

« Last Edit: 2006-04-07 16:04:49 by Mo » Report to moderator   Logged

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David Lucifer
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #12 on: 2006-04-07 16:17:50 »
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Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-04-04 10:10:27   
I agree with the idea of intention modifying the act.

Where a man rapes and deliberately kills colleague and where a man has consensual sex with his secretary then has a car crash on the way to the office an she dies are two very different acts.

One is rape and murder the other is an act of love followed by a tragic accident.

The only difference between the two is consent and intent. The outcomes are the some (sex and death).


I agree consent is an important difference that should be taken into account.

« Last Edit: 2006-04-07 16:18:32 by David Lucifer » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:What is your dangerous idea?
« Reply #13 on: 2006-04-13 14:19:50 »
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Quote from: Mo on 2006-04-07 13:56:47   

To summarize, I think Lucifer is validly responding to a common-enough exception, which should get some play when ongoing circumstances call for it.  Outside of that, I would oppose making that the default rule.

OK, I can agree with that too.

Kind regards

Jonathan
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