free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:37 am

Generally speaking each of those people have agency (the ability to respond by choice - given corrective influence they can respond differently).
Agree/Disagree
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:40 am

Depends on how you define "agency". Maybe they all do, maybe some don't.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:42 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:Depends on how you define "agency". Maybe they all do, maybe some don't.

I defined it for you -
obsrvr524 wrote:Generally speaking --- (the ability to respond by choice - given corrective influence they can respond differently).
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:09 am

Yes, you did, but it's not a satisfying definition. You say "The ability to respond by choice". I can only guess what you mean by the underlined. The rest of your definition, which is "given corrective influence they can respond differently", seems to be saying that agency implies the capacity for one's manner of responding to the world around them to change, so I don't think I have a problem with it. It is the "by choice" part that is problematic.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:32 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:It is the "by choice" part that is problematic.

By that I mean they make a decision - and given different information (or possibly medication) or training they have the ability to learn and make the same decision differently next time. There are some cases where people are declared mentally incapable of controlling their own behavior - those are exceptions where it is seen that no immediate remedy can help resolve misbehavior. Those few are generally treated separately - "not responsible for their own actions" or "mentally incompetent" or "diminished capacity" and held under limited freedoms.

Is that sufficient?
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:15 am

Alright. It seems that by "agency" you simply mean "the ability to change one's way of responding to the world around them". That's understandable.

That said, my answer to the following . . .

Generally speaking each of those people have agency (the ability to respond by choice - given corrective influence they can respond differently).
Agree/Disagree


. . . is that I agree.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:00 pm

Authority is formed in a society to give guidance to personal decision making that will allow people to live and work together in a more cooperative and constructive way through laws (sometimes in the form of ethics or morals) to be enforced by positive or negative reactions by that authority - what people may or may not do and what to expect from authorities accordingly.
Agree/Disagree?

Note that who benefits most from such laws is not the current issue and is often problematic.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:46 pm

You are probably speaking of institutions such as courts, police, military, etc.

You seem to be saying that these institutions were formed in order to serve others by performing one or both of the following functions: 1) the function of informing others how to make decisions of certain kind, and 2) the function of encouraging (= positively enforcing) good decisions through various incentives and discouraging (= negatively enforcing) bad decisions through various disincentives.

It's a place you can go to and ask something like "How much does it cost for you to figure out whether or not I should wear a seat belt? Also, how much would it cost for you to make sure I do the right thing in practice? For example, if you saw me doing the opposite of what is right (e.g. driving without a seat belt in case driving with a seat belt is the right thing to do), I would want you to fine me."

Though I agree that this is what these institutions should be -- that they should serve people -- throughout history, most institutions of this sort were not services but extortion rackets. They were forced upon people. You weren't free to specify what kind of service you want. You were instead forced to pay for a service you probably did not want.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:07 am

obsrvr524 wrote:Authority is formed in a society to give guidance to personal decision making that will allow people to live and work together in a more cooperative and constructive way through laws (sometimes in the form of ethics or morals) to be enforced by positive or negative reactions by that authority - what people may or may not do and what to expect from authorities accordingly.
Agree/Disagree?

Note that who benefits most from such laws is not the current issue and is often problematic.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:34 am

I suppose I agree.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:46 am

Let me try to speed this up a bit -

  • If rules are not enforced people have less guide (if any at all) for what to expect and so have less decision making clarity concerning what they are free to do - When someone does not violate the rules they are free to choose by other means without fear of authority's rebuke and when someone violates the rules they can predict that authority will intercede.
Agree/Disagree


  • Of all of those previously mentioned people involved in an offense (directly or indirectly) – the only one's who should expect corrective rebuke are the ones who violated the laws or rules. All others should expect freedom from corrective rebuke.
Agree/Disagree

But –

The issue at hand is about what laws or rules enforced by authorities should be in place concerning speech so as to allow for cooperative and constructive social discourse – what should be expected from authorities if rules are violated.

And I have realized that the democratic process vs the authoritarian process is absolutely critical - the ultimate cause of the USA losing its Constitution.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:26 am

I suppose I can agree with both (if not completely then at least largely.)

obsrvr524 wrote:If rules are not enforced people have less guide (if any at all) for what to expect and so have less decision making clarity concerning what they are free to do - When someone does not violate the rules they are free to choose by other means without fear of authority's rebuke and when someone violates the rules they can predict that authority will intercede.


I would avoid using the word "authority" because the above is applicable to people in general. If I inform others that it is forbidden to steal from me, and that I'd punish them in case they do, that's me making laws and enforcing them even though I am no authority in the usual sense of the word. And of course, by doing that in a honest and clear way, I automatically make it easier for others to predict my behavior and work with me.

Of all of those previously mentioned people involved in an offense (directly or indirectly) – the only one's who should expect corrective rebuke are the ones who violated the laws or rules. All others should expect freedom from corrective rebuke.


Since the goal is to prevent harm, and not merely to punish people who violated written laws, anyone who caused harm should be potentially dealt with (and not necessarily by correcting their behavior.)
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:26 am

(double posted for some reason)
Last edited by Magnus Anderson on Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby gib » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:28 am

obsrvr524 wrote:Good - more progress -

Given any one person's actions there will be many people who have influenced that person (parents, teachers, politicians, friends,...) and if any one or perhaps more of those people had acted differently, that person's behavior could have been different.

Agree/Disagree?


I might have an issue with this, depending on where you're going with it. I realize you didn't mention anything of the culpability of these people, but determining how much of a cause each person was is only part of the equation. No one's blaming Trump's grade 3 teacher after all, even though it could probably be shown that she had some influence on him and *maybe* could have acted towards him in such a way that his life course never lead him to give his speech. But here I think you have to add a whole lot of other things to the equation like: how directly did his teacher trigger the siege on the Capitol? Was it his/her intent to do so (I'd laugh if it was)? Could he/she have predicted it? Could he/she have behaved differently such as to change the course of events?

And on that note, it could be argued that anyone can act differently to change just about any event. When Trump's parents were married, for example, and the priest says "If anyone here has any reason why these two should not be married..." anyone could have stood up and given any reason and tried their best to be persuasive enough to prevent the marriage, and if successful, prevented the birth of Donald Trump, thereby preventing the siege from happening. Does the entire congregation at the wedding now bear some responsibility to accept the blame?
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby gib » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:43 am

WendyDarling wrote:Isn’t it the governments job to force you to do their bidding for the greater good?


I don't know. Depends who's defining the government. For my part, I'm with Hobbs. The government is a creation of the people, and therefore owned by the people--the people can decide what the government's job is amongst themselves--and then put it into action. I'm kinda a conservative who believes the government's function, it's purpose, is exactly as the Constitution says it is--a few amendments notwithstanding--and the Constitution says the government's function is a lot less than what we see Big Gov taking on today.

^ It's gotta be curtailed.

WendyDarling wrote:As a sane person, your sanity doesn’t count; only the insanity of the greater good counts. :evilfun: :-"


Well, now you're talking like a good little lefty :lol: You and Joker both (he's even calling us "comrades" now :) ).

But I guess it's where the vortex is pulling us.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:15 am

gib wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:Good - more progress -

Given any one person's actions there will be many people who have influenced that person (parents, teachers, politicians, friends,...) and if any one or perhaps more of those people had acted differently, that person's behavior could have been different.

Agree/Disagree?


I might have an issue with this, depending on where you're going with it. I realize you didn't mention anything of the culpability of these people, but determining how much of a cause each person was is only part of the equation. No one's blaming Trump's grade 3 teacher after all, even though it could probably be shown that she had some influence on him and *maybe* could have acted towards him in such a way that his life course never lead him to give his speech. But here I think you have to add a whole lot of other things to the equation like: how directly did his teacher trigger the siege on the Capitol? Was it his/her intent to do so (I'd laugh if it was)? Could he/she have predicted it? Could he/she have behaved differently such as to change the course of events?

And on that note, it could be argued that anyone can act differently to change just about any event. When Trump's parents were married, for example, and the priest says "If anyone here has any reason why these two should not be married..." anyone could have stood up and given any reason and tried their best to be persuasive enough to prevent the marriage, and if successful, prevented the birth of Donald Trump, thereby preventing the siege from happening. Does the entire congregation at the wedding now bear some responsibility to accept the blame?

You are probably not familiar with resolution debating (nobody is). The idea is to accept or reject each progressive statement one at a time as being factual or not - exactly as it is stated - no contributing concerns allowed because it is only one assertion to be followed by continued coverage of the other contributory issues involved.

The issue that you raised was addressed later -
Obsrvr524 wrote:Of all of those previously mentioned people involved in an offense (directly or indirectly) – the only one's who should expect corrective rebuke are the ones who violated the laws or rules. All others should expect freedom from corrective rebuke.


The argument is that even though many people can be said to have had influence - it is ONLY those who broke actual laws on the books that should be prosecuted - else the whole idea of having laws and cooperative discourse goes to hell (much like on this board).

All of that is NOT to say that additional laws or changes in laws should not be established. But until they are established, the laws must remain the guide - because that is their purpose and without them being the guide - there is no guide.

The exact same thing is happening with the southern border of the US. Their Congress made laws but then chose to not enforce them (again). So what is happening now? - chaos and disaster because laws are the only means to establish reliable conduct concerning everything associated with society.

And that is why the O'Biden Administration is illegally (and treasonously) not enforcing the laws - to ensure that society cannot function.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:23 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:The argument is that even though many people can be said to have had influence - it is ONLY those who broke actual laws on the books that should be prosecuted - else the whole idea of having laws and cooperative discourse goes to hell (much like on this board).

All of that is NOT to say that additional laws or changes in laws should not be established. But until they are established, the laws must remain the guide - because that is their purpose and without them being the guide - there is no guide.


It seems like you're saying no more than "If you make a promise, you should keep it".

If a bunch of people agree with each other that they will do certain things in certain way, and if they also agree that they won't start doing them in a different way until certain conditions are met (e.g. until they notify everyone else), and if they also agree that they should be punished in case they violate the agreement, then it's only sensible to punish whoever starts doing things in a different way before the agreed upon conditions are met.

I agree with that.

I also agree there's a place for such agreements in practice.

And I also agree that the present day social institutions are supposed to work that way.

The thing is that I never said that things should not work this way.

I didn't even speak on that subject.

The main question posed in the OP is:

What should be the dividing line between allowed (= free) speech and prohibited (= banned) speech?

It's a question of what kind of laws should be put in place.

All I said is that a necessary but not a sufficient condition for any act (including speech) to count as a punishable offense is for it to be a direct or indirect cause of harm.

In other words, if an act harms noone, it's pointless to prohibit it. (Even if the present day laws prohibit it. And no, that does not mean you should break the law; but also, it does not imply the opposite: that you should avoid breaking it. It says absolutely nothing on that subject.)

But more importantly, what that statement implies is that just because someone is an indirect rather than a direct cause of harm does not mean they should not be punished.

This is what Gib wrote:

Gib wrote:The founding fathers of your great nation seemed to believe (though I don't have sources to back this up) that the line should be drawn, not between different forms of speech at all, but between speech and action. So long as you don't commit harm or destruction, so long as you remain within the bounds of the law, you can say whatever you damn well please. I like this philosophy, but I'm not sure I'm 100% on board with it, as I do think there is some weight to the argument that one can incite violence and destruction, knowingly and on purpose, with speech, and therefore ought to bear some of the responsibility for the consequences of such speech.


And what he said in the above suggests to me that only those who have directly caused harm should be punished. He attributed that thought to the founding fathers. He himself appears to be in agreement with me.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:13 pm

_
And all I said was that the only "harm" that can be considered is that of breaking a law.
Magnus Anderson wrote:All I said is that a necessary but not a sufficient condition for any act (including speech) to count as a punishable offense is for it to be a direct or indirect cause of harm.

Okay. Do you want to debate that one? Or do you want me to first explain why you cannot make such laws?
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:40 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:All I said is that a necessary but not a sufficient condition for any act (including speech) to count as a punishable offense is for it to be a direct or indirect cause of harm.


obsrvr524 wrote:Okay. Do you want to debate that one? Or do you want me to first explain why you cannot make such laws?


First, I want to make sure you understand what I said.

My claim is:

"A necessary condition for any act to be considered a punishable offense is for it to be a direct or indirect cause of harm."

Do you understand what a necessary condition is?

https://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/reso ... ssary.html

A necessary condition is a condition that must be present for an event to occur. A sufficient condition is a condition or set of conditions that will produce the event. A necessary condition must be there, but it alone does not provide sufficient cause for the occurrence of the event. Only the sufficient grounds can do this. In other words, all of the necessary elements must be there.


For example, water is a necessary condition for human life because without water humans die. But it is not a sufficient condition. In other words, if you drink water regularly, you will not necessarily survive. This is because in order to survive you must also do many other things (such as eat.)

What this means with respect to my claim is:

1) For an act to be a punishable crime it must be an indirect or direct cause of harm.

2) If an act is an indirect or direct cause of harm, it is not necessarily a punishable crime.

Do you agree with those statements? I suppose you agree with (2) but it's questionable whether you agree with (1).

(1) implies that if a law prohibits something that causes no harm to anyone, it is a bad law that should be changed. (Exactly how is beside the point.)
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:24 am

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Magnus Anderson wrote:All I said is that a necessary but not a sufficient condition for any act (including speech) to count as a punishable offense is for it to be a direct or indirect cause of harm.


obsrvr524 wrote:Okay. Do you want to debate that one? Or do you want me to first explain why you cannot make such laws?


First, I want to make sure you understand what I said.

I'll take that as a "yes, I want to debate".

What I understood you to say is that an offense must include either direct or indirect - harm.

And if that is right I have to assume that you did not understand the statements of my argument that you agreed to because they addressed the conditions you outlined.

So let's look at it again -
Magnus Anderson wrote:1) For an act to be a punishable crime it must be an indirect or direct cause of harm.

I disagree because of the statements made earlier -
Magnus Anderson wrote:I suppose I can agree with both (if not completely then at least largely.)
obsrvr524 wrote: If rules are not enforced people have less guide (if any at all) for what to expect and so have less decision making clarity concerning what they are free to do - When someone does not violate the rules they are free to choose by other means without fear of authority's rebuke and when someone violates the rules they can predict that authority will intercede.
obsrvr524 wrote:Of all of those previously mentioned people involved in an offense (directly or indirectly) – the only one's who should expect corrective rebuke are the ones who violated the laws or rules. All others should expect freedom from corrective rebuke.

Note that my argument was about why it is the presence of laws or rules that allows for society and social discourse to take place. I said nothing about the role of harm - and for a reason.

I agree that laws should be in place with harm being a very high priority (but not the only priority). So let me ask -
    If someone runs a signal light but no one got hurt - should they be subject to corrective action?

I have already addressed why they should be. Perhaps you misunderstood because now you are stating that they should not be - because there was no harm.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:20 am

obsrvr524 wrote:If someone runs a signal light but no one got hurt - should they be subject to corrective action?


I think I see your point now.

That specific act of someone driving through a red light caused no harm, but the general act of driving through a red light causes harm (in other words, the greater the number of such acts, the greater the harm caused by them.) That's why it's punishable. By reducing the number of such acts, one also reduces the amount of harm caused by such acts.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:31 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:I think I see your point now.

I'm not sure that you do -

The greatest asset to having laws is gained by their reliable enforcement. It is the knowledge that the laws will be enforced that allows a society to function cooperatively. It isn't as much about whether the laws are good or bad - but that they are consistent and known.


And also realize that all laws are NOT about preventing harm. Many laws, especially relating to trade and economic issues are to help spur growth.

A city divided by a river establishes a tax - its the law. Is the tax to prevent harm? We don't know until we know what that money is to be used for. It turns out that the tax money is to build a bridge across that river that will allow the two parts of the town to commingle. Was that done to prevent harm or to spur benefit?


And we haven't even got to the direct vs indirect issue yet. :D
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:35 pm

Here's another way to look at it.

The purpose of punishment is to prevent future harm. Thus, any person whose past actions (even if harmless) indicate that he will cause direct or indirect harm in the future unless he is punished should be punished.

Or:

A necessary condition for any act to be considered a punishable offense is for it to indicate that the actor will directly or indirectly cause harm in the future.

This statement appears to be better, clearer and perhaps even more accurate than the earlier statement I made.

But I have absolutely no idea how that relates to the first four posts I made in this thread. It appears quite unrelated.

You (obsrvr524) said:

obsrvr524 wrote:I think you are missing the counter argument we are making.


Obviously, you are saying that you and Wendy are making a counter argument that I'm missing. But a counter argument against what? Obviously, against something I wrote in the first four posts of mine in this thread. But exactly what?
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby obsrvr524 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:37 pm

Read the post just before what you just wrote.
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Re: free speech v banned speech--where to draw the line

Postby Magnus Anderson » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:52 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:The greatest asset to having laws is gained by their reliable enforcement. It is the knowledge that the laws will be enforced that allows a society to function cooperatively. It isn't as much about whether the laws are good or bad - but that they are consistent and known.


The reason people make and enforce laws is because they believe that the act of doing so together with its consequences is more preferrable than any other act and its consequences.

That's the purpose of laws -- to create a better life.

If a law does not fulfill its purpose, it's a bad law. If not enforcing a law leads to better consequences than enforcing a law, then it's a bad law. If a different law does a better job, it's a bad law. And so on.

And also realize that all laws are NOT about preventing harm. Many laws, especially relating to trade and economic issues are to help spur growth.


Every law is put in place in order to avoid worse consequences.
"Let's keep the debate about poor people in the US specifically. It's the land of opportunity. So everyone has an opportunity. That means everyone can get money. So some people who don't have it just aren't using thier opportunities, and then out of those who are using them, then most squander what they gain through poor choices, which keeps them poor. It's no one else's fault. The end."

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