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Discrimination Today

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Oment, May 27, 2018.

  1. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Second Year

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    Laws do several different things; establish standards of behavior, maintain order, aid in resolving disputes between various parties, and protect rights and liberties. In order for a law to be defunct it would need to stop doing all of these things. Even in a world where nobody murders anymore, a law against murder still provides some of these functions. Even if it's no longer actively protecting people from being murdered its still setting social and legal standards as well as providing the framework for if murder comes back. If the cost of maintaining the anti murder law is the entirely inexpensive "Just one more thing the government is telling us we can't do." I will gladly pay it a million times over.

    It sounds like you view the cost of maintaining a law as some ever increasing governmental bureaucratic overreach? (A phrase which I'm sure made libertarians across the country lose their erections.) If it is, then that overreach only matters if it's actually manifesting in some way detrimental to the populace. The hypothetical law against elephants in the North Pole is not impacting us in ANY way. There's not a bunch of guys going "Man, fuck this government, I was planning an expedition later this year with my circus troupe." If the law simply does nothing, so does the overreach. And if by some chance somebody does wants to take an Elephant trip through the North Pole we have a handy law in place that is now no longer defunct and is actively doing its job. Now I wouldn't waste my time implementing a potentially do nothing elephant law but I also wouldn't spend time getting rid of it.

    Now if we had something with REAL costs like say the price of the TSA relative to it's ineffectiveness on the war on terrorism, I can get behind some downsizing.

    I mentioned earlier in the thread the exact same example that @Darth_Revan used. We know from history that the federal government often needs to step in order to protect things like civil rights, or to prevent corporate financial abuse. We also know what happens when those protections are dropped. The abuses come back. Voter ID laws are implemented and corporations exploit workers.

    The same thing applies for discrimination and murder.

    TLDR: So to answer your earlier question of "is there a level of discrimination low enough to get rid of the law" then I'd have to change my initial answer and say that the answer is no. The law would need to lose its other uses before it should be scrapped.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  2. Invictus

    Invictus Totally Sirius

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    Governements spends annually hundreds of millions of dollars in legal costs, paying for courts, holding debates, defending and proving the Constitutionality/Validity of a law, who knows how much in trying to enforce it. There's no such thing as a law without a cost. If people feel restricted they will fight it. And it will cost money. Lots of it. And whenever someone feel restricted or damaged by it, the fight will begin anew. Over and over and over again. Then of course you will have to convince countless judges to uphold it and it's necessity. You will have to convince lawmakers of it's necessity and Congress is expensive. Energy and money will be spent on any such law that could be used somewhere else.

    And yes, many will fight it on principle because law precedent is a powerful tool as is cutting it down in the courts.

    Democracies work based on multiple point of views. And these views will be expressed. You can say the price is worth it. But don't say there's no real cost. There's no such thing as a law in stasis which gets revived whenever it's needed and everyone embraces it.
     
  3. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Second Year

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    I'm fully aware that a given law could have all sorts of costs associated with it. And I'd totally be willing to say that a law is simply too costly given its meager benefits (I even said so in my last post when I was referencing the TSA). But those aren't the costs being presented.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  4. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    The only reason to strike off a law should be that the proscribed act is not considered a wrong anymore. The fact that a particular criminal law hasn't been breached in some determinant time is not the same as the act has ceased to be a crime or is not considered a wrong anymore.

    If I were to give an example: Laws Abolishing Sati. There hasn't been a Sati in anyone's living memory. Yet, if the Parliament tries to repeal the law, there would be protests and a judicial review to have the Repealing Act declared ultravires.

    Even though a legislation has facilitated progress and served it's purpose, it has to be retained to check regression.
     
  5. Arthellion

    Arthellion Minister of Magic

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    Regarding law, I think we should define what we mean.

    Should laws reflect objective morality? Or should they be primarily a means of creating a functioning society?

    There is definitely overlap, but which is the higher priority?
     
  6. Dystopian Destiny

    Dystopian Destiny Fourth Year

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    I object to the use of the phrase "objective morality". There is no strictly agreed upon morality.

    I feel that a competitive political environment without discrimination is better suited to making sure that the society is weaned away from discrimination in other fields. The fact that human life time is small compared to the time required for significant changes to occur is an unavoidable regret. (I do not mean to offend anyone here, I am looking at society as a whole). However, as time goes on, I feel technology will facilitate broadcasting of opinions on an even larger scale than currently and will help decrease the Overton window.

    Another point which I wish to, well, point out is that in many of these issues, we have begun micro-managing(at least in the West). I fear this sort of discrimination will be the most tedious to eradicate and may not even be possible.

    Another point I would like to see debate on, is whether the phrase "mother's love" (a key point in Harry Potter) is discriminatory?:p

    Your requirement of a 'functioning society' is another impractical issue. Societies can be 'functioning' in many ways. What makes economic/geographical/cultural/religious reasons more important in deciding whether a society is functioning? This indicator is often chosen by a majority.


    Looking back upon this, I am struck by the similarities of the way human society operates and a neural network does...

    EDIT: Please be gentle with your roasts, it is my first written political hypothesis ever..
     
  7. Arthellion

    Arthellion Minister of Magic

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    Lack of agreement does not mean lack of existence. Just as gravity existed prior to human acknowledgement of it, it is entirely possible that there is objective morality even if we don't agree what that objective morality is; but that is irrelevant to the question being asked.

    Agreed, but the point remains that this is also irrelevant to the question being asked.

    The question being asked is, should laws be held to a standard of morality? A standard of functionality? Or a standard of something else entirely? Which is a higher priority if there is overlap?

    The actual standard or morality/standard of functionality should be asked -after- priority has been given. ​
     
  8. Faun

    Faun Second Year

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    The object and purpose of a law has to be guided by an objective morality. What constitutes objective morality has to be determined by the people's Representatives in the legislature and the judges when the statute is subjected to judicial review.

    If we hold that laws are primarily a mean of creating a functioning society, we would be limiting the scope of legislation. Sometimes laws are made for the express purpose of affecting social change even if the society is functional.
    Most of welfare and Civil Rights legislation would only be possible if objective morality guides creation of laws.
     
  9. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    No.
    Laws shouldn't be created in the first place in order to fix "wrongs", however they would be determined.

    And it's entirely possible to create welfare and civil rights legislation for strictly practical purposes. For instance, the cohesion of a society is an important policy goal, and that is helped by introducing redistribution of wealth as much as creating equal opportunities for minorities. Riots or rises of political extremes are in no one's interest, and conversely, a more cohesive society tends to be more productive overall.

    Morality doesn't need to enter the equation at all. You need exactly one principle -- maximising everyone's individual freedom -- and from that, you can fully derive all laws needed for a functioning and prosperous society.
     
  10. Koalas

    Koalas First Year Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yet wouldn't the majority of "wrongs" society tries to fix be the various ways a minority tries to deprive a majority of their freedoms for personal gain?
     
  11. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Second Year

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    While I do agree you can get all a functioning and prosperous society from such a principle I disagree that the best version of a possible state would be created from it. Agree to disagree due to fundamental principles.

    As a random aside, isn't this principle at odds with your views on German censorship laws - namely your belief that people shouldn't be allowed to advocate for non-democracies? (Or something to that effect, I remember you talking about that on here before, correct me if I'm wrong.)

    @Arthellion - Objective morality doesn't exist, but such belief stems from your Christian based ideology and I know you've already rehashed this subject on this forum, and I know what you are saying anyways so no point in debating it. Objective morality that we have no way of actually identifying is functionally pointless, and is substituted by subjective morality.

    @Faun - your version of objective morality is uhh.....rather subjective.

    I've already stated my belief for the purposes of laws - establish standards of behavior, maintain order, aid in resolving disputes between various parties, and protect rights and liberties.

    Laws would typically need to do some combination of these things. Morality can come into play. A law against murder can have a moral basis (Murder is wrong! Our Society doesn't want murder!). The same law could have a functional basis (Society gets ruined if we all murder each other. Let's not have murder!). Laws which dictate road rules have little to do with morality and everything to do with not destroying things with your giant metal boxes of death. I see no reason to assign some sort of priority to a laws qualities in the way that you are thinking.

    @Sesc - Just because it seemed like an important sticking point to me; In a world where murder stopped for 10 years and you removed your "unnecessary" murder laws, what happens when a couple people commit murder? How is your envisioned legal/societal system responding? A principle that says a crime is not actually a crime just because it's rare strikes me as immensely flawed.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  12. Arthellion

    Arthellion Minister of Magic

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    Please define what you mean by subjective morality? Are you referring to ethical subjectivism (Morality determined by the individual) or cultural relativism (morality determined by culture)?

    It is possible to identify objective morality. Some people are right. Some people are wrong. It is morally wrong to murder another human being. That is not subjective. And it is possible to argue for this without religion. I adhere to Christianity because I believe I have proof of its evidence and logic/science cannot disprove it, but even if Christianity (or any religion) was disproved, does not mean we could not identify what is objectively moral.

    I'd point to particularism or (considering its historical relevance) social contract theory.
     
  13. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Second Year

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    Both, but culturual relativism, I guess. We as a society agree on acceptable standards of behavior, laws are one way of codifying and enforcing those standards.

    Murder is still subjective. We are just generally in agreement as to render it functionally objective. But I'm not interested in arguing the nature of morality, hence why I started with agree to disagree from the get go. My main point was that there is little point prioritizing a laws functionality or its morality. They sometimes do both, or just one, to varying degrees.
     
  14. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Fair.

    You're also quite right. And the answer is that the principle says nothing about the society you will end up with. You could define "freedom" as "everyone has the same means", for instance, and reach communism. Simply because the principle, in itself, is contradictory -- everyone's individual freedom clashes all the time.

    This means you need to compromise, and depending on which side you value more -- my right to own a gun vs. your right not get shot? -- you reach wildly differing outcomes. But all of them could still be said to adhere to the maxim.

    And to that end, the free speech laws and its limits are just another one of these trade-offs -- one whose existence makes me unhappy, true, but when it's all said and done, I prefer limits there, because I value something else here more -- in this case the future existence of a free society that doesn't resemble Nazi-Germany, because if I really have to, I can object to speech intended and actively helpful (say, a new Nazi-party) to turn back the clocks by 80 years.


    Also, I haven't thought any further about the murder hypothetical, it's just that silly. Given that murder is a massively bigger infringement on your liberty (namely, you cease to exist) than discrimination, you would need a 100% guarantee no one would perform any murder ever. I think that might have been a Stark Trek:NG episode once, a society where murder was unknown. Possibly because of genetics or shit. That kind of assurance. Lacking that, no one would consider striking down murder laws. My point was just that the process of reasoning that would lead to it is the same.
     
  15. Kevizoid

    Kevizoid Second Year

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    Feel free to substitute murder with robbery, discrimination, or driving too fast on the highway. The extreme example is just to make the parts that are problematic more clear.

    My problem was with the idea that a crime (or prohibited behavior) is no longer a crime simply because its frequency decreased. You don't get rid of laws simply because nobody has violated them recently.
     
  16. EsperJones

    EsperJones Headmaster

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    If everyone stops speeding for a few months (or years), and the law is struck down, you betcha I'd start speeding again. The law is literally the only reason I don't.

    Obviously murder is a lot less controversial (very few people would murder someone even if it were legal (I hope...)), but for a lot of laws, and the line is different for every person, the laws are the thing preventing the action, not some other nebulous concept.
     
  17. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Says who? And why do they suddenly get to be the moral authority? And what about the times when it didn't used to be wrong? What's so objective about that, when it wasn't wrong, but now it is?

    Your concept of objective morality is just as subjective, you just appeal to a higher authority to justify your subjectivity.
     
  18. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Oh, but I thought we cleared that up. The extreme part is exactly what makes all the difference -- the smaller the issue is, the lower the treshold, because it's not about "righting a wrong", but about policy goals you intend to achieve. And once that's reached, the law is obsolete. If it becomes an issue again, you just bring back the law.

    So, in the order of the issues you listed: robbery basically reaches murder, so the same standard. For discrimination, as we discussed, you want it nearly gone. And for speeding, I actually think you should nix that law yesterday. As you may know, there is no general speed limit here, just area specific ones, and I think the balance (less regulation, more personal freedom vs. lifes lost, additional CO2 etc.) is very much not tilted in the wrong way because of it.
     
  19. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Except that's idiotic, because it's the law itself that deters the activity. Otherwise, just like Esper, I would drive 100 on the highway all the time.
     
  20. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Yes. I do that whenever I feel like it. 50% of my way to Uni has no speed limit. I doubt you would do it all the time, or even go 150 or 200 (miles, not km) often -- simply because it becomes mentally exhausting to control the car at that speed. Shockingly enough, without a speed limit, most people still go 80, me included ... because they aren't idiots.

    Ignoring that as a bad example, and going for discrimination: I disagree that, if a change in attitude actually happens (as was pointed out, if you truly want to, you can fuck over people in a million ways that doesn't violate laws but still has the same effect, so it's not as if having a law magically ensures compliance), this will reverse once the law goes away.

    We are reasonable beings with the ability to learn and grow, Trumpian setbacks nonwithstanding.
     
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