[Fwd: Re: [CrackMonkey] FUQ, slavery is back]

Random Feature random at nandgate.com
Fri Feb 1 15:05:43 PST 2002

On Fri, 2002-02-01 at 16:43, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> Random Feature writes:
> > On Fri, 2002-02-01 at 16:05, Praedor Tempus wrote:
> > > On 01 Feb 2002 15:33:08 -0600
> > > Random Feature <random at nandgate.com> wrote:
> > > 
> > [...]
> > 
> > > > Since it's just a thought experiment, I *can* extend it. "They" don't
> > > > exist, therefore the entire discussion on whether killing "them" is
> > > > ethical or violates a social contact is hypothetical. 
> > > 
> > > Ah, so you suggest it is NEVER ethical to kill?  Never?  EVER?  Under NO
> > > circumstances may you kill?  Self defense?  National defense?  For food?
> > >  Does this ethic ONLY apply to humans?  Why?  What is the magic
> > > demarcation line?  Show it to me in a hard, clear, self-consistent,
> > > touchy-feely way.  Biologically, genetically, sociobiologically,
> > > logically humans are merely another animal with a little extra neural
> > > wiring that makes them believe the have something like free will and
> > > "souls" and a privaliged position in the universe.  
> >  
> > Hence the differentiation made between "murdering" and "killing". 
> > 
> > Murder is always wrong. Killing is not. 
> > 
> > Murder is the termination of the life of another human being with which
> > you have a social contract. Killing is the termination of the life of
> > those who are not included in that social contract. 
> How can I find out whether I have a social contract with someone or
> not?

You should ask each and every person you meet. Really! 

> That's a serious question!  I have no idea what country you're in, and
> lots of other people on this list are from all over the world.  If you
> haven't looked at my web site, you don't know where I am, either.  I've
> never met you, and, before this week, I'd never heard about you.  So I
> still have this huge nagging uncertainty about whether or not it is
> murder if we kill one another.

It's really not relevant to us. We aren't the ones who decide whether it's killing or murder.
If we kill one another at the same time, people in our respective social contracts -  which may or 
may not be the same collective -  will decide if it was murder or not. 

So don't worry - we can kill each other with impunity because we don't have to worry about
it afterwards.

However, you might consider that this list is a "society" and therefore
an implied social contract is in place by joining. In that case, you
would be committing murder. 

> Clearly we should also try to get as many people as possible into a
> social contract, because then the set of people who may legitimately
> kill each other would shrink, so that -- assuming people are concerned
> with what's right and wrong -- the number of actual killings and the
> amount of actual fighting would just _plummet_.  After all, even if
> "killing" isn't wrong, it's painful and inefficient, rational to fear, 
> and reasonable to try to avoid.  If being in a social contract with
> everyone is necessary in order to make killing me murder, and therefore
> wrong, no matter who does it, I want in: _sign me up_!

But there's much more to a social contract than just murder. There's all
the other moral obligations that go with it. That's why there are myriad
countries and lines in the sand - different social contracts. It's also
why there will never be a single social contract that encompasses the
entire world. 

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