Formal or informal Constitution

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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:59 am

What's impractical is the idea that one can possibly resolve anything if people can walk away from a debate whenever they wish without so much as a concession. If you do that, on the Internet people can simply give a pretext and walk away whilst leaving the audience in doubt as to the truth of the matter.


There is always reputational damage when someone is seen to act unreasonably by a forum/online gaming community. If, to use your complaint, someone does throw out "facts" that are constantly dubious then the person involved will likely end up being treated with contempt by the forum and their points taken with little seriousness. What tends to happen then is the person either buckles down or leaves.
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:57 pm

Strategist wrote:
What's impractical is the idea that one can possibly resolve anything if people can walk away from a debate whenever they wish without so much as a concession.


If we were in a legislature, I might agree with you. But in public life, especially on the internet I cannot. Furthermore, your idea isn't logistical either. If you didn't walk away from almost every situation in which you found yourself in disagreement with someone else, you'd accomplish essentially nothing. Especially on the internet.

You also ignore the fact that people's minds are not changed solely by forcing them to sit down and debate.


If you do that, on the Internet people can simply give a pretext and walk away whilst leaving the audience in doubt as to the truth of the matter.


Welcome to the internet, welcome to life.

The only difference between the two viewpoints you postulated (assuming the other side is winning) is how you phrase it- one is the other dressed up to look respectable.


Not even close. One involves the someone engaging in a conversation, observing a difference of opinion, respecting that difference, and then weighing their desire to debate against being held hostage to what could be on-going and energy/time consuming endevour. The latter is an attempt to say something for one's own benefit, act juvenile, and exit knowing that you now feel as if you've trumped the other side and are superior by not allowing them to cross-examine you.

I'm sorry but I feel your black-and-white view on this matter is unrealistic. If you truly lived your life by this motto, you'd accomplish nothing and alienate everyone you encountered.

To be honest if the internet forums were such dramatic and locked-in battlefield, as you describe them, I'm not sure many would wish to participate. Part of the reason many folk don't engage in debates in real life is because they don't need the dramatics. The internet affords people the ability to engage in debate when they wish, but withdraw when they wish as well.
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Tian Shan » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:02 pm


It is possible to look at the logic of the posistions of both sides to see who is right- a rational observer viewing an argument can see which side is using good arguments and which isn't.

So your posistion is that because the reasons for the Second Amendment are obsolete it goes away automatically? This doesn't make sense- legally it is definitely wrong, and it has the problem that the intent of a law is difficult to tell. It also means judges could rule laws invalid on the pretext that it's reason was somehow invalid in the first place (i.e. to suppress a crime which the judges claim doesn't exist).

One of the reasons behind the Second Amendment was an extra layer of protection against the government- so that the people could overthrow it if necessary. A disparity of power between the army and the people exists both then and now, but if the Second Amendment were followed properly (i.e. ordinary people can buy tanks if they want to), then a lot of people seen as gun nuts now would save up for collective tanks, missiles etc and even the gap considerably. Government survived when the United States first existed- it can survive if the disparity between people and government is reduced back to those days.

Finally, of course, you're ignoring the argument I've been making this whole thread. To sum it up- without a formal Constitution being properly followed, a country has an informal Constitution. This Constitution tends to "drift" over time- meaning retroactive laws (see the many civil cases where a civil offence was newly invented, and cases where unconstitutional laws were ruled constitutional), uncertain laws (obvious), and the risk of tyranny (as cultural drift cannot be predicted). If we let the Constitution drift as it will the result is eventually going to be something we won't like- it's better to actually enforce the Constitution.


- I am not not trying to speak using legal justifications, rather only attempting to appeal to peoples sense of logic, that they are not as needed as they were before.Merely a food for thought.
- I was not ignoring your statements, I only don't regard them in the same way, but I do not wish to discredit your idealism. I am aware of the basis that it is to protect ourselves from Government Tyranny. However, I don't believe things work like that anymore. If the government really wishes to declare a martial law, or even simply take your land for a development program these days. The government will take it using legal, financial, gunboat diplomacy and then after the government has made itself legally correct they will eventually physical force their desire, and it is doubtful a lone gunmen would survive (there have even been recent cases of this).
Its could be a romantic idea that we can protect ourselves from Tyranny with guns, but doing so might promote anarchy, and you can look at the many riots/political resistance around the world to see its usually the government that comes out on top- they are better equipped and organized after all.
The idea that the second amendment allows us to protect ourselves from the government is only another control of the government.
And it still allows for all the other crimes just so people can have the illusionary state of mind, that they are safe or have some power because they have guns. But the only power is to murder...
-I agree 'legal drift' as you say can be bad, but If the laws don't adapt to judge the situation and respond accordingly how can the country improve? From my point of view, I would say there are more important laws that should be stuck to. My belief on Gun control is purely on an ethical level and sense of safety. I can not say what the other legal repercussions would be... However there are many a nation that legalized 'ambiguous' rape,cannibalism, ethnic cleansing, in the past, some nations no longer legalize these things, SOME STILL DO! Should they not change their laws?
-Freedom without law enforcement is anarchy, and the situation without more gun control is giving rise to anarchy on the gang ridden streets and highly disturbed individuals. Limiting opportunities and availability to these crimes seem a step to help protect the people. Since the current laws are not helping to protect people from this situation, perhaps there should be some new laws that are, can we at least agree to that?
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Objectivist » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:06 am

Shikanosuke wrote:None of this is really related to gun-control any longer


I know. I considered bumping the shooting of Congressman Gifford's thread to see if any of the moderaters would be interested in combining the threads. I thought that was a pretty good discussion.

Shikanosuke wrote:I fail to see your logic. How is expressing disagreement with someone, acknowledging the disagreement, and then withdrawing from the conversation a display of a superior attitude? Perhaps you could make that case, but you'd need to show particulars instead of a generalized statement like this.


I didn't have time to fully write out everything I wanted and provide quotes, etc. I haven't had a lot of time to post here lately with everything that's been going on in my life. You're right...I should have put more effort forth in explaining why I feel the way I do about what was said. I'm usually much better about being more specific.

Shikanosuke wrote:It is one thing to state that you understand the other sides views, disagree with their merits, acknowledge the other side doesn't agree with your own viewpoint, and not wish to participate any further in a conversation and quite another to simply say 'neener-neener youre wrong, I'm right,, im out!'


Reading through the discussion, I had thought that Strategist had made quite an argument, only to see Dong Zhuo basically just refuse to continue the conversation. I always find it a little lame when someone calls something extreme, then when you try to discover the thought process behind labeling something extreme, all of a sudden they do not want to talk about it anymore.

I do believe it is a form of cowardice to engage in a disagreement, then refuse to acknowledge points given and just bow out of the conversation without acknowledging what was just said. I have done things like this before myself. It's easy to do when people start spinning off in random directions when you're trying to talk about gun control. However... sometimes you know you have a good discussion going when multiple things are brought up and the discussion breaks off into other areas.

Shikanosuke wrote:I think the notion that when two people disagree they are then both held hostage to the debate until one concedes, is ludicrous, impractical, and counterproductive.


It may be counterproductive, but you are conceding if someone is still trying to engage in the battlefield of ideas and you just dip out. That's the ugly truth whether anyone wants to admit it or not. I understand the concept of not wanting to discuss something further. I'm just pointing out what you're actually doing when you stop a discussion. It's the equivalence of a kid picking up his ball and going home, refusing to play anymore, when he realizes he can't win.

Almost everyone does this though. I've seen just about every person on this forum, (myself included) do this. Let's face it. Sometimes the discussions themselves are just too exhausting and annoying to engage in further. It gets annoying when you bring a relevant fact up and the person you are talking to refuses to acknowledge what you just put in front of their face. It's also tiring when you know that you are not gaining any ground with someone...that regardless of how many facts or statistics or trends you explain or show, they are not going to agree with your point of view. That explains well over the majority of people who bow out of discussions.
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Strategist » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:09 am

NOTE: I missed Objectivist's post, which was made whilst I was typing. On a cursory reading it's not a problem so I went ahead and posted.

That may be many things, but on the Internet it is far from impractical. People do have lives offline, you know.


What's the point of debating if you can just walk out of it? The result is that people simply argue without any actual results in terms of persuading people or changing anybody's mind.

That's either one of the most profound or one of the most ridiculous things I have read on this board, if it is meant seriously. An absolutely sure recipe for anarchy (and ultimately tyranny) would be an arms race amongst the populace, facilitated by an out-of-control government. However, if the government imposed limits on its own military expenditures and practices, and if the Second Amendment were interpreted in the collective rather than in the individual sense (with well-regulated militias being formed with the explicit purpose of checking the power of the professional army, but still subject to civil authority), then you might have a decent recipe for political stability in the long run.


It's only ridicolous if you assume:

1: A more responsible culture won't arise, given that individuals have more responsibility to handle (I'm not saying crime rates won't go up, but not by as much as you think)
2: A serious arms race amongst the populace will occur. More likely, those who want them badly enough will save up for the most powerful weapons whilst most people will simply make do with guns.
3: Tyranny can somehow emerge in a democratic culture like America, despite the fact that a significant minority have tanks, rocket launchers, missiles etc with which to fight back making it much HARDER than at the moment.

It seems, to put it bluntly, as though you are misdiagnosing the problem.

Merely having a formal Constitution solves nothing. And merely placing assigning that formal Constitution to a place of public veneration and a level of significance such that it could not be changed except with great effort, also solves nothing. I cited to you before the example of the Declaration of 1789 in France. This could not curb the excesses of the government to any significant degree until an actual tyrant took control (and it was left to Prince Metternich to clean up the utter mess he'd made of Europe). Likewise, having a formal Constitution in the United States could not prevent the expansion of police powers by John Adams with the Alien and Sedition Acts, nor could it prevent the Imperial Presidency begun under Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase. (It also came as rather cold comfort, as I said before, to the Loyalists, Indians and blacks who lost their lives, dignity and property in the murderous revolutionary fervour which swept across our nation like the plague that it was.)

On the other hand, there exists a very good counter-example to the very phenomenon you describe. Great Britain has never had a formal written constituion, and yet it has done a relatively good job, historically speaking (though with a few notable exceptions, like this regicidal and genocidal bastard) of securing basic liberties and dignities for its people and retaining a stable political system.

If your argument cannot cope with these counterexamples, it requires revision.


To clarify, I am trying to get rid of cultural drift in the government completely, not just partially. A country like the United States, with the informal rules of the games changing over time, would be classified by me as having an informal Constitution, not a formal one.

And I never said a formal Constitution was enough. I went into this in detail earlier in the thread but it requires:

1: A formal constitution
2: Judges who will interpret the Constitution properly
3: A military and civil service who will enforce judicial rulings

I've put a lot of detail into how to get these earlier in the thread, both if starting a country from scratch and in the United States itself.

There is always reputational damage when someone is seen to act unreasonably by a forum/online gaming community. If, to use your complaint, someone does throw out "facts" that are constantly dubious then the person involved will likely end up being treated with contempt by the forum and their points taken with little seriousness. What tends to happen then is the person either buckles down or leaves.


Usually a debate is far more complicated than one side throwing out ridicolous so-called facts. Almost always, therefore, the result will be indecisive.

If we were in a legislature, I might agree with you. But in public life, especially on the internet I cannot. Furthermore, your idea isn't logistical either. If you didn't walk away from almost every situation in which you found yourself in disagreement with someone else, you'd accomplish essentially nothing. Especially on the internet.

You also ignore the fact that people's minds are not changed solely by forcing them to sit down and debate.


Without it, at least there's a chance of changing people's minds. An internet debate is also different from a private argument (which I try to extend for as long as possible) as people can take breaks and come back to it later.

Not even close. One involves the someone engaging in a conversation, observing a difference of opinion, respecting that difference, and then weighing their desire to debate against being held hostage to what could be on-going and energy/time consuming endevour. The latter is an attempt to say something for one's own benefit, act juvenile, and exit knowing that you now feel as if you've trumped the other side and are superior by not allowing them to cross-examine you.

I'm sorry but I feel your black-and-white view on this matter is unrealistic. If you truly lived your life by this motto, you'd accomplish nothing and alienate everyone you encountered.

To be honest if the internet forums were such dramatic and locked-in battlefield, as you describe them, I'm not sure many would wish to participate. Part of the reason many folk don't engage in debates in real life is because they don't need the dramatics. The internet affords people the ability to engage in debate when they wish, but withdraw when they wish as well.


A lot of that is simply empty rhethoric- 'engaging in a conversation' happens either way, as does 'observing a difference of opinion'. Only a fool respects difference to begin with. In both cases, they appear to weigh 'their desire to debate against being held hostage to what could be on-going and energy/time consuming endevour.' It is impossible to tell if the attempt was to say something 'for one's own benefit', 'act juvenile' is vague, and to 'exit knowing that you now feel as if you've trumped the other side and are superior by not allowing them to cross-examine you' is irrelevant as none of that's on the record.

If people can simply leave arguments when they feel like it, then arguing is pointless to begin with and Internet debates become stupid.

- I am not not trying to speak using legal justifications, rather only attempting to appeal to peoples sense of logic, that they are not as needed as they were before.Merely a food for thought.


You're about as logical as Spock's so-called logic. You have large numbers of premises you haven't justified.

- I was not ignoring your statements, I only don't regard them in the same way, but I do not wish to discredit your idealism. I am aware of the basis that it is to protect ourselves from Government Tyranny. However, I don't believe things work like that anymore. If the government really wishes to declare a martial law, or even simply take your land for a development program these days. The government will take it using legal, financial, gunboat diplomacy and then after the government has made itself legally correct they will eventually physical force their desire, and it is doubtful a lone gunmen would survive (there have even been recent cases of this).


My earlier point was that the Founding Fathers would still want the Second Amendment in place as a means of protection, even if it is no longer sufficient by itself nowadays. In addition, a properly interpreted Second Amendment would mean Tanks, Machine-Guns, Grenade Launchers, Rocket Launchers etc on the streets and would thus alter the balance drastically.

Its could be a romantic idea that we can protect ourselves from Tyranny with guns, but doing so might promote anarchy, and you can look at the many riots/political resistance around the world to see its usually the government that comes out on top- they are better equipped and organized after all.


No government in modern times has ever had a Second Amendment that has permitted the use of tanks, grenade launchers, rocket launchers etc so we'd really be in uncharted territory.

The idea that the second amendment allows us to protect ourselves from the government is only another control of the government.
And it still allows for all the other crimes just so people can have the illusionary state of mind, that they are safe or have some power because they have guns. But the only power is to murder...


The first part of this is dealt with above.

As for the second, no it isn't- guns can be used to kill in self-defence as well. They also, like nuclear weapons, provide a deterrent effect. This would not only protect against the government but reduce crime. If, for example, burgulars knew that every home they tried to rob would be armed to the teeth with gun-based traps and gun-wielding residents who could legally kill them on sight they'd find new careers.

-I agree 'legal drift' as you say can be bad, but If the laws don't adapt to judge the situation and respond accordingly how can the country improve? From my point of view, I would say there are more important laws that should be stuck to. My belief on Gun control is purely on an ethical level and sense of safety. I can not say what the other legal repercussions would be... However there are many a nation that legalized 'ambiguous' rape,cannibalism, ethnic cleansing, in the past, some nations no longer legalize these things, SOME STILL DO! Should they not change their laws?


It's one thing to amend a bad law if you can legally- if you try to amend a bad law when you can't legally, you're opening up a severe can of worms. Not to mention that, in case you didn't notice me say this earlier, you're turning your entire government into hypocrites.

I assume we can both agree that there shouldn't be retroactive laws, at least? From that it follows that judges should not have the immense power to for practical purposes write the Constitution in the United States.

Finally, the question of change over time is difficult. One compromise is to permit Amendments, ensuring that any change that does occur can be vetoed by ordinary people-making tyranny much harder, and that safeguards designed to protect ordinary people are nearly impossible to remove without 'Reconstruction'-esque stupidity. This does still leave a limited degree of cultural drift, however, which provides the case for option two- simply make a good Constitution and stick to it.

-Freedom without law enforcement is anarchy, and the situation without more gun control is giving rise to anarchy on the gang ridden streets and highly disturbed individuals. Limiting opportunities and availability to these crimes seem a step to help protect the people. Since the current laws are not helping to protect people from this situation, perhaps there should be some new laws that are, can we at least agree to that?


If you can find a way to 'protect people from this situation' that is 100% constitutional then I'm fully behind you, if only because it's better than the current farce. Otherwise, you're entering into a slippery slope which involves an unacceptable risk of tyranny.
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:11 am

Objectivist wrote:I do believe it is a form of cowardice to engage in a disagreement, then refuse to acknowledge points given and just bow out of the conversation without acknowledging what was just said. I have done things like this before myself. It's easy to do when people start spinning off in random directions when you're trying to talk about gun control. However... sometimes you know you have a good discussion going when multiple things are brought up and the discussion breaks off into other areas.


I can understand how it seems, and often is the case, that people mouth off and then slink away when their points are placed under a microscope. In that regard, I don't disagree with you and I've seen it myself. I wasn't really paying attention to most the back-and-forth between DZ and Strategist because it wasn't really about anything I was interested. I just don't agree anyone has to be held hostage to a conversation going no where.


It may be counterproductive, but you are conceding if someone is still trying to engage in the battlefield of ideas and you just dip out. That's the ugly truth whether anyone wants to admit it or not. I understand the concept of not wanting to discuss something further. I'm just pointing out what you're actually doing when you stop a discussion. It's the equivalence of a kid picking up his ball and going home, refusing to play anymore, when he realizes he can't win.

Almost everyone does this though. I've seen just about every person on this forum, (myself included) do this. Let's face it. Sometimes the discussions themselves are just too exhausting and annoying to engage in further. It gets annoying when you bring a relevant fact up and the person you are talking to refuses to acknowledge what you just put in front of their face. It's also tiring when you know that you are not gaining any ground with someone...that regardless of how many facts or statistics or trends you explain or show, they are not going to agree with your point of view. That explains well over the majority of people who bow out of discussions.


Your latter point I entirely agree with, which is why I can't understand the former paragraph. While a debate can easily be seen as a battlefield, when there aren't stakes in the outcome are there really victors and losers? All of us as you note have walked away from conversations because people simply refused to acknowledge facts or points, but did we really say 'ok, you're right and I now believe your viewpoint is superior to my own'? Or we do really just realize that you can't convince everyone of your points and thats ok?

I don't know. Even times when I've been engaged in a long-winded debates with members here and they eventually decided it wasn't worth continuing the debate I didn't truly feel like they had conceded and therefore I won. I really just felt like they didn't have the desire to push the point, and that to do so wouldn't benefit either one of us.




What's the point of debating if you can just walk out of it? The result is that people simply argue without any actual results in terms of persuading people or changing anybody's mind.


Whats the point of debating on a internet forum at all? Do you win anything by posting more than the other person? Do you think that because the other person has lost the will to continue on a virtual debate with no stakes, they therefore have changed their opinion?

As I said earlier, I understand debating being seen as a 'battlefield' where there is a victor and loser. And that may translate well to elections, legislatures, and debate teams. This forum and most of real life is not like that at all. And debates serve more as a means of learning and transmitting ideas than declaring a victor and loser.

Hell, I've seen members here (and elsewhere) who have had valid and amazing posts who have been cowed out of the debate merely by the other person's persistence and refusal to concede points. Adopting your position on the issue, the trolling lunatic would always be the victor. But I learned more from that member who simply didn't have the energy to continue a fruitless debate.


Without it, at least there's a chance of changing people's minds. An internet debate is also different from a private argument (which I try to extend for as long as possible) as people can take breaks and come back to it later.


They can, if they wish to. But beating your head against a wall is beating your head against a wall. As WWD noted, most people have lives and realize that once entrenched most folks don't change their minds (in fact, on the internet its even more likely that people remain entrenched because anonymity and a lack of face-to-face contact or a peer audience). While my free time and passion for debating have varied for the duration I've been a member on this board, I don't care much about changing people's minds anymore if it involves a protracted process which is more likely to alienate that person than produce meaningful conversation between ourselves.


A lot of that is simply empty rhethoric- 'engaging in a conversation' happens either way, as does 'observing a difference of opinion'. Only a fool respects difference to begin with.


Funny you say that, I was going to say your last sentence was exactly that..rhetoric.


In both cases, they appear to weigh 'their desire to debate against being held hostage to what could be on-going and energy/time consuming endevour.'


No they don't. Thats easily discernible by noting the the tone in which the communication is conveyed. 'Neener-Neener' is obvious demonstration of a starting point where one engages in a conversation only to demonstrate their superiority and has no inclination to respond anymore than is necessary to a) say their peace and b) get people riled up. The other is obviously starting from a point where they wish to express their opinions, note that the opposition views the issue differently, and only then makes the decision to withdraw after a balancing test.

Even if you believe the two are functionally equivalent, which is being intentionally blind to me, the appearance of the two from the outset is blatantly different.

'act juvenile' is vague,


Acting juvenile is vague? 'Neener-Neener' was vague? Sorry, I find its pretty easy to tell when people are acting juvenile or people are only one-post members obviously here to start a fight and then bounce.

and to 'exit knowing that you now feel as if you've trumped the other side and are superior by not allowing them to cross-examine you' is irrelevant as none of that's on the record.


Its not on the record? Everything here is in text form. You can re-read anything you like. I'd suggest that while occasionally sarcasm or some other subtle tones may be difficult to discern from internet posts, the act of one trying to be juvenile and rile people is fairly easy.

If people can simply leave arguments when they feel like it, then arguing is pointless to begin with and Internet debates become stupid.


Well....they are. Internet debates, unless the point is to educate oneself and view different points of views and all the counters to your own, are entirely pointless. In fact, the idea that the internet forum stands a 'battlefield' serves to reinforce that idea. You don't win jack on this board or any other.


The fact is, people can leave debates whenever they like (and they should be able to). If you work with the idea that the person who walks away from the debate first loses, and the latter wins, then you might as well crown trolls the eternal victors of the internet. If we are to engage in the nonsensical idea that a debate is nothing but a battlefield, then I'd place more weight in the ideas presented than who bows out first.
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:57 am

Strategist wrote:To clarify, I am trying to get rid of cultural drift in the government completely, not just partially. A country like the United States, with the informal rules of the games changing over time, would be classified by me as having an informal Constitution, not a formal one.


Yeah, well, good luck with that.

Cultures (and constitutions) are made by people, and people grow old and die. Cultures (and constitutions) have always had to adapt themselves to successive generations. Cultures do this naturally, if left to their own devices - they have the means of storytelling, mythology, familial succession to ensure that even in new situations their values can be kept sacred. A government which cannot adapt to new situations and shifts in the culture is merely notching boats to find swords.

Strategist wrote:It's only ridicolous if you assume:

1: A more responsible culture won't arise, given that individuals have more responsibility to handle (I'm not saying crime rates won't go up, but not by as much as you think)
2: A serious arms race amongst the populace will occur. More likely, those who want them badly enough will save up for the most powerful weapons whilst most people will simply make do with guns.
3: Tyranny can somehow emerge in a democratic culture like America, despite the fact that a significant minority have tanks, rocket launchers, missiles etc with which to fight back making it much HARDER than at the moment.


For point 1.), the burden of proof is entirely on you. I have no independent reason to assume such a 'responsible culture' will arise, therefore I am under no logical obligation to give evidence that it won't. You are the one assuming such a 'responsible culture' will arise, without specifying whether or how it can be cultivated in such an environment as you suggest.

For point 2.), that is already a recipe for tyranny. Those with the most money will be able to afford the most firepower, resulting in an even greater imbalance of power in the society. The one with the most firepower, furthermore, will take steps to ensure that he stays the one with the most firepower, which will usually mean disarming weaker and poorer people by force. And in the event that the reigning government is over thrown, you have the makings of an alternate government forming on the basis of superior firepower alone, where the person with the most nukes makes the rules - in short, a tyranny. Arms have to be subject to some form of civic discipline for tyranny to be prevented.

I believe that answers most of your point 3.). But further, America cannot be said to have a 'democratic culture'. Too many Americans are willing to sign off on their beliefs and civic responsibilities to ideologues and fundamentalist preachers. Even if this were not true, too much corporate money and official corruption is present in post-Citizens American politics for a civically-engaged electorate to make any sort of difference in what the government can or will do.

Strategist wrote:And I never said a formal Constitution was enough. I went into this in detail earlier in the thread but it requires:

1: A formal constitution
2: Judges who will interpret the Constitution properly
3: A military and civil service who will enforce judicial rulings


First off, which of these things did Revolutionary France not have? The judges were actually the ones doing most of the early agitation in Revolutionary France, and you can't seriously make the argument that they didn't have a military and civil service ready, willing and more than enthusiastic to enforce those rulings through means of the National Razor, la guillotine.

Secondly, it strikes me that you are trying to sneak in extra logical propositions with 'interpreting properly'. 'Properly', according to what or whom? You, by chance?

It is basic in the philosophy of language since Wittgenstein that no message (whether spoken or written) can interpret itself, since the author and the reader are always already there. There is always some kind of hermeneutic at play. This is why tradition is so important, as a trial-and-error means of deciding which interpretations work at any given time, and which ones do not; and thereby assigning authority as fairly as possible to one set of interpretations over another.


Shikanosuke wrote:As I said earlier, I understand debating being seen as a 'battlefield' where there is a victor and loser. And that may translate well to elections, legislatures, and debate teams. This forum and most of real life is not like that at all. And debates serve more as a means of learning and transmitting ideas than declaring a victor and loser.


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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby laojim » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:21 am

Strategist wrote:...
To clarify, I am trying to get rid of cultural drift in the government completely, not just partially. A country like the United States, with the informal rules of the games changing over time, would be classified by me as having an informal Constitution, not a formal one.

And I never said a formal Constitution was enough. I went into this in detail earlier in the thread but it requires:

1: A formal constitution
2: Judges who will interpret the Constitution properly
3: A military and civil service who will enforce judicial rulings
....


It is absurd to imagine that you can do away with cultural drift. Ain't gonna happen. And why not? Because the citizens of this nation are not the sllaves of some eighteenth century aaristocratic planters who kept slaves and wrote a constitution intended to protect the people of quality from the greed of the masses. There is no rational reason that we should all interpret the constituion as you think is correct. Times can and do change.

Your three points just show that yo do not understand how the US works, or is supposed to work. As a minor point in that regard, the military has no authority to enforce any law, or do much of anything else in the USA within the borders of the nation. This is why there was such a controversy over tha last time troops were sent to impliment a court order when they went to Little Rock, Arkansas to integrate a school. The role of the military in this country is more or less entirely related to other nations and international waters. The Coast Guard is a seperate matter.
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Re: Formal or informal Constitution

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:09 am

Split the gun control thing to roughly the point where we ended up talking constitutions and philosophy. Might merge it with the thread Objectivist suggested.

Reading through the discussion, I had thought that Strategist had made quite an argument, only to see Dong Zhuo basically just refuse to continue the conversation. I always find it a little lame when someone calls something extreme, then when you try to discover the thought process behind labeling something extreme, all of a sudden they do not want to talk about it anymore.


I will apologise that my withdrawing meant a loss of fun for you Objectivist. I'll admit, I'm enjoying reading others discussing it but I was at the point where the thought of continuing on made me groan for a few reasons. I would suggest when a person gets to that point, they should withdraw.

I assume your referring to my view that strategist took something I use and tried to use the most extreme logic to try and disprove it?

What's the point of debating if you can just walk out of it? The result is that people simply argue without any actual results in terms of persuading people or changing anybody's mind.


Fun?

I'm not going to persuade a Shu-ist that Shu sucks and vice versa but had some great debates on 3k matters that will never be agreed. Or football. WWD and I disagree on any number of things, we would probably still be debating if we didn't try to amicably agree to disagree.

Usually a debate is far more complicated than one side throwing out ridicolous so-called facts. Almost always, therefore, the result will be indecisive.


True. I was just trying to answer what happens when someone behaves in the way you described.
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Re: Gun Control

Unread postby Objectivist » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:20 am

Shikanosuke wrote:I just don't agree anyone has to be held hostage to a conversation going no where.


I really don't believe in holding someone hostage either. I was only acknowledging that dipping out of a debate midway is a form of conceding.
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