All of ThomasMore's Comments + Replies

Morality is Scary

Great post, thanks! Widespread value pluralism a la 'well that's just, like, your opinion man' is now a feature of modern life.  Here are a pair of responses from political philosophy which may be of some interest 

(1) Rawls/Thin Liberal Approach. Whilst we may not be able to agree on what 'the good life' is, we can at least agree on a basic system which ensures all participants can pursue their own idea of the good life.  So,(1) Protect a list of political liberties and freedoms and (2) degree of economic levelling. Beyond that, it is up to ... (read more)

Is Legal Reasoning Fundamentally Irrational?

If I understand right, your first point is that it makes sense for officials to follow the law because parliament and the courts are better placed to alter it.  Another point is then that it makes sense to limit your activity for the benefit of the group ('individual placing themselves above the group')

These are fairly sensible reasons to obey the law. Does that mean law loses its force when parliament and courts are sufficiently incompetent or crooked? Likewise when acting for a small minority rather than the group? 

Not sure officials think of law this way. Further, an open question whether a system could function with this kind of clause being widely accepted by lawyers and legal officials. 

3Slider3moIn a democrasy one could always run to be a representative and hopefully one has already elected in representatives that respond to the voice of reason. However if one loses such elections or other representatives don't respond to your pleas then it is a question whether one should "lose in peace". The officials need not be that aware of what all it took and how high quality the specifications are. They don't need what kind of poltical compromises or technicality generalizations have gone into them. But a property of following a law because it is the law is that if a new improved law gets passed then that will be implemented in full force. Evil goverments or nations are a possibilty but if one is to rebel then it is likely to be towards the whole system. If you pick and choose what you follow then what the official word on that is of no consequence. Theoretically it could be possible that a situation so heinous happens that it would be unethical to fail to rebel. But a single persons perspective is so limited that a "duty to rebel" is unlikely to be relevant often as many acts that seem locally very backwards could on the whole be defensible. Note for example if you break a law that has been passed as a political compromise for some other right to be recognised one jeopardises that right being recognised. And this even if the broken law is truly unjust. Is it justifiable to prevent an unjust killing if it leads to full blown war? And the proper time to resist a bad law is when it passes and it should sound alarm even before it gets applied. And in fact when it is being debated whether its bill should pass that is the most critical time to act (vote those evil laws down). The possibility that someone could be sleepnig on the wheel is not a reason to disconnect the wheel from the tiers but rather grab a better hold of the wheel.
Can you control the past?

Great post! I wonder if the 'weirdness' be partially due to intuitions about human freedom of choice. For instance, it seems nonsensical to ask whether unicellular organisms could alter their behaviour to modify models predicting said behaviour, and thus 'control' their fate. Are humans in the same boat?