Thursday, August 25, 2011

In reference also to the previous post, and comments elsewhere:

The purpose and justification for the rule of law is that the debate is not over absolutes of justice and morality but the specifics of the law itself. Our relation to the law is deontological first and foremost. The law is the law of the community, not of the absolute. If the police search a house without a warrant or in the US what's called "probable cause" whatever evidence they find, however incriminating, is disallowed. In such cases if there is no other evidence the guilty go free. Common sense morality is deontological in the same way and for the same reasons. Again to the Trolley Problem and the military: if one person in a community commits an act that results in harm or death of another the result is an imbalance, an increased tension within the community. Even if that act is logically justifiable, the person was acting on his own -the community did not license it- and if one person takes the burdens otherwise held only by the state, he is seen as becoming like the state: at a remove from the community of equals. Action being seen as precedent, that act is dangerous.

Military utilitarianism is founded on the separation and hierarchical arrangement of various communities of equals. Friendship, fraternization, between members of different groups is strictly limited by military law. The moral obligations of friendship and rank are seen as mutually exclusive, in conflict not as absolute truth but as a matter of law. But both are honored in their place.

There's a famous story about Kurt Gödel and his claims to have discovered a flaw in the U.S. Constitution that could allow for a dictatorship. It's usually referred to as a mark of his eccentricity that he would imagine such flaws existed; but the people who refer to it are mathematicians and philosophers who follow mathematical logic. If you asked scholars of Constitutional law, the majority would say it's true. The Constitution was written to be interpreted and such is the nature of interpretation. Interpretation is not science. Truth-seeking is not synonymous with wanting to understand. Sometimes it's a hindrance.
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One of my biggest hits: Klub-Kid Kollectivity

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