Friday, May 02, 2008

Re: Comment

First off, thanks so much for the comments. Now to address two of them:
"P.S. We all know you flout copyright law on a regular basis so don't go telling us about the virtues of following laws cause they're laws."

There are two distinctions to be made here. The first I already said in my post. "If the U.S.A is a legitimate government" now the longest standing idea behind out government, found in its officially endorsed and distributed textbooks, is as a "governing body, for the purpose of undertaking economic endeavors too great for individual companies (phones lines, roads) and the general protection of all." Now making roads, and making rules for the protection of its citizens on those roads is clearly within that definition. Driving laws, therefore, are acts of a legitimate government over its constituents. real ground level good old laws. Copyright law just isnt. Copyright laws may be legitimate. I'm not sure. I'm not really sure. In any case, as you said, my flaunting of copyright law is just that, flaunting, I spend a lot more time actually talking about it and trying to change it than I do abusing it. (i have watched three movies in six months.) It's my own little form of civil disobedience and I hope to affect a change. If you think you can show that driving above the speedlimit is safer and we would all be alot better off for doing it by all means, go for it, convince the people and it will happen. that brings me to the second distinction. there are some laws that have inherent corruption in them. not to say all of these laws are corrupt, just that there is a place for somebody to benefit from them unrightfuly. speed limits are not these laws. nobody anywhere benefits by making you drive slower. the speed limit was set after a careful examination of how it would affect human life (ok, fuel efficiency comes into the question but the people making the laws do not benefit from that) Driving faster kills people. thats the basis for a very legitimate law.
"getting there on time is not a smaller convenience! It is the only purpose of driving! Otherwise I'd walk, cheaper and healthier."
Getting places on time is obviously not an argument for breaking the law. If you leave on time you can get anywhere on time while following the speed limit. if the other case worked you could just as easily argue that stealing money is legitimate if you need it to buy food. working is the responsible way to get money. managing your time is the responsible way to be punctual.

And i suppose it is true that stealing is an acceptable way to get food (a necessity) when no other option is available and you steal from somebody who will suffer no abject harm from it (aka, has more than enough food) although it would still be better not to steal food. on the other hand the only case i can think of where necessity is a motivation for speeding is when life is on the line. by all means, if you have a woman with birth complications or a person bleeding to death speed away. other than that, i think the argument is false.


Lucas said...

So the USA isn't a legitimate government, theft isn't a crime, we get to pick which laws apply to us and you've stopped watching movies to spite the RIAA. Glad we have that cleared up.

I think arguing with all those addle brained liberal arts majors is leaving you soft.

patrick said...

That isn't at all what I said. The US government is most legitimate when it rules on safety and works to overcome individually insurmountable economic interests. Speed limits are such. therefore they are the most legitimate kind of law the government can make. that was my point.

I certainly didn't stop watching movies to spite the RIAA. I stopped watching movies because there a bloody waste of time. When I was watching movies I was selective about which ones i actually paid to see to spite the RIAA.

And of course we chose which laws apply to us. We don't get to chose which consequences apply to us. If you speed you face death, responsibility for others deaths, suspension of your driving privileges, large fines, ect. If you download movies you face large fines. Chose your consequences. I won't cite the millions of examples of famous people who used civil disobedience (choosing to not follow laws while choosing to accept the consequences for the purpose of change) in famous historic context. I will point out that it has never been effective at something which was a law for the protection of human life. Maybe there is a new kind of civil disobedience. an economic kind where laws will be pressed to change for the greatest economic good. I dont think that even that kind of lax civil disobedience should be applied to changing laws to be more convenient when there is a large cost in both money and human life.

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