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Poll
Question: Which of the following is the limit statements below and including which should be punished by the state (or otherwise justifiably responded to with violent force) and statements above which should be allowed?
I don't like people with blue eyes. - 3 (3.9%)
People with blue eyes have a negative impact on society. - 0 (0%)
The world would be better off without people with blue eyes. - 1 (1.3%)
I think people with blue eyes should leave the country or kill themselves. - 1 (1.3%)
I approve of people doing something (or "People should do something") to push against those blue-eyed scum. - 3 (3.9%)
I approve of people going out and killing those blue-eyed scum. - 5 (6.6%)
You, [specific person], should go and kill five blue eyed people right now. - 9 (11.8%)
If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins. - 24 (31.6%)
All of the above should be legal. - 30 (39.5%)
Total Voters: 75

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Hawker
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February 18, 2012, 12:22:15 PM
 #81

So even if someone walks up to you with a gun clearly in his pocket (assume that such gun carrying is normal and acceptable where you live) and says "give me $200 or I'll shoot you" it's not OK to attack him first?

I doubt it. She doesn't really want to kill you, she just really needs your money (that's why she takes the risk of threatening you). Anyway it is more rational to give her $200 than to risk your life.

Its really your position that someone with a gun saying "give me $200 or I'll shoot you" is covered by free speech?




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February 18, 2012, 03:40:59 PM
 #82

75% of respondents think there should be no law against ordering a killing or paying for a killing. 

The poll is about speaking words. You keep beating the same drum. The poll said nothing about ordering or paying. Those are separate events. You are making assumptions.

Let's say you are drowning in a pond. Michael and Ryan are standing there. Michael says to Ryan, "I'll give you 200 bitcoins to save him," and then they both stand there with their hands in their pockets. Did Michael saying those words save your life? No. Was he ordering Ryan to save your life? No. Was there a contract to save your life? No. Apparently no one intended to save your life in that situation.

Let's say Jack and Diane work on an oil rig. Congress passes a law saying all oil drilling is banned. That night Jack and Diane are sitting in a bar trying to figure out how they are going to survive and Jack says to Diane, "Diane, if you kill 5 politicians right now, I'll buy you beer for the rest of your life," and they both laugh and go home. Should they be arrested for conspiracy to commit murder?

To simplify. Should intent be considered when someone says, "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins" or is saying this automatically intent to commit murder 100% of the time?

Almost all crimes have 2 parts; the guilty act and the guilty intent.  "Actus reus et mens rea."

If you say "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins" and you mean it, both the guilty act and guilty intent are there.  It doesn't matter if the person you said it to is an undercover policeman.  The words you said are a criminal act.

If you say "If you, [specific person], kill five blue-eyed people right now, I'll give you 200 bitcoins" and you are saying it as an actor in a play, then there is no intent.  No crime.

This is not groundbreaking stuff.  Its not limited to speech either.  I don't understand why you are hung up on intent.  Almost all crimes require the state to prove intent.

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February 18, 2012, 04:30:17 PM
 #83

One day I read about killing blue-eyed people in this thread, the other day I watch video about unusual chinese guy with blue eyes and the second top comment is about killing for them. This is creepy...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfs0R-7cS_s

Hope I'm not gonna have nightmares over this.
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February 18, 2012, 05:31:07 PM
 #84

I don't understand why you are hung up on intent.  Almost all crimes require the state to prove intent.

Because you keep posting that people are "voting there should be no law against ordering a killing or paying for a killing" when the poll says nothing of the sort. All the poll talks about is speech. If you don't know the intent of the speaker then you don't know if they are "ordering a killing" or planning on "paying for a killing". Therefor people are not necessarily "voting there should be no law against ordering a killing or paying for a killing".

75% of the people here believe there should be no law against ordering a killing and you are deluding yourself if you are making excuses "maybe they don't think the guy really means it." 

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February 18, 2012, 06:22:42 PM
 #85

...snip...

75% of the people here believe there should be no law against ordering a killing and you are deluding yourself if you are making excuses "maybe they don't think the guy really means it." 

You are assuming to know what anyone making that statement means by it and I'm the one deluding myself because I'm not making assumptions. OK then.

I say we can't know intention simply by a statement alone (even if it seems obvious) and it would be dangerous to outlaw it because of the unintended consequences.

You say you know with full certainty what the speakers intentions are and are ready and willing to charge him for it.

I would bet far, far more statements like these result in nothing criminal at all than actually result in someone's murder. Saying stupid shit is common, contracting murder not so much.

"Which of the following is the limit statements below and including which should be punished by the state (or otherwise justifiably responded to with violent force) and statements above which should be allowed? "

Unless the OP meant some weird legal system with its own criminal law, then intent is part of the poll.  You don't need to say "What if he is kidding?" because that's the point of making something a crime. 

So the 75% who voted for ordering a killing being legal did so knowing that intent to kill would be part of the prosecution. 

Why are you so uncomfortable accepting that people disagree with you and that they are perfectly OK with ordering killings being legal? 

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February 18, 2012, 07:22:02 PM
 #86

So the 75% who voted for ordering a killing being legal did so knowing that intent to kill would be part of the prosecution. 

Why are you so uncomfortable accepting that people disagree with you and that they are perfectly OK with ordering killings being legal? 

I'm not uncomfortable, I just don't agree that intent was part of the poll. I also don't agree that the people who voted "all of the above should be legal" are OK with ordering killings. I do agree that we aren't going to see eye to eye on this, like so many other things, so I guess I should learn my lesson and stop responding to your posts.

Making something illegal doesn't mean that you can't do it in a play or film.  My interpretation is the only one that makes sense.  And from past experience here, a lot of libertarians are OK with ordering a killing; see here for an example: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=63693.msg755056#msg755056  the guy says the answer is that everyone should be free to order killings.

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February 18, 2012, 11:17:11 PM
 #87

...snip...

75% of the people here believe there should be no law against ordering a killing and you are deluding yourself if you are making excuses "maybe they don't think the guy really means it." 

You are assuming to know what anyone making that statement means by it and I'm the one deluding myself because I'm not making assumptions. OK then.

I say we can't know intention simply by a statement alone (even if it seems obvious) and it would be dangerous to outlaw it because of the unintended consequences.

You say you know with full certainty what the speakers intentions are and are ready and willing to charge him for it.

I would bet far, far more statements like these result in nothing criminal at all than actually result in someone's murder. Saying stupid shit is common, contracting murder not so much.

"Which of the following is the limit statements below and including which should be punished by the state (or otherwise justifiably responded to with violent force) and statements above which should be allowed? "

Unless the OP meant some weird legal system with its own criminal law, then intent is part of the poll.  You don't need to say "What if he is kidding?" because that's the point of making something a crime. 

So the 75% who voted for ordering a killing being legal did so knowing that intent to kill would be part of the prosecution.

Again, I'd wager that the vast majority of those voting for that statement did so without presuming it meant "intent to kill." Voting for not throwing people in jail for making a statement isn't the same as voting for allowing people to "order a killing."

Your presumption doesn't even make sense. If there's going to be a system of law at all, few people, even in libertarian circles, are going to agree with "ordering a killing" being legal. Certainly not 75%.

Perhaps you should start a new poll clarifying the issue, and see what the response is?

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February 18, 2012, 11:33:05 PM
 #88

Actually hurting people because they say others should be hurt is... ironic?

And how is this actually going to go down, will there be an intermediate step where a chief tells minions to go do the arrest/kill as needed? Maybe the minions get paid (200BTC?) too?

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February 19, 2012, 08:25:53 AM
 #89

Actually hurting people because they say others should be hurt is... ironic?

...snip...

Freedom of speech does not mean that you are free from the consequences of your speech.

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February 19, 2012, 08:41:06 PM
 #90

Wow, you found a topic on which I am amongst the least liberal people.

I think it crosses a line when killing is combined with a context that does not make a logical/symmetric law. E.g. killing blue-eyed but not green-eyed people under otherwise similar circumstances can probably not be justified.

I don't mind the discussion of right-wing ideas. Just when the actual path toward arbitrary killings is paved, which begins with the planning, I turn into an enemy.
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February 19, 2012, 09:52:19 PM
 #91

maybe naive question, but still.. would people really kill each other more often if it becomes legal?

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February 19, 2012, 09:58:06 PM
 #92

maybe naive question, but still.. would people really kill each other more often if it becomes legal?

Of course.  Remove the threat of punishment and riots follow immediately.

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February 19, 2012, 10:16:30 PM
 #93

maybe naive question, but still.. would people really kill each other more often if it becomes legal?

Of course.  Remove the threat of punishment and riots follow immediately.

Everybody can kill or be killed, so there would always be a threat of punishment. The question is if it should be monopolized by state. Why would the riots happen in a stable wealthy country?

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February 19, 2012, 10:17:04 PM
 #94

Probably at least the last two statements are immoral, but I'm not sure that it would be more moral to react to them with violence. In my ideal anarcho-capitalist system, you'd pay protection agencies to protect you from violence and enforce other "laws". I would not spend extra money to punish people for making threats like this against groups, even groups that I am a part of. I only consider more specific threats to be dangerous enough to react to. I would use a protection agency that prohibited the last statement (and maybe a few other statements in the poll), since I won't ever make threats like that.

I voted "All should be legal".

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February 19, 2012, 10:27:24 PM
 #95

maybe naive question, but still.. would people really kill each other more often if it becomes legal?

Of course.  Remove the threat of punishment and riots follow immediately.

Everybody can kill or be killed, so there would always be a threat of punishment. The question is if it should be monopolized by state. Why would the riots happen in a stable wealthy country?


Um no.  You don't need to theorise about this.  Look what happened in London last year when the police lost control, or Baghdad in 2003.  The state monopoly on violence means that its use is generally predictable and controlled.  Once its a free for all, the strong band together and prey on the weak.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2102149/London-riots-Ashraf-Rossli-mugged-Malaysian-students-attacker-identified.html

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February 19, 2012, 10:40:01 PM
 #96

Just doing simple statistics you can easily proove: The more laws ban killing, the more killing takes place.
Take this assumption and without any logical foundation invert it, you easily find ... anything stupid or so.  Grin
The primary assumption is wrong!

In a society people need each other. So they should not kill each other.
Get it more precisely from Hans Jonas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Jonas

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February 19, 2012, 10:45:25 PM
 #97

Just doing simple statistics you can easily proove: The more laws ban killing, the more killing takes place.
Take this assumption and without any logical foundation invert it, you easily find ... anything stupid or so.  Grin
The primary assumption is wrong!

In a society people need each other. So they should not kill each other.
Get it more precisely from Hans Jonas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Jonas

As we moved from hunter gatherer to farms to cities to modern states, violence fell.  Right now, humanity is in a golden age in terms of people being able to live their lives free from violence.

http://stevenpinker.com/publications/better-angels-our-nature
http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

I have no idea what statistics you looked at but its a matter of fact that the more criminal law developed, the safer things got. 


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February 20, 2012, 12:31:12 PM
 #98



Violent crime rates in the United states per 100,000 population beginning in 1960. Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Is a 50-year correlation really enough to prove a statement as general and profound as "the more laws ban killing, the more killing takes place"? Let's look at a different graph:



And:



from http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/111.1/monkkonen.html

There are plenty of ways to explain that blip in the 1960-1990s - the war on drugs was a very large factor, some blame elements of the civil rights movement for the increase and some praise legalization of abortion for the decrease.

I would personally argue that the long-term decrease in violence in general is largely attributable to the increase in societal complexity and the reduction of importance of material goods - there's really not much valuable that you can actually steal these days. 2000 years ago, if you conquered a country or attacked a ship as a pirate you could take all the wealth and even capture much of the value of the people through slavery. Nowadays, all the wealth is more and more in personalized (ie. non-commodity) goods, human capital and social relationships, which can't be easily stolen. There's just no point to violence any more.

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February 20, 2012, 01:04:56 PM
 #99

A moral man would not murder an innocent person to save his own life. If murder is committed, both should be punished equally for it.

Now, you want to take it a step further?

Consider this option: If you, [specific person], don't kill a blue-eyed person right now, I'll kill your five year old daughter, and after that I'll let someone else kill a blue-eyed person.

Again, a moral man would not murder an innocent person to save his daughter's life. Who is he to judge which innocent person has the right to live?

Are you serious?
Any sane person would prefer to take the life of an unknown over his own or that of a loved one. Just change the situation to something more inevitable, like your car lost breaks, and either you run over an unknown person or you run over your son/daughter, no other option. Any normal person would run over the unknown person.

Saying "You should kill a blue-eyed person right now or I will kill (you|your daughter)" is a clear threat, and as such, unethical. The victim of such threat has all the right to respond with violence, but if he really can't (picture a situation where the one doing the threat is much stronger than the victim, or even a "Saw movie scenario" thing), I don't think it's him that should be liable for the killing of the blue-eyed, but the one who was threatening him to do it.
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February 20, 2012, 01:30:17 PM
 #100

Probably at least the last two statements are immoral, but I'm not sure that it would be more moral to react to them with violence. In my ideal anarcho-capitalist system, you'd pay protection agencies to protect you from violence and enforce other "laws". I would not spend extra money to punish people for making threats like this against groups, even groups that I am a part of. I only consider more specific threats to be dangerous enough to react to. I would use a protection agency that prohibited the last statement (and maybe a few other statements in the poll), since I won't ever make threats like that.

I voted "All should be legal".

I agree with you, in the sense that I don't think I would voluntary finance police to go after the guy making the last statement (the actual threat), if it targeted me in a generic manner like the color or my eyes. But if the threat target me directly, or someone close to me, I probably would, as you say.

But even for the generic threat, maybe some blue-eyed person would go as far as paying police to go after the guy proposing the criminal contract.

I guess the poll is more about ethics (what justifies the use of force? In other words, which statement is a violation of the non aggression principle?) than to practicability (is the use of force the best approach to deal with this?)
That's why I voted for the last statement to be "banned".
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