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 Post subject: Good Point
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 15:53 
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Does anyone recognise a similarity between this statement about copying CDs and certain other activities?

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Millions of people regularly convert movies on DVDs and music on CDs into a format that they can move around more easily, although most do not realise that it is technically illegal.

"The review pointed out that if you have a situation where 90% of your population is doing something, then it's not really a very good law," said Simon Levine, head of the intellectual property and technology group at DLA Piper.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14372698

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 22:39 
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Sir, sir. Me sir! :D

Well spotted Malcolm; perfect comparison AND truthful.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 01:07 
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A smile spread across my face. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 07:54 
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So. If 90% of the population are doing something there should be no law banning it. Even if what they ere doing is driving dangerously?

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 08:09 
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If it's so dangerous then why is it massively under-represented in the crash stats?

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 08:57 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
So. If 90% of the population are doing something there should be no law banning it. Even if what they ere doing is driving dangerously?

Parliament makes the laws. Voters elect the MPs. If 90% of voters do not want something banned then it eventually will become acceptable practice. This is unfortunate for you if you are one of the 10% of dissenters but this is the nature of democracy. Even if a law is not actually repealed, its enforcement will lapse by default.

You are confusing not banning something with making it compulsory. Even in the case of driving dangerously (which you have introduced, not me) almost nobody would go out to deliberately be dangerous just because the law was not enforced. Very little would change.

Unless, of course, you believe that we should slavishly follow the wishes of our autocratic rulers as "they know best".

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 09:04 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
So. If 90% of the population are doing something there should be no law banning it. Even if what they ere doing is driving dangerously?
Let's call it 85% then.

You won't call me a liar for 5% I hope. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:26 
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The dangerous driving is the most common logical fallacy regarding speeding, the argument seems to go along the lines of:
Most dangerous drivers are speeding, therefore speeding is dangerous driving.

You might similarlarly argue that most dangerous drivers eat bread, therefore eating bread is dangerous.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 17:05 
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Odin wrote:
The dangerous driving is the most common logical fallacy regarding speeding, the argument seems to go along the lines of:
Most dangerous drivers are speeding, therefore speeding is dangerous driving.

That's a(nother) very good point. It's so simple, yet so so powerful. I must remember this one!

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 18:40 
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You are all completely missing my point. There are activities which are so reprehensible that even if 99% of the population indulged in them they would still be wrong. Killing someone who gave you a funny look is one such example. Letting your dog crap on the pavement a rather less extreme example. That is one reason why are our Members of Parliament are representatives who use their own judgement rather than delegates who accurately reflect the wishes of their electorate.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 18:58 
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Your answer is in your post.

Quote:
There are activities which are so reprehensible that even if 99% of the population indulged in them they would still be wrong.

If such activities are so awful the generally sensible and moral vast majority of the public will not indulge in them. Your scenario will not arise. The "point" is that some laws are stupid because vast numbers ignore them. These laws should not exist as they go against "the wisdom of crowds" and the people who passed them into law should have known this. Passing and rigidly enforcing laws which force citizens to do something with which 99% of them disagree is dictatorship.

MPs are generally far too conscious of their image to say things that allow pressure groups to shout at them. If your MP said that most speed limits should be set by the 85th percentile rule BRAKE would be on their case even though the wise member of the crowd would agree. "If one child is saved..." If your MP says "All limits should be reduced to 20mph" then he is lauded instead.

MPs are representatives but unfortunately do not actually represent commonsense in most cases. Most are far too Socialist - even the Tories.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 19:17 
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Dare I mention 1914 -1918 and 1939 - 1945 :cry:

And if you think it couldn't happen again look around at what's happening, how history could repeat itself.... :(

But we are so much wiser now, aren't we?

"Hope I die before I get old"

OH, btw. I'm more than old enough to remember 'The Falklands'; just to bring it more up to date. :(

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 19:38 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
You are all completely missing my point. There are activities which are so reprehensible that even if 99% of the population indulged in them they would still be wrong.

There is a difference between legally wrong and morally wrong (letter of the law, spirit of the law).

dcbwhaley wrote:
Killing someone who gave you a funny look is one such example. Letting your dog crap on the pavement a rather less extreme example.

There is no safe or considerate way of killing someone, regardless of how they look at you.
There is no considerate way of letting dogs crap on the pavements (unless it is properly scooped).
There is a completely safe and considerate way of exceeding (today's needlessly low) speed limits.

"Driving dangerously" is not safe or considerate, regardless of the speed.
I think Odin's point did address yours; the distinction has to be made between those dangerous, and those not.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 22:12 
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Steve wrote:
There is a difference between legally wrong and morally wrong (letter of the law, spirit of the law).


So are you saying that if something - killing people - is morally wrong then it should not be legally wrong if 90% if the population indulge in the activity. For example: would you abolish taxation if 90% of the population failed to pay their due?

Quote:
There is no safe or considerate way of killing someone, regardless of how they look at you.
There is no considerate way of letting dogs crap on the pavements (unless it is properly scooped).

How does that relate to the proposition that if 90% of the population do it it should not be legislated against.

Quote:
There is a completely safe and consider way of exceeding (today's needlessly low) speed limits.

Indeed there is. But that is not relevant to my general proposition that there are moral absolutes which should not be overridden by by mass disobedience.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 22:21 
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There are no moral absolutes. What you are referencing is behaviour acceptable to the vast majority of the population. This changes over time and is not absolute.

In the middle ages it was a moral "absolute" that gays should be put to death. How absolute was this?

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 22:22 
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Our law still states that we should practice the longbow regularly. Virtually no one does. Does this make us all criminals or does common sense and the wishes of the majority overcome this ancient/pointless law?

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 23:12 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
So are you saying that if something - killing people - is morally wrong then it should not be legally wrong if 90% if the population indulge in the activity.

Consensual euthanasia? I believe that is legal in some cultures. You have to be careful with your parallels, DCB (especially with the factors originally associated with them).

dcbwhaley wrote:
For example: would you abolish taxation if 90% of the population failed to pay their due?

Quite possibly. I think a fair system would cease forced contributions if the admin costs to get the payments from everyone was comparable to the income from the other 10%. Alternatively, the contributions can be made voluntary and ring-fenced for the other 10% who paid towards the benefits.

I believe in giving society a properly informed choice. The problem here is misrepresentation, specifically regarding the effects of speed and speed limits.

dcbwhaley wrote:
Quote:
There is no safe or considerate way of killing someone, regardless of how they look at you.
There is no considerate way of letting dogs crap on the pavements (unless it is properly scooped).

How does that relate to the proposition that if 90% of the population do it it should not be legislated against.

Like I said: "safe and considerate". In our society, the examples given rather lack these; the fact that practically no one argues against these laws suggests the letters of those laws are pitched about right.

In backwards world where 90% of society deemed these acts as acceptable, and the other 10% considered anti-social or nuts, then there actually isn't an issue anyway.

dcbwhaley wrote:
Quote:
There is a completely safe and consider way of exceeding (today's needlessly low) speed limits.

Indeed there is. But that is not relevant to my general proposition that there are moral absolutes which should not be overridden by by mass disobedience.

What is 'absolute'? Can things that are essentially subjective really be absolute?

I personally agree with the principle of speed limits, but not where they are set needlessly low where to exceed them does not result with carnage.

Absolutes are worthless when the bar is subjectively set (and set poorly).

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 23:14 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
Quote:
There is a completely safe and consider way of exceeding (today's needlessly low) speed limits.

Indeed there is. But that is not relevant to my general proposition that there are moral absolutes which should not be overridden by by mass disobedience.


Forgive me, but it is your assertion that exceeding an arbitrarily set speed limit safely is morally reprehensible, or was this seemingly barbed comment:

Quote:
So. If 90% of the population are doing something there should be no law banning it. Even if what they ere doing is driving dangerously?


...actually aimed purely at dangerous drivers, and not meant in any way to imply that one is a dangerous driver merely by exceeding the limit? It rather seems that you are either contradicting yourself, or arguing against a point that nobody is making.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 23:21 
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Steve wrote:
dcbwhaley wrote:
For example: would you abolish taxation if 90% of the population failed to pay their due?

Quite possibly.


Absolutely I'd say! dcb, are you not familiar with one of the precepts upon which our system of governance is based, no taxation without representation, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights?

I'd further disagree with your assertion that elected members of the Commons are put there by the electorate in order to rule them, rather than represent their wishes.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Point
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 23:27 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
But that is not relevant to my general proposition that there are moral absolutes which should not be overridden by by mass disobedience.

Can you give any real-world examples of moral absolutes which have been in any danger of being overridden by mass disobedience?

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