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Laws Are Foolish Attempts to Micro-Manage Future Judgments

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by joe1776, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    The men who wrote the American Constitution in 1787 did a fine job but they did not own crystal balls. They could not have foreseen the changes that would occur that would make the experience of their world different than ours. So if a new policy that would enhance the lives of American citizens is unconstitutional, we should ignore the Constitution.

    If we do this in every case when there is a conflict, then the Constitution will be rendered useless. And if we render the Constitution useless, then all US laws might be rendered useless using the same reasoning.

    We humans are much too proud of our ability to reason. The writing of laws is a foolish attempt to micro-manage future judgments without knowing all the facts in specific cases. The best judgments will be made by contemporary expert panels knowing all the facts of the actual case.

    For example, societies are cooperative endeavors which require that citizens trade-in some individual rights for greater benefits. Thus, the inevitable conflicts between individual rights and the welfare of the society will happen. In the future, these cases will be decided by an expert panel, one that specializes in these decisions, rather than in the courts with amateur juries given on-the-job training on the law and its consequences.

    Laws, written by people lacking crystal balls, with no expertise on the topic, and with no knowledge of the actual facts of the future case are nothing more than potential biases which can send correct judgments off course.
     
  2. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Who will make the determination that the "experts" on the panel are in fact experts and not amateurs? If the determination is made by "experts" themselves, then the only reason they are to be regarded as experts is because they called themselves "experts" which is a circular argument. If the determination as to who the experts are is made by non-experts, then we also have a problem, since the judgment of the "non-experts" will be questionable given the fact that they are non-experts.
     
  3. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Expert decision-makers can be trained in the same way that we now train engineers, physicists, doctors, chefs or specialists for any other task..
     
  4. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that's true. Consider that physicists, doctors, chefs, electricians, plumbers, etc. are all trained to perform a previously well-defined task. Their expertise is demonstrated because they perform the tasks that they were trained to perform. But, in order to train someone to be an expert decision-maker, the concept of just what an "expert decision" is must be defined beforehand, and then the same problem arises. Who makes the pre-determination of what expert decision making looks like, and why should we trust their judgment?
     
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    There is no society without faith. There is no cooperation without faith. We have to trust in each other's willingness and ability to set aside our selfishness for the well-being of each other. Because if we can't or won't do that, our society will collapse.

    And this is why we are witnessing our current society collapsing. We no longer trust our empowered leaders, or our fellow citizens to set aside their selfish desires for the sake of their society as a whole. And so we have no "society", anymore. We just have a bunch of individuals all trying to get what they want at everyone else's expense.
     
  6. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    You are imagining non-existent problems. Panel members trained to make decisions on say, murder cases might be given old cases to investigate and judge. They can be trained in both investigative techniques and the forensic sciences. In contrast, the current system in the USA uses amateur juries given on-the job training. Moreover, they are given instruction on the state laws on murder which are different in all of the 50 states.
     
  7. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    You've already done this, a mere three months ago: The Writing of Laws Is A Dumb Thing To do

    Why are you rehashing it?
     
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  8. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    We call them judges.
     
  9. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that we no longer trust our leaders, but I see that as a good thing. Leaders have always been part of the problem.

    For example, I think most US citizens would not trust Trump if he led us into a war. But we Americans have been lied to by every president since Truman about war. The Ellsberg papers (about Vietnam) published by the Washington Post proved that. At least, with Trump, we KNOW he can't be trusted.
     
  10. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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  11. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Judges are not members of expert panels and usually not experts in one type of decision. For example, judges don't specialize in murder cases.
     
  12. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    They do specialise in a number of jurisdictions, I believe, and this certainly applies to the UK. In the UK this is in civil rather than criminal law, since jury trials are used in criminal cases, for which the standard is proof of guilt "beyond reasonable doubt". In civil courts, a judge decides, on "balance of probability". There is for instance a Family Division that handles issues like divorce, turning off life support machines etc and a Patent court that decides intellectual property cases, plus a business court etc.

    Details here: High Court of Justice - Wikipedia
     
  13. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    The major problem in all decision-making is bias. It's my understanding that both the USA and the UK criminal justice systems are based on the Blackstone formulation the goal of which is to avoid convicting the innocent which results in many laws protecting the rights of the accused.

    This makes it difficult to convict anyone which, in turn, undermines the effort to protect the innocent public as well as the goal of making the right decision as often as humanly possible. Also, the decisions of amateur juries in the USA are so irrational that innocent people can be convinced to plead guilty in exchange for a light sentence rather than risk a guilty verdict and a harsh sentence.

    So, a system that begins with the goal of not convicting the guilty ends with many innocent people pleading guilty and the innocent public put at greater risk than necessary. The Blackstone Formulation is a built-in bias.

    Requiring a two-thirds vote of an expert panel would achieve the same goal as the vague "beyond reasonable doubt" standard.
     
    #13 joe1776, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  14. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    An all-knowing AI algorithm can be the expert panel.

    c2380a3eb6e3259a0448339123b2e30f37c5f1ac_00.gif
     
  15. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    There are so many laws now, nobody can count them anymore.

    This is only the federal level for starters. .

    How Many Federal Laws Are There? No One Knows. | Kowal Communications


    This is where we are now. ....

    Decriminalize the Average Man | Wendy McElroy
     
  16. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    Having laws to govern a society is hardly foolish. You will not find perfection in most any human endeavor. That does not mean the human race should never do the best possible at trying, and make modifications as societies change.
     
  17. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    The constitution can be amended. Its a slow process, but it does get amendments. The courts may also interpret it and reinterpret it.
     
  18. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    OK I was talking about UK civil law.

    If one considers criminal law, as you seem to want to do, the criterion quite rightly is proof beyond reasonable doubt, not just balance of probability. This is because a criminal record is a seriously damaging thing to saddle a person with for the rest of his life, and because the sentence may often deprive him of his liberty.

    In France, jury trial is reserved for what the French call "crimes", which mean serious felonies (murder, rape etc) with potential for prison sentence of 10 yrs or more. What in English is called a "crime" would be called in France "un infraction". Less serious infractions (e.g. theft) are "delits" and are tried by judge alone.

    But Crimes are tried by the Cour d'Assises (cf. the old English Court of Assizes), which has a panel of judges and a jury, comprising 6 or 9 randomly chosen members of the public, plus the three judges. They vote on innocence or guilt by secret ballot.

    So even here, the most serious offences are felt to need the involvement of the public, in order to ensure justice is seen to be done by the people and not just by an elite who could be subject to state or other influence (bribery, inappropriate friendships, institutional "capture" by the police, etc.).

    What it comes down to is that the exercise of the law has to be done in a way that the citizens can buy into as truly impartial. Your notion of expert panels would be immediately open to all sorts of challenge. This is perhaps especially relevant nowadays, in the Trump era, in which allegations of a "deep state", of "witch hunts" and so forth are continually thrown around to muddy the perception of citizens and undermine trust in institutions of all kinds.

    You raise other issues specific to the US, such as plea bargaining, which do not feature in other jury systems so are by no means an inevitable consequence of it. I suggest these defects could be remedied without resorting to your expert panel idea, which, as I've indicated above, has in my view some serious shortcomings.
     
  19. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    You missed the point in my OP. Laws are not only unnecessary, they are potential biases.

    From the OP: We humans are much too proud of our ability to reason. The writing of laws is a foolish attempt to micro-manage future judgments without knowing all the facts in specific cases. The best judgments will be made by contemporary expert panels knowing all the facts of the actual case.
     
  20. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    We've gone over this before and it is silly. Societies need to agree on the rules of acceptable behaviour before there can be any general acceptance of who has behaved unacceptably. That is what laws are: rules of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behaviour.

    Good legal systems include plenty of provision for interpreting the rules for specific cases.

    And, if there were no laws, there could be no law enforcement. So no police. Are you really contending that would be an improvement?
     
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