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Re: Design principles and ethics (was Re: Execute without read (was [...

Subject: Re: Design principles and ethics was Re: Execute without read (was [...])
From: Bas Wijnen
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 19:18:42 +0200
On Sat, Apr 29, 2006 at 06:51:08PM +0200, Pierre THIERRY wrote:
> Scribit Bas Wijnen dies 29/04/2006 hora 14:22:
> > > Wrong is not morally reprehensible, which in turn is not morally
> > > objectionable.
> > That's a matter of definition.  I just gave you mine, and for that
> > your statement is obviously not true.
> 
> You can see slightly different meanings to some words than me, but that
> doesn't make something morally objectionable something morally
> reprehensible. Everyone cannot have it's own version of the
> dictionary...

I completely agree.  I was quoting two virtual people saying:
"I didn't do anything wrong, I only made it posible"
"I didn't know I was doing anything wrong, it was so easy"

In this context, "doing something wrong" means (for me) "doing something that
was not allowed" (by some authority).  The thing is that something happened
which people from the outside find objectionable, and the people who did it
are pushing around the responsibility.  I'm not saying that "wrong" always
means "morally objectionable", but in this specific case it does (although it
could also be legally instead of morally, for example).

> > The law is an attempt to write down morals.
> 
> That's delusional, at best.

Let's be realistic: Laws are made by people for reasons they know.  We all
hope that they want the world to be a better place.  We all know that they are
usually more interested in their personal interests than the common good.

> Laws have to do with protecting freedoms.

Not at all.  Some countries, like the USA, consider freedom the supreme value,
under which all others fall.  This is not a universal thing, though.  If
freedom is sort of equal to morality, then laws should protect freedoms.  If
not, they should still protect the moral values which are considered "above
all others" by the politicians.  Unfortunately none of this is very important,
because the politicians don't actually seem to care much about moral values.

> I quote a law manual of mine (loosely translated from French):
> 
>   ``Primary function of law rule is to organise the society by a tissue
>   of juridical relationships wich possibly can superpose themselves with
>   other social relationships, moral or religion for example.''

So where does that say "freedom"?

> > > That should be made clear (and quite a few among us could confirm
> > > that it is the way they see design principles). And then design
> > > principles should be written.
> > Yes, they should.  And they are. :-)  Marcus wrote an e-mail to this
> > list some time ago describing them.
> 
> We should really stop thinking that a lost email in a mailing-list
> archive can be substituted to documentation.

Oh, I wasn't thinking that.  I checked the wiki and was disappointed not to
find it there.  But since I'm not able to edit the wiki, someone else will
have to do that.  I hinted about this in my previous e-mail.  I'm saying it
more clear this time. :-)  The e-mail this is about is:
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/l4-hurd/2005-11/msg00242.html

> Hopefully the use of the Wiki could help us there.

I hope so, indeed.

Thanks,
Bas

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