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comment by Desrtopa · 2012-12-25T15:47:50.316Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

This action was a blatant violation of the sovereignty of the nation of Argentina. Yet I hold that it was entirely ethically correct and proper.

You skip all the interesting work right here.

If this is supposed to be a defiance of the new censorship policy by showing that it stifles interesting and important debate, do your best to provoke discussion that's actually interesting.

comment by ArisKatsaris · 2012-12-25T15:12:52.320Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

If you want to discuss the censorship policy, discuss the censorship policy. If you want to discuss this issue, discuss this issue. Don't do the one by pretending to do the other - that's a type of dishonesty which wastes the time of those who thought that you might be interested in the actual issue this topic pretends to be about. Therefore downvoted.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-26T00:01:41.964Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's also a form of dishonesty to request public feedback on a policy issue, then systematically ignore all feedback that disagrees with your predetermined decision.

comment by Manfred · 2012-12-25T11:14:07.941Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Explanation: This is not actually a post about ethics, it is a post about censorship / moderation. Thus explaining, but not excusing, some of its flaws. And also explaining the downvote brigade.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-12-25T12:23:27.515Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You mean it's an allegory for something related to the recently proposed censorship policy? I don't get it.

comment by benelliott · 2012-12-25T12:40:58.033Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

No

As far as I can tell (the original poster has not told me so I don't know for sure) this is a deliberate defiance of the policy.

comment by ahartell · 2012-12-25T14:59:01.725Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Or an exploration of its bounds.

Edit: Oops. Silly grammar/spelling mistake.

comment by TrE · 2012-12-25T19:04:44.815Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"its" (Whose bounds? Its bounds!), not "it's" (What is it? It is bounds!).

comment by bryjnar · 2012-12-25T10:40:40.653Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This post doesn't really say anything interesting about retributive justice at all. It sounds like what's actually bugging you is the question of national "sovereignty". Plus, you Godwined yourself. Between these things, you give a pretty bad impression. Perhaps if you reposted it with a less flamebaity example and a title like "Is there any ethical reason to respect national sovereignty?" or something you might fare better.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T10:45:06.135Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Well, you are correct that the post isn't actually about retributive justice........ but it's not about sovereignty either ;)

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2012-12-25T18:32:45.924Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

'Ethicality' pings my "this is not a word" reflex even though it actually is a word. Does the current title mean something much different than "On the ethics of retributive justice"?

comment by Eugine_Nier · 2012-12-25T06:27:47.647Z · score: 2 (12 votes) · LW · GW

An important difference between Eichmann and Kissinger is that the former was directly responsible for the Holocaust, whereas the later at best acquiesced to the invasion as a mater of political expediency. Think about it this way, do you think the same logic should apply to Roosevelt for his acquiescence to America's then ally Stalin's takeover of Eastern Europe?

comment by [deleted] · 2012-12-25T12:20:51.447Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

An important difference between Eichmann and Kissinger is that the former was directly responsible for the Holocaust, whereas the later at best acquiesced to the invasion as a mater of political expediency.

That sets off the actor-observer bias warning light in my mind (assuming that for whatever reason you identify more with Kissinger than with Eichmann). OTOH I'm not familiar with the stories so it might be a false alarm.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T06:32:46.001Z · score: -1 (15 votes) · LW · GW

This is certainly a valid question, worthy of further debate.

Eliezer, do you disagree?

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T06:47:56.224Z · score: -4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Eugine's comment is currently at zero, despite my upvote. So someone must have downvoted it.

Why? I thought it was an extremely substantive contribution to the discussion. Do you not think we should be having this discussion at all?

Why not, specifically?

comment by CronoDAS · 2012-12-25T05:20:20.014Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

On a semi-related note: are there any districts in the United States that still allow private prosecution?

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T05:53:22.623Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Good question. I don't know.

Anybody?

comment by CronoDAS · 2012-12-25T06:19:56.867Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Well, Canada and the U.K. allow private prosecution, but there are other obstacles...

A group of people in Canada attempted to indict George W. Bush for torture in September 2011 (Bush was in Canada for a speaking engagement), but, as it turns out, any prosecution of non-Canadian citizens requires the consent of the Attorney General of Canada, which was refused.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T06:37:06.907Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Off the top of my head, my response would be that for private prosecution to be ethically legitimate, it should require a victim in the jurisdiction in question. Was there a Canadian victim in that case? (Not a rhetorical question, I honestly don't know).

Eliezer, do you consider this a valid question to be discussed on LW?

comment by CronoDAS · 2012-12-25T06:42:08.379Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The four people asserting that they were victims were physically present in Canada at the time; I do not know if any of them were Canadian citizens.

comment by Jayson_Virissimo · 2012-12-25T06:28:56.284Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

On a semi-related note: are there any districts in the United States that still allow private prosecution?

Virginia, I think. Also, a kind private prosecution takes place in the "courts" of small religions communities (like the Amish) and organized crime syndicates (like the Five Families).

comment by prase · 2012-12-25T10:36:56.791Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You shouldn't expect unique answer to complex ethical questions involving politics. But note that Kissinger was more indirectly responsible for the invasion of East Timor than Eichmann was responsible for the Holocaust. Punishing people who didn't prevent crimes committed by others is rare and restricted to situations where the punished person can be assumed to know for sure about the imminent crime and has relatively easy way to prevent it. Which is almost never true in politics.

(As a tactical note, linking to a Youtube video to support the notion that a well-known politician is a war criminal is probably not so good idea here.)

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T10:48:45.470Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

You certainly raise some valid points. I'll discuss them with you some more tomorrow.....

I mean... assuming that that's still allowed.

comment by shokwave · 2012-12-25T09:51:24.122Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

A political figure was a high-ranking government official and involved with causing a politically charged, negatively-viewed event. This figure was not immediately punished for their cimes. Later, a group violated several heuristics most humans hold about concepts like fairness and justice, and punished this person for their crimes.

This act both violated some norms about fairness, and satisfied other norms on fairness. I hold a polarising view about the relative worth of the violations and satisfactions.

Later, another political figure was a high-ranking government official and involved with causing a politically charged, negatively-viewed event. This figure was not immediately punished for their crimes. If, hypothetically, a group violated the same set of heuristics most humans hold about fairness and justice, and punished this person for their crimes, would you hold the same polarising view on this matter as the view I held on the previous matter?

Note: On LessWrong, we avoid politics where we can. This is your post, de-politicised.

It is done because I feel that much of the planned impact of this post rests on challenging implicit assumption of political leaning: Holocaust bad, America good. You should at least be made aware that most LessWrongers are not subject to this assumption.

(Much) more generally: examine where your question marks are. If they follow facts, this post fits in Discussion. If they precede convincing logical and rational(1) arguments for the questioned positions, this post belongs in Main. If they follow descriptive questions (i.e. you are genuinely curious about the distribution of beliefs in the LessWrong community) it belongs in Discussion with a prominent link to a survey. If --- as in your case, it does --- follow a prescriptive question (would you hold the same polarising view as me?), then it does not belong on LessWrong.

This concludes the exhaustive explanation of why you were downvoted.

(1): No I will not taboo that term, it belongs here.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T10:31:03.606Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This concludes the exhaustive explanation of why you were downvoted.

I didn't ask why the post was downvoted. I didn't have to. It was by design.

I feel that much of the planned impact of this post rests on challenging implicit assumption of political leaning: Holocaust bad, America good.

Your assumptions are incorrect. The planned impact of the post rested rather on the implicit assumptions that Censorship bad, Open Debate good.

Please review this post, and its comments, for the backstory. If you're still not clear on what's going on here, you should probably PM me so I don't have to spoil the joke any further here on the thread.

comment by shokwave · 2012-12-25T23:09:29.634Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, I completely missed that. I should remember, in future, that LessWrong operates at one level higher than I think it does.

comment by fubarobfusco · 2012-12-25T06:18:50.292Z · score: -3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

/r/politics is over there

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T06:44:09.169Z · score: -3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Even on Reddit, a question of this nature would not be censored.

Aren't we supposed to be better than Reddit?

comment by fubarobfusco · 2012-12-25T07:16:44.608Z · score: -2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Your post is off topic on LW. Go find a politics forum.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T07:20:17.059Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

This is a question about Ethics. Ethics are off topic for LW?

comment by Kevin · 2012-12-25T07:33:40.109Z · score: 1 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Taboo ethics

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T07:35:10.868Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

OK. This is a question about what you would do if you were a transhuman FAI (or designing one).

comment by Kevin · 2012-12-25T09:24:54.421Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Probably not have retributive justice

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T10:16:55.313Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that would seem to be the obvious answer. But the obvious answer isn't necessarily the correct answer, so it seems like something at least worth discussing openly, doesn't it?

comment by iDante · 2012-12-25T05:30:35.540Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Case: person who organized mass murder was put under trial by an outside group and executed.

Yet I hold that it was entirely ethically correct and proper.

Henry Kissinger organized mass murder.

The implication is there

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T05:39:13.130Z · score: -4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

One man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens.

comment by Kevin · 2012-12-25T06:05:16.320Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This post is a clever troll attempt and makes my applause lights go off.

comment by kodos96 · 2012-12-25T06:06:28.488Z · score: -3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I don't dispute that. I consider it proof that trolling is not always without value.