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The Appropriate Limits of Legal Speech P.1

   
Then why does the voodoo doll and car accident example not count? As I read it, the voodoo person burned hair and photo believing that their actions would cause someone to die. They 'committed an action that they believed would have a causal connection to the death of another (specific) person'.

Edit: Are abnormal people off the hook because a normal member of society believes that their methods have no chance of working?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
Hiring an assassin is a much more direct course of action than telling someone about an affair. it is specifying an outcome and taking direct action to cause it. Telling someone about an affair is setting something in motion and hoping for the outcome you wanted. Intent does not trump common sense.
Even if you took a much more direct approach- for example telling someone with severe depression that nobody likes them, they are worthless, they may as well let the world be rid of them, and they commit suicide, there is no such thing as killing someone with words. Words are not a deadly weapon.
Of course there is. In my country, encouraging suicide is a criminal offence.
Telling someone about an affair is also a direct course of action. It is perhaps 'less' direct than hiring an assassin, but hiring an assassin is also 'less' direct than doing the killing yourself. Where do you draw the line? Is it ok to ask someone else to hire an assassin? What about feeding someone aggravating drugs and handing him a loaded gun before you tell about the affair?
Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
I also notice that in your cries of straw man you also ignored the real life example I gave above of my first wife's mother- would you care to answer that question before you start insisting that you are right because you are right and we just need to understand that?
You did not provide sufficient information. Like I said, if you supply her with more cigarettes than she would have bought herself and encourage her to smoke more than she otherwise would with the explicit intent for her to die sooner, then yes, I consider it a criminal offence.
If you simply provide the cigarettes she asks for without discouraging her smoking because you secretly hope she dies from it, then no, I would not consider it criminal offence. Despicable, amoral and pathetic, but not criminal.

I must admit I haven't made up my mind about the voodoo example. On one hand, the intent is there, on the other hand, if they keep to just dolls, their actions are completely harmless. Someone could also pray for their god for someone to die. I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Indeed, as soon as it can be proved that the voodoo doll is doing anything then we can assign appropriate legal repurcussions. Until then they can get away with as many 'murders' as they wish.

The thought police are not here yet. I might wish all kinds of physical hurts on reprehensible people but if someone else actually goes and administers a beating I wouldnt expect to be charged with assault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canjowolf View Post
Then why does the voodoo doll and car accident example not count? As I read it, the voodoo person burned hair and photo believing that their actions would cause someone to die. They 'committed an action that they believed would have a causal connection to the death of another (specific) person'.

Edit: Are abnormal people off the hook because a normal member of society believes that their methods have no chance of working?
By some other definitions, the voodoo doll and the car accident would count. By my definitions, they would not, because there must be a causal connection (that is, the action must actually cause the death), and if you want to use it in a court of law, it must be also be provable. If I know you hired an assassin, then I am convinced, but unless I have evidence sufficient to show a jury, they will not convict. If I know you used a voodoo doll to commit murder, and can prove it, and a jury agrees with me, then I am truly amazing at convincing people of absolute rubbish, and I should go into politics (or alternative medicine). :-)

the cigarettes were not teh real world example- this was:
Quote:
My first wife's mother was shouting at her mom "Mom, I wish you would just die!" when her mother sufered a heart attack and did in fact die. Should we prosecute that woman for wishing her mother would die and causing her emotional stress?
as to asking someone else to hire an assasin then you have *directly* acted in requesting that person's death. if you mentioned the affair and said "Maybe you should just kill her" That would be direct action. heck even in my example of prsuading someone to commit suicide is more direct if you suggest to them anything about teh world being better off without them or that they should die. if you just yell at them about burnt eggs hoping they will kill themselves then you really shouldn't be held responsible. The fact is that the person with teh voodoo doll had much more directly manifest intent (it is hard to mistake the intent of a piece of metal through teh heart, even symboliclly) then teh one casually mentioning B's affair.
But the fact is that we can no more prove that someone was killed by rumor of an affair than by a voodoo doll. Maybe it made a difference, maybe C already had suspicions, maybe C discounted the report until he stumbled upon B and D in a compromising situation. If c is so unstanble that they would murder two people because someone told them they were having an affair based solely on that person's say so then C was dangerously mentally deranged and should have been locked away for general public safety by a competant mental health professional.

Is person A a psychopath, a head of a corporation, a politician, or a celebrity? Are they working for a company or a government? What is their level of income? And if they are not financially well off and able to find a good lawyer (remember the REAL Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules) is their sufficient evidence to show malicious intent?

Is person B well known or wealthy? Are they an ordinary person or a celebrity or any other option not listed? Do they have contacts that would seek retribution in the event of their death? How about person C? Are they forgiving? If they found out about Person A's actions, would they in turn kill person A making the entire question moot?

There is far too little information provided to make any kind of moral or ethical decision. We have no idea of the mental states of any of the individuals. Their wealth or cultural or political influence. The nation they live in (what if this happened in a non western nation and person B was a woman? What if it was a muslim country?) You can't make moral or ethical choice based on four sentences.

I'll cite an example.

Person A is Bobby Kennedy
Person B is John F Kennedy
Person C is Jackie Kennedy
Person D is Marilyn Monroe

For me, as the question was presented, that makes no difference. Now expectations as to what the court outcome will be may well differ, but the question as to whether they should be held more responsible does not- with the caveat of some cultures which do regretably consider it moral for a man to kill an unfaithfull wife- which makes telling them a much more direct action scenario but in those cases 1) there is even less likelyhood of conviction and 2) an even greater responsibility lies with teh culture itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krimson View Post
There is far too little information provided to make any kind of moral or ethical decision. We have no idea of the mental states of any of the individuals. Their wealth or cultural or political influence. The nation they live in (what if this happened in a non western nation and person B was a woman? What if it was a muslim country?) You can't make moral or ethical choice based on four sentences.

I'll cite an example.

Person A is Bobby Kennedy
Person B is John F Kennedy
Person C is Jackie Kennedy
Person D is Marilyn Monroe
Why does this matter? Can you expound upon this by comparing and contrasting (at least) two examples? I intentionally did not describe any of the listed factors, including mental state, because I wanted to see what factors other people thought were important, not give a bunch of factors on my own. Also, my original questions deal with what should be done rather than what would be done, although having an idea of how various cultures would handle this is one potential way of thinking about what an appropriate punishment should be (if any, many are saying that the law should not punish person A).

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
the cigarettes were not teh real world example- this was:
Of course not, because there was no intent. People wish someone dead all the time without really meaning it.

Now if she new that the mother had a fragile hearth condition and that upsetting her could trigger it AND she did an effort to upset her enough with the explicit intent to kill her, then I consider her guilty.
Just knowing about it and accidentally triggering it is not sufficient, even when the words suggest so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
as to asking someone else to hire an assasin then you have *directly* acted in requesting that person's death. if you mentioned the affair and said "Maybe you should just kill her" That would be direct action. heck even in my example of prsuading someone to commit suicide is more direct if you suggest to them anything about teh world being better off without them or that they should die. if you just yell at them about burnt eggs hoping they will kill themselves then you really shouldn't be held responsible. The fact is that the person with teh voodoo doll had much more directly manifest intent (it is hard to mistake the intent of a piece of metal through teh heart, even symboliclly) then teh one casually mentioning B's affair.
But the fact is that we can no more prove that someone was killed by rumor of an affair than by a voodoo doll. Maybe it made a difference, maybe C already had suspicions, maybe C discounted the report until he stumbled upon B and D in a compromising situation. If c is so unstanble that they would murder two people because someone told them they were having an affair based solely on that person's say so then C was dangerously mentally deranged and should have been locked away for general public safety by a competant mental health professional.
You haven't responded to my scenario where A feeds B aggravating drugs and
as in making sure beforehand that C had one available, not handing one at the time of him telling about the affair, which would be an unmistakable suggestion
provides a loaded gun before telling C, still without suggesting murder.

I missed that scenario- i guess part of teh question is whether b knew the drug's effects? For example if A is a drug dealer selling B steroids and a gun that is a very different scenario than slipping them into a coffee. Of course I'm not sure why they would be slipping teh drugs to B to provoke C, and if they are covertly drugging people why not just use poison? Aside from possibly their own personal sense of right and wrong...





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