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Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:12 pm

A Logical Argument for Accountability in States of Emergency

One of the questions raised in Giorgio Agamben’s State of Exception concerns whether or not morality disappears whenever the writ of habeus corpus is suspended. In an environment stripped of prescriptive “laws,” then, can one say that, in some cases, edicts exist without morality, specific acts of law are eminent void of moral components, and that, to make the broadest deduction yet, that all laws do not have a moral basis? The answer is no, as laws existing after their suspension constitutes a logical contradiction. How then, as Agamben points out in his State of Exception, can Cicero be banished from Rome for his brutal “suppression of the Catalan rebellion,” or how can Nazi criminals be responsible for their atrocities in the Holocaust if no juristic ordinances existed when these dual crimes were committed? The latter instance holds a key, as the Nazi offenders were tried for “crimes against humanity,” or, more precisely, ethical misdeeds in a time where nothing can be considered either as legal or illegal. In other words, if people are to be prosecuted for indiscretions during a period where actions are neither allowed nor prohibited by statutes, then there must be a basis for doing so. In the case of “crimes against humanity,” the charges are not contingent on legalistic codes, but approbation for what is inhumane, which is, fundamentally, a moral issue. On these grounds, ethics must persist in a vacuum for several reasons. First and foremost, in states of emergency, every legal code implies morality, and, consequently, the breach of the latter effectuates in breaking the former. Secondly, statues point to what is ethical, and unethical conduct constitutes the breaking of statutes. Finally, in some circumstances, edicts are a sufficient condition for moral behavior and, therefore, any type of unscrupulous conduct violates edicts. While the specifics of a constitution might become null and void during a state of emergency, everybody has the right not to be murdered, raped, tortured, or have property stolen from them, and the only permissible situations to kill, assail, hold one in captivity, or seize one’s possessions is when that person constitutes, as psychologists and psychiatrists have reasoned previously, “a threat to himself or herself or others.” As Christian apologists have noted, the principles highlighted above, which are promoted by the Bible, present the foundation upon which laws concerning the limitations and parameters of human actions are built. One question remains, though, and it involves whether or not, given just a legalistic vacuum, one can logically prove that immorality implies lawlessness. I will argue that it, in a state of exception, unethical behavior is a sufficient condition for lawbreaking.

Let us examine the idea that laws suggest ethical behavior, and misconduct undermines the very edicts on which they are based. One can promote the concept that some laws exist, but, as noted earlier, no juristic regulations contain enforceable power during a state of emergency. One can posit likewise about the variation of laws: that combinations of non-juristic demands might produce ordinances. Nevertheless, in a legal vacuum which suspends legality, no such combinations can exist. We must now confront the possible inquiry of whether or not legalism must exist independent of morality. This analysis holds the former and the latter are not mutually exclusive, since morals can always be added as an alternative choice to an environment where laws are temporarily not enforceable due to a state of emergency being created. The former scenario implies the following condition: if laws exist, then ethics must also, and, when transposed, this suggests that violating ethics entails dishonoring the law. One can then universalize the variation formula above as a rule. Hence, we have learned that the aforementioned formulation holds for variability and for a universal principle in a state of exceptions.

It has been established theoretically that, within the universal framework of a state of exceptions, no edicts can exist, for, if they did, the environment would not truly reflect a state of emergency. As such, one can forward the conception that one law might exist in a suspended constitution, undetected by those who called a state of exceptions. One must realize, again, that legal vacuums constitute the absence of laws, and, therefore, no one law can be eminent. The contrary is true: in such a state, the absence of every specific edict becomes a logical necessity. One can also postulate that, when the constitution is suspended, a specific juristic act might hold in the absence of any given moral act. This, though, is wishful thinking, and a method of evading the tough inquiry of how responsibility exists in legal vacuums. The answer is that one can offer the alternative of a moral instance in a specific occasion where a given edict is not present. Simply put, if a specific law is eminent, then it points to a moral consequence. These “laws” are not constitutional acts, but, rather, God-determined forms of legislature that regulate a person’s conduct, and are the necessary conditions for constitutions. “Law,” in this instance, contains two senses: constitutional law and moral law; this, as Gottlob Frege notes in his “On Sense and Meaning,” is permissible, as one object can generate multiple senses concerning its nature. This suggests that undermining a given moral will produce the same effect on an edict. One can thus conclude that every specific law predicts a specific moral, and the violation of a given ethic, likewise, implies breaking a particular juristic ordinance.

If one follows the same steps as the second argument, and existentially generalizes the final step, one can posit that, in some instances, laws forecast moral expectations, and, in the event that such ethical demands are not met, one can argue that such laws are breached. The objection which might be raised is that, under all circumstances, laws would have to exist, whereas morality would not; yet, legal vacuums are states of an absence of constitutional legality, and do not remove ethics from the aforementioned environment, which functions independently of them. On this basis, the final argument seems to define itself within the confines of what is considered to be a state of emergency, whereas the latter does not. Therefore, we should accept the first, and reject the second.

In the argument above, it has been shown that legal vacuums do not create moral nihilism. As pointed out earlier, Agamben, in his State of Exception, notes that both Cicero and members of the Nazi party were held accountable for crimes committed in a legal vacuum. In addition to history illustrating that morality dictates the legal code in states of emergency, I have posited that such vantage points are defensible, irrespective of whether or not the concepts in question are quantified as variable, universal, constant, or existential. In essence, right and wrong still retain their moral and legal status, even when such behaviors are performed in a constitutional vacuum.

Argument One:

Premise one: (X)(-Lx) (1, given) / (X)[(Lx>Mx)^(-Mx>-Lx) (conclusion, given)
Premise two: -Lx (1, universal instantiation to a variable)
Premise three: -Lx vMx (2, addition)
Premise four: Lx>Mx (3, implication)
Premise five: -Mx>-Lx (4, transposition)
Premise six: (Lx>Mx)^(-Mx>-Lx) (4,5 conjunction)
Premise seven: (X)[(Lx>Mx)^(-Mx>-Lx)] (6, universal generalization)

Objections to Argument One:

Negation to premise one: (3X)(Lx)
Negation to premise two: (Lx)
Negation to premises three through six: (Lx^-Mx)
Negation to premise seven: (3x)(Lx^-Mx)

Argument Two:

Premise one: (X)(-Lx) (1, given) / [(La>Ma)^(-Ma>-La) (conclusion, given)
Premise two: -La (1, universal instantiation of a constant)
Premise three: -La v Ma (2, addition)
Premise four: La>Ma (3, implication)
Premise five: -Ma>-La (4, transposition)
Premise six: [(La>Ma)^(-Ma>-La)] (4, 5 conjunction)

Objections to Argument Two:

Negation to premise one: (3x)(Lx)
Negation to premise two: La
Negation to premises three through six: La^-Ma

Argument Three (One More Premise Added to Argument Two):

Premise seven: (3x)[(Lx>Mx)^(-Mx>-Lx)] (6, existential generalization) / (3x)[(Lx>Mx)^(-Mx>-Lx)] (conclusion, existential generalization)

Objections to Argument Three (which Include Objections to Argument Two):

Negation of premise seven: (X)(Lx^-Mx)

By QuotidianPerfection
Last edited by QuotidianPerfection on Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:05 am

QP, please don't think I'm trying to disrespect you or your philosophy - in fact, I wrote this post literally the moment I returned from a philosophy lesson with my tutor. I simply believe that you won't find an audience for your arguments here. People visit this website to talk about SSX and have casual chats. I'm sure that your arguments are great; that your premises are true and that your deductions follow from them. However, I believe that you'd get the appreciation that you truly deserve on another forum, where people would be willing to deeply discuss these arguments with you.

Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:20 pm

I agree with Kubi, I don´t think this is the place to bring up a discussion like this. People want to discuss SSX on this forum. No offence QP!
Last edited by 9EDDY2 on Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:10 pm

Hi Kubi and 9EDDY2:

You're welcome--and thank you for your kind words!

By the way, I am not "offended" by your criticism--in fact, I am pleased that you took the time to give me your opinions. Both of you are extremely intelligent, and I am impressed you took the time to read my argument.

Two of the topics of Merqury City are "Terrorism in Paris--A Call for Justice," a topic which I started for the benefit of those who might want to discuss the abominable acts of terrorism certain individuals planned against French civilians in, according to various news sources, six different locations, and "Obama vs. Hitler," a topic which I did not begin but gave frequent opinions on. In both the situations, the constitution was suspended. Let's take the last topic first. The glaring difference between Barrack Obama's reign and that of Adolf Hitler is that latter committed atrocities under a suspended constitution whereas Obama made decisions in a country where the constitution is still in operation. When the President of France called for a state of emergency, on the other hand, he did so in order to restore law and order to France, and not for the purpose of advancing a despotic plan. In both situations, this raises a very important query: when state of exceptions are in effect, does it logically follow that, if the law is nullified, then no morality exists during the time at which the constitution is truncated. I argue no, and give my reasons above.

Perhaps you are correct, and my analysis is too technical and terse for this Forum. Actually, I am better poet than a technical writer, but, from time to time, I want use this tool (i.e., as much as talent will allow me to) to expose historical situations which are actually faced. On the other hand, perhaps a person interested in such a topic would want to debate me, point by point, on this topic. In that instance, I would be sure that a back-and-forth debate will ensue. If this subject captivates no one's interest, at least I will have raised a topic which is germane to worldwide jurisprudence.

Take care, My Friends!

Best Wishes,

Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:16 pm

Hi again QP! First of all I have to just say that I´ve never studied philosophy, so maybe it´s not meaningful for myself and I´m not really in the position to be able to shed any meaningful light on the discussion.. I´m sorry if I waste people´s time with my ramblings.

I´m not sure if I understood what you argued for- thanks for calling me very intelligent, but please don´t set your expectations too high ;) I would have to read through it all again once or twice to fully comprehend your arguments for your opinion. As a test if I understand you correctly though, I´ll try to formulate the topic you´ve brought up in my own words, just so that we could get an idea if I follow you:

Is it sensible to come to the conclusion that the morale in society falls apart when the society is put on a "test" in form of a dictatorship or other circumstances in which the constitution is close to non-existent? --> And to this, you argue no- that society as a whole is still the same, or close to the same, when speaking of morality.

I didn´t understand the last part though, with argument one and two.

Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:21 pm

Hi 9EDDY2:

Thank you for taking the time to interact with the argument. First, I'll field your concerns.

I believe that your opinions are in no manner "ramblings"--they are most likely your initial thoughts on a subject dressed in intricately woven fabric. My argument, though, is that even formal logic can make a case for 1) morality in a country where the constitution in suspended, and 2) immoral actions imply lawbreaking. The obvious question is this: in these circumstances, can't laws which are legal but moral (i.e., pornography) be considered illegal? The answer is no, since, as I would argue, the state of emergency should not attempt to "erase" the laws which were in effect previously, but, rather, keep within the "spirit of the law." This is important, since it would prevent a Neo-Nazi (i.e., if one ever got elected as United States President) from suspending the constitution, violating human rights, then arguing, when the constitution is restored, that he or she deserves not to be punished since no rules about wrong or right were in effect at the times the Neo-Nazi perpetrated his or her atrocities. It would allow, however, search and seizure to be broadened from the restrictions laws place on it, especially following a terrorist attack, as France did, in order to catch the criminals.

Your assertion that you do not understand everything is a sign of intelligence. In fact, those who believe that they are, like God, omniscient, come across as individuals who lack intelligence, since they will make many ignorant statements, then attempt to defend them for ego's sake.

I will explain my arguments. Argument one posits that the entirety of morality does not dissipate with the suspension of law. Argument two points out that nonexistence of each law, in specificity, does not imply that a specific ethic is not present during that period. Finally, argument three promotes the conviction that just because some laws are present does not necessarily mean that some scruples are not inherent in a legal vacuum. In sum, argument one addresses morality holistically, argument two addresses particular morals, and argument three addresses some (but not all) morals.

Take care--I'll explain my argument in more detail if you desire.

Best Wishes,

Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:06 am

This website is indeed more than meets the eye.

Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:19 pm

perpetualdusk wrote:This website is indeed more than meets the eye.

I agree with you perpetualdusk ! and welcome here :thumbsup

Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:27 pm

Hi perpetualdusk and mskk001:

Hi perpetualdusk:

Welcome to Merqury City!

Hi mskk001:

I've noticed you engaged in Lodge discussion as of late, and must say that some of your comments are quite intriguing!

Take care.

Best Wishes,

Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:55 pm

QuotidianPerfection wrote:Hi mskk001:

I've noticed you engaged in Lodge discussion as of late, and must say that some of your comments are quite intriguing!

Take care.

Best Wishes,

Hi Qp, :P what you mean when say "intriguing" ? you say it about an specific post?

Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:01 am

Hi fliper:

What I meant by "intriguing" is your ability to welcome newcomers into the Lodge in the midst of such a heavy topic, which is a highly argumentative subject. Your level-headed and kind demeanor served your well in the SSX3 Master Runs Discussion Forum, and it will also benefit you in the Lodge Forum. In the post I referred to, you welcomed a stranger to the Lodge with the sincerest of affability, and did so in a way which exposes your fine comprehension of etiquette.

Take care,

Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:11 pm

Thank you QP and fliper both of your kind words has made me feel more than welcomed here and by the way, I am a former-transformers addict which caused me to say that unfortunately I no longer am, but I wish to go back to those days but I'm just all too mature now :/ (by that I mean growing up along with the load that comes along with it, not that it's too kid-ish for me or so).

Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:54 pm

Hi perpetualdusk:

Why, you're welcome--and thank you for your kind words! You cannot "revert" to your youth, but you still can "remain youthful" by playing SSX3 (or any other SSX-related game) when time permits. In another sense, though, you are perfectly correct--as adults (even as children) we have to understand precisely what laws give persons basic rights, and what specific acts and circumstances can undermine them. In fact, your right to choose to play SSX3 is a constitutionally guaranteed right, and that is why constitutions are so important.

Take care, My Friend, and best of luck in your present and future endeavors!

Best Wishes, and remember that fliper is a one-of-a-kind person.

Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:39 am

Kubi wrote:QP, please don't think I'm trying to disrespect you or your philosophy - in fact, I wrote this post literally the moment I returned from a philosophy lesson with my tutor. I simply believe that you won't find an audience for your arguments here mutuelle TNS. People visit this website to talk about SSX and have casual chats. I'm sure that your arguments are great; that your premises are true and that your deductions follow from them. However, I believe that you'd get the appreciation that you truly deserve on another forum, where people would be willing to deeply discuss these arguments with you.

It is true that here is the total romp, but we can always try to talk about serious things of the times you do not
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