July 13th, 2010


Beyond the Vale

I am comfortable with France's ban of the veil, and I am comfortable with bans on prostitution, following much of the same reasoning. Collapse )

(like most of my writing here, this is probably rambly and could be tightened and improved)

One of the biggest shifts in my political philosophy was reaching the conclusion that it is appropriate for the state to be culturally engaged. My old idea of a neutral state was still describing cultural engagement and based on certain cultural abstractions, and these conclusions were ones that other workable societies rejected - the distinction between objective-and-formal morality and societies actively doing good was never so hard, and by neglecting the wade into the semi-formal waters of actual law, I wasn't doing what I thought I was doing. Pressed into corners in some conversations, I stated that even if the end result of regulation was good, it was wrong because the particular formal principles I worked from forbade it. I have since given up on that formalism - rather than defining right and wrong in terms of property, liberty, and rights, I have chosen the style and basic structure of its competitor - the public good does not compete with right and wrong, instead it *defines* a significant part of it. At the bottom, as it was before, is force, but now right above that is society and the broad but culturally engaged path it carves for the very broadly reasonable people it serves. We derive most of our notions of propriety from what is broadly good for society and how it should serve the good of sentients. We support liberty (which we call autonomy) mostly because people need a good amount of it to be happy/fulfilled/virtuous, and partly because our ability to (and interest in) reshape people is limited. Laws must be anthroplausible, and they should be used with thought. Rule of law and the readability of law are good in moderation, but the difficulty of understanding law helps nudge people to be reasonable rather than abusive, and the notion that the system has some flexibility to deal with novel situations and prevent clever dodging of clear intent likeways stems misdeeds.

Recently I've been getting a small trickle of socialisation, and I'm not sure if it's helping me feel better or more crazy (yay conflicting hide! and socialise! urges) nor do I really feel any further from falling apart.. but it does feel a bit more complex and maybe a bit more alive again.