From: "Paul J. Adam"
Subject: Re: [NEWS]: Probe: U.S. Knew of Jet Terror Plots
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 22:19:31 +0100
Organization: Wholesale Lunacy
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 21:20:11 +0000 (UTC)
User-Agent: Turnpike/6.00-S ()
In message , Fred J. McCall
>"Paul J. Adam" wrote:
>:How are the facts brought to life? At the trial. Therefore it depends
>:_completely_ upon what happens at the trial.
>The facts aren't "brought to life". The facts are.
And how can they be detected, measured and quantified?
>They are merely
>examined, such as they may be known, at trial. This is the difference
>between being guilty of the crime (in fact) and being FOUND guilty (in
One of a number of differences.
>:And how is "What actually happened" identified? In the court.
>Identified. What actually happened does not change due to mistakes or
>ignorance in court.
And is also remarkably immune to repeatable, scientific analysis. We go
with the courtroom as the method of determination because all the other
alternatives are worse.
>:Your concept is marvellously metaphysical, since you insist on an
>:absolutist determination which apparently springs into existence... but
>:cannot then be detected or measured. So what use is it?
>I fear that your interpretation is the metaphysical one. Only reality
>as interpreted through a court exists under your 'rules'. This is
>manifestly silly, as the simplest thought experiment shows.
Okay - show me a reliable repeatable test for guilt.
>:Whereas elsewhere you can be prosecuted for manslaughter or murder. It
>:seems these intangible philosophical constructs are extremely
>Yes, the law varies from place to place.
So "guilt" is a relative concept, not an absolute?
>Consider this simple thought experiment. Suppose that I am indeed in
>your hypothetical jurisdiction where defense of property is not
Allowed, even encouraged (more so than tabloid reporting admits), but
"shoot first and shoot often" is very strongly discouraged.
>and I shoot the burglar. We then go to court for trial and I
>further lie under oath about what happened, explaining to the court
>that I was in fear for my life and therefore shooting him was simple
>self defense. Suppose further that the court believes my statements
>contrary to the fact and finds me innocent.
>Your position is that no crime was therefore committed.
As far as the law is concerned, that's absolutely true.
Your personal guilt or innocence is a matter for your own conscience.
>My position is that TWO crimes were committed; the original shooting
>and the perjury to cover it up. I merely wasn't caught committing
Again, how do you propose to detect these crimes, without false
False accusations are cheap and easy.
>Your position is that taken by criminal sociopaths. There is no
>'fact', no 'right' and no 'wrong', no violations of any kind, and the
>only crime is being caught and convicted.
What a tasteless little tirade that was! Two monkeys for four minutes,
must try harder.
In that case, your position is that of the more fanatical religious
zealots. There is apparently an absolute and inviolable standard, which
you are privy to (and others are not) which allows you to declare
"guilt" or "innocence" without hearing, defence or redress. And only the
chosen few (meaning, those who share your prejudices) are privy to this
>:So, how do you detect these crimes?
>Detection is irrelevant to what happened.
It's completely relevant to reacting to what has happened. Once again,
your construct of "guilt" remains a chimera that has no relevance to
>Your argument is that a
>tree falling in the forrest creates no compression waves in the
>atmosphere if no one is there to hear it.
Did the tree fall, or was it felled, if there was nobody there to
observe other than the putative axeman?
It's easy to judge that there's a fallen tree. Did it rot through and
fall, was it criminally cut down, or did a forester take it down to thin
the canopy for younger growth?
How can the metaphysical truth be accessed and used, and what use is it
if it's beyond mortal grasp?
>I maintain that the
>compression waves still existed, regardless of the presence of a
Plenty of evidence that trees make noise when they fall. Unless you chop
it down in a vacuum, every time you drop a tree you get plenty of noise.
Has _anyone_ cut down a tree in silence?
But was it felled lawfully or unlawfully? Was it a forester carefully
and regretfully thinning the woods, or some peasant hacking down a
healthy tree in a protected for firewood?
There may well be some metaphysical construct of "guilt" that answers
the last paragraph, but how do we access that information?
>:I'd suggest that if you're beating your chest to defend something that
>:can't be identified, detected or measured in any way, you're really just
>:indulging in mental masturbation until you come up with a workable
>And I'd suggest this is just Paul Adam looking for another wrangle and
>that perhaps he should endeavour to get a life, instead.
Evasion noted. If you can't detect or analyse this concept, what use is
If it can't be measured and has no detectable element, then you're into
theology rather than law or science. You _believe_ there is some
absolute concept of "guilt": fine. How can a sceptical observer test for
>:That's Heisenberg, not Schroedinger.
>It's both. Heisenberg says you can't look without affecting the thing
>you're looking at. That "probability function" I mentioned collapsing
>is the Schroedinger equations collapsing to a specific solution.
Heisenberg pointed out that to observe, you had to bounce energy off the
particle and thus change it. So you can know where it is, or its energy
state, but never both (subject to lots of equations about how exact the
knowledge of either could be)
Schroedinger pointed out that _to an observer_ the cat-in-the-box exists
in a quantum wave state until the box is opened. Inside the box, the cat
is either dead or alive, but from the outside there is no way to know
until we observe.
You don't change the reality of what's in the box by looking at it
(except by the Heisenberg changes of letting light in, but a typical cat
has enough mass that for day-to-day purposes that's irrelevant - at
least if the one sleeping on my lap is any example) but you _do_ change
your perception of it from 'unknown' to 'known'. Until you somehow
observe the inside of the box, there's no way to know if the atom has
decayed and the cat has died.
The problem with your "absolute guilt" concept is that there's no way to
open the box and look at the cat.
>:It does, though, change which facts are presented, which are admitted as
>:material, and which are rejected.
>Yes, but that's irrelevant to what ACTUALLY happened. Your view seems
>to be that 'spin' is reality.
It's the reality that decides "some shall be pardoned, and some shall be
punished". It decides who is acquitted, who is convicted, and how
severely the convicts are treated. It's the difference between being
acquitted and being executed.
Remind me again how your metaphysical guilt affects real life?
>Irrelevant statement. Mere 'spin' on your part.
Absolutely essential. Show me a "guilt detector". If you can't reliably
detect it, you can't use it.
Are we going to replace jury trial with "Guiltfinder Generals" or Azande
>:And it wasn't perjury, however much you want to insist it was.
>How do you know? Was he tried and acquitted?
Charges were considered and not brought.
Considering the evidence made available, I believe he skated past a
sloppy question and deliberately misled the court without actually
lying. A dishonourable thing to do, but not the crime of perjury.
Legally, he's innocent. Slimy, but innocent.
>If I shoot you and am
>not charged, are you still alive?
Quite possibly. (Are you falling into the fallacy that to shoot someone,
is automatically to kill them?)
Assuming you shot and killed me: are you a murderer, was it
manslaughter, was it self-defence, or were you mentally ill and thus
neither able to form _mens rea_ nor be released back into the community?
How do you convince that it _was_ lawful self-defence, rather than
brutal murder? The "truth" as you percieved it may well exist, but it is
elusive, observer-oriented, resists elicitation and is thus of limited
>:It _was_ unethical and misleading, but it was legal. If he hadn't been a
>:lawyer he'd have got away clean (except if he hadn't been a lawyer he
>:wouldn't have thought of it in the first place)
>No, there were outright lies.
Name them. Clearly. Exactly what did he lie about?
> The fact that he wasn't charged doesn't
>mean he didn't commit the crime.
It does mean that there is a distinct lack of proof that he committed
the crime, despite an excellent opportunity to charge and convict him
had such proof existed.
>By your notion, all those uncaught
>perpetrators out there have committed no crimes.
Legally and in the strictest sense, that's correct. Doesn't preclude
grabbing them as soon as evidence becomes available to link them to
their deeds, though. (It also requires as a counterbalance the
"Innocence" is a presumption that requires contradiction: in the US and
UK, usually by trial. It doesn't _prevent_ contradiction in any sense.
>Rather leaves one
>wondering how you interpret the phrase "unsolved crime".
There's a perpetrator out there who hasn't been caught yet, and needs to
be sought out and placed before a court along with sufficient evidence
to convince a jury of his/her peers that there is no reasonable doubt as
to their guilt.
Why, how do _you_ define it?
The trouble being, that we lack reliable Guilt Detectors and have to
rely on the courts for that purpose. Like democracy for government, it's
a terrible system, saved only by the fact that all the alternatives are
Paul J. Adam