Author Topic: Avoiding police  (Read 26044 times)

TheDrake

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Avoiding police
« on: July 14, 2016, 08:54:41 AM »
Wanted to break this out from the thread where it came up.

At one time in my life, including as a young adult, I would go to a cop if I needed some information and had no problem dealing with them. This was largely in small NH communities.

Over time, I have developed an aversion to dealing with them. It's not that I've become a felon, or been harassed by cops in traffic stops, or that the cops themselves are particularly different.

For me, it is that my picture of cops is that they really like to bully people. When they pull you over, they don't just walk up and tell you you were 15 miles over the speed limit. You might get the passive-aggressive "do you know how fast you were going?" - to which there is no purpose that I can see except to call you out as a liar or not paying attention as you drive. Or the lecture about how you need to change your driving habits.

They generally act as though everyone is a liar from the start of the conversation. This isn't just when you have violated an ordinance, but just in general their attitude seems suspicious of your intentions. I had an off duty cop scream and yell at me during his second job at a tow yard because I didn't know I had to bring cash and tried to ask about alternatives or where an ATM was.

Then there was the time a friend and I were attacked by several people for little or no reason, and then moved on. There were minor injuries involved. We called the cops, and dispatch acted peeved to even have to talk to us. There was no effort to find these guys, not even a cursory drive by.

Because of these perceptions I avoid cops. If I need to ask directions, the cop is the last person I would ask - even though they are probably the best able to answer my question. If I have to interact with them, I get it over with as quickly as possible. I don't even like standing near them, I try to keep my distance. This is because I expect to have a bad encounter in one form or another.

I stipulate they are my personal perceptions and not necessarily the reality in the cops intention. I also suspect that a lot of the attitude is like the bullet proof vest they strap on - its part of their gear and many of them are probably super nice when they are off duty.

LetterRip

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 09:44:54 AM »
Cops ask you 'do you know why I pulled you over?' because it is both an admission of guilt if you respond with what they did pull you over for and you might admit something that that wouldn't have caught 'because the car is stolen?' etc.

Same with 'do you know how fast you were going?' you can admit it, and they can use your admission against you.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 10:01:31 AM »
My experience differs, well, aside from traffic stops. You also need to realize human nature tends to inherently favor remembering the bad experiences over good ones, which is part of the problem with combating racism and racial stereotypes. It's all well and good until someone has a bad experience with a member of the specified group that reaffirms the stereotype for them.

I've known police personally. I have a family member working police dispatch at a small police department(which means the officers are known by the dispatchers). I travel a lot, and have had casual conversations with uniformed police in convenience stores and other such venues and cannot say I have had a bad experience with them in such a context.

There is getting to an increasing social disconnect between law enforcement and society in general, just as there is one between society and the Military. Throw in the heightened risks officers are under everywhere due to the drug trade, and throw racial tensions on top of that and yes, there are rampant perception gaps between the public perspective and the actual reality.

Sadly, a lot of the supposed "COP Dramas" and Police Procedural shows don't help much in that respect, as while many stories told may have a basis in reality. Once the magic of Hollywood has been employed, that connection with reality is often tenuous at best. Which again creates public perception issues.

TheDrake

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 10:24:14 AM »
Same with 'do you know how fast you were going?' you can admit it, and they can use your admission against you.

They hardly need you to make an admission. I understand the concept, but the whole interaction is all based on the idea of trickery. Not a great way to start a conversation.

Maybe I'll run an experiment and ask for directions that I don't need from 10 random cops and see how that works out. Are they friendly? Smiling? Peeved? Hostile?

I'm not even including the time that I personally witnessed a cop beating someone who was curled up motionless on the sidewalk, or when he jumped up and choked me when I asked him what the *censored* he was doing. I consider that an aberration, and other cops in the area were trying to talk him down. Doesn't foster a lot of respect and admiration, however.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 10:48:03 AM »
Same with 'do you know how fast you were going?' you can admit it, and they can use your admission against you.

They hardly need you to make an admission. I understand the concept, but the whole interaction is all based on the idea of trickery. Not a great way to start a conversation

I think for most, it's a contrition test paired with a fishing expedition. How they handle you from there will depend largely on the tone of your response more than content.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 11:00:42 AM »
Same with 'do you know how fast you were going?' you can admit it, and they can use your admission against you.

They hardly need you to make an admission. I understand the concept, but the whole interaction is all based on the idea of trickery. Not a great way to start a conversation

I think for most, it's a contrition test paired with a fishing expedition. How they handle you from there will depend largely on the tone of your response more than content.

Or alternative phrasing: "Tell me why I am either going to cut you some slack, or throw the book at you."

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2016, 11:07:43 AM »
Or alternative phrasing: "Tell me why I am either going to cut you some slack, or throw the book at you."

I think they're just trained to say it. The vast majority aren't going to cut the average person any slack either way. You're probably right that part of it is fishing, but I also think part of it is to establish authority over you by putting you in the position of being a 'child' to the officer, who is the 'adult.' "Do you know what you did, Timmy?" In other words, it's contrived condescension designed to make you feel small and helpless.

That said I've never experienced routinely positive experiences with police officers in big cities with one exception: New York City. For some reason in NYC the officers are actually happy to be approached on the street by a citizen, and you get the real sense they are there to help you. In most other places I've been having to deal with a citizen is 'work' to them at best, and at worst is (in their minds) a prelude to a 'problem.' This might just be because New Yorkers are friendly and helpful by nature, rather than any particular training they receive, although it could be both. But I've found you really can't talk to officers is other big cities and come out with any kind of good feeling.


msquared

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2016, 12:38:58 PM »
The one thing I think I notice most in common with all of the most outrageous videos is the seeming anger of the police officers doing the arresting.  It is not enough that the suspect is down. The officers have their adrenaline (sp) up and seem not to be in control of themselves. That is what worries me the most.

Also, the sometimes pissed off mood they get when people who are not doing anything wrong respond with out complete subservience. They do not seem to have the attitude that they are serving the public at large.

msquared

rightleft22

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2016, 03:03:10 PM »
Any answer you give the cop to those types of questions may as they say be used against you.
The correct answer is yes I was doing the speed limit.

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2016, 03:04:51 PM »
ask them if they mean speed relative to the sun or to the galactic core.

msquared

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2016, 03:05:45 PM »
If they have not read you your rights, how can they use the info against you?

rightleft22

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2016, 03:30:59 PM »
In traffic court.... how you interacted with the officer will be part of the officers notes.
If the judge allows that to influence him or her I don't know

rightleft22

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2016, 03:36:21 PM »
When I joined the military pretty much everyone I worked with started out with the intention or hope, often naive, of the ideal of service and making a difference as being one of the reasons for joining.
Overtime, for various reasons, maintaining that sense of service dissipates and more often than not a cynicism replaced it which to often impacted quality of work. 

I think we forget that police officers interact with people at their worst and or experiencing their worst situations and that it would take a super human efforts for such interactions not to affect their world view. 

That of course does not excuse unacceptable responses (or more likely reactions) to those they deal with.

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2016, 03:37:49 PM »
In traffic court.... how you interacted with the officer will be part of the officers notes.
If the judge allows that to influence him or her I don't know

The only thing they consider in traffic court is whether you have evidence the officer was in error giving you a ticket, or whether there was a problem with the signage. Otherwise you're paying and the only consideration is whether they'll lessen the fine in exchange for you pleading guilty and saving the judge some time. If you come prepped with photos that somehow exonerate you they'll probably just drop their case, in which case the officer's notes are irrelevant. If not, they'll make you pay no matter what you say, in which case the officer's notes are irrelevant. Bringing photos showing the speed limit sign was knocked down could get you off; coming in to claim the officer was wrong about the speed you were going is a waste of everyone's time. The officer's impression of your attitude could affect the kind of ticket he writes, but won't matter in the court. The officer having given you the ticket is proof you did the thing you're in court for. At that point he's no longer relevant if what we're talking about is speeding, a tail light being out, or whatever else. For non-highway code issues, such as parking tickets, there is much more leeway to argue the ticketing was invalid, but especially in this case there is no interaction with an officer to even bring to bear.

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2016, 03:48:05 PM »
I think we forget that police officers interact with people at their worst and or experiencing their worst situations and that it would take a super human efforts for such interactions not to affect their world view. 

I don't think it's obvious this should be the case. In fact, if you're right it's evidence that the police are being used incorrectly. The amount of actual crime that goes on in a city varies from city to city, but unlike in TV shows most of the time an officer isn't actively chasing criminals or intervening in robberies. Most of the time the officer will either be on patrol with things all clear, or else at a desk doing paperwork or managing whatever task they do there. For the officers who are out doing their duty, most of the people they encounter ought to be 'nice' interactions with 'nice' people, where everyone can be thankful that nothing bad is happening and no one needs to be worried about each other. However in reality when the police aren't actively trying to get collars (of the correct type) to fill their quota they are instead employed to actively try to ticket people to fill their quota. Not only are otherwise idle officers used to raise capital, but I'm quite sure that since this is so lucrative the departments hire extra hands purely for the purposes of raising capital in this way. As a result, even when 'bad things' aren't happening, the officers are nevertheless put in the position of ordinary citizens being targets and potential tickets rather than 'nice people I can interact with.' When looking to ticket someone you have to glance at each passing person with the mindset of "Is this person doing something wrong? How about this person?" on a constant basis. This is an adversarial, even spider-like mindset, and just on a purely psychological level is cannot be conducive to thinking of those citizens as being 'on your side.' On the contrary, when on the hunt for targets I suspect the predatory instinct that all people have comes to the surface and people begin to take on the aspect of prey rather than 'nice people.'

Intuitively we should expect most interactions between police and citizens to be cordial, happy ones. Instead the police are required to be adversaries on a constant basis, pitted against the populace as a revenue collection service. I think this type of approach to tax collection....sorry, I meant, police work, is a major problem and everyone knows it. Based on things I hear this seems to be endemic to pretty much every big city.

rightleft22

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2016, 04:10:31 PM »
I agree with TheDeamon negative experience tend to stick in memory more then the  positive .

I think officers on the street spend a lot of time dealing with drunks and the belligerent.
I spent a summer as a security guard working downtown at night... not fun

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2016, 04:30:11 PM »
I agree with TheDeamon negative experience tend to stick in memory more then the  positive .

I think officers on the street spend a lot of time dealing with drunks and the belligerent.
I spent a summer as a security guard working downtown at night... not fun

Anecdotal stories from the dispatcher side of things would tend to reflect this.

Kind of complete with "Cheers" like elements as well. A regular recurring cast of certain people complaining about certain things, certain others needing (emergency) assistance of some kind, various recurring callouts involving the transients in town(often they're calling the police on each other), domestic disputes(usually with at least 1 person under the influence of one substance or another), elderly people wandering off from assisted living centers, mentally ill(or deficient) getting out of halfway/transition houses, and so on.

In many cases getting to point that the dispatchers, never mind the officers, know pretty much what is going to happen as soon as they see the name, address and phone number on their screen.

TheDrake

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2016, 06:55:48 PM »
I think probably part of it is a de-emphasis on being personable. I can understand it may be hard to be chipper if you've seen a bunch of awful stuff, but trust goes a long way in policing. It is probably also way down on the list of screening applicants, I'd guess.

Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2016, 10:23:08 PM »
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Throw in the heightened risks officers are under everywhere due to the drug trade
Not to derail, but I think you mean "due to the drug prohibition." The dangers associated with the illicit drug market derive from the policies which make said market black, not from something inhering in the trade of drugs.

Prosecuting a "war" on civilians comes with inherent risk. If you sign up to assault, kidnap and imprison people--whatever your reasons for undertaking such actions may be--you assume the risk that some people will defend themselves violently against such violent aggression...

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2016, 01:37:21 AM »
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Prosecuting a "war" on civilians comes with inherent risk. If you sign up to assault, kidnap and imprison people--whatever your reasons for undertaking such actions may be--you assume the risk that some people will defend themselves violently against such violent aggression...

Please tell me you're not in the school of thought that characterizes the cop murders in Dallas or Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Murrah building as "people defending themselves."

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2016, 01:39:59 AM »
While we're into creative revisionistic definitions of "self-defense", how about Pablo Escobar kidnapping children of politicians in Columbia?

With that said, I do agree that decriminalizing marijuana nationally would drastically reduce the misery, conflict and violence in this country, and even take a dent out of the numbers of black youths killed by police.  One of the reason for cops pulling over people for possession of a flat nose and other pretexts for racial profiling is the hope of inflating their stats by finding a bit of weed.  decriminalize anything under an ounce, and cops will have to fight actual crime for a living.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 01:44:02 AM by Pete at Home »

Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2016, 03:24:43 AM »
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Please tell me you're not in the school of thought that characterizes the cop murders in Dallas or Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Murrah building as "people defending themselves."
I'm not of that school of thought.

...but neither am I of the school of thought that holds that reactive resistance against an individual who has initiated an act of violent aggression against one's person is somehow not self-defense if the initiator of violent aggression is wearing a badge and a uniform.

Come to think of it, I'm probably not sufficiently compliant (cognitively speaking) to really belong to belong to any particular school of thought...

PS: Once, I was forethought sought. Now, whatever I once was, I'm mostly naught. Such is the cost of afterthought.

AI Wessex

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2016, 04:12:36 AM »
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PS: Once, I was forethought sought. Now, whatever I once was, I'm mostly naught. Such is the cost of afterthought.
I'm so much younger now...

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2016, 07:29:38 PM »
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Please tell me you're not in the school of thought that characterizes the cop murders in Dallas or Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Murrah building as "people defending themselves."
I'm not of that school of thought.

...but neither am I of the school of thought that holds that reactive resistance against an individual who has initiated an act of violent aggression against one's person is somehow not self-defense if the initiator of violent aggression is wearing a badge and a uniform.

Nor am I.  Ruby Ridge showed one example of where cop-killing can be an act of self-defense.  When the cops passed up the chance to arrest that guy at his shop and then successively shot dead his dog, his 14 year old son, his toddler, his pregnant wife and unborn child, before taking their warrant out, they kind of lost the argument that they were just trying to make a lawful arrest.

Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2016, 11:38:06 PM »
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they kind of lost the argument that they were just trying to make a lawful arrest
I'm glad we agree as far as we do, but frankly, I'm personally unconvinced by any argument that the procedural adherence of a force-initiating aggressor to that figment of the collective social imagination which is the legal construct of a "lawful arrest" somehow nullifies the deeper reality that reactive resistance to the use of violent force initiated by another individual is self-defense.

This isn't to suggest that constructs of the collective social imagination serve no purpose--it's merely to say that the constructive fictions invented by lawyers and legislators don't actually negate structural realities in the interaction of human animals.

Here's a topical illustration of my point: even if one assumes Alton Sterling tried to pull a gun, the structural reality that he was reacting to the use of violent force initiated by another individual makes such an action self-defense in point-of-a-priori-fact, regardless of what we may observe anent the procedural propriety of the individuals who initiated and escalated the violence in that conflict.

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2016, 11:44:29 PM »
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they kind of lost the argument that they were just trying to make a lawful arrest
I'm glad we agree as far as we do, but frankly, I'm personally unconvinced by any argument that the procedural adherence of a force-initiating aggressor to that figment of the collective social imagination which is the legal construct of a "lawful arrest" somehow nullifies the deeper reality that reactive resistance to the use of violent force initiated by another individual is self-defense.

This isn't to suggest that constructs of the collective social imagination serve no purpose--it's merely to say that the constructive fictions invented by lawyers and legislators don't actually negate structural realities in the interaction of human animals.

Here's a topical illustration of my point: even if one assumes Alton Sterling tried to pull a gun, the structural reality that he was reacting to the use of violent force initiated by another individual makes such an action self-defense in point-of-a-priori-fact, regardless of what we may observe anent the procedural propriety of the individuals who initiated and escalated the violence in that conflict.

Let's dispense with another creative fiction-- that "lawyers and legislators" conceived the constructive fiction you describe. It's actually the other way around--there are no lawyers or legislators without an a priori concept of law.  and if that concept is, as you say, a constructive fiction, then it is the civil lie which underlies civilization.  Nationalism itself would be another constructive fiction.  Need I go on?

Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2016, 12:20:46 AM »
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Need I go on?
No, you need to think harder and work through the bias in your knee-jerk defense of the legal profession.

 ;)
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Let's dispense with another creative fiction-- that "lawyers and legislators" conceived the constructive fiction you describe. It's actually the other way around--there are no lawyers or legislators without an a priori concept of law.
Nonsense. The construct of a "lawful arrest" isn't some a priori procedure that was deduced to necessarily exist within the natural fabric of reality by some ancient philosopher who "discovered" the eternal reality of human legalism. The first codified law wasn't actually initially written on stone by the hand of God and given to his Chosen first lawgiver--human laws are complex constructive fictions stitched together by the human writers of laws to govern social interactions. The idea that a construct such as "lawful arrest" is an "a priori concept" inhering in reality is patently absurd, Pete.

We need to stop spreading such civil lies...

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2016, 12:32:43 AM »
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Need I go on?
No, you need to think harder and work through the bias in your knee-jerk defense of the legal profession.


ah, the "legal profession" existed before lawyers and before law too.  See Corax vs Tisias, about 500 bce. First of the Sophists.  and no, I don't have a "knee jerk" defense for attorneys. I would defend hitler or the devil himself against a false accusation.  and you and other populists give lawyers too much credit with backhanded compliments that imply that they spend too much time on reason and nitpicking over details, when the truth is quite the lamentable contrary.

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;)
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Let's dispense with another creative fiction-- that "lawyers and legislators" conceived the constructive fiction you describe. It's actually the other way around--there are no lawyers or legislators without an a priori concept of law.
Nonsense. The construct of a "lawful arrest" isn't some a priori procedure that was deduced to necessarily exist within the natural fabric of reality by some ancient philosopher who "discovered" the eternal reality of human legalism. .

Gobsmack.  The lawful arrest pre-dates philosophy, yes; it's the product of Sophists.  but law and lawyers are very much the bastard children of philosophy.

in any event, welcome back, buddy.

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2016, 02:37:10 AM »
Gobsmack.  The lawful arrest pre-dates philosophy, yes; it's the product of Sophists.  but law and lawyers are very much the bastard children of philosophy.

Not sure what defence you have of this statement, but I'd like to hear it. If you read Plato, for instance, who gives (by all accounts) credible examples of the types of arguments sophists made, it's fairly clear that back then they were all too familiar with the reality that law was backed by power, which was another way of saying those who controlled the laws could kill you if you disobeyed them. If they were tyrants, for instance, "law" simply meant you had to do what they said or die. In that sense you could call law "naturally a priori" since killing people who challenge you is perfectly natural, but the construct of "lawful arrest" is surely then just derivative of "we'll do what we like with you and if you try to stop us you die." On this basis, which I suspect you are not championing as the model of civility we like to think we enjoy now, "lawful arrest" is identical with submission to power of those stronger than you; hardly the hallmark of a mutually agreed upon 'society of laws.' If, however, you mean something different, like for instance laws as dictated by representatives of the people and enforced by the courts and the police, then that is not at all derived by the type of "law" as demonstrated by such interlocutors as Callicles in Plato's "Gorgias" (not to be confused again the the famous speech by Gorgias himself on Helen of Troy).

Even in the case of democratic ancient Athens there is a case to be made that the process of government was hardly the egalitarian society of laws where a 'lawful' arrest was in a theoretical sense the result of the populace itself agreeing that arrests under those circumstances should occur. We can see this clearly enough in the arrest and forced suicide of Socrates, who was clearly the target of a few de facto tyrants masquerading as representatives of the public (gee, that's so different from now, isn't it?).

In short I agree with godsblackestcrow in that there is no way around the fact that defending oneself against violence is self-defence no matter what the circumstances are. What we are left with is having to say that self-defence is only afforded as a right under certain circumstances, which sounds funny but there you are. Linguistically this makes it muddy to speak of a person defending himself from someone else when, in fact, he had 'no right' to do so (for instance when he's committing a crime and the police attempt to detain him). But functionally this brings up the issue of what circumstances ought to justify using force against a person; or more specifically, at precisely which moment the person's right to defend himself vanishes. If, after all, committing a crime removes that right, there must be a certain standard of verification that he committed such a crime. An officer may not detain someone for a zero percent chance he committed a crime, and or even on the basis of a remote chance of it without a warrant to do so. The officer should therefore require pretty damn good evidence that a person has committed or is committing a crime to engage in violence to detain the person. And yet while sometimes this is what happens, at other times people are assaulted by police sometimes for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, for trying to record them lawfully, for being in a house that gets no-knock raided mistakenly, or for getting emotional and agitated around an officer (which is not a smart thing to do, but also should not warrant violent preemptive action).
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 02:39:24 AM by Fenring »

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2016, 02:54:24 AM »
Gobsmack.  The lawful arrest pre-dates philosophy, yes; it's the product of Sophists.  but law and lawyers are very much the bastard children of philosophy.

Not sure what defence you have of this statement, but I'd like to hear it.

I already cited the case Corax vs Tisias. Corax is believed to have been the first Sophist.  look it up.

The fact that Greek arrests were traditionally not based on actual law is reflected in Plato's description of Socrates' trial.

athenian trials involved "juries" of about 200 patricians, generally whatever rich citizens happened to wander down the the marketplace that day.  You weren't allowed to have a lawyer, and arguments were based on appeals to emotion and to authority.  not founded in law.

Socrates created philosophy as a backlash against the sophists.

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Even in the case of democratic ancient Athens there is a case to be made that the process of government was hardly the egalitarian society of laws where a 'lawful' arrest was in a theoretical sense the result of the populace itself agreeing that arrests under those circumstances should occur. We can see this clearly enough in the arrest and forced suicide of Socrates, who was clearly the target of a few de facto tyrants masquerading as representatives of the public.

not sure how you don't see that your facts actually argue my point. In fact those de facto tyrants ARE quite representative of the farcical nature of the Athenian legal process at that time. That's why I said that legal arrests and lawsuits in fact predate law itself and the existence of lawyers.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 02:57:54 AM by Pete at Home »

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2016, 03:48:06 AM »
not sure how you don't see that your facts actually argue my point. In fact those de facto tyrants ARE quite representative of the farcical nature of the Athenian legal process at that time. That's why I said that legal arrests and lawsuits in fact predate law itself and the existence of lawyers.

Ok fine, but if you're using that as an example of pre-law "legal arrests" then you're effectively saying that a "lawful arrest" means little more than the fact that the police are stronger than you. I don't think we want to go down that road in justifying why the police of today have the authority to detain people. It's true that it's an old precedent, but it's also a savage one. I suspect most Americans, at any rate, would reject the notion that the authority of the police derives from their sheer might or that of a tyrant, as was the case 2,500 years ago.

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2016, 03:56:36 AM »
not sure how you don't see that your facts actually argue my point. In fact those de facto tyrants ARE quite representative of the farcical nature of the Athenian legal process at that time. That's why I said that legal arrests and lawsuits in fact predate law itself and the existence of lawyers.

Ok fine, but if you're using that as an example of pre-law "legal arrests" then you're effectively saying that a "lawful arrest" means little more than the fact that the police are stronger than you

not at all.  You seem to be trying to box me into a stereotype here. look at what I'm saying. I mean that arresters operated as the sovereign voice of the people.

Early athenian democracy simply replaced the tyranny of the king with the Tyranny of the talk show audience.

You've forgotten your own example here. Socrates could very well have run off to another city or become a hermit.  He wasn't overcome by force but by a sense of civic obligation, even though he thought the verdict was bs

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2016, 04:19:39 AM »
look at what I'm saying. I mean that arresters operated as the sovereign voice of the people.

You said this:

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In fact those de facto tyrants ARE quite representative of the farcical nature of the Athenian legal process at that time. That's why I said that legal arrests and lawsuits in fact predate law itself and the existence of lawyers.

I don't see how de facto tyrants can be construed as "the sovereign voice of the people." The whole point here, I thought, was to link the abstraction of "lawful arrest" to ancient times. Except you yourself say that ancient arrest was little more than de facto tyrants having their way, so I don't see how this is "lawful" in the sense we mean it today.

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You've forgotten your own example here. Socrates could very well have run off to another city or become a hermit.  He wasn't overcome by force but by a sense of civic obligation, even though he thought the verdict was bs

This is quite a bold claim (sorry for the pun) as it's certainly not any kind of accepted truth. It's an interesting hypothesis, but every Plato scholar I've studied with or discussed with tends to say something else; most often that he might have done it as a lesson to his students and to any others watching, and also perhaps that he was so fixated on the truth that he would rather humiliate the court than tell them what they wanted to hear. "You will judge me as children judge a doctor accused by a candy vendor." If he was going to make a public statement about philosophy this was it. Nothing, at any rate, in the apology seems to me to suggest he felt a civic duty to obey the whims of tyrants, even though he recognized (and even scoffed) that his life was in their hands. That's kind of like Galileo showing "civic duty" before the Inquisition.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 04:21:51 AM by Fenring »

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2016, 04:53:36 AM »
look at what I'm saying. I mean that arresters operated as the sovereign voice of the people.

You said this:

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In fact those de facto tyrants ARE quite representative of the farcical nature of the Athenian legal process at that time. That's why I said that legal arrests and lawsuits in fact predate law itself and the existence of lawyers.

I don't see how de facto tyrants can be construed as "the sovereign voice of the people."
[/quote]

Take your argument up with Socrates. I'm not the one that drank the hemlock.  I'm not saying the view's unproblematic, or that I share it, but that was the view as I understand it.  If you think you have a better insight into how Athenians saw things, then quote away.

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The whole point here, I thought, was to link the abstraction of "lawful arrest" to ancient times. Except you yourself say that ancient arrest was little more than de facto tyrants having their way, so I don't see how this is "lawful" in the sense we mean it today.

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You've forgotten your own example here. Socrates could very well have run off to another city or become a hermit.  He wasn't overcome by force but by a sense of civic obligation, even though he thought the verdict was bs

This is quite a bold claim (sorry for the pun) as it's certainly not any kind of accepted truth.

It's what Socrates says, through Plato, when his friends encourage him to run away.

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It's an interesting hypothesis, but every Plato scholar I've studied with or discussed with tends to say something else; most often that he might have done it as a lesson to his students and to any others watching,

as a lesson to submit to the sovereign court, neh?

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and also perhaps that he was so fixated on the truth that he would rather humiliate the court than tell them what they wanted to hear. "You will judge me as children judge a doctor accused by a candy vendor." If he was going to make a public statement about philosophy this was it. Nothing, at any rate, in the apology seems to me to suggest he felt a civic duty to obey the whims of tyrants, even though he recognized (and even scoffed) that his life was in their hands. That's kind of like Galileo showing "civic duty" before the Inquisition.

Sure. You could also read in that he's intentionally submitting to the verdict to get revenge on the court, per the threats he made to them about how the young of Athens would see them.  But the fact that Socrates makes the legitimacy argument suggests that it was a thing possible to be believed, whether it was his main motivation or not.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2016, 09:14:00 AM »
not sure how you don't see that your facts actually argue my point. In fact those de facto tyrants ARE quite representative of the farcical nature of the Athenian legal process at that time. That's why I said that legal arrests and lawsuits in fact predate law itself and the existence of lawyers.

Ok fine, but if you're using that as an example of pre-law "legal arrests" then you're effectively saying that a "lawful arrest" means little more than the fact that the police are stronger than you. I don't think we want to go down that road in justifying why the police of today have the authority to detain people. It's true that it's an old precedent, but it's also a savage one. I suspect most Americans, at any rate, would reject the notion that the authority of the police derives from their sheer might or that of a tyrant, as was the case 2,500 years ago.

I wouldn't disagree with that assertion, it's actually pretty close to how I view "governmental power" in the first place. Governments govern by means of holding monopoly control over the use of force. Whether or not the specifics of that monopoly is "hard" or "soft" doesn't change the premise. Likewise on who holds influence over the "government" in question.

The creation of law is just a more subtle application of the use of force, just in a different context.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2016, 09:37:08 AM »
I suspect most Americans, at any rate, would reject the notion that the authority of the police derives from their sheer might or that of a tyrant, as was the case 2,500 years ago.

Whether people accept or reject a premise doesn't make it any more or less true. There are lots of things "most Americans" accept which are truly mind boggling for others(such as Atheists) to contemplate. There likewise are things "most Americans" reject which are demonstrably at odds with their views.

Likewise avoiding a premise because it makes you(or somebody else) uncomfortable doesn't make the premise invalid, otherwise STD's wouldn't exist, right? After all, I don't think most people are comfortable with the idea they exist.

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I don't think we want to go down that road in justifying why the police of today have the authority to detain people. It's true that it's an old precedent, but it's also a savage one.

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2016, 01:16:09 PM »
athenians, like the Romans, imbued the proto-legal process with mythical justification. It was treated like a religious rite.  There are relics of that even today; a cop's badge, usually a 5 or 6-pointed star, is a mystical symbol invoking ... Hecate?  Something.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2016, 07:50:00 PM »
athenians, like the Romans, imbued the proto-legal process with mythical justification. It was treated like a religious rite.  There are relics of that even today; a cop's badge, usually a 5 or 6-pointed star, is a mystical symbol invoking ... Hecate?  Something.

Then you're invoking the might/will of a higher power. it still comes down to force.

Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2016, 01:48:36 AM »
Quote
the "legal profession" existed before lawyers and before law too.  See Corax vs Tisias, about 500 bce. First of the Sophists.
Cawcawcaw!

So such a concept is merely the carry-on of crows, you suppose? ("Sycorax can't but beget Caliban," croaks the decrepit corpus of law?)

If we could set aside sophistical side-stepping a second to cut to the quick of the curve in our corvid law: every lover of wisdom concedes that sophism is inimical to the sophic ideal of their cause; it's precisely the little lies lost in legalistic lingualisms which are currently causing an outcry of such cacophonous caws. Shall we call them crows, those who jam the system with Jim Crow laws? Every time they put their heads together they make a murder: it’s the code of the crow, read the lexical law.
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Socrates created philosophy as a backlash against the sophists.
Pythagoras is purported to be the first to proclaim his love of wisdom (well before the sophists showed how words can twist truth). Thales is widely considered the first Greek philosopher, even if he lived before the invention of the label. In the broader sense in which the term was used here, in any case, the intent was actually to lump ancient philosophers and prophets in with modern-day lawyers and legislators as the general category of sophists responsible for the lies with which civil society continues to hypnotize truth right out from under its constituents’ eyes.

As I said: a constructive fiction may have its constructive purposes, but it is nevertheless a fiction, all day long.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 01:51:34 AM by godsblackestcrow »

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2016, 05:03:55 AM »
athenians, like the Romans, imbued the proto-legal process with mythical justification. It was treated like a religious rite.  There are relics of that even today; a cop's badge, usually a 5 or 6-pointed star, is a mystical symbol invoking ... Hecate?  Something.

Then you're invoking the might/will of a higher power. it still comes down to force.

not force.  legitimacy.  you forget that the greeks were polytheistic.  any god-force one party invokes can be countered with a different god.  legitimacy thus comes not from force but from a city's decision to follow one god above others, a decision for better or for worse, in Greek mythology.

OTOH, Socrates was known as a monotheist, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2016, 05:19:52 AM »
Quote
the "legal profession" existed before lawyers and before law too.  See Corax vs Tisias, about 500 bce. First of the Sophists.
Cawcawcaw!

So such a concept is merely the carry-on of crows, you suppose? ("Sycorax can't but beget Caliban," croaks the decrepit corpus of law?)

If we could set aside sophistical side-stepping a second to cut to the quick of the curve in our corvid law: every lover of wisdom concedes that sophism is inimical to the sophic ideal of their cause; it's precisely the little lies lost in legalistic lingualisms which are currently causing an outcry of such cacophonous caws. Shall we call them crows, those who jam the system with Jim Crow laws? Every time they put their heads together they make a murder: it’s the code of the crow, read the lexical law.


Your cawcawphony failes to address the case, Corax v Tisias.  Read it. I think you'll enjoy, since it confirms your bias re the sophists.  But you did pick up that shakespeare's Sycorax had basis in the first of the sophists.

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Socrates created philosophy as a backlash against the sophists.
----
Pythagoras is purported to be the first to proclaim his love of wisdom (well before the sophists showed how words can twist truth). Thales is widely considered the first Greek philosopher, even if he lived before the invention of the label.

fair enough. as to natural philosophy.  and yet as the case Corax v Tisias shows, Pythagoras seems to have had zero effect on Greek law, until one of his admirers, Plato, incorporated Pythagoras' discipline into what he and socrates (or possibly what Plato and his fictional invention, Socrates) called philosophy.  This may be because Pythagoras ignored the law, or wasn't in a position to affect it, or it may just be because Pythagoras was an Ionian and we don't have the history of how he affected Ionian legal processes. In any event, the Athenian legal system had nothing we would recognizes as laws enforced by a court at the time of Socrates' death, and the idea of legislatures, negotiated laws being interpreted, etc., didn't occur in athens until the term "philosophy" was coined and trickled down to a number of other disciplines such as law.
 
 
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In the broader sense in which the term was used here, in any case, the intent was actually to lump ancient philosophers and prophets in with modern-day lawyers and legislators as the general category of sophists responsible for the lies with which civil society continues to hypnotize truth right out from under its constituents’ eyes.

not sure whether that sentence is supposed to convey meaning or to place the reader in a trance.


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As I said: a constructive fiction may have its constructive purposes, but it is nevertheless a fiction, all day long.

Not necessarily.  Osama bin Laden made real what John Clancy wrote as fiction.  And Socrates has precisely the same effect on history regardless of whether he was historical as described by Plato, or a fictionalized pastiche based partly on Pythagoras.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 05:23:10 AM by Pete at Home »

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2016, 08:41:27 AM »
Quote
the "legal profession" existed before lawyers and before law too.  See Corax vs Tisias, about 500 bce. First of the Sophists.
Cawcawcaw!

So such a concept is merely the carry-on of crows, you suppose? ("Sycorax can't but beget Caliban," croaks the decrepit corpus of law?)

If we could set aside sophistical side-stepping a second to cut to the quick of the curve in our corvid law: every lover of wisdom concedes that sophism is inimical to the sophic ideal of their cause; it's precisely the little lies lost in legalistic lingualisms which are currently causing an outcry of such cacophonous caws. Shall we call them crows, those who jam the system with Jim Crow laws? Every time they put their heads together they make a murder: it’s the code of the crow, read the lexical law.
Quote
Socrates created philosophy as a backlash against the sophists.
Pythagoras is purported to be the first to proclaim his love of wisdom (well before the sophists showed how words can twist truth). Thales is widely considered the first Greek philosopher, even if he lived before the invention of the label. In the broader sense in which the term was used here, in any case, the intent was actually to lump ancient philosophers and prophets in with modern-day lawyers and legislators as the general category of sophists responsible for the lies with which civil society continues to hypnotize truth right out from under its constituents’ eyes.

As I said: a constructive fiction may have its constructive purposes, but it is nevertheless a fiction, all day long.

Welcome to Ornery. You are wrong.

Fenring

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2016, 01:02:33 PM »
any god-force one party invokes can be countered with a different god.  legitimacy thus comes not from force but from a city's decision to follow one god above others, a decision for better or for worse, in Greek mythology.

This is a bit of a misleading claim. A city, or rather its citizens, had to believe in and worship all the gods. None were excluded. In a given day or sacrifice, one would choose a particular god to sacrifice to, but that didn't mean the others were ignored. As an analogy to Christianity you can think of the patron saints. A musician, for example, might hold high in their mind St. Cecilia or make appeals to her, but that's not the same as saying they hold her above the other saints or follow her above the teachings of the others. Similarly, while Athena was the patron god of Athens any Athenian would nevertheless hold highest reverence for Zeus, if anyone, and yet worship the various gods as time permitted. A culture reliant on naval superiority wouldn't eschew sacrificing to Poseidon, for instance, despite him being an antagonist to Athena. But messy belief system aside, no god 'countered' another other than Zeus, who countered them all, and even then he supposedly tended to stay out of most conflicts between the gods (such as the Trojan war) so it would be foolish in any case to fail to pay tribute to any god. The cute thing about Greek myths is that your ass was never covered; they was no way out of pissing off any given god.

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OTOH, Socrates was known as a monotheist, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

Known by whom? Source? I've never heard this before, am 99.9% sure nothing in Plato or Aristotle says this, and if anyone at the time had actually thought this Socrates would have been executed for it long before his actual trial. But if this is a personal interpretation of, say, Socrates' Daimon and how it could be construed as a single, guiding voice, then that would be interesting. But I'd be cautious in claiming that this is 'known' because to date I've never heard of a classics scholar who believes there is evidence he was a monotheist.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 01:04:54 PM by Fenring »

Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2016, 03:37:16 PM »
Pete:
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Your cawcawphony failes to address the case, Corax v Tisias.
No it didn't. Paranomastic judgments deserve replies in kind.

Jason:
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You are wrong.
...about a lot, no doubt. But don't my plethora of errors dissuade you from specifying.

:)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 03:39:40 PM by godsblackestcrow »

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2016, 04:01:03 PM »
athenians, like the Romans, imbued the proto-legal process with mythical justification. It was treated like a religious rite.  There are relics of that even today; a cop's badge, usually a 5 or 6-pointed star, is a mystical symbol invoking ... Hecate?  Something.

Then you're invoking the might/will of a higher power. it still comes down to force.

not force.  legitimacy.  you forget that the greeks were polytheistic.  any god-force one party invokes can be countered with a different god.  legitimacy thus comes not from force but from a city's decision to follow one god above others, a decision for better or for worse, in Greek mythology.

Nope, still force. It was a common enough practice in later times to do comparable things for nobility and in particular monarchs to claim their "divinely appointed right" to rule over the people. It was an implied threat of force on multiple levels. Obey or suffer their wrath. If you disobey and somehow escape the rulers direct wrath, the divine entity backing them would gain retribution upon them(the disobedient) by one means or another, during this life of the next.

So it still boils down to "Do as we say, or suffer." And as an attempt to inflict suffering upon another is a use of force, we go back to "It all boils down to the use of force."

This also works well in the context of (violent) religious conflicts, as again, they largely revolve around how powerful the various sides view their chosen divinity to be. Not only is it their divine right to do what they're doing, but their (version of) deity is the more powerful one. (The one capable of exercising the most force/creating the most suffering. Just don't confuse capability with tendencies to do so.)

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #45 on: July 19, 2016, 04:28:18 PM »
any god-force one party invokes can be countered with a different god.  legitimacy thus comes not from force but from a city's decision to follow one god above others, a decision for better or for worse, in Greek mythology.

This is a bit of a misleading claim. A city, or rather its citizens, had to believe in and worship all the gods. None were excluded. In a given day or sacrifice, one would choose a particular god to sacrifice to, but that didn't mean the others were ignored. As an analogy to Christianity you can think of the patron saints. A musician, for example, might hold high in their mind St. Cecilia or make appeals to her, but that's not the same as saying they hold her above the other saints or follow her above the teachings of the others. Similarly, while Athena was the patron god of Athens any Athenian would nevertheless hold highest reverence for Zeus, if anyone, and yet worship the various gods as time permitted. A culture reliant on naval superiority wouldn't eschew sacrificing to Poseidon, for instance, despite him being an antagonist to Athena. But messy belief system aside, no god 'countered' another other than Zeus, who countered them all, and even then he supposedly tended to stay out of most conflicts between the gods (such as the Trojan war) so it would be foolish in any case to fail to pay tribute to any god. The cute thing about Greek myths is that your ass was never covered; they was no way out of pissing off any given god.

Quote
OTOH, Socrates was known as a monotheist, so I'm not sure what to make of that.

Known by whom? Source? I've never heard this before, am 99.9% sure nothing in Plato or Aristotle says this, and if anyone at the time had actually thought this Socrates would have been executed for it long before his actual trial. But if this is a personal interpretation of, say, Socrates' Daimon and how it could be construed as a single, guiding voice, then that would be interesting. But I'd be cautious in claiming that this is 'known' because to date I've never heard of a classics scholar who believes there is evidence he was a monotheist.

first paragraph. Yes, supremacy of gods is about force, and yes, the parallel to Catholic patron saints is apt.. That's precisely why it has nothing to do with legitimacy in a town.

Socrates (and plato) monotheism, yes, it surprised me too.  Google "socrates monotheism," and if you're a highbrow reader like me, head right for the Athenian court's charges against him and his Apology.

If legitimacy is a "force," it's better thought of as a force of reputation or groupthink.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #46 on: July 19, 2016, 09:50:12 PM »
If legitimacy is a "force," it's better thought of as a force of reputation or groupthink.

And groups of humans are renowned their ability to not reprimand or otherwise punnish(uses of various kinds of force) those who go against the grain or otherwise put themselves at odds with the prevailing view.

After all, there clearly is no basis on many people who exhibit such contrary behaviour being described as having a forceful personality.

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2016, 01:03:45 AM »
If legitimacy is a "force," it's better thought of as a force of reputation or groupthink.

And groups of humans are renowned their ability to not reprimand or otherwise punnish(uses of various kinds of force) those who go against the grain or otherwise put themselves at odds with the prevailing view.

After all, there clearly is no basis on many people who exhibit such contrary behaviour being described as having a forceful personality.

Your irony here is even more delicious to someone who has just double dosed on Mark Twain's Recollections of Joan of Ark and rereading parts of Shaw's "Saint Joan"

"Must a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?"

Pete at Home

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #48 on: July 20, 2016, 01:15:22 AM »
deamon, you might be tickled by a song I wrote a few decades ago on that subject, called "friendly fire"

Quote
She says she had a vision from the heavens,
Take a sword, crown a coward king
fill armies with her faith, drive the English to the Channel
We sang her name to victory
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(Chorus)
We must protect the children
there are wolves among the sheep
we've got a reputation and promises to keep
It's hard for mortal eyes to tell the heretic from the saint
Saints and heroes die ... by friendly fire
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(bridge)
Thirteen months and seven trials to try her
a hundred faithful scholars argued in a secret chamber
They swore their best intentions and integrity
They swore their love for her immortal soul
They cut her from the faith and fed her body to the flame

My computer crashed and I've lost a number of other verses, but I'm thinking I might give Socrates and Christ a verse as well.  all rather similar trials resulting in a death sentence where the trying bodies end up condemning themselves.

TheDeamon

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Re: Avoiding police
« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2016, 09:49:43 AM »
Your irony here is even more delicious to someone who has just double dosed on Mark Twain's Recollections of Joan of Ark and rereading parts of Shaw's "Saint Joan"

"Must a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?"

Well, the other way to skin this proverbial cat is bring up the whole thing about cyber-bullying and what not as well. That being socially stigmatized and ostracized is being considered by many as a form of bullying also implicitly creates the acknowledgement that "Force"(bullying) can take many forms, and doesn't need to involve the use of physical objects when concepts and ideas are sufficient in their own right.

This is stuff other people figured out ages ago, it's why resulting to physical (threats of) violence has often been referred to "as a failure of imagination."

If we really want to run things out even further, we also get "The pen is mightier than the sword." Where people can be destroyed through financial means, or by means of "the press" and public relations disasters.