Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Online Games taken a step too far

This is rediculous: A Shanghai online game player lent his "dragon sabre" to a fellow gamer in the online game "Legend of Mir 3" who then sold it online for roughly $800. China doesn't consider online game equipment to be property (in the traditional sense) so the police couldn't do anything about the in-game theft. Under chinese law, the offender had done nothing illegal. So what does the guy do? He went to the offenders home with a REAL sword and stabbed him repeatedly in the chest. Apparently, Chinese people take their online gaming very seriously. Damn, this is a perfect example of why we have laws. Laws govern when and how society should step in to resolve conflicts between individuals or groups. If a necessary law does not exist and society allows individuals or groups to handle their own disputes, then somebody gets stabbed through the chest with a sabre. Online games are totally sweet. [I'm using Blog This! for the first time... it's kinda nifty. Thanks, Shannon]


At 4/01/2005 08:07:00 PM, Blogger chris said...

Is that what they say about laws? Hmmmm. So if X is a law, X states when and how a society should resolve conflicts between parties. Registering with the SS is a law, but it mediates no conflict between individuals or groups. Even if you take the conflict to reside between the individual not wanting to increase his (and yes, I do mean his) chances of being drafted and the society as a whole, which needs people to fight on occasion (or so they say), the individual remains a part of that society. As a result, the conflict is between the individual and himself in the sense he has two desires: one of his own and one as a member of the society. Your definition doesn't apply to self-conflicts. So mediating conflicts is not a necessary condition for X's being a law. What about it being a sufficient condition? Well, there are things other than (perhaps in addition to) laws that govern when and how societies should resolve conflicts between individuals or groups. Religious circles may shun an adulterer who, by virtue of his/her acts, has caused a conflict with his/her spouse. Further, there are lots of mores and taboos that regulate social interaction (and resolve conflicts or prevent them) that are never put into law. So conflict-resolution is not a sufficient condition either.

That's on the technical end. There are two real things that make me cranky with this:

(1) You say "Laws govern..." as if our current laws do in fact resolve conflicts. I assume you want conflicts resolved in good ways, so why not say, "Laws should govern...". Then you're not committed to the (in)adequacy of our current laws.

(2) You're getting an 'ought' out of an 'is'. Societies should resolve a conflict in such and such a way and a certain time because a law exists that tells them so. How is this possible? Say you're a law and you tell me to do something. It's de facto right because you told it to me? No way.

This all sounds to me like so much political rhetoric used to justify things as they are. Shouldn't we get to interrogate our laws?

Yours truly,

Enraged ethicist

At 4/04/2005 03:26:00 AM, Blogger Nippons Boy said...

"Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded."
-Random Thingy-


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