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Power of Legal Contracts

Lordknukle
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6/12/2013 10:38:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
After reading some Merchant of Venice, it got me wondering about the power of legal contracts. For those of you that don't know, there is basically a rich Jew that gives money to a Christian, and if he doesn't repay him back the loan, he takes a pound of flesh near his heart (essentially killing him). The court cannot legally deny him the punishment, since it is authorized in the bond by the Christian, the Jew, and a notary.

Onto the question, how would such a contract fair in the current legal paradigm? Should a person be able to kill somebody if they have authorized consent? Should the person be charged with murder? Thoughts?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/13/2013 5:22:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Shall I point out that Antonio did not think the contract was serious so was led into a falsehood regarding the contract, call bassanio an awesome arsehole for not taking the loan himself or call Antonio gay...
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Sidewalker
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6/13/2013 5:58:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/12/2013 10:38:20 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
After reading some Merchant of Venice, it got me wondering about the power of legal contracts. For those of you that don't know, there is basically a rich Jew that gives money to a Christian, and if he doesn't repay him back the loan, he takes a pound of flesh near his heart (essentially killing him). The court cannot legally deny him the punishment, since it is authorized in the bond by the Christian, the Jew, and a notary.

Onto the question, how would such a contract fair in the current legal paradigm? Should a person be able to kill somebody if they have authorized consent? Should the person be charged with murder? Thoughts?

That wouldn't be a legal contract and so it wouldn't have any legal standing, and so yes, they would be charged with murder.

You can't even legally kill yourself, the law certainly doesn't allow you to authorize somebody else to do it., Even if a person is terminally ill and in great pain, helping them commit suicide is illegal in all but three US states. In that case, it's rarely prosecuted, even outside of Oregon, Washington, and Vermont where it's legal under certain circumstances, they typically tend to look the other way, as long as you don't actually do the deed, I think that's why it was finally a video tape of Jack Kevorkian actually administering the lethal injection in an assisted suicide that got him incarcerated, but to get out of prison he had to agree to never again even assist someone that wants to commit suicide. As far as that is concerned, it's still illegal but successfully committing suicide by yourself is rarely prosecuted :)

Google "Jack Kevorkian" for details on the debate regarding where the line is drawn.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
sadolite
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6/13/2013 4:25:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The power of a legal contract is no more powerful than the willingness of those in charge of enforcing them to enforce them. All legal contracts are worthless and powerless without enforcement. Legal contracts are enforced on a pick and choose arbitrary bases. And that arbitrayness changes with the changing of the people put in charge of enforcement. One day a particular legal contract will be iron clad the next day it will be thrown into the trash heap of worthlessness.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
sadolite
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6/13/2013 4:28:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/13/2013 4:25:43 PM, sadolite wrote:
The power of a legal contract is no more powerful than the willingness of those in charge of enforcing them to enforce them. All legal contracts are worthless and powerless without enforcement. Legal contracts are enforced on a pick and choose arbitrary bases. And that arbitrayness changes with the changing of the people put in charge of enforcement. One day a particular legal contract will be iron clad the next day it will be thrown into the trash heap of worthlessness.

Ask all the bond holders of GM when it went bankrupt.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
DetectableNinja
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6/13/2013 4:49:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
However, doesn't Shylock lose the case because of the loophole that a Jew cannot draw Christian blood, and that supersedes the contract?
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
DetectableNinja
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6/13/2013 4:50:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/13/2013 4:49:56 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
However, doesn't Shylock lose the case because of the loophole that a Jew cannot draw Christian blood, and that supersedes the contract?

Oops. RETROACTIVE SPOILER ALERT.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
YYW
Posts: 36,336
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6/13/2013 4:52:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/12/2013 10:38:20 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
After reading some Merchant of Venice, it got me wondering about the power of legal contracts. For those of you that don't know, there is basically a rich Jew that gives money to a Christian, and if he doesn't repay him back the loan, he takes a pound of flesh near his heart (essentially killing him). The court cannot legally deny him the punishment, since it is authorized in the bond by the Christian, the Jew, and a notary.

Onto the question, how would such a contract fair in the current legal paradigm? Should a person be able to kill somebody if they have authorized consent? Should the person be charged with murder? Thoughts?

No such contract could exist in Western society, but in parts of the middle east (like Saudi Arabia or Jordan) it would likely be enforced by law.
Tsar of DDO
Lordknukle
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6/14/2013 10:38:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/13/2013 4:49:56 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
However, doesn't Shylock lose the case because of the loophole that a Jew cannot draw Christian blood, and that supersedes the contract?

Yes, but it was hardly valid. Nobody who was actually learned (i.e., the Duke and the Court) had a valid case against him. Portia tricked everybody into thinking that she was a well-respected lawyer, when she was in fact a manipulating b!tch. Assuming that such as bond would be allowed at those times, I seriously doubt that her "objections" would stand. Shakespeare just included it for the sake of comedy, as the enemy (Shylock), must be destroyed and the heroes have a happy ending.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
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6/14/2013 10:39:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/13/2013 4:52:23 PM, YYW wrote:
At 6/12/2013 10:38:20 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
After reading some Merchant of Venice, it got me wondering about the power of legal contracts. For those of you that don't know, there is basically a rich Jew that gives money to a Christian, and if he doesn't repay him back the loan, he takes a pound of flesh near his heart (essentially killing him). The court cannot legally deny him the punishment, since it is authorized in the bond by the Christian, the Jew, and a notary.

Onto the question, how would such a contract fair in the current legal paradigm? Should a person be able to kill somebody if they have authorized consent? Should the person be charged with murder? Thoughts?

No such contract could exist in Western society, but in parts of the middle east (like Saudi Arabia or Jordan) it would likely be enforced by law.

Why not? Why can't two consenting parties do what they want?
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
logicrules
Posts: 1,721
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6/17/2013 8:07:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/12/2013 10:38:20 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
After reading some Merchant of Venice, it got me wondering about the power of legal contracts. For those of you that don't know, there is basically a rich Jew that gives money to a Christian, and if he doesn't repay him back the loan, he takes a pound of flesh near his heart (essentially killing him). The court cannot legally deny him the punishment, since it is authorized in the bond by the Christian, the Jew, and a notary.

Onto the question, how would such a contract fair in the current legal paradigm? Should a person be able to kill somebody if they have authorized consent? Should the person be charged with murder? Thoughts?

One, its Shakespeare and much more complicated. It was not a contract because no binding (legal is colloquial) contract exist if the terms contain illegal actions (battery). Merchant of Venice in Elizabethan England was a parable on the authority of the Queen where if you challenged it directly you lost you head. See Henry VIII and Protestant v. Catholic.
DetectableNinja
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6/17/2013 9:30:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Regardless, I'm STRONGLY INCLINED to agree. However, there's the issue of people that may be forced to sign contracts under duress that has impossible terms with death as the consequence--a kind of murder, because the signatory was under duress/threat.

The problem then becomes enforcing the fact that people sign contracts freely.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
YYW
Posts: 36,336
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6/17/2013 9:49:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/14/2013 10:39:01 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/13/2013 4:52:23 PM, YYW wrote:
At 6/12/2013 10:38:20 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
After reading some Merchant of Venice, it got me wondering about the power of legal contracts. For those of you that don't know, there is basically a rich Jew that gives money to a Christian, and if he doesn't repay him back the loan, he takes a pound of flesh near his heart (essentially killing him). The court cannot legally deny him the punishment, since it is authorized in the bond by the Christian, the Jew, and a notary.

Onto the question, how would such a contract fair in the current legal paradigm? Should a person be able to kill somebody if they have authorized consent? Should the person be charged with murder? Thoughts?

No such contract could exist in Western society, but in parts of the middle east (like Saudi Arabia or Jordan) it would likely be enforced by law.

Why not? Why can't two consenting parties do what they want?

Because no contract has more authority than US law in the United States, and the "penalty" for violation as described here is illegal under US law (it is illegal to assault a person in that manor -for any reason).
Tsar of DDO
Yin
Posts: 23
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6/17/2013 10:07:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Just because the contract is consensual between two parties doesn't necessarily make it a legitimate contract in the eyes of the third party enforcer (the state).

Some conditions of contract are considered simply unacceptable regardless of whether prior consent among or between the parties to the contract has been established.
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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6/17/2013 2:54:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/13/2013 4:50:20 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/13/2013 4:49:56 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
However, doesn't Shylock lose the case because of the loophole that a Jew cannot draw Christian blood, and that supersedes the contract?

Oops. RETROACTIVE SPOILER ALERT.

Not exactly, it's really clever though.
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Wnope
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6/17/2013 2:56:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
On a global level, legal contracts work as elucidated by Game of Thrones.

"What's lending?"

"I give you money, and you promise to return the same amount to me in the future."

"Well, what if I don't give it back?"

"That's the point of lending. You have to give it back."

"What if I don't?"

"That's why I don't lend you money."
AlbinoBunny
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6/17/2013 3:01:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 2:54:11 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/13/2013 4:50:20 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/13/2013 4:49:56 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
However, doesn't Shylock lose the case because of the loophole that a Jew cannot draw Christian blood, and that supersedes the contract?

Oops. RETROACTIVE SPOILER ALERT.

Not exactly, it's really clever though.

Wait, yes, sort of. He can only take exactly a pound of flesh, without spilling blood, which is probably impossible.

********************************* SPOILER ALERT *************************************
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Lordknukle
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6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
DetectableNinja
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6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Yin
Posts: 23
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6/17/2013 3:23:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

You may think the state ought not have any authority to be involved in contracts between consenting adults. However, the state does have the arrogated authority to thrust itself between consenting adults. In my opinion, it is not entirely without justification.

Should the state be impassive to contracts which call for slavery? For death? The answer to these questions relies on your values.
Lordknukle
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6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
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6/17/2013 5:45:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 3:23:25 PM, Yin wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

You may think the state ought not have any authority to be involved in contracts between consenting adults. However, the state does have the arrogated authority to thrust itself between consenting adults. In my opinion, it is not entirely without justification.

Should the state be impassive to contracts which call for slavery? For death? The answer to these questions relies on your values.

That was a very useful contribution that brought new facts to light as pertaining to the current discussion. /end sarcasm
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
AlbinoBunny
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6/17/2013 5:53:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.

Nahh. You're saying that a contract killer shouldn't be intervened with by the State?
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AlbinoBunny
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6/17/2013 5:54:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 5:45:02 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:23:25 PM, Yin wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

You may think the state ought not have any authority to be involved in contracts between consenting adults. However, the state does have the arrogated authority to thrust itself between consenting adults. In my opinion, it is not entirely without justification.

Should the state be impassive to contracts which call for slavery? For death? The answer to these questions relies on your values.

That was a very useful contribution that brought new facts to light as pertaining to the current discussion. /end sarcasm

Yeah, he was talking about contracts, not contracts, bring something useful to the discussion. Wits or GTFO!
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

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Lordknukle
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6/17/2013 6:10:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 5:53:30 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.

Nahh. You're saying that a contract killer shouldn't be intervened with by the State?

I'm an anarchist, so no. But if you're asking whether they should get into some sort of trouble for killing, then my answer is yes. However, it makes no sense for them to get into trouble before killing somebody. People have a right to make contracts that stipulate "illegal" things without getting into trouble, as long as they don't execute these things. Right of free speech, ya know.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
AlbinoBunny
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6/17/2013 6:22:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 6:10:40 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 5:53:30 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.

Nahh. You're saying that a contract killer shouldn't be intervened with by the State?

I'm an anarchist, so no. But if you're asking whether they should get into some sort of trouble for killing, then my answer is yes. However, it makes no sense for them to get into trouble before killing somebody. People have a right to make contracts that stipulate "illegal" things without getting into trouble, as long as they don't execute these things. Right of free speech, ya know.

And if they break the contract they should be punished?
bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign!

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DetectableNinja
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6/17/2013 6:25:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.

You mean it's acceptable to hold a gun to someone's head and force them to sign a contract?

Also, I thought you stipulated consensual adults? Because duress is the opposite of consent.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
DetectableNinja
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6/17/2013 6:26:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So really LK, you don't care if people consent to sign a contract. As long as their name is on it, it's legit.

Cool beans.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Lordknukle
Posts: 12,788
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6/17/2013 6:27:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 6:25:02 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.

You mean it's acceptable to hold a gun to someone's head and force them to sign a contract?

Holding a gun to someone's head is usually considered a crime, so the person holding the gun would get punished. However, the contract would still be valid.

Also, I thought you stipulated consensual adults? Because duress is the opposite of consent.

I employ a very narrow definition of consent.

Consent:
Noun
Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.

Consent means that you say "yes." Not that you actually mean "yes."
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Lordknukle
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6/17/2013 6:28:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/17/2013 6:22:42 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/17/2013 6:10:40 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 5:53:30 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 6/17/2013 5:44:22 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:19:59 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
At 6/17/2013 3:17:04 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
So much for the "Land of the Free." The State has no authority to be involved in contracts between consensual adults.

What about the possibility of it having the authority to ensure that the adults are consenting?

It is the responsibility of the individuality to protect himself from entering into contracts with duress- not the State's. Therefore, such contracts are still valid.

Nahh. You're saying that a contract killer shouldn't be intervened with by the State?

I'm an anarchist, so no. But if you're asking whether they should get into some sort of trouble for killing, then my answer is yes. However, it makes no sense for them to get into trouble before killing somebody. People have a right to make contracts that stipulate "illegal" things without getting into trouble, as long as they don't execute these things. Right of free speech, ya know.

And if they break the contract they should be punished?

Presumably.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."