January 5, 2008, 3:15 - 3:55 a.m.
I'll tell you what the problem with Webnet is.
Suppose anyone can be permanently akilled for anything at any time. Meaning, there are no rational standards to justify whether a akill is set or not. Therefore, there is no action that a person can argue is justified because he or she believes that it is right. If they [the admins] believe that what they do is an acceptable means to decide what to do, they will ultimately have no choice but to accept that whatever they do can be whatever they want, as all they need is to say that they think it is the right thing to do. You can have no rational reply. Sounds a lot like faith?
Like religion, the major problem with the above is that it is founded on a dangerous premise: where there are no rational standards to justify anything. An example of this is faith. If an admin cannot find a rule that a person broke, but akilled him anyways, then he uses faith that his ban was justified. If faith is legitimate, then people can choose to have faith in anything at all. There are no rational standards for what 1 should have faith and in and what 1 shouldn't. (Because if reason justified the belief, faith would not be needed.)
So the only thing you can do is prove that people do in fact have faith that this is what they should do and do in fact act on that faith. But you can't prove that it's reasonable for them to do so because no faith is reasonable.
If proof or evidence was required before people could have faith in something, the lack of proof or evidence would be meaningful. But neither proof nor evidence are prerequisites to faith. After all, if you had proof or evidence, you wouldn't *need* faith. So the only thing you can do is prove that people do in fact have faith that this is what they should do and do in fact act on that faith. But you can't prove that it's reasonable for them to do so because no faith is reasonable.
Isn't it enough to show that people do in fact do this? Of course they don't have a reason. If they had a reason, we wouldn't be complaining about it.
Why is it so bad if an admin uses faith to justify that akilling someone is okay?
Because faith is evil.
Faith is a guide to the actions of moral agents. That is, what a person does will in fact depend upon what he has faith in. However, faith provides no ability to distinguish good from evil. That is, what one has faith in is necessarily arbitrary. If arbitrary action is not evil, then nothing is. Arbitrary actions by moral agents are pretty much the definition of evil.
For example, suppose a judge consulted a magic 8 ball to decide how to rule. This would be evil, and not just when the magic 8 ball made the wrong decision. It is evil because it is an abdication of the responsibility to distinguish good from evil in ones decisions.
Similarly, because beliefs determine actions, faith determines beliefs, and faith provides no way to distinguish good from evil, faith itself is evil.
Faith is evil because faith can justify anything. There is no action that a person cannot argue is justified because he has faith that it is right. If you believe that faith is an acceptable means to decide what to believe, you will ultimately have no choice but to accept that a person may do whatever he pleases, all he needs to do is say that he has faith it is the right thing to do. You will have no rational reply.
There is no such thing as a "way to decide what to have faith in".
Suppose there is no way to justify whether a person broke a rule or not. Or quite simply, no way to justify whether a person should be akilled. Should we use faith to justify?
This may lead you to conclude "Faith is required when support is required for something that cannot be justified in any other way, such as by experiment." The problem with that, is, if something cannot be justified in any way, there simply is no support for it. You may require a square circle, but there isn't one. So, you'll just have to do without it.
Could you 'choose' to believe that there actually exists a tooth fairy who trades kids lost teeth for money around the world? What would it take to make you believe in Zeus? If you could give 1 reason, the strongest reason, why you don't believe in Zeus, what would it be?
"Do you give a damn whether or not the things you believe in are true?" If no, fine, have faith. If so, then you need some method to decide what to have faith in (if you insist upon thinking about it that way). And reason is the only thing that can provide any way of justifying a belief that our other beliefs are true.
Counter argument: "No Neal, Webnet admins don't use faith to justify their perm akills. They do it whatever/whoever pisses/annoys them off.
Excluding the ad hominem, this goes back to akilling anyone for any reason - on the basis that you dislike them or they annoyed you.
Idea: When deciding whether to akill a person for violating something, there should be evidence that the violation happened.
If there is no evidence then there is no violation.
Violation: pissing me off.
An example of the idea is the caps script. Suppose the rule was 90% caps. And someone said 83.33% caps. There is very well ways for evidence on whether the user's string was 90% caps or not. Of course, you will have to specify the methods of calculating caps percentage - do you take into consideration spaces, commas, periods, etc. Or just $strip($1-,$chr(32)).
If there is no evidence that the person said > 90.00% caps then there is no violation.
And the problem with the "it pisses me off" / "he pisses me off" saga, is unfortunately, there is no way of providing proof of the incident. For example, you could lie that you were pissed off. And then the other problem with this, is there could be contradiction. But them, neurochemistry can provide that if you were neurochemically in a good mood, then such a thing doesn't piss you off, but if you were neurochemically in an awful mood, then such an incident could piss you off. Again, [i]no rational standards[/i].
Sure enough, no 1 needs faith on deciding whether something pissed them off or not. Otherwise, they would flip a coin on deciding whether they were pissed off or not and thus decide to akill/not akill.
But of course, whether you were pissed off or not, is sufficient evidence to yourself whether there was evidence that you got pissed off or not. And then that is sufficient evidence to yourself whether the akill you will set is jusitified or not.
Since Webnet is a system where certain admins can akill if they are "pissed off" or not, they do not need to consult with others that they were pissed off and thus akill on their own accordingly. This goes back to the [b]no rational standards[/b] which I categorized faith under.
Any God who can create such misery out of his own worship can keep his love. Or in other words - such a god is not worth worshipping. At the same time, any IRC network that can produce such irrationality over their own lack of rational standards is worth losing your o:line over. Or getting akilled.
Therefore, I conclude in my own view - that I'm free to evade Webnet akills whenever and for any reason as I please.