Re: poly: Hayek and evolved morality

From: GBurch1 <>
Date: Wed Apr 22 1998 - 00:56:56 PDT

[I'm working overseas this week, so have little time -- and what there is
seems shifted around the clock too far . . . thus the blessed brevity of the
following . . .]

In a message dated 98-04-21 19:30:08 EDT, you write:

> 'Common law examples that came before the population involved gained a
> significant hold over nature leave me cold. If your crops can fail and
> leave you starving because of some bad weather, who really gives a shit
> about this tax versus that tax?
> I was trying to argue that any effect the legal systems of the times you
> cite
> had paled in comparison to the effect of nature, so people would not have
> "cared as much."'
> I feel this is bogus, but I don't really know enough law to defend
> coherently
> as opposed to inspired parroting. Anyone here wish to take the time to
> comment? I'd been describing the English common law of the past several
> centuries.

It does seem obvious that the effect of law and legal systems -- which
regulate human interactions -- become more important as the realm of life over
which humans have control grows. An example is the development of the law of
negligence: as industrial technology became more pervasive and powerful, the
possibility of accidental injury of others grew. Before the middle of the
19th century common law courts didn't recognize negligence as a separate,
general, cause of action (although the concept appeared much earlier in
connection with specific claims arising from particular relationships --
bailees, for instance). As trains and other machines became common, people
were held to have the POSSIBILITY of control that they didn't previously have;
with concommitant development of legal principles.

        Greg Burch <>----<>
           Attorney ::: Director, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                   "Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must
                      be driven into practice with courageous impatience."
                              -- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
Received on Wed Apr 22 08:04:44 1998

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