Re: Editors: threat or menace?

On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 23:03:32 -0700, "J.Pascal"
<julie@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in
in rec.arts.sf.composition:

On Aug 2, 10:28 pm, "Brian M. Scott" <> wrote:

On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 15:08:02 -0700, "J.Pascal"
<ju...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in
in rec.arts.sf.composition:

On Aug 2, 2:44 pm, "Brian M. Scott" <> wrote:

[rasfw dropped]

On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 13:19:27 -0700, "J.Pascal"
<ju...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in
in rec.arts.sf.written,rec.arts.sf.composition:

On Aug 1, 3:14 pm, Jack Tingle <wjtin...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


* I always ask free marketers if they means an unrestricted market in
any goods. They say yes, and I say, "Great, unrestricted drugs, and
human chattel slavery! Yipee!" It's amazing how fast the unrestricted
market gets restricted.

Drugs, yes. But humans are not "goods".

In objective fact that's a matter of local law and custom
(which may not agree): in many places and times human beings
-- or some human beings -- have been goods. Presumably you
mean that you don't think that human beings ought to be
goods; I certainly don't disagree.

True enough. I think that for the sort of "gotcha" that
was described to work, however, it would have to be in
that sort of "human beings are goods" culture and I'm
pretty sure that it was supposed to be portrayed as an
adequate "gotcha" in *this* culture, where people are not

I disagree: if our culture did treat human beings as goods,
there wouldn't be any 'gotcha'. It's precisely because most
of us think that people oughtn't to be treated as goods that
the question is effective.

Okay, the "gotcha" only works in our culture. For the
argument to be legitimate the assumption of slavery
has to be legitimate.

The "gotcha" is effective because people don't call the
person using the argument on their error. And it is an

I don't think that it necessarily is. So far as I can see,
it's a perfectly legitimate argument for one possible
interpretation of 'unrestricted free trade'. If that
interpretation is shared by both parties, the 'gotcha' is
real; if not, it is effective only until they sort out what
they mean by 'unrestricted free trade', and even that
limited effectiveness is merely superficial and rhetorical.


The same effect applies elsewhere, often in reverse.
Newsweek this week quoted a film where abortion
protesters were asked how many years in jail the woman
should serve for getting an abortion, or was the death
penalty more appropriate. Same effect.

I'm sure.
And likely the same sort of error.

It's actually a reasonable question: after all, the woman is
almost always complicit. A parallel would be asking those
who favor criminalizing prostitution what penalties should
be levied against the johns.

If the question was, "Should women who get an abortion be
punished and if so what punishment should be levied?" then
it would be more similar. I realize that I'm assuming a bit
of context here but it sounds like an either/or question, years
in jail or the death penalty.

That isn't how I read it. Yes, it's phrased in a way that
emphasizes the possibility of stronger rather than weaker
penalties, but it's perfectly reasonable to phrase it in a
way that assumes that *some* significant penalty is
appropriate, given the number of protesters who favor
significant penalties for the doctors.

Not to get into an abortion argument but how about
this scenario... 17 year old gets dragged by her parents
to see a doctor who then performs a mid to late
2nd trimester abortion which is illegal.

Of course one can come up with special cases; they do not
invalidate the general point, which is that in general there
are two (principal) parties actively involved.

I am in fact more leary than most of general principles, and
a firm believer in judging actions in context. I observe,
however, that active protesters tend to be (or at least to
claim to be) guided by principles that they want to apply
pretty generally, so I don't think it inappropriate to ask
questions that might force them to think about the actual
application of those principles.