Re: Future Technologies of Death

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 30 Dec 1997 22:02:29 -0500

Kathryn Aegis wrote:
> Anders:
> >Yes, some kind of "responsibility Turing test" might be needed. Maybe
> >it could consist of several scenarios the requester is confronted
> >with, and its actions are studied, especially when asked to predict or
> >extend the scenario. For example, the child might be asked "How will
> >you pay for food and rent if we make you an adult?".

Considering all of the millions of adults who already don't have to deal
with this question, I'd say that one is hardly applicable in todays
world. An answer of "I plan on living off welfare" is just as acceptable
as "I plan on making a killing on the stock market".

I think more applicable questions would be like:

What are your rights under the Constitution and what do they mean?
What are your ethical standards?
What do you think about another person's right to exist?
What do you understand about contract theory?

> I like the idea, but it would have to be modified. This test
> measures whether one should be extended a 'privilege', not whether an
> entity should be extended a 'right'. The two terms tend to get used
> interchangeably when in fact they represent two different concepts.
> The conferrence of adult status through artifical means is a
> privilege, not a right, although the conferrence of it may have a
> basis in some rights, such as the right to self-determination or the
> right to free passage. (Normal growth into adulthood is not
> considered a right, although some activists are pushing for the
> recognition of exercise of reproductive functions as a right.)

Priviledges are what big government bureaucrats call rights that
individuals demand that are not explicitly stated in the Bill of RIghts,
even though the 9th amendment restricts them from doing so.

As found at: :


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

THis means that the people have the right to make up any rights they
feel like, so long as the Constitution does not already enumerate them,
while the 10th amendment empowers the states to enact or restrict rights
in their own constitutions, as approved by the people under those
documents. This is why states can outlaw abortion, for example, if the
people in that state so vote.

NOTE: The tenth amendment, as seen below, is used by state officials to
deny people rights guaranteed them under the 9th amendment, even though
those states have passed no state Constitutional Amendments restricting
such rights. THis is probably the biggest source of conflict in the


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.

An example of this, is the concept of a driver's license as a
priviledge. Even though the Constitution guarrantees that the right to
free passage cannot be infringed by the states (interstate commerce,
etc.), the state's will argue that since they built the roads, that they
can dictate who gets to drive on those roads. They refuse to consider
that since the state roads have paved over and across everything else,
it is almost impossible for a person to drive a vehicle anywhere NOT on
state roads, so the state has a monopoly on roads, and therefore on free
passage. refusing to grant a driver's license is refusal of right of
free passage...The same applies to state regulation of aviation and
water travel.

> The Western concept of 'rights' has never been predicated on a base
> of understanding of the consequences or results of having that right,
> as the concept includes the quality of inherentness. In other words,
> an entity that has rights is born/created/built with them from
> inception. Later on, as the entity grows, develops and learns,
> privileges (such as operating a vehicle, holding a job or
> participation in civic structures) are conferred based on that level
> of responsibility.

Only to adherents of Natural Law doctrine. For those who go by the force
doctrine, any body politic can exercise whatever rights it is willing to
fight and die for. Those that it fails to express such interest in
protecting typically are atropied by the encroachment of tyrannical big
government bureaucrats on the whole, by corporate masters in the
workplace, and by fellow citizens in the everyday.

> If this sounds confusing, one method of distinguishing a 'right' from
> a 'privilege' is to ask: is it open-ended or concrete? Privileges
> tend toward the concrete and practical; rights tend toward the
> conceptual and developmental. Another method is to consider the
> causal relationship: privileges often stem from rights, but rights
> never stem from privileges.

Priviledges as stated above, tend to be those rights that not enough
interest can be generated in to guarrantee by Constitutional decree, or
that atrophy over time. Gun ownership, privacy, and voting seem to be
rights that are most noticably atrophying this decade.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?