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An Interesting Thought Experiment

Over at Winds of Change:

Stipulate that there is a small machine that I could put into your home or workplace that with absolute accuracy - I mean 100% accuracy - would send an alarm in the specific case that a person who had the true intent to commit murder was close to it. Yes, it's Minority Report territory. But accept it as true.

Would you - as an American - be comfortable having something like that in your house?

I would need a little clarification: what is "close to it" and what does "murder" mean? Does it merely mean killing someone? Would self defense count?


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Rick C wrote:

Well, according to, (and common sense) self-defense isn't murder. I don't know if the thought-experiment would use that definition or not, tho.

Well, if it went off for a minor seeking an abortion and let her parents know that would be a violation of her civil rights now, wouldn't it?

Carl Pham wrote:

Geez, I expect the average person feels like murdering someone else about twice a day, or more around that time of the month.

There is a long, long way from intention to deed. That's the real inaccuracy of "Minority Report."

clyde_m wrote:

as carl says, intent and deed are two different things. also are intent and capability.

further, intent to kill whom? would it trip when someone drove past my house?

Raoul Ortega wrote:

So I got to the site and find that the "Armed Liberal" is comparing vote fraud to intent to commit murder. Then explains that it's all about intrusive gov't preventing a crime.

Which may be fine, but I don't see the Left putting much effort into punishing those who do vote illegally. Which means the proper analogy would not be some magical machine, but say you committed murder, but because you killed "someone who needed killing", does that make it okay? Should law enforcement ignore murders committed by protected classes if those classes have a tendency to kill only certain types of people?

It's the sort of rationalization I've come to expect from the Left.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on October 29, 2008 6:47 AM.

What Does Barack Obama Have Against Nazis? was the previous entry in this blog.

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