Laws are only valid to the degree that they comport with just conditions. If a law says you should stone innocent rape victims, it’s a law that fails to comport with just conditions and as such is not a valid law. Similarly, antitrust laws at the very least go too far and may have no valid basis at all. Once you have demonstrated that these laws are valid, then we can talk about whether MS was operating outside the law or not. I just don’t think a grey area like this is a good place to focus this discussion. I’m claiming that we ought to act in harmonious ways and we ought not act in predatory ways. I think the point you are trying to make is that if someone willfully acts outside of valid laws then he should be held accountable for it in a way that doesn’t make the criminal act worth doing. If the law of the land fails to render what is due, then being a predator might seem to be an expedient path, but only because society is broken. It’s like some religious pacifist community that invites criminals to steal and prey on them because they think that it’s God’s will. Maybe I need to be more explicit and expound on my original claim by saying,In any case, whether you agree with antitrust law or not, MS DID use pirate-ish tactics. Simply by operating OUTSIDE those laws - on four continents - while pretending to be good corporate citizens. They could afford to do so because the wealth and power they already held had already put them in that 'Too Big To Fail' category, so they were basically untouchable for it. The penalties they incurred were minimal and did little to offset the profits.
Is that ethical behavior? (Really, I'm still trying to understand your grasp of "ethics" here.)
13. It follows then that in a in a social context (i.e. in a society of rational volitional beings who value their rights and who prefer not to be preyed upon and who, in a concerted effort, take appropriate actions against those who prey upon them), we ought to act in harmonious ways and we ought not act in predatory ways.
And you say,
As I already said, we aren’t promoting harmonious rights reciprocity as an absolute that is independent of context, but as a context dependent universal principle, so yes, we can dream up extreme emergency situations that warrant exceptions to my claim 13. Does that make it an invalid claim? Perhaps I should add be a bit more explicit by saying:OK. Suppose the smart tough kid has a mother AND a grandmother who both desperately need operations . Is it then ok?
13. It follows then that, with the exception of extreme emergency situations that warrant certain exceptions, in a in a social context (i.e. in a society of rational volitional beings who value their rights and who prefer not to be preyed upon and who, in a concerted effort, take appropriate actions against those who prey upon them), we ought to act in harmonious ways and we ought not act in predatory ways.
And you say,
Running drugs could be considered a legitimate free exchange between a buyer and a seller and as such it may not be appropriate for the government to control, so again, I don’t care for your example. Does the last more explicit way of stating my claim 13 cover your concerns now?Suppose our kid only kills and runs drugs for a few months, just long enough to bankroll a legit education and career. What then?