Constitutional Monarchy

Clete

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Alright, let's see if I can jump back into this...



I agree, but I was mostly referring to humanity in general, not the Body of Christ.



I think you're forgetting one crucial detail regarding the proposed constitution.

That it seeks to codify the moral laws ("do not steal, do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not covet") while enforcing Biblical principles.

From the "Political Defence of The Constitution of America" document I have:


Christianity is true and other religions are false. So a government should be founded on biblical truths. Correct principles of governance do not change.



In other words, violating the law (such as the proposed constitution, were it implemented) IS violating God's law, because as stated by Paul in Romans 13, we are to obey the government, because they are God's ministers. And while that's immediately applicable to Christians, it also applies to the rest of humanity, no?



Yes.



Agreed.

He will be citing "Do not murder."

And if our laws state "Do not murder," it's not "our" law, per se, but God's.



Agreed on all of this.



The crime of disobeying the law is a sin.

It's both a sin and a crime for a king to break the law, regardless of whether he faces any earthly judgement.



Correction: A king who ACTS above of the law of the land which he governs...

Just because he acts without regard to the law doesn't mean he is actually above the law.



Agreed.



And what if that court is corrupt? Are you going to have a check or balance for that too?



Likely, but as the supreme ruler of the land, the king would have final say over his own trial. And "what about a human court to oversee such a trial" is answered above.



He's not. He's held in a place under the law, regardless of his actions.

From the "Political Defence" document again:


· Man cannot devise a system of checks and balances likely to produce just leadership.
· That one man may rule justly is far more probable than that a committee of men will do so.
· Impeachment committees will be corrupted by bad leaders, or eventually usurp authority from the good.
· Giving “the people” charge over an impeachment committee guarantees nothing but growing corruption.
· A human government cannot prevent tyranny; such a government would be an illusion, denying reality.
· No practical authority can exist above the leader, or else that authority would be the leader.
· Authority flows downhill, not uphill, and certainly not in a circle. There must be an ultimate ruler somewhere.
· No constitution can devise a separation of powers that actually produces good government.
· Thus as the supreme human authority in the land the king must have final say over all other men.
· Good eventually wins. So America will see vengeance against a wicked king at least by Judgment Day.

The brevity of this response should not be taken as my having blown off any of what you said. Since we are mostly in agreement, I'm just trying to be efficient and focus on the point of disagreement....

The flaw in your position is the contradictory nature of conceding the following two points....
  • "...as the supreme ruler of the land, the king would have final say over his own trial."
  • "He's not [above the law]. He's held in a place under the law, regardless of his actions."
First of all the phrases "held in place by the law" and "regardless of his actions" do not fit together inside the same sentence but, regardless of that, anyone who presides over his own trial is not being held in place under the law, by definition. It couldn't even be rightly called a trial at all and a person who cannot be put in jeopardy by the law, is not under the law's jurisdiction, again, by definition.

And so whether or not the law expressly places the king above the law is irrelevant because in reality he is in a position that is legally untouchable while at the same time has the authority to make legal judgments, even if such a judgment has an inherent conflict of interest. The king can literally do whatever he wants and the closest the law can get to it is for the king to declare himself not guilty. That is the very definition of being above the law.

This is not a problem for a nation that has the Judge of all creation directly participating in the county's affairs. The United States of America, however, is not that country.

Clete
 
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Idolater

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The brevity of this response should not be taken as my having blown off any of what you said. Since we are mostly in agreement, I'm just trying to be efficient and focus on the point of disagreement....

The flaw in your position is the contradictory nature of conceding the following two points....
  • "...as the supreme ruler of the land, the king would have final say over his own trial."
  • "He's not [above the law]. He's held in a place under the law, regardless of his actions."
Firsty of all the phrases "held in place by the law" and "regardless of his actions" do not fit together inside the same sentence but, regardless of that, anyone who presides over his own trial is not being held in place under the law, by definition. It couldn't even be rightly called a trial at all and a person who cannot be put in jeopardy by the law, is not under the law's jurisdiction, again, by definition.

And so whether or not the law expressly places the king above the law is irrelevant because in reality he is in a position that is legally untouchable while at the same time has the authority to make legal judgments, even if such a judgment has an inherent conflict of interest. The king can literally do whatever he wants and the closest the law can get to it is for the king to declare himself not guilty. That is the very definition of being above the law.
Agreed with all of this. We've agreed on this before too. We both believe in the rule of law, and this scheme doesn't have the rule of law.
This is not a problem for a nation that has the Judge of all creation directly participating in the county's affairs. The United States of America, however, is not that country.

Clete
America's founders addressed the problem through taking Hobbes's concept of the sovereign, which is basically an absolute autocrat if it were a man, and dismembering him, this is the "balance of powers" established by the institution of the separation of powers. Our Constitution divides up the absolute power of the sovereign into three different branches of the federal government, and further divides up power between the federal government and the states (it's a federal and not a unitary system iow, federalism promotes subsidiarianism, local government wherever expedient). There is no person "above the law" in America, and no branch or state has unlimited power (due to the separation of powers in our constitution) either.

We don't have any absolute laws above or beyond our Constitution, and even that can be amended. But our Declaration declares that our human rights are 'God given'.
 

JudgeRightly

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The brevity of this response should not be taken as my having blown off any of what you said. Since we are mostly in agreement, I'm just trying to be efficient and focus on the point of disagreement....

👍

The flaw in your position is the contradictory nature of conceding the following two points....
  • "...as the supreme ruler of the land, the king would have final say over his own trial."
  • "He's not [above the law]. He's held in a place under the law, regardless of his actions."
Firsty of all the phrases "held in place by the law" and "regardless of his actions" do not fit together inside the same sentence but, regardless of that, anyone who presides over his own trial is not being held in place under the law, by definition.

Fair enough.

It couldn't even be rightly called a trial at all and a person who cannot be put in jeopardy by the law, is not under the law's jurisdiction, again, by definition.

That's reasonable.

The problem is that there's no earthly solution to it.

As I recall, Bob fully acknowledged that any system put in place by humans or that has humans as an inherent part in it will have flaws in it, simply because humanity is flawed.

With that in mind, there's not a whole lot else to be said, yes, the king will act above the law. That's the whole concession made from what was said in the Proposed Constitution itself:


However the King, as the ultimate national judge, likely will prevail in his own court against innocents, his decisions final on Earth even if unjust, unless of course overturned by a foreign power. The King, though required to obey the laws herein, dwells above the jurisdiction of any other court in the land. If the Monarch violates this Constitution through wrongful amendments or otherwise, while no American court has standing to prosecute him, he awaits the Judgment of God.



And so whether or not the law expressly places the king above the law is irrelevant because in reality he is in a position that is legally untouchable while at the same time has the authority to make legal judgments, even if such a judgment has an inherent conflict of interest. The king can literally do whatever he wants and the closest the law can get to it is for the king to declare himself not guilty. That is the very definition of being above the law.

While I don't fully concede that the king is "above the law," I do acknowledge that the king would be legally untouchable.

But I think there's something important that you're forgetting, or at the very least, haven't made the connection to yet, and it's this:


Corrupt institutions virtually never revive. Corrupt kings can repent, or at the very least, die.
· Individuals often repent, bureaucracies rarely even express sorrow.
· Men under an evil King need change only one heart; those in a democracy can never change millions.



If a king becomes evil, all his subjects have to do is convince him that he is wrong and needs to repent. If he repents, then the nation is saved from his wickedness. If he never repents, then he will eventually die, and a (potentially better) successor will take his place. Or, as mentioned above, a foreign power could intervene, though that obviously wouldn't be ideal.

In other words, I think the weakness is accounted for in this system, despite the system itself not having any checks or balances for the king.

"Men under an evil king need change only one heart."
"Corrupt kings can repent, or at the very least, die."

I don't know how else to say it except that it's a brilliant solution (for lack of a better term) to a problem that has no solution in law.

This is not a problem for a nation that has the Judge of all creation directly participating in the county's affairs. The United States of America, however, is not that country.

I fully agree, here.
 

Clete

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Agreed with all of this. We've agreed on this before too. We both believe in the rule of law, and this scheme doesn't have the rule of law.
It does for everyone other than the king himself.

Even with that flaw, its far superior to the joke of a legal system we have in this country where anyone with enough political pull doesn't have to pay any attention to the law whatsoever.

America's founders addressed the problem through taking Hobbes's concept of the sovereign, which is basically an absolute autocrat if it were a man, and dismembering him, this is the "balance of powers" established by the institution of the separation of powers. Our Constitution divides up the absolute power of the sovereign into three different branches of the federal government, and further divides up power between the federal government and the states (it's a federal and not a unitary system iow, federalism promotes subsidiarianism, local government wherever expedient). There is no person "above the law" in America, and no branch or state has unlimited power (due to the separation of powers in our constitution) either.
The king is the system we are discussing would not be an absolute autocrat nor would he likely be able to turn himself into one. The king has no authority, for example, to make new law. The sort of king you're talking about can create law on a whim and you think that because the founders gave the authority to a committee that it's somehow better. It isn't. It's slower, perhaps, but still just as unjust and very much harder to correct once things have gone off course.

We don't have any absolute laws above or beyond our Constitution, and even that can be amended. But our Declaration declares that our human rights are 'God given'.
Hmm. It depends on what you mean by "absolute".

And whether or not they are is not the same question as whether or not they should be.

Clete
 

Clete

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Fair enough.



That's reasonable.
Major progress! :cool:

The problem is that there's no earthly solution to it.
Well, this is the claim but I've not seen the proof.

It seems at least plausible to me that a system could be put into place where a king could be impeached. If it were sufficiently difficult to initiate and carry out then it couldn't serve as a means to basically replace one tyrant with a committee of tyrants and even if such a system wasn't perfect, the proposed system isn't perfect either and so its a matter of which is more perfect than the other.

As I recall, Bob fully acknowledged that any system put in place by humans or that has humans as an inherent part in it will have flaws in it, simply because humanity is flawed.

With that in mind, there's not a whole lot else to be said, yes, the king will act above the law. That's the whole concession made from what was said in the Proposed Constitution itself:


However the King, as the ultimate national judge, likely will prevail in his own court against innocents, his decisions final on Earth even if unjust, unless of course overturned by a foreign power. The King, though required to obey the laws herein, dwells above the jurisdiction of any other court in the land. If the Monarch violates this Constitution through wrongful amendments or otherwise, while no American court has standing to prosecute him, he awaits the Judgment of God.





While I don't fully concede that the king is "above the law," I do acknowledge that the king would be legally untouchable.

But I think there's something important that you're forgetting, or at the very least, haven't made the connection to yet, and it's this:


Corrupt institutions virtually never revive. Corrupt kings can repent, or at the very least, die.
· Individuals often repent, bureaucracies rarely even express sorrow.
· Men under an evil King need change only one heart; those in a democracy can never change millions.



If a king becomes evil, all his subjects have to do is convince him that he is wrong and needs to repent. If he repents, then the nation is saved from his wickedness. If he never repents, then he will eventually die, and a (potentially better) successor will take his place. Or, as mentioned above, a foreign power could intervene, though that obviously wouldn't be ideal.

In other words, I think the weakness is accounted for in this system, despite the system itself not having any checks or balances for the king.

"Men under an evil king need change only one heart."
"Corrupt kings can repent, or at the very least, die."

I don't know how else to say it except that it's a brilliant solution (for lack of a better term) to a problem that has no solution in law.
So tell me why having some sort of system in which the king could be impeached wouldn't work.

This proposed system would have hundreds of judges. If there had to be some super-majority of judges that agreed in order to bring charges against the king and then a presiding judge for the trial was chosen from among the nation's judges by random lottery then were would the danger be of this portion of the system undoing the entire system or end up producing a system that is more corrupt than one that inherrently employs a king that sits in a de-facto position above the law?

Clete
 

JudgeRightly

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Well, this is the claim but I've not seen the proof.

It seems at least plausible to me that a system could be put into place where a king could be impeached.

A system could be put in place, but it would eventually become corrupted and usurp the king.

If it were sufficiently difficult to initiate and carry out then it couldn't serve as a means to basically replace one tyrant with a committee of tyrants and even if such a system wasn't perfect, the proposed system isn't perfect either and so its a matter of which is more perfect than the other.

All it would take is for that "super-majority" to be (or become) corrupt for it to destroy the proposed system.

So tell me why having some sort of system in which the king could be impeached wouldn't work.

This proposed system would have hundreds of judges. If there had to be some super-majority of judges that agreed in order to bring charges against the king and then a presiding judge for the trial was chosen from among the nation's judges by random lottery then were would the danger be of this portion of the system undoing the entire system or end up producing a system that is more corrupt than one that inherrently employs a king that sits in a de-facto position above the law?

Here's why:

Let's say you have an evil king, and there was some, as you call it, "super-majority" rule that allowed this committee (because that's what it would be) to remove this evil king from his throne.

So the king gets removed, but committee remains, and the former king is replaced with a righteous king.

Except now, the committee under the evil king (which was also evil, just not as evil as the king was) doesn't like the new righteous king, and so removes him as well. And so, they take advantage of their status as arbiters of who gets to remain king to simply find someone who gets put on the throne that they can manipulate to do their bidding, and now instead of one person leading the nation, you have a committee pulling the strings of the person who is SUPPOSED to be leading the nation, with the threat of removing him if he doesn't do as they want him to, and he's just greedy enough to want the power he was given to want to remain king, and so now you have both an evil king AND an evil committee that refuses to remove him so long as he does what they want....

Do you see the problem now?

Jesus said the majority is wicked. Therefore, by having some sort of majority rule ANYWHERE in the system, you invite evil into it.

The moment you have the possibility for the king's authority to be usurped, even if he is evil, you invite other evil people to take advantage of that loophole and take control of the government. That's why there must be an absolute ruler somewhere, even if he cannot be removed.

The system as it is, does not allow for the scenario above to occur, because even though it allows an evil king to rule, it limits his wickedness to his own reign.

What Bob said is true: "No practical authority can exist above the leader, or else that authority would be the leader."

Just like there can be no other god but God, otherwise He wouldn't be God.

That's why civil disobedience is so important as a right.


Civil Disobedience: Political Argument
· While no authority may exist above a leader to correct him, those beneath him should resist his wickedness.
· Men should generally subject themselves to the government but refuse to follow a particular evil lead.
· If the king begins stealing wives, etc., he makes life unbearable and may merit virtually no obedience.
· Only during war with foreigners is anyone justified in using force against his own aggressor government.
· Other than when two equal, sovereign authorities battle, only peaceful disobedience is justified.
· Peaceful civil disobedience may include creative tactics for foiling unjust government actions.
· America’s current judges take great offense at disobedience against injustice. Kings will likewise.
· Men have not only the right, but also the responsibility, to refuse to submit to unjust government coercion.

 

Clete

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A system could be put in place, but it would eventually become corrupted and usurp the king.
Why?

All it would take is for that "super-majority" to be (or become) corrupt for it to destroy the proposed system.
How so?

Here's why:

Let's say you have an evil king, and there was some, as you call it, "super-majority" rule that allowed this committee (because that's what it would be) to remove this evil king from his throne.

So the king gets removed, but committee remains, and the former king is replaced with a righteous king.
No, the committee only exists long enough to bring charges and select a judge for the trial. The point being that any such objection can be overcome with the sort of reasons that you've been defending the system as proposed. That reason being that the existence of such a "committee" (your word, not mine) would be defined by parameters set forth in the law.

There would also need to be a provision in the law concerning the replacement for a king convicted of a crime worthy of death. Perhaps the crown would pass to the king's heir or perhaps the king's conviction sets aside his family from being the monarch and an entirely new king is selected just as the first king was. So long as the process is set out clearly by the law, practically any way would be at least as good as the proposed selection of the king by a totally blind and random lottery system.

Except now, the committee under the evil king (which was also evil, just not as evil as the king was) doesn't like the new righteous king, and so removes him as well. And so, they take advantage of their status as arbiters of who gets to remain king to simply find someone who gets put on the throne that they can manipulate to do their bidding, and now instead of one person leading the nation, you have a committee pulling the strings of the person who is SUPPOSED to be leading the nation, with the threat of removing him if he doesn't do as they want him to, and he's just greedy enough to want the power he was given to want to remain king, and so now you have both an evil king AND an evil committee that refuses to remove him so long as he does what they want....

Do you see the problem now?
No. There wouldn't be anything in the law that would give any group of judges the authority to throw out the whole system and become some sort of oligarchy. The same provisions in the law that help to prevent the king from making new law would be just as effective, if not more so, in preventing such an assumption of power.

Jesus said the majority is wicked. Therefore, by having some sort of majority rule ANYWHERE in the system, you invite evil into it.
I've never bought this argument either.

While any one jury might get a verdict wrong, by and large, juries get the verdict correct based on the law. It's the law that is corrupt.

It is an error to equate the majority of humanity with a particular group of tens of people.

The moment you have the possibility for the king's authority to be usurped, even if he is evil, you invite other evil people to take advantage of that loophole and take control of the government. That's why there must be an absolute ruler somewhere, even if he cannot be removed.
Again, this is the claim but I've not seen the proof.

I see no reason why the law cannot be the absolute rather than any particular king. The law set the rules for selecting the king, the same law can set the rules for removing him and it would be up to the people to disobey if the law was being usurped which is a critical aspect of the proposed system in spite of the fact that the majority is wicked, right?

The system as it is, does not allow for the scenario above to occur, because even though it allows an evil king to rule, it limits his wickedness to his own reign.
No it doesn't. His eldest living son is guaranteed the thrown. Why couldn't a wicked king murder any sons he had that didn't think like him?

What Bob said is true: "No practical authority can exist above the leader, or else that authority would be the leader."
Like I said, I've always disagreed with this thinking. It just isn't true. The king didn't install himself, did he? Who did?

Whatever your answer to that question, the same should be able to remove that authority from him.

Just like there can be no other god but God, otherwise He wouldn't be God.

That's why civil disobedience is so important as a right.
Disobedience of whom? Who is this "civil" person? Is it not the great mass of humanity, the majority of which is evil?

What gives the whole population of mostly evil people the authority to disobey the king?

Is it not the law?

If the law can give a whole mob of thousands upon thousands of mostly evil people the authority to usurp the king's authority, then why can it not give authority to a majority of sitting judges to bring charges against the king in criminal court where his guilt must then be established by the evidence against him and where the threat of the law's punishment can act as a deterrent to the king's evil, just as it does for everyone else?

Clete
 
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Yorzhik

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A system could be put in place, but it would eventually become corrupted and usurp the king.



All it would take is for that "super-majority" to be (or become) corrupt for it to destroy the proposed system.



Here's why:

Let's say you have an evil king, and there was some, as you call it, "super-majority" rule that allowed this committee (because that's what it would be) to remove this evil king from his throne.

So the king gets removed, but committee remains, and the former king is replaced with a righteous king.

Except now, the committee under the evil king (which was also evil, just not as evil as the king was) doesn't like the new righteous king, and so removes him as well. And so, they take advantage of their status as arbiters of who gets to remain king to simply find someone who gets put on the throne that they can manipulate to do their bidding, and now instead of one person leading the nation, you have a committee pulling the strings of the person who is SUPPOSED to be leading the nation, with the threat of removing him if he doesn't do as they want him to, and he's just greedy enough to want the power he was given to want to remain king, and so now you have both an evil king AND an evil committee that refuses to remove him so long as he does what they want....

Do you see the problem now?

Jesus said the majority is wicked. Therefore, by having some sort of majority rule ANYWHERE in the system, you invite evil into it.

The moment you have the possibility for the king's authority to be usurped, even if he is evil, you invite other evil people to take advantage of that loophole and take control of the government. That's why there must be an absolute ruler somewhere, even if he cannot be removed.

The system as it is, does not allow for the scenario above to occur, because even though it allows an evil king to rule, it limits his wickedness to his own reign.

What Bob said is true: "No practical authority can exist above the leader, or else that authority would be the leader."

Just like there can be no other god but God, otherwise He wouldn't be God.

That's why civil disobedience is so important as a right.


Civil Disobedience: Political Argument
· While no authority may exist above a leader to correct him, those beneath him should resist his wickedness.
· Men should generally subject themselves to the government but refuse to follow a particular evil lead.
· If the king begins stealing wives, etc., he makes life unbearable and may merit virtually no obedience.
· Only during war with foreigners is anyone justified in using force against his own aggressor government.
· Other than when two equal, sovereign authorities battle, only peaceful disobedience is justified.
· Peaceful civil disobedience may include creative tactics for foiling unjust government actions.
· America’s current judges take great offense at disobedience against injustice. Kings will likewise.
· Men have not only the right, but also the responsibility, to refuse to submit to unjust government coercion.

In a nutshell it might be fair to say that having an evil committee will perpetuate itself. It will never die it will just become continually more evil as members leave through attrition and new members are added. The overall makeup of the committee will never change, but become continually worse.
 

Yorzhik

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Why?


How so?


No, the committee only exists long enough to bring charges and select a judge for the trial. The point being that any such objection can be overcome with the sort of reasons that you've been defending the system as proposed. That reason being that the existence of such a "committee" (your word, not mine) would be defined by parameters set forth in the law.

There would also need to be a provision in the law concerning the replacement for a king convicted of a crime worthy of death. Perhaps the crown would pass to the king's heir or perhaps the king's conviction sets aside his family from being the monarch and an entirely new king is selected just as the first king was. So long as the process is set out clearly by the law, practically any way would be at least as good as the proposed selection of the king by a totally blind and random lottery system.


No. There wouldn't be anything in the law that would give any group of judges the authority to throw out the whole system and become some sort of oligarchy. The same provisions in the law that help to prevent the king from making new law would be just as effective, if not more so, in preventing such an assumption of power.


I've never bought this argument either.

While any one jury might get a verdict wrong, by and large, juries get the verdict correct based on the law. It's the law that is corrupt.

It is an error to equate the majority of humanity with a particular group of tens of people.


Again, this is the claim but I've not seen the proof.

I see no reason why the law cannot be the absolute rather than any particular king. The law set the rules for selecting the king, the same law can set the rules for removing him and it would be up to the people to disobey if the law was being usurped which is a critical aspect of the proposed system in spite of the fact that the majority is wicked, right?


No it doesn't. His eldest living son is guaranteed the thrown. Why couldn't a wicked king murder any sons he had that didn't think like him?


Like I said, I've always disagreed with this thinking. It just isn't true. The king didn't install himself, did he? Who did?

Whatever your answer to that question, the same should be able to remove that authority from him.


Disobedience of whom? Who is this "civil" person? Is it not the great mass of humanity, the majority of which is evil?

What gives the whole population of mostly evil people the authority to disobey the king?

Is it not the law?

If the law can give a whole mob of thousands upon thousands of mostly evil people the authority to usurp the king's authority, then why can it not give authority to a majority of sitting judges to bring charges against the king in criminal court where his guilt must then be established by the evidence against him and where the threat of the law's punishment can act as a deterrent to the king's evil, just as it does for everyone else?

Clete
It might be fair to say that a king has to put his name on whatever ultimately happens by necessity if there is no committee. Therefore I think a king would even invite having a committee that had control over him because if he were aligned with the committee then he always has cover for evil principles by deferring to the committee.
 

Clete

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In a nutshell it might be fair to say that having an evil committee will perpetuate itself. It will never die it will just become continually more evil as members leave through attrition and new members are added. The overall makeup of the committee will never change, but become continually worse.
There would be no new members. It isn't even rightly referred to as a committee because that term implies not only a permanence but an actual body that wouldn't exist. What I'm thinking of would work more like the way a petition works now. Any judge could start such a petition but no charges could be brought unless some very large percentage, say two thirds, of all of the nation's judges signed it. Then, once charges were brought, then there'd have to be some objective process that resulted in the appointment of a judge to preside over the trial but there would be no formally empaneled committee with a chairman and an agenda, etc, but merely a legal process that was taken up by already seated judges.

It might be fair to say that a king has to put his name on whatever ultimately happens by necessity if there is no committee. Therefore I think a king would even invite having a committee that had control over him because if he were aligned with the committee then he always has cover for evil principles by deferring to the committee.
I would not be in favor of any such committee.

What I'm proposing is merely some sort of legal process that places the king under the jurisdiction of the law so that there is truly the rule of law and not the rule of man.

Clete
 

JudgeRightly

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Because man is basically evil, and the system has man as an inherent part of itself.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.


Simply by man being man.

No, the committee only exists long enough to bring charges and select a judge for the trial.

Problem 1: How do you guarantee that the committee lasts only as long as you want it to? If one man, the king, can (and will) act above the law, what makes you think that millions won't?
Problem 2: How do you guarantee that the judge himself is not a) just another wicked man, and b) will not himself take advantage of the system to install himself permanently after removing the king?

[Side note: I once did an estimation for how many judges there would be under the same sort of system implemented in the proposed constitution, originally found in Exodus 18. It comes out to around 13 million judges, assuming that under the king are five judges (1 judge per 10 states), and then under those five judges are 10 each, and under those fifty are 10 each, and under each of those are 10 each, etc... down to the lowest level of judge, which is a judge over 10 households.]

The point being that any such objection can be overcome with the sort of reasons that you've been defending the system as proposed. That reason being that the existence of such a "committee" (your word, not mine) would be defined by parameters set forth in the law.

And who enforces those parameters when the committee DOESN'T comply with the law?

There would also need to be a provision in the law concerning the replacement for a king convicted of a crime worthy of death. Perhaps the crown would pass to the king's heir or perhaps the king's conviction sets aside his family from being the monarch and an entirely new king is selected just as the first king was. So long as the process is set out clearly by the law, practically any way would be at least as good as the proposed selection of the king by a totally blind and random lottery system.

The succession process is already defined by the proposed constitution, and includes what should happen should the king die.

No. There wouldn't be anything in the law that would give any group of judges the authority to throw out the whole system and become some sort of oligarchy.

Neither is there anything in the law that would give any king the authority to throw out the whole system and become a dictator

The same provisions in the law that help to prevent the king from making new law would be just as effective, if not more so, in preventing such an assumption of power.

Saying it doesn't make it so, Clete.

In fact, if anything, you're going backwards towards democracy, rather than towards maintaining a monarchy.

Here's why:

You argue that the king would be above the law (effectively, if not in actuality), but then propose a system that could just as easily, if not MORE easily, have men (up to several million of them, but at least one) acting above the law, in the hopes of stopping the king from acting outside of the law.

What, in your proposed corrective system, is to stop this judge that gets appointed (or any of the judges that appoint him) from himself acting out of line?

I've never bought this argument either.

You know just as well as I do that an argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy, Clete. :)

Just because you don't buy it doesn't make it wrong.

Neither does me (or for that matter Bob) arguing it make it correct, of course.

While any one jury might get a verdict wrong, by and large, juries get the verdict correct based on the law.

A trial by committee is unjust, regardless of how many times the committees make the correct verdict.

Trial by juries are, quite literally, the ultimate form of "appeal to popularity."

Justice isn't a matter of popularity. As I've stated before, correct moral principles don't change.

It's the law that is corrupt.

Agreed, but that doesn't mean that juries are just.

It is an error to equate the majority of humanity with a particular group of tens of people.

Just as 6 out of 10 people agreeing that something is just doesn't make it so, so too 5,000,001 out of 10,000,000 doesn't make it just.

Again, this is the claim but I've not seen the proof.

I just gave you an example, evidence, of how it could happen. The very person who would get appointed would, at least for the purpose of removing him, be acting in authority above the king, placing him on a level on par with the law.

I see no reason why the law cannot be the absolute rather than any particular king.

If the law could make people righteous, then there would have been no need for Christ to come.

But it cannot. Hence why the law is called the tutor to bring people to Christ. In the same way, the law cannot prevent someone from violating it, and that applies to both the king and anyone appointed to removing him.

The law set the rules for selecting the king, the same law can set the rules for removing him and it would be up to the people to disobey if the law was being usurped which is a critical aspect of the proposed system in spite of the fact that the majority is wicked, right?

This seems to me like it would just be adding process to a government that was formed on the idea of eliminating as much excess process as possible. (I.O.W., counterproductive).

No it doesn't. His eldest living son is guaranteed the thrown throne. Why couldn't a wicked king murder any sons he had that didn't think like him?

Which would be done, as I said, under his own reign...

Yes, any evil thing that he could do would very likely have an affect on the next person who takes the throne and his reign, but the wicked king's wickedness would be done by him, and thus, limited to his own reign.

In other words, as Yorzhik said:

It might be fair to say that a king has to put his name on whatever ultimately happens by necessity . . .

I'm not saying that his actions wouldn't be felt by subsequent rulers, but simply that his actions are his own.

Like I said, I've always disagreed with this thinking.

Ok.

It just isn't true.

Saying it doesn't make it so.

The king didn't install himself, did he?

No.


Assuming the system is already in place and there was a king previously installed, he either inherited the throne because he was the oldest son, or he was chosen by lottery picked by the queen, or if none, the oldest daughter of the former king, or if none, America's chief military officer.

Whatever your answer to that question, the same should be able to remove that authority from him.

The former queen, the former king's daughter, the chief military officer, none of them have the authority to remove their king from his throne.

Disobedience of whom?

The citizens.

Who is this "civil" person? Is it not the great mass of humanity, the majority of which is evil?

Yes.

What gives the whole population of mostly evil people the authority to disobey the king?

God. As Peter said: "we must obey God rather than man."

Is it not the law?

The law comes from God.

If the law can give a whole mob of thousands upon thousands of mostly evil people the authority to usurp the king's authority,

Not usurp. Disobey.

then why can it not give authority to a majority of sitting judges to bring charges against the king in criminal court where his guilt must then be established by the evidence against him and where the threat of the law's punishment can act as a deterrent to the king's evil, just as it does for everyone else?

Because Jesus said that the majority is wicked.

There would be no new members. It isn't even rightly referred to as a committee because that term implies not only a permanence but an actual body that wouldn't exist. What I'm thinking of would work more like the way a petition works now. Any judge could start such a petition but no charges could be brought unless some very large percentage, say two thirds, of all of the nation's judges signed it. Then, once charges were brought, then there'd have to be some objective process that resulted in the appointment of a judge to preside over the trial but there would be no formally empaneled committee with a chairman and an agenda, etc, but merely a legal process that was taken up by already seated judges.

So what should be done about the following possibility?

A wicked judge who didn't like the current king started a petition to remove the king, and two thirds of the nation's judges signed it, charges are brought, another wicked judge is appointed to preside over the trial, and so the king, who was a good king, gets removed.

What then?

Who holds not only the judge who presided over the wrongful (despite following the law) removal of the king, but also the judge who started the petition and the 2/3rds of the judges who signed it, accountable?

I would not be in favor of any such committee.

What I'm proposing is merely some sort of legal process that places the king under the jurisdiction of the law so that there is truly the rule of law and not the rule of man.

What happens when wicked men use that legal process to remove a good king?

It's the very reason that the proposed constitution has NO WAY to remove the king. Yes, you may get an evil king. In fact, it's almost a guarantee that the majority of the nation's kings will be evil to any extent. But in this case, what you want to apply only to evil kings will more likely be used against good kings, because man is wicked.
 

Clete

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Because man is basically evil, and the system has man as an inherent part of itself.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Simply by man being man.
The same is true of the system you are proposing so this doesn't move the debate along at all.

Problem 1: How do you guarantee that the committee lasts only as long as you want it to?
It isn't a committee and even if it were, the guarantee is the same as anything in the system that you propose, the rule of law.

If one man, the king, can (and will) act above the law, what makes you think that millions won't?
Millions?

I'm simply talking about a referendum of some sort among already seated judges. Several dozen at most and, again, I'm not talking about any sort of empaneled committee of these judges. There wouldn't ever even need to be a meeting. A petition would circulate and any particular judge would either sign it or not. If a sufficient number of them sign it then formal charges are drawn up and a process is enacted to assign a judge to preside over the trial. Once that trial is over then, depending on the outcome, a new king must be selected, etc.

All of which is an orderly process prescribed by the same law that installed the king in the first place.

Problem 2: How do you guarantee that the judge himself is not a) just another wicked man, and b) will not himself take advantage of the system to install himself permanently after removing the king?
One judge would only be sufficient to start a petition but not nearly enough to even bring charges, never mind unseat the king.

[Side note: I once did an estimation for how many judges there would be under the same sort of system implemented in the proposed constitution, originally found in Exodus 18. It comes out to around 13 million judges, assuming that under the king are five judges (1 judge per 10 states), and then under those five judges are 10 each, and under those fifty are 10 each, and under each of those are 10 each, etc... down to the lowest level of judge, which is a judge over 10 households.]
Sheesh. I had no idea it would be so many.

That by itself might turn out to be a fairly strong argument against the practicality of such a system.

And who enforces those parameters when the committee DOESN'T comply with the law?
There would be no committee beyond what already exists.

The succession process is already defined by the proposed constitution, and includes what should happen should the king die.
Of course! It's been a while since I read it through.

Neither is there anything in the law that would give any king the authority to throw out the whole system and become a dictator.
There is by negation. There is no process for removing an unjust king. The king sits in a de-facto position above the law and so there is nothing to stop him being a tyrant if he wants to be.

Saying it doesn't make it so, Clete.

In fact, if anything, you're going backwards towards democracy, rather than towards maintaining a monarchy.

Here's why:

You argue that the king would be above the law (effectively, if not in actuality), but then propose a system that could just as easily, if not MORE easily, have men (up to several million of them, but at least one) acting above the law, in the hopes of stopping the king from acting outside of the law.

What, in your proposed corrective system, is to stop this judge that gets appointed (or any of the judges that appoint him) from himself acting out of line?
How could even one judge be acting in a manner above the law if he preforms an action to begin a LEGAL process?

You know just as well as I do that an argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy, Clete. :)

Just because you don't buy it doesn't make it wrong.

Neither does me (or for that matter Bob) arguing it make it correct, of course.
Well, that last line is the entire point, right? I mean, I wasn't suggesting that my being unconvinced was evidence that it was wrong, and so I wasn't making an appeal to incredulity, I was just saying that I'm not convinced.

A trial by committee is unjust, regardless of how many times the committees make the correct verdict.
I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Where I disagree is with the notion that juries usually get the decision wrong. They don't. Usually they get the decision correct so far as the law itself is concerned. It's the law that is unjust. Whether their decision rendered justice or not is a different question.

I don't know if you've ever served on a jury or not but I can tell you from experience that most cases aren't difficult to decide and even the ones that are more complex, there's usually a very distinct set of questions that have to answered in the affirmative in order to satisfy a certain aspect of the law and typically every aspect of the law must be satisfied for a defendant to be found guilty and so it's ually a really simple matter of going down a list of three or four particular points and asking whether that aspect was proven or not and as soon as you get to a "No, it wasn't." then it's a "Not guilty" verdict and if you fail to get a "No, it isn't." then its a guilty verdict.

What I'm saying is that the vast majority of juries go through that process successfully based on the information presented to them at trial and they almost always come to the same answer that you would come to given the same information and the same set of questions. In other words, most juries get it right most of the time - BASED ON THE LAW. Whether or not that process yeilds anything that resembles actual justice is a completely different question, the answer to which is almost always "No!" but that isn't the jury's fault, its because the law is unjust.

Trial by juries are, quite literally, the ultimate form of "appeal to popularity."
This is a gross over statement that I wish I could get anyone involved in Bob's ministry to stop saying. It just is not true!

It would be true if the jury got to decide what the law said or if there were wide spread instances of rogue juries that negated the law all over the place for no rational reason but that just isn't happening. Juries do not get to decide by popular vote what the law is. They aren't even allowed to convict someone on a law that the judge does not give the jury express permission to consider.

Justice isn't a matter of popularity. As I've stated before, correct moral principles don't change.



Agreed, but that doesn't mean that juries are just.



Just as 6 out of 10 people agreeing that something is just doesn't make it so, so too 5,000,001 out of 10,000,000 doesn't make it just.
None of that seemed to connect with the point I made.

I just gave you an example, evidence, of how it could happen. The very person who would get appointed would, at least for the purpose of removing him, be acting in authority above the king, placing him on a level on par with the law.
How so? It's not as if he placed himself in that position. It was a legal process that placed him in a position of presiding over a trial. A trial which would proceed exactly like any other trial. The judge would not have been given the authority to ignore the law, nor make new law and he'd be just as accountable for his verdict in this trial as he has always been for all his other verdicts. His position is in keeping with the law because it is the law that created the position and prescribed the process that put him in that position and the same law would prescribe how to proceed through the trial as well as whatever comes after.

A person who is submitting to the law cannot be acting as the law's equal.

If the law could make people righteous, then there would have been no need for Christ to come.

But it cannot. Hence why the law is called the tutor to bring people to Christ. In the same way, the law cannot prevent someone from violating it, and that applies to both the king and anyone appointed to removing him.
This, again, does not seem to connect with the point I made. I do not understand the connections you are making here at all.

What does this have to do with whether or not the rule of law should be absolute vs. the rule of a king being absolute? We aren't talking about soteriology but about a theory of government.

This seems to me like it would just be adding process to a government that was formed on the idea of eliminating as much excess process as possible. (I.O.W., counterproductive).
In what way would it be counter productive? I agree that eliminating unneeded processes is a great idea but having a process by which the king is held in a position UNDER the law seems quite valuable and necessary for such a system when God Himself isn't actively intervening in the country's affairs. It is, after all, the rule of law that we are attempting to achieve, is it not?


Saying it doesn't make it so.
Which is why I followed it up with an argument. You should try to reply to the entire statement instead of a single sentence at the beginning of it.


Assuming the system is already in place and there was a king previously installed, he either inherited the throne because he was the oldest son, or he was chosen by lottery picked by the queen, or if none, the oldest daughter of the former king, or if none, America's chief military officer.

The former queen, the former king's daughter, the chief military officer, none of them have the authority to remove their king from his throne.
Just as I said, it is the law that installed the king. Whether it was inherited or decided by lottery or whatever, so long as that process was in keeping with the law then it was the rule of law that installed the king and there isn't any reason to think that there can't be a provision in the very same law that provides from the king's removal.

The citizens.



Yes.



God. As Peter said: "we must obey God rather than man."



The law comes from God.



Not usurp. Disobey.



Because Jesus said that the majority is wicked.
All of this was you responding to individual sentences of a whole argument. You responded to everything but the argument!

You are literally losing the forest for the trees and end up saying things that support my position while thinking that you're arguing against it!

Thoughts very often come in the form of multiple sentences. The first two answers you gave concede the premise of my entire argument here and you manage to circle back around a restate the premise upon which you disagree with the premise you conceded three sentence earlier. That premise being that this majority wicked group of subjects are told in God's law to usurp the king's authority by means of civil disobedience. And usurp is the correct word, by the way, because civil disobedience isn't just about an individual's decision to disobey, it's an attempt to persuade the population as a whole.

So what should be done about the following possibility?

A wicked judge who didn't like the current king started a petition to remove the king, and two thirds of the nation's judges signed it, charges are brought, another wicked judge is appointed to preside over the trial, and so the king, who was a good king, gets removed.

What then?

Who holds not only the judge who presided over the wrongful (despite following the law) removal of the king, but also the judge who started the petition and the 2/3rds of the judges who signed it, accountable?


What happens when wicked men use that legal process to remove a good king?
Your hypothetical presupposes that the entire system itself doesn't work. If you implemented a system where you ended up with 67% of the nation's judges being sufficiently evil that they pull off overthrowing a good king who is not guilty of a major crime, then you have a system that is fundamentally flawed and needs to be trashed.

It's the very reason that the proposed constitution has NO WAY to remove the king. Yes, you may get an evil king. In fact, it's almost a guarantee that the majority of the nation's kings will be evil to any extent. But in this case, what you want to apply only to evil kings will more likely be used against good kings, because man is wicked.
That's the claim but I have yet to see the evidence.

Such a system makes sense for a nation with which God is dealing directly, such as ancient Israel, because, in such a nation, God is, in effect, the highest authority in that nation. In a nation where God is not acting in this capacity, such as The United State of America, what you'd end up with is the rule of a man rather than the rule of law thus my position is that the system would need some provision added to it that places the king in legal jeapordy if he decided to act in an illegal manner.

Clete
 
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Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
It does for everyone other than the king himself.
But only if the king wants that. If he just up and decides that nobody is authorized to enforce any law, then there isn't any rule of law for anybody.
Even with that flaw, its far superior to the joke of a legal system we have in this country where anyone with enough political pull doesn't have to pay any attention to the law whatsoever.
Where I agree is that there is injustice in a system where more money buys you better attorneys. We ought to fix that.
The king is the system we are discussing would not be an absolute autocrat nor would he likely be able to turn himself into one.
It doesn't sound like there's any way to stop him, not if he just decides to not obey the law. He's 'on the honor system'.
The king has no authority, for example, to make new law.
Except how are his subjects authorized to disobey him if he decides to make new law? Who overrules the king's command to punish those who refuse to obey his new law, that he wasn't supposed to make?
The sort of king you're talking about can create law on a whim and you think that because the founders gave the authority to a committee that it's somehow better.
It's an entire constitution with three branches each with absolute power in a small scope. The legislative branch makes laws, but the judicial branch has the absolute power to review the laws that are made.

It's also worth noting here that I forgot about another key separation of powers that exists in our Constitution that doesn't appear in many other modern democracies (which are all imitations of our Constitution), and that is that our Upper House (the Senate) has equal power to the Lower House (the House of Representatives). In many other constitutions the upper house is almost powerless, basically just a 'rubber stamp' or only holding one very narrow power.

So all told then in the United States we have power separated between Federal and State government (subsidiarity, federalism, which is opposed to unitary states where all the power belongs to the central government), between Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, and within the Legislative branch the Upper and Lower Houses have basically equal power, and plus, our jury system places a great power right in the hands of citizens, the power to nullify laws.

If instead of a constitution this was a man, then we would have hacked him limb from limb to make our government work.
It isn't. It's slower, perhaps, but still just as unjust and very much harder to correct once things have gone off course.
Every two years there's a completely new House and about a third new Senators. Lawmakers can and do repeal or amend current laws all the time. It's not instantaneous, sure, but anything can be done in well under a decade, if Americans want it enough.
Hmm. It depends on what you mean by "absolute".

And whether or not they are is not the same question as whether or not they should be.
For there to be rule of law there must be a supreme or absolute law, otherwise rule of law is meaningless.
 

Clete

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But only if the king wants that. If he just up and decides that nobody is authorized to enforce any law, then there isn't any rule of law for anybody.

Where I agree is that there is injustice in a system where more money buys you better attorneys. We ought to fix that.

It doesn't sound like there's any way to stop him, not if he just decides to not obey the law. He's 'on the honor system'.

Except how are his subjects authorized to disobey him if he decides to make new law? Who overrules the king's command to punish those who refuse to obey his new law, that he wasn't supposed to make?

It's an entire constitution with three branches each with absolute power in a small scope. The legislative branch makes laws, but the judicial branch has the absolute power to review the laws that are made.

It's also worth noting here that I forgot about another key separation of powers that exists in our Constitution that doesn't appear in many other modern democracies (which are all imitations of our Constitution), and that is that our Upper House (the Senate) has equal power to the Lower House (the House of Representatives). In many other constitutions the upper house is almost powerless, basically just a 'rubber stamp' or only holding one very narrow power.

So all told then in the United States we have power separated between Federal and State government (subsidiarity, federalism, which is opposed to unitary states where all the power belongs to the central government), between Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, and within the Legislative branch the Upper and Lower Houses have basically equal power, and plus, our jury system places a great power right in the hands of citizens, the power to nullify laws.

If instead of a constitution this was a man, then we would have hacked him limb from limb to make our government work.

Every two years there's a completely new House and about a third new Senators. Lawmakers can and do repeal or amend current laws all the time. It's not instantaneous, sure, but anything can be done in well under a decade, if Americans want it enough.

For there to be rule of law there must be a supreme or absolute law, otherwise rule of law is meaningless.
Your objections, it seems to me would all be overcome by simply adding a mechanism by which the king could be impeached, thus placing him under the law, which is what I've been advocating.

Your faith in our constitution is understandable but misplaced. We are already living under laws that are flagrantly unconstitutional and no one does a damn thing about it, including the Supreme Court and so the Constitution is hardly absolute in any sense of the word nor could it ever be because all that is required to violate it is the right political wind to blow.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Your objections, it seems to me would all be overcome by simply adding a mechanism by which the king could be impeached, thus placing him under the law, which is what I've been advocating.

Your faith in our constitution is understandable but misplaced. We are already living under laws that are flagrantly unconstitutional and no one does a damn thing about it, including the Supreme Court and so the Constitution is hardly absolute in any sense of the word nor could it ever be because all that is required to violate it is the right political wind to blow.
Theoretically our constitution is vulnerable to becoming a single party state, there is no mechanism to ensure that there is always a competitive opposition party, like there always has been throughout our history. Is that just a hidden part of our constitution? Like judicial review? idk.

So if for example the Democrats became the only party that ever won elections, both local and national, and we wound up with a single party state, then that would be an example of a "political wind". In that case the Supreme Court will be manned only by those judges who believe in Democratic judicial philosophy, which is utilitarian logical positivism. In that case, then I see your point.

In order to prevent this from happening, what would you recommend that we do now?

Throughout history, beyond just American history, there have been many significant eventful times when the population at large has come to see education as the preventative responsive measure against something that they all had just endured (good or bad). Some examples are the Dark /Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Industrial Revolution. If we look forward to an eventual single party regime here in the US, and we want to avoid it, how might we educate our young?

For me, I see in this country a strong Republican bent, and it is rooted in certain moral philosophies, all surrounding the basic notion that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable universal human rights. This flatly conflicts with utilitarian legal positivism. So long as we not let this flickering flame go out, then we will never see a single party regime here, unless that single party is Republican.

(But even then, because Democrats are competitive, they will change their platform in order to win more elections, so we would all shift ourselves toward more Republican, as defined today; even Democrats would be 'more Republican' than they are now, we would have more 'Senator Manchins' iow; more 'JFKs'; Democrats who are more Republican.)
 

Clete

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Theoretically our constitution is vulnerable to becoming a single party state, there is no mechanism to ensure that there is always a competitive opposition party, like there always has been throughout our history. Is that just a hidden part of our constitution? Like judicial review? idk.

So if for example the Democrats became the only party that ever won elections, both local and national, and we wound up with a single party state, then that would be an example of a "political wind". In that case the Supreme Court will be manned only by those judges who believe in Democratic judicial philosophy, which is utilitarian logical positivism. In that case, then I see your point.

In order to prevent this from happening, what would you recommend that we do now?

Throughout history, beyond just American history, there have been many significant eventful times when the population at large has come to see education as the preventative responsive measure against something that they all had just endured (good or bad). Some examples are the Dark /Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Industrial Revolution. If we look forward to an eventual single party regime here in the US, and we want to avoid it, how might we educate our young?

For me, I see in this country a strong Republican bent, and it is rooted in certain moral philosophies, all surrounding the basic notion that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable universal human rights. This flatly conflicts with utilitarian legal positivism. So long as we not let this flickering flame go out, then we will never see a single party regime here, unless that single party is Republican.

(But even then, because Democrats are competitive, they will change their platform in order to win more elections, so we would all shift ourselves toward more Republican, as defined today; even Democrats would be 'more Republican' than they are now, we would have more 'Senator Manchins' iow; more 'JFKs'; Democrats who are more Republican.)
There is no fixing it because the Constitution failed to translate the right to life into the right to private property. As a result, we have neither.

A good start, however, would be to get the government out of the business of providing ANY good or service that can be provided by the private sector. The government has no business being in the education business, the food business, the housing business, the health care business, the pharmaceutical business or any other business enterprise. It is fundamentally corrupt and deleterious to every aspect of a civil society because it's conceptual basis is theft because a person has no right to any good, service, commodity or property that must be provided by someone else nor can a person be rightly compelled to enter into any contract or other transaction against his will. This is what it means to have the right to life. It is not merely the right to stay alive but it is the right to live your life as you see fit, to apply your time and talent, which is your life, to those pursuits which you deem worthy of it and the right to own, dispose of or keep the fruits thereof in whatever manner the producer sees fit.

The government is rightly there to protect it's citizens from criminals and hostile foreign states, to settle disputes between parties and to provide infrastructure required to facilitate those functions. It is not the government's function to act as Robin Hood and STEAL the products from the producers of a nation so as to give to the parasites of that nation in exchange for their votes on election day.

Clete
 
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JudgeRightly

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Lighter response this time, since a lot of what I want to say depends on your reply to a few of the questions I ask in this post...

The same is true of the system you are proposing so this doesn't move the debate along at all.

That's kind of my point. There's not much benefit over Bob's proposed system that your addition adds.

It isn't a committee and even if it were, the guarantee is the same as anything in the system that you propose, the rule of law.

Ok.

Millions?

I'll address this below.

I'm simply talking about a referendum of some sort among already seated judges. Several dozen at most and, again, I'm not talking about any sort of empaneled committee of these judges. There wouldn't ever even need to be a meeting. A petition would circulate and any particular judge would either sign it or not. If a sufficient number of them sign it then formal charges are drawn up and a process is enacted to assign a judge to preside over the trial. Once that trial is over then, depending on the outcome, a new king must be selected, etc.

All of which is an orderly process prescribed by the same law that installed the king in the first place.

Alright, so let's say such a system is amended into the proposed system, which is then put into place, and the first king is selected, time passes, and soon enough, a wicked king is crowned.

Could you provide a theoretical scenario where the system works as intended, based on the above?

One judge would only be sufficient to start a petition but not nearly enough to even bring charges, never mind unseat the king.

The problem is that the whole idea behind the proposed system is that the king is at the top of the government as the leader. The system you propose adds a level above the king (legally) that puts some people above the king, even if only temporarily.

Sheesh. I had no idea it would be so many.

That by itself might turn out to be a fairly strong argument against the practicality of such a system.

Yeah, 13 million judges is quite a few.

Something else to consider is that judges aren't technically part of the government, only authorize BY the government to enforce the law and justice. They're still citizens who have to earn their living through normal means, they aren't on the government's payroll. The King is no exception to this, since in Bob's proposed system, the King is the highest judge in the land. He just has a job that pays way better, haha.

A lot of the things Bob said in his Political Defense of the Constitution document about judges/juries also applies to the king. Not all of it, mind you, but most of it, I'd wager.

Of course! It's been a while since I read it through.

Ok. I definitely recommend familiarizing yourself with it again. :)

There is by negation. There is no process for removing an unjust king. The king sits in a de-facto position above the law and so there is nothing to stop him being a tyrant if he wants to be.

The same holds true in the system you propose, so not much of a point if the king can just have the people who bring charges against him be executed for treason, justly or not.

How could even one judge be acting in a manner above the law if he preforms an action to begin a LEGAL process?

Because authority flows downhill.

Perhaps I worded it poorly, but the point is that any person, judge or otherwise, who tries to act with authority above the king is by definition a subversion of his authority to act as king.

I wasn't suggesting otherwise. Where I disagree is with the notion that juries usually get the decision wrong. They don't. Usually they get the decision correct so far as the law itself is concerned. It's the law that is unjust. Whether their decision rendered justice or not is a different question.

Alright, I will concede this.

However, it's because I believe that I got sidetracked by using the wrong line of reasoning.

Allow me if you would to reform my argument against juries, not on whether they get things right or wrong, but on accountability.

The main problem with juries is that they typically have no accountability, because they disband as soon as the case is over with.

I don't know if you've ever served on a jury or not

I have not.

but I can tell you from experience that most cases aren't difficult to decide and even the ones that are more complex,

Then why the need for the jury in the first place?

If it's not hard to decide, then why do you need twelve people to do it, instead of just one?

You probably agree with me that they're unnecessary, so feel free to skip responding to this. Unless you want to respond, of course, haha.

there's usually a very distinct set of questions that have to answered in the affirmative in order to satisfy a certain aspect of the law and typically every aspect of the law must be satisfied for a defendant to be found guilty and so it's ually a really simple matter of going down a list of three or four particular points and asking whether that aspect was proven or not and as soon as you get to a "No, it wasn't." then it's a "Not guilty" verdict and if you fail to get a "No, it isn't." then its a guilty verdict.

What I'm saying is that the vast majority of juries go through that process successfully based on the information presented to them at trial and they almost always come to the same answer that you would come to given the same information and the same set of questions. In other words, most juries get it right most of the time - BASED ON THE LAW. Whether or not that process yeilds anything that resembles actual justice is a completely different question, the answer to which is almost always "No!" but that isn't the jury's fault, its because the law is unjust.

As I said above, my argument is now (and should have been the entire time) that juries have no accountability, so there's less incentive for them to be in the right, and there's no real punishment for a wrong decision.

This is a gross over statement that I wish I could get anyone involved in Bob's ministry to stop saying. It just is not true!

It would be true if the jury got to decide what the law said or if there were wide spread instances of rogue juries that negated the law all over the place for no rational reason but that just isn't happening. Juries do not get to decide by popular vote what the law is.

I believe what Bob was talking about wasn't just juries, but any "body" of people, such as legislatures, that try to invent laws.

But don't quote me on that, and I'd have to have a bit more of the context of what he said.

In what way would it be counter productive?

As I said above, the whole idea behind the proposed system is that the king is at the top of the government as the leader, with a single point of accountability.

Would you agree or disagree that a single point of accountability often rightly motivates?

I agree that eliminating unneeded processes is a great idea but having a process by which the king is held in a position UNDER the law seems quite valuable and necessary for such a system when God Himself isn't actively intervening in the country's affairs. It is, after all, the rule of law that we are attempting to achieve, is it not?

What happens if there's a wicked king, and no judge starts a petition to start the removal process? What then?

Which is why I followed it up with an argument. You should try to reply to the entire statement instead of a single sentence at the beginning of it.

Fair.

Just as I said, it is the law that installed the king.

Which proves that the king is subject to the law, despite being the highest authority in the land, does it not?

Whether it was inherited or decided by lottery or whatever, so long as that process was in keeping with the law then it was the rule of law that installed the king and there isn't any reason to think that there can't be a provision in the very same law that provides from the king's removal.

I'm not so sure.

The processes defined to install a new king are largely, once the system is in place, out of control of humans.

Sure, humans are involved, which is a flaw of any system, but the processes themselves keep the amount of human control to a minimum.

Inheritance by ONLY the first son of the king means that if the king has no sons, then one of the other selection processes will be used, or if he has more than one, only one of them will become king, which prevents inheritance disputes among siblings.

Lottery, as King Solomon put it:

Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart. - Proverbs 18:18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs18:18&version=NKJV

It also has the added benefit of being fair to all involved, since no one outside of God can really control the outcome of the cast lot.

However, the solution you propose would involve millions (as stated above) of people, and require human intervention.

Something Bob points out is this: "Good eventually wins. So America will see vengeance against a wicked king at least by Judgment Day."

With that in mind, I'm not sure I see much benefit in having a system that subverts the king's authority simply because some people think he's being a bad king (or perhaps he really is), when the king, if he's that wicked anyways, isn't going to listen to whatever verdict they come up with. And if he's not that wicked, then I see such a system as unnecessary, because, as the sole point of accountability, the responsibility placed on his shoulders means that whatever decisions he makes will be remembered as his legacy, which will likely motivate him to be a good king anyways, or at least, not an utterly wicked one, and all it would take to change course would be to change one man's mind, the king's. Which means that the system you propose would be entirely unnecessary anyways, since if he can be convinced that he's in the wrong, there's no reason to remove him.

Men under an evil king need only change one heart.

In other words, I see your system as unnecessary, and I consider it to be something that only en-fattens (if that's even a word) the very lean system proposed by Bob.

A human government cannot prevent tyranny, since all it would take is for the tyrant to simply ignore the will of those trying to enforce justice upon him, or worse, kill them, which, in my opinion, would render your proposed system irrelevant anyways.

All of this was you responding to individual sentences of a whole argument. You responded to everything but the argument!

You're right, I'll do better next time. :)

That premise being that this majority wicked group of subjects are told in God's law to usurp the king's authority by means of civil disobedience. And usurp is the correct word, by the way, because civil disobedience isn't just about an individual's decision to disobey, it's an attempt to persuade the population as a whole.

The goal of civil disobedience isn't to persuade the population. It's to persuade those in authority. They're not disobeying the masses, they don't have authority, they're disobeying the authority, because the command was evil.

Your hypothetical presupposes that the entire system itself doesn't work. If you implemented a system where you ended up with 67% of the nation's judges being sufficiently evil that they pull off overthrowing a good king who is not guilty of a major crime, then you have a system that is fundamentally flawed and needs to be trashed.

True, if it's gotten that bad, then I would say there's no hope for that nation, and I doubt anyone today could come up with something better than what Jethro came up with in Exodus for a judiciary...

That's the claim but I have yet to see the evidence.

For which part, specifically?

Such a system makes sense for a nation with which God is dealing directly, such as ancient Israel, because, in such a nation, God is, in effect, the highest authority in that nation. In a nation where God is not acting in this capacity, such as The United State of America, what you'd end up with is the rule of a man rather than the rule of law thus my position is that the system would need some provision added to it that places the king in legal jeopardy if he decided to act in an illegal manner.

As above, what happens if the wicked king just executes anyone who signed the petition, and any judge who is appointed over him? That would be a huge deterrent, at least for that generation, or at the very least, that king's reign, against anyone ever using the system again.
 

Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
Lighter response this time, since a lot of what I want to say depends on your reply to a few of the questions I ask in this post...



That's kind of my point. There's not much benefit over Bob's proposed system that your addition adds.
Well, its not like I'm trying to fundamentally change what's been proposed. In fact, I like it just the way it is except, since we aren't a nation who's being fostered by God Himself, we need a way to get out from under a rogue king.

Alright, so let's say such a system is amended into the proposed system, which is then put into place, and the first king is selected, time passes, and soon enough, a wicked king is crowned.

Could you provide a theoretical scenario where the system works as intended, based on the above?
Honestly, I'm not that creative. I have little doubt that such a scenario would be messy and fraught with danger and intrigue the likes of which you might find in a John Reacher novel. Not only that, but this specific idea about circulating a petition among sitting judges is just one possible way to incorporate a way to remove a rogue king. I do not present it as being the best idea but only as one example of a possible way to set up such a system.

The problem is that the whole idea behind the proposed system is that the king is at the top of the government as the leader. The system you propose adds a level above the king (legally) that puts some people above the king, even if only temporarily.
Law is meaningless without people. It isn't the people who are above the king, its the king that is under the law. Without people to enforce it, the law is meaningless. Thus, if no one can enforce a law against the king, the king is therefore above the law. Precisely the situation that needs to be avoided when emplimenting a system that isn't being babysat by God Himself, as Israel was.

Something else to consider is that judges aren't technically part of the government, only authorize BY the government to enforce the law and justice. They're still citizens who have to earn their living through normal means, they aren't on the government's payroll. The King is no exception to this, since in Bob's proposed system, the King is the highest judge in the land. He just has a job that pays way better, haha.
13 million judges and no one gets a pay check?

That could not possibly work. You wouldn't be three rungs up the judicial ladder before being a judge at that level would be a full time job.
In fact, I very much doubt that any system with 13 million of anything could work. Think of how big a number 13 million is! There are fewer than 700,000 police officers in this country right now and you're talking about having 19 or 20 times as many judges as we currently have police officers, not to mention the needed infrastructure to support them. Imagine the people needed just to maintain the records that would be generated by 13 million judges. Would any of them get a pay check?

Not only that, but to suggest that a sitting judge is not part of the government just doesn't make sense - whether they get a pay check or not. Of course they're part of the government. The government could not function without them. It would be like saying the transmission in your car isn't part of the car because you don't put gasoline into it.

The same holds true in the system you propose, so not much of a point if the king can just have the people who bring charges against him be executed for treason, justly or not.
Huh?

No! That's the way the proposed system would work! It is precisely the act of murdering your political rivals that there should be a system in place to help prevent. There needs to be some provision in the law that puts the same fear into him as there would be in his subjects. Otherwise, you end up with a system where the people aren't in fear of the lawfully employed governing official but in fear of the king himself. In other words, it would be the rule of man and not the rule of law.

Because authority flows downhill.

Perhaps I worded it poorly, but the point is that any person, judge or otherwise, who tries to act with authority above the king is by definition a subversion of his authority to act as king.
That would only be true if the person, judge or otherwise was trying to so act in opposition to the law.

Listen to what you're saying here. You are tacitly arguing in favor of a system where the king is the fountain head of the law itself. You are suggesting that any action against the king is an action against the law itself. The king is not the law giver. He is a human being who was not only created by the Law Giver but was sat on a throne by people other than himself via a process of law. Therefore, any LEGAL process to remove that king does not usurp his authority because the same law that placed him on the throne is removing him from it.

Alright, I will concede this.

However, it's because I believe that I got sidetracked by using the wrong line of reasoning.

Allow me if you would to reform my argument against juries, not on whether they get things right or wrong, but on accountability.

The main problem with juries is that they typically have no accountability, because they disband as soon as the case is over with.
So, you're saying that having a system where there is no accountability for the decisions / actions someone performs is a bad idea?

I have not.
Try to avoid it at all costs.

If you're ever called up for jury duty, the best way to ensure that you won't end up on a jury is to speak up during the jury selection process. The lawyers will ask the group questions and if you keep your mouth shut then they won't have any excuse to excuse you as a juror. If you say anything that is even a little bit controversial, which is easy for anyone of us who are familiar with Bob's ministry, then you're almost certainly going to be excused.
In Texas, the law allows a person to be convicted of a crime by a jury on the basis of one single piece of evidence. When I was in a pool of potential jurors, one of the lawyers ask whether any of us would have a problem convicting someone on such a basis. I threw up both of my hands! They told me I was excused and that I could go home. So I did!

Then why the need for the jury in the first place?

If it's not hard to decide, then why do you need twelve people to do it, instead of just one?

You probably agree with me that they're unnecessary, so feel free to skip responding to this. Unless you want to respond, of course, haha.
Well, the basic idea isn't about making hard decisions, its about forcing the government to make a real argument. Twelve is not really very many people and if you can't convince twelve people to agree on whether someone aught to be punished by the government for something he's accused of doing then you've got one hell of a terrible case and the person probably aught to get the benefit of the doubt.

It would be a pretty good system, in my view, if the laws were just. Just laws would not only produce far less crime but would produce honorable men to sit on juries. Also, a just legal system wouldn't be based on conviction beyond a reasonable doubt and so the decisions for the jury would get even easier than they are now.

As I said above, my argument is now (and should have been the entire time) that juries have no accountability, so there's less incentive for them to be in the right, and there's no real punishment for a wrong decision.
No doubt this is certainly the case in today's system. If the laws themselves were just, such a system would be far more trustworthy as a just legal system breeds a just society from which the juries would be pulled.

I believe what Bob was talking about wasn't just juries, but any "body" of people, such as legislatures, that try to invent laws.

But don't quote me on that, and I'd have to have a bit more of the context of what he said.
I think you're right about that but note that it really isn't so much the body of people that is the problem there, it's the invention of laws or any other usurpation of justice for that matter. People, whether in a group or sitting alone on a throne, aught not have the authority to make new law.

I'm always aware of the inherent contradiction present when such a statement is made within the context of the very discussion we are having here. (Hint: It's your best argument against me on this! 😉 )

As I said above, the whole idea behind the proposed system is that the king is at the top of the government as the leader, with a single point of accountability.

Would you agree or disagree that a single point of accountability often rightly motivates?
I'd agree in principle but isn't that just were are disagreement lies?

It is placing a human being at that pinnacle of power where I see danger. Such a system would work great where the king was in peril of God's own wrath just as was the case with Israel. But, in any other situation, you're creating a system that would be guaranteed to create a tyrant that could and likely would destroy the entire nation while God watched.

What happens if there's a wicked king, and no judge starts a petition to start the removal process? What then?
In the proposed system, do the judges sit for a lifetime or are they replaced from time to time? (Real question)
If the former, then that's not a good situation to create. If the later, how are they chosen and for how long to they sit as judges?

Also, your hypothetical is what is guaranteed to happen in the proposed system. In other words...

What happens if there's a wicked king, and there is no removal process? What then?

Which proves that the king is subject to the law, despite being the highest authority in the land, does it not?
Well, that's sort the contradiction inherent in the proposed system. It proposes a law that installs someone above the law that installed him.
If a person does not have the legal right to install himself as king, why should he have the authority to remain king if he usurps the law that put him in that office? A king that breaks the law, usurps his own authority.

I'm not so sure.

The processes defined to install a new king are largely, once the system is in place, out of control of humans.

Sure, humans are involved, which is a flaw of any system, but the processes themselves keep the amount of human control to a minimum.

Inheritance by ONLY the first son of the king means that if the king has no sons, then one of the other selection processes will be used, or if he has more than one, only one of them will become king, which prevents inheritance disputes among siblings.

Lottery, as King Solomon put it:

Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart. - Proverbs 18:18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs18:18&version=NKJV

It also has the added benefit of being fair to all involved, since no one outside of God can really control the outcome of the cast lot.

However, the solution you propose would involve millions (as stated above) of people, and require human intervention.

Something Bob points out is this: "Good eventually wins. So America will see vengeance against a wicked king at least by Judgment Day."

With that in mind, I'm not sure I see much benefit in having a system that subverts the king's authority simply because some people think he's being a bad king (or perhaps he really is), when the king, if he's that wicked anyways, isn't going to listen to whatever verdict they come up with. And if he's not that wicked, then I see such a system as unnecessary, because, as the sole point of accountability, the responsibility placed on his shoulders means that whatever decisions he makes will be remembered as his legacy, which will likely motivate him to be a good king anyways, or at least, not an utterly wicked one, and all it would take to change course would be to change one man's mind, the king's. Which means that the system you propose would be entirely unnecessary anyways, since if he can be convinced that he's in the wrong, there's no reason to remove him.

Men under an evil king need only change one heart.

In other words, I see your system as unnecessary, and I consider it to be something that only en-fattens (if that's even a word) the very lean system proposed by Bob.

A human government cannot prevent tyranny, since all it would take is for the tyrant to simply ignore the will of those trying to enforce justice upon him, or worse, kill them, which, in my opinion, would render your proposed system irrelevant anyways.
Okay, so this is sort of making an argument against what I'm proposing where you're assuming what I'm proposing wouldn't really be in place.

In other words, the king wouldn't be able to simply ignore the will of those enforcing justice upon him. If he could, then my proposition wouldn't be in place to begin with. I am not proposing a system for the removal of the king where someone, or a group of someones, simply issues a public statement and hopes that the king complies and volunteers to step down. In addition to a process for bringing charges against the king, there would have to be some system in place that allows for the enforcement of the law against him. Not only to charge him but also to bring him to trial and to impose punishment upon conviction. The whole system would have an entirely different feel to it than the one proposed by Bob because the military and police and the rest of the governmental apparatus designed to hold people accountable, would have to have their first allegiance to the law, not the king.

The goal is to have the entire society thinking in terms of the rule of law, not the rule of a king.

The goal of civil disobedience isn't to persuade the population. It's to persuade those in authority. They're not disobeying the masses, they don't have authority, they're disobeying the authority, because the command was evil.
It's definitely both. Civil disobedience always starts off small. If it stays small, the government isn't moved an inch. It's when the small group succeeds in persuading others to join their cause and it grows and becomes a movement that the governing official takes notice.

For which part, specifically?
The part that suggests that having a means to remove a king would be just as likely used against a good king as bad one.

There's just no way that's the case. People like good kings. People thrive under good kings and want them to stick around for as along as possible.

Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;​
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.​

As above, what happens if the wicked king just executes anyone who signed the petition, and any judge who is appointed over him? That would be a huge deterrent, at least for that generation, or at the very least, that king's reign, against anyone ever using the system again.
Well, again, your argument here presupposes that my proposition isn't really in place. The part of the system that is used to bring charges (a petition or whatever other system might be in place) would have to have with it, provisions that enabled the enforcement of the law against the king. Without it, such a complaint against the king would be only so much hand waving and would certainly end up getting all the hand wavers killed.

Clete
 
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