Re: right of withdrawal

From: Philip Sutton (
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 20:30:17 MDT

Hi Brent,

> Having followed some of the recent volition discussions I thought it
> might be interesting and appropriate to have codified (specified as a
> supergoal?) into the (yet to be developed) fai's interaction with
> sentients protocols a 'right of withdrawal'

I think/feel that you have a very good idea here. I guess it's the
principle of tolerance that exists in some well-functioning democracies.
Everyone counts, communities of people add a lot of value to isolated
individuals but if a particular community is not to your taste you are free
to be part of another one - but each community must abide by the rule
that they will not oppress the other - ie. do things to them that that the
aggreived society *really* does not want.

It could be that some humans (or other sentients) choose to forgo
many/most of the 'benefits' that others see coming from the new age.
But this response may *not* be conservatism, it might be that some
people want to choose different evolutionary paths into the future - ie.
what some see as an improvement others may not. So coercive
'improvement' of others is not allowed.

The really tricky bit (as always) is how do you make sure that
individuals and communities do *not* do each other harm (some
preventive coercion is presumably requiredhere from a 'higher'
authority - ie. the collective governance) so how do you stop people
trying to slip coercive 'improvement' of others in under the guise of
preventing harm or slipping in harmful actions to others under the guise
of claims of self-determination?

This is where wisdom is required - not only of individuals , but also of
our governance systems.

I guess the ultimate safeguard comes from individuals or communities
perceiving actual or threatened harm and then challenging the
dominanct system to notice, acknowledge and respond productively to
their perception. In our society non-violent action is probably the most
effective last-ditch defence. Have a look at Gene Sharp's ideas to get
the sense of what I mean:

Cheers, Philip

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