26 December 2018

If Everyone Could Do Everything...

Whether you misunderstand or take "Do What Thou Wilt" out of context or if you just would love to do everything and anything, wouldn't that be awesome? Let's think it through and see under which definition something would be allowed.

Thinking It Through

We start off thinking through some cases and create some rules or laws according to those cases. We'll also try to stay as general as possible. Then we check later on if our deductions match with existing rules or if not. If they don't or if we find mistakes or other issues we can further think through it and try to find solutions for them to fix them and get a better ruleset.

Rule I: Self-Affecting, Same Task

If we do something that has no effect on another person like, doing playing video games we run into no issues. Another person like a neighbor, for example, can play the copies of the same video games as we do on their own console.

So, "if we do A, another person can do A" if both actions are not related.

Rule II: Self-Affecting, Different Task

Let's say we keep on playing video games and our neighbor goes to buy groceries. Again both tasks are not related but different. This is again no issue since us playing video games only affects us and the neighbor buying groceries only affects the neighbor.

Thusly, "If we do A, another person can do B" if both actions are not related.

Rule III: Alia-Affecting, Same Task

(Alia meaning second or third person)[1]
If we lock our neighbor into his house with no escape possibilities - for whatever reason you would do such a weird thing. We affect the neighbor in the things he can do. Unfortunately, by doing this, your neighbor can't get out of the house, so he can't lock you into your house without any escape possibilities anymore. Even if you don't care about this, if you turn the situation around and he would lock you into your house without any escape, you can't lock him in anymore, since you're stuck in your own house.

We reached a problem there. This means for us to be able to do something we wanted we need to find a solution that allows both of us and the neighbor to do the same thing before, meanwhile and after. The only solution here is a compromise. A compromise also means we can't do everything we want anymore. We can still do everything without those exceptions though.

Which means "If we do A to someone, they can still do A to us". Keep in mind we're talking about being able to do before, meanwhile or after.

Rule IV: Alia-Affecting, Different Task

Alright, getting a little brutal now. If you would kill your neighbor, your neighbor can't longer go buy groceries. Because dead people don't buy groceries - prove me wrong! Same thing the other way around, if your neighbor kills you, you can no longer play video games - you've met a terrible fate, haven't you?

So there's another problem here. Pretty similar to the previous one though.

Basically "If we do A to someone, they can still do B".

Summarizing The Rules

Okay, so under our... let's call it law.. we are allowed to do everything that fulfills the following sentences or rules:
  1. "If we do A, another person can do A." ("If another person does A, we can do A")
  2. "If we do A, another person can do B." ("If another person does A, we can do B")
  3. "If we do A to someone, they can still do A to us" ("If someone else does A to us, we can do A to them")
  4. "If we do A to someone, they can still do B" ("If someone else does A, we can do B")

Matching With The 10 Christian Commandments[2]

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me."
  2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol and worship it."
  3. “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God."
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."
  5. Honor your Father and Mother."
  6. “You shall not murder."
  7. “You shall not commit adultery."
  8. “You shall not steal."
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
  10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house or wife."

1. “You shall have no other gods before me."
In our case, this one is uninteresting. Having another god before does not affect other people and if we don't have one anyone else can have one or can't have one. Thus regardless of if you do or don't, it's not a rule we must abide by our law. It doesn't mean you don't have to it's your choice in this case.

2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol and worship it."
This is the same as the first one. It does not affect another person in the sense of limiting them in what they can do. At the same time whether you do or don't is your own choice and is not forbidden by the law we just created.

3. “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God."
I could say the same for this one like for #2 and #1, however, if we assume God to be another being that counts into our law, using his name wrongfully can result in his reputation being ruined and as such affects the possibilities god has. As such this could - depending on interpretation and believes - count as forbidden by our law.
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."
This one is the same as #3. If we assume we have a person who keeps the Sabbath holy and another person who prevents them from holding the Sabbath holy by for example letting them work they are limited in what they're able to do. As such this commandment matches our law in certain circumstances. However, this is only the case if there's no alternative for Sabbath to still be held holy before or after. (assuming the whole day is meant here and not holding the day holy at some point some time.)

5. “Honor your Father and Mother."
According to our rules, this is not a must. We should think about expanding our rules to include this one. Though it also depends on how we interpret this. If your mother or father wants to do something and you do not support them, you basically prevent them from being able to do what they want to do. An argument against that is that you need to do something you don't want to do. It looks like we found a grey zone, worth discussing further.

6. “You shall not murder."
Well... I already used this in the example above, so you can probably guess the result. This is enforced by our law, since killing someone prevents them from being able to do what they wanna do and vice versa.

7. “You shall not commit adultery."
According to our current rules, this is fine two. It feels wrong though since there's probably a better solution to avoid this issue to prevent hard feelings. Let's keep this in mind as well.

8. “You shall not steal."
Stealing something from another person prevents them from using that object, hence limiting them in what they can do, thus it is not allowed by our law.

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
Bearing false witness, or generally lying results in restrictions of what another person can do if we take the result of the false witness or lie into consideration. Generally lying to another person that does not affect their limitations in any kind of way is not disallowed and if it allows new options or swaps old option for new ones it's another grey zone.

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house or wife."
The yearning itself is not disallowed according to our rules. So no problem here if no further steps are taken.

In The End

Our rules are definitely not perfect. There are a lot of grey zones and things we haven't considered yet, but we've got the basics down and talked through examples that our rules apply or may not apply to yet.
Next time we should expand more on those. Finding a solution for every person on the world is something many people broke their heads over.

I tried to explain it for people who care more about themselves but also for people that - like me - prefer the rule of "don't do something to someone else that you don't want them to do to you" (oh, and "if someone does something to you, they don't mind you to do the same thing to them." ;P). In any case, making everyone requires a compromise. You can't do everything and expect everyone else to be able to do everything, it just doesn't work logically.

[1]https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/alia
[2]https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments
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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.