Discussion (One True Law)

Ave, pilots! In the spirit of Elsebeth’s excellent discussion on her story, “One Duty,” I’m curious and eager to hear your thoughts on mine.

I’m happy to see the discussion kinda wander where it will, but let’s start here:

What is the One True Law?

The One True Law is what we call the One Duty: the survival of one’s people trumps all other concerns. The Hand was loyal, but when he saw clearly the madness in the Speaker, he discarded the loyalty to the person in favor of that to preserving the Land.

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Survival is the worst state, with the exception of the alternatives.
What does survival preserve other than the wounds of existence?

Is one of your own with an outcast mark a survivor?
One hardened and mutated by Traglvian trials - a survivor?
Do memories captured and preserved in perpetuity - in a hive-mind, in a sense, survive better?
Can capsuleers survive their first pod breach without an element of corruption in clone or scan?

Survival in each case depends on the quintessence of what is considered most precious when being conserved.

I respect your people and their passion for life all the more, because, I find myself divorced from truly belonging to my own.

The story itself is a memorial. The traditions of our peoples are the law we hold in common, to the best of our ability.

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The meaning of the last line is that Vacant Thrones need to be filled.

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Once I started reading, my first thought was…

What a great sight! Our IGS needs such a tower.

Though then it went through ideal into creepy and inefficient angle:

For how would you optimize the law if you can’t criticize it?..

But when it went worse. The lawspeaker was clearly insane - setting laws for objects without will. Or he was simply utterly incompetent. Unmerited. Unprofitable.

How did he was even put in this position? How did they choose the successor? Was it some sort of democracy, that allowed such stupidity to happen?..

Yet I think the moral of the story and answer of the question - what’s the one true law, should be this:

If you set the rules, you must follow them yourself.

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The next Speaker will be the Foot of the Law. I mean, this is a rotty little story, but we are entertaining metaphors yes? Foot. Because the Law as you have made it here will move, and it will not walk on its hands.

This is a VERY Achur story.

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Thank you everyone for you thoughts so far! And … hmm … let’s stir these embers a bit.

First provocation: what would make a law “True”?

There is only one criteria of truth, it remains truth disregarding what others think of it. It will be truth even if all the people will think it’s a lie: because it’s a objective truth that exists disregarding any consciousness and thought process that humans possess.

Laws on the other hand, are constructs made by these consciouseness, it’s what people need to protect ourselves from those who want to abuse their power, to create order and fight chaos, to protect civilization from dilapidation and freedom.

That’s why it is somewhat difficult to attach attribute of truth to something that was just made up by humans, it shall be something objective, something measurable, something that exist without any doubt.

I would say that what makes a law True is ability to enforce that law, whatever that law will be. Would the law be just or unjust, if it can be enforced all the time, it exists and it works. It is the True Law.

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A law is True when it is promulgated by a True Emperor. Unfortunately, we do not have a True Emperor at the moment, because the Throne is Vacant (sede vacante) and Catiz is instead an Anti-Empress, who cannot promulgate True Law.

Mr. Nauplius, may I say I admire greatly your talent for stumbling blindly into the spotlight, saying something strikingly apropos, and then stumbling straight back out the other side and into the darkness again.

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Your use and capitalization of True makes me twitch.

Of course, my first answer (as I think anyone from the Empire would agree) is that the true law is that which comes from God, and God speaks to us through the Empress and the Scriptures. Your story illustrates a difficulty with my instinctive answer. While the people in your imaginary world agree that true laws are those that come from the true Speaker, they cannot agree on who the true Speaker is. Sedevacantists illustrate this difficulty in our own world.

My second and admittedly more evasive answer is the categories “true” and “false” can apply in mathematics and physics, but they are not suitable to describe judicial laws.

Let me start with true mathematical law. Whether a mathematical statement is true or false depends on the choice of axioms – or basic principles if you wish. With the axioms of plane geometry, it is true that the sum of the angles of a triangle must always be 180 degrees. With the axioms of curved geometry, this is false. The axioms are precisely the basic statements that you assume to be true. But, formally, the only requirement for your choice of axioms is that they do not lead to logical inconsistencies.

Physicists will argue that, while there is no one True choice of axioms in mathematical logic, there are useful choices and less useful ones if one wants to describe reality. The physical one “True” law is that which would describe nature fully. We may never know this true law of physics, even though we appear to have a process that brings us ever closer, and indeed close enough for many practical purposes.

But to establish laws that govern society, something fundamentally different is needed than the truth of mathematical laws or laws of physics. As stated above, to me it makes little sense to ask “what is a true law” in the judicial context. Rather, I would like to return to you a new question that stems from your story but that, in turn, does not make sense in the mathematical or physical context:

To you, what is a just law?

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Law, I believe, is derived from land, air and water.

Back when Rouvenor held a social structure not too dissimilar to our own the rules of interaction were naturally divided into the jurisdiction of the environment. The nature of an individuals ability to stand in the material world dictated what was and was not possible to do. Artificial platforms were invented to promote the ability to operate in these jurisdictions.

In Lirsautton Sang Do have ever kept the demons of mischance away from Jin-Mae seeking to earn a living in similar vessels. In time the material regions and the vehicles travelling them became their lawful domain.

Capsualeers rise above these material domains and are proving to be literal captains of their own destiny. This then becomes a conflict of who possesses true dominion.

The Expression “True” as Kim says is a standardised measurement, but in Gallentian culture it is also associated with nakedness or revelation.

I know of traders who will not do business with you unless you are sat stark naked in a spa so that their sensory nexi are given full opportunity to analyse and quantify every last iota citing traditions as old as our own. Its not entirely sexual, is simply the naked truth.

The One True Law then must be understood as a contractual agreement between negotiating individuals and their captains on the material nature of our world and how we agree to behave within it.

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Wat?

You know that even as an acronym, that makes no sense in most of the languages spoken in New Eden, right?

Of course these are substituted labels for the universal material states of solid, liquid and gas. The very media in which we exist and the electromagnetic principles that order them and through them, our lives. Our life is governed by these laws of nature, from which we derive our societal interactions and traditions, which, over time coalesce into the laws of man.
I’ll leave the Amarrians room to assert Gods place in that matrix, if any.

Although, to be honest, I’m not sure if I understand your objection, or if I have clarified matters for you.

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Hm. Time for another stir.

Second provocation: is the Speaker of Law an idealist?

In the genre of parable to which this story belongs, characters like the Speaker are often — perhaps almost always — idealists or at least were idealists at a younger age. However, the society in this story is represented as functional and low crime, suggesting that its legal system is actually well adapted to the society, and not just the product of half-forgotten ideals and civilizational inertia.

It reads like a parable, but I’m not sure that it is.

When the Speaker condemned the laws of nature to death he literally damned himself because natural law is considered superior to man’s law, at least among the Jin-Mae that is the case.

It is akin to destroying agri-crops for over-abundance in vanity and greed. It’s a death sentence for the crops and the tyrant that ordered it.

Would an idealist call for the degradation the natural world that supports his very position? I don’t know.

I don’t think that the last Speaker of Law was an idealist, for the Laws he was making were made just to cover up his own personal insecurities. He wasn’t thinking about the society or the greater good, but rather of himself, would it be about the darkness or fear of fall from the stairs. Like some sort of egoistical individualist gallentean.