Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

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Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#1  Postby Dolphin42 » February 8th, 2017, 10:28 am

The central governments of many democracies adopt a trias politica form of Separation of Powers in which there are three independent branches of government. The core intention is to prevent the concentration of power in one group by ensuring that each group cannot encroach on the functions of the other. The reason for choosing the number 3 stems ultimately from the Roman Republic, and from there through Enlightenment Europe via European colonialism to other parts of the world, such as the USA and Australia.

I am interested in the idea that the role of the judicial branch of government is to use its knowledge of the law and/or the Constitution (if applicable) to decide whether the actions of the other two branches should be allowed. In theory, this is a strictly deductive task, like demonstrating a mathematical proof, which requires only a knowledge of the laws and the Constitution. In practice human laws and constitutions are open to interpretation and therefore political opinion creeps in. This is particularly interesting given the current situation in the US government with respect to President Trump's executive order on immigration bans.

It is also interesting to consider the related wider issue of what constitutes a (political) opinion and what constitutes a fact. There is a well known saying: "you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts". But it's not as simple as that because the division between opinions and facts is not as clear cut as that saying would have us believe.

I welcome your opinions and/or proposed facts.
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Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts



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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#2  Postby Steve3007 » February 12th, 2017, 5:47 am

If laws and constitutions could be written as unambiguous instruction manuals, or scripts for deterministic computer programs, the Judges could indeed have the completely apolitical totally analytical role mentioned here. But they're not. I've read that there are various schools of thought in interpreting, for example, the US Constitution. Examples of two related schools of thought are "Originalism", "Textualism" and "Constructionism". The aims of these schools of thought seems to be, to varying degrees, to allow for interpretation without extension. i.e. rendering the words of the Constitution actionable without editorializing.

Very difficult for a document that was written hundreds of years ago by people living in very different circumstances. In order to do so, it seems to me, you need to have a huge amount of confidence in the idea that fundamentally principles of right and wrong are timeless. I guess you have to be a moral absolutist and to "hold that some [moral] truths are self evident".
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#3  Postby Rr6 » February 14th, 2017, 9:45 am

Facts = interpretation of absolute truths, relative truths and the interrelationship between them,

Opinion is interpretation of those prior statements within context of then and now ergo is there only and absolute given or is there some allowance for relative truths and its relationship to other absolutes--- ex current circumstances as absolute truths as related to past truths ----.

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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#4  Postby Syamsu » February 15th, 2017, 10:16 pm

Intellectually there is a clear cut distinction between fact and opinion, I wonder if you know what it is.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#5  Postby Dolphin42 » February 19th, 2017, 6:18 pm

Steve3007:
Very difficult for a document that was written hundreds of years ago by people living in very different circumstances. In order to do so, it seems to me, you need to have a huge amount of confidence in the idea that fundamentally principles of right and wrong are timeless. I guess you have to be a moral absolutist and to "hold that some [moral] truths are self evident".


And/or the proposed truths have to be statements of such general principle that it's reasonable to hope that they are timeless. The US Constitution seems to aim at this level of generality. The trouble is, general principles have to be crystallized out into more specific laws before they can actually be applied. And therein lies the opportunity for inserting political opinion.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#6  Postby Lark_Truth » February 22nd, 2017, 10:49 am

Syamsu wrote:Intellectually there is a clear cut distinction between fact and opinion,

I agree, fact is truth and is always right, while opinion may be true for certain individuals but depends on the perspective of them and others to be determined right and wrong.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#7  Postby Syamsu » February 23rd, 2017, 8:21 pm

Lark_Truth wrote:
Syamsu wrote:Intellectually there is a clear cut distinction between fact and opinion,

I agree, fact is truth and is always right, while opinion may be true for certain individuals but depends on the perspective of them and others to be determined right and wrong.


That's not it.

And certainly the majority of proposed facts are false.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#8  Postby Ranvier » March 2nd, 2017, 4:57 pm

I'd say that most, if not all facts, could be argued in a crafty way to be just opinions.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#9  Postby LuckyR » March 5th, 2017, 2:08 pm

Ranvier wrote:I'd say that most, if not all facts, could be argued in a crafty way to be just opinions.


The entire legal profession is based on this truism.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#10  Postby Dolphin42 » March 8th, 2017, 5:28 am

Ranvier:
I'd say that most, if not all facts, could be argued in a crafty way to be just opinions.


I think they could be argued to be that in a straightforward non-crafty way, depending on the definition of "opinion".

In general, things that are theoretically objective empirical facts - things that can be shown by observation to be either true or false - are difficult to establish with any degree of certainty. Therefore, in common usage, they tend to leak into the realm of "opinion". If you take the range of opinions about any geo-political situation (the Israel/Palestine or the US Trump administration conflict for example) I think the vast majority of things that look like political opinions are simply disagreements about empirical facts that can't be established for practical reasons. If it were possible to strip all of this out, and for everybody to be able to see with reasonable certainty what is empirically true or false, then you would get down to what might be regarded as pure opinion - genuine disagreements about "ought's" not "is's".

Once the "is's" which superficially look like "ought's" are stripped out, I think the disagreements between people are generally very few. Most of us agree about the underlying guiding principles of life. We just disagree about the chains of cause and effect that will lead to the results we consider to be desirable.
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#11  Postby Rr6 » March 8th, 2017, 9:02 am

Fact } there can exist only 5 regular/symmetrical polyhedra of Universe, or any alleged multiverse scenarios.

Opinion } the above appears to be an absolute truth.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Primary set is triangular---endoderm-mesoder-ectoderm, reg-green-blue, metaphyiscal-1-metpahysical-2{ non-occupied space , occupied space, absolute truths, relatives trues, falsehoods.

1 } President/prime minister/dictator/king/chief

2 } congress/parliament/?

3 } judiciary/?

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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#12  Postby Ranvier » March 13th, 2017, 7:05 am

Dolphin42
The problem with "empirical" is that it depends on the point of reference: Ex. The normal body temperature in Europe is considered to be 36.6 Celsius, where here in US the normal body temperature is 98.8 Fahrenheit. Try the conversion and you'll find out that the Europeans are "cooler" than US :)

As for the separation of powers...the only separation I can observe is the separation of people from power, lol
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#13  Postby Rr6 » March 13th, 2017, 7:24 am

Ranvier wrote:As for the separation of powers...the only separation I can observe is the separation of people from power, lol


That is called not having A/C heating or cooling abilities because of no electrical power. Cyber hacking is fastest way to produce this set of circumstances to the most people. CIA--- or their likes ---is most likely introduction of such a powerful code to do things of this nature when they introduced it to Iran nuclear program.

Now that it is out there others can understand how it works.

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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#14  Postby Dolphin42 » March 16th, 2017, 4:58 am

This latest judicial block (in Hawaii) on the latest executive order by president Trump to ban the citizens of certain countries from entering the US is interesting, I think. It makes it plainer than before that the reason for the block is the context of the executive order, and part of that context is seen by the judge as being the comments made by Trump on the campaign trail calling for a "complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." In this context the judge argues that the order violates the "establishment clause" in the US Constitution.

Clearly this judge thinks that it is right to see remarks made on the campaign trail as forming part of the background to decisions made by a president for the purpose of understanding the meaning and purpose of those decisions. I've read that Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said that there is precedent for the courts to look at the context in this way. I don't know what that precedent is. Does anyone else?

Does anybody here strongly agree or disagree that this kind of context is relevant to a judicial decision like this?
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Re: Seperation of Powers; Opinions and Facts

Post Number:#15  Postby -1- » March 16th, 2017, 11:29 am

Ranvier wrote:I'd say that most, if not all facts, could be argued in a crafty way to be just opinions.


To Murphy's law books, edited and published in the early seventies, someone sent in the "Physics of Knowledge"

- Facts are solidified opinions

- Facts weaken under extreme heat and pressure

- truth is elastic.

------------

I thought at the time that this was brilliant. I still think so. (AND it wasn't even ME who penned it originally. Imagine.)

I think the seventies were freer, they had creative sciences and philosophy meld better with each other then than they do today. Today we are all straight-faced, cut-and-dried, rigorously behaving, philosophically apartheid(*) robots.

(*) Meaning we don't mingle or allow to come into our realms those who are different by colour of belief.

I think it all boils down to the Sexual Revolution being over. We all had a smile on our faces; now everyone is glum, bum, drum, and faithfoul to their spouses, AND make it believe that it's a virtue.

-- Updated 2017 March 16th, 11:37 am to add the following --

Dolphin42 wrote:Does anybody here strongly agree or disagree that this kind of context is relevant to a judicial decision like this?


I don't think there had been an immigration ban on Muslims before. ("this kind of context.")

I don't think there had been a context on muslims before at all.

I don't think the judicial system is where it's at.

How close do you mean to be to "this kind"? Philosophically speaking it's like asking how long is a string. You can be close, you can be far, but there is always farther away then far, and there is always (sometimes) closer than close.

So please specify the outer limit of how far away you want to include judicial decisions to be similar to this. Within half a mile? Within five kilograms? within twenty-five parsecs per fortnight?

-- Updated 2017 March 16th, 11:48 am to add the following --

Dolphin42 wrote:The reason for choosing the number 3 stems ultimately from the Roman Republic, and from there through Enlightenment Europe via European colonialism to other parts of the world, such as the USA and Australia.


The Three actually comes from the rock-scissors-paper game of chance. I ain't kiddin'.

Parliament makes rules to be applied by the courts.

The courts apply the laws to regulate the people (including corporate bodies.)

The people elect the parliament.

------------------

Parliament can't jail people, and the judiciary (ideally) can't revise the parliament's decisions, even as much as rejecting them as valid or accepting them. People can't tell the judiciary to suspend or alter a law.

This is where the rock-scissor-paper analogy fails. Because in the USA, the judges can throw a parliamentary (created by the congress and the senate) law out, while in the rock-scissor-paper game scissors can't cut a rock.

This is actually the biggest flaw in the system, and it has been duly criticized for it over and over throughout the ages.

-- Updated 2017 March 16th, 12:01 pm to add the following --

Syamsu wrote:Intellectually there is a clear cut distinction between fact and opinion, I wonder if you know what it is.

Lark, don't go in there! It's a trap!
Lark_Truth wrote:I agree, fact is truth and is always right, while opinion may be true for certain individuals but depends on the perspective of them and others to be determined right and wrong.

Syamsu wrote:That's not it.

And certainly the majority of proposed facts are false.


So what IS the clear cut distinction between fact and opinion, pray tell us, Syamsu.

Plus, you altered your own question to suit your answer; you asked what facts were, and then you switched to talking about proposed facts. The two are not the same, not even close. But you made a comparison based on what something is not. A mix of equivocation fallacy with a strawman thrown in for good measure.

So please stick to the facts, I beg of you. What IS the clear cut distinction between fact and opinion?

(Beware of Plato / Socrates, please, Syamsu, and of the post-modernist, post-structuralist, post-normativist, post-naturalist neo-Neanderthals.)

-- Updated 2017 March 16th, 12:17 pm to add the following --

Rr6 wrote:Fact } there can exist only 5 regular/symmetrical polyhedra of Universe, or any alleged multiverse scenarios.

Opinion } the above appears to be an absolute truth.

Your fact is wrong. If you meant your "/" to mean "or" which is the usual and customary meaning of it.

There are an infinite number of symmetrical polyhedra in the universe. ("Of" the universe? What do you mean? But better still, please don't explain.)

I never counted them, but I shan't contest your claim, that there are 5 regular polyhedra in the universe.
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