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If we could rely on people to be honest, objective, intelligent, and reasonable, would we need any rules at all?

Expanding the idea that we should expect moral individuals to know when to break or expand the rule base, couldn't we also expect people to know what is right and fair based on their own sense of morality. Simply applying the 'golden rule' to know that if we were on the receiving end of our own actions that we would find them unfair, unsafe, or unreasonable. Ignoring whether this is possible or not, would such a hypothetical culture be able to resolve differences based only on the law of reason and fairness?


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    Feb 3 2013: Yes! Rules are not always about rights and wrong, sometimes it's just about way of handling things or making a system.
    No one can get a yes 100% of people on something, anything.
    There will be always some people that even though they're right, disagree with other people that are right too.
    • Feb 3 2013: I think first you have to differentiate between rules and instructions. Rules are generally prohibitive and mandatory. Instructions, like the notes a musician plays or ways of conducting a project or system, are positive steps leading to a goal. Most of what Mr Schwartz and my question are regarding rules and laws.
      I see your point about 100% agreement being impossible, but most disagreements are usually about different perspectives on a given subject. Those different perspectives normally result from incomplete view of the whole reality surrounding a subject. And those incomplete views normally result from active cherry-picking and ignorance born of a desire to skew reality or just from passive ignorance on the subject.
      My thought was that if we moved away culturally from such directed ignorance, we could move closer to the ideal with the fewest rules possible. I really believe that if we valued finding truth over being right, we would eliminate the bulk of bias and there would be far fewer situations in which people were truly right but still disagreed.
      Thanks for the thoughts.

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