==============================  CFJ 1272  ==============================

    All Players always have at least one inherent right, regardless of
    any rule (for purposes of this statement, inherent right means a
    right that players have even when or if the rules do not explicitly
    grant them that right).


Caller:                                 Evantine

Judge:                                  Chuck
Judgement:                              TRUE



Called by Evantine:                     12 Feb 2001 04:58:01 GMT
Assigned to Chuck:                      12 Feb 2001 06:51:15 GMT
Judged TRUE by Chuck:                   19 Feb 2001 07:20:25 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

I posit that all players have an undeniable right to quit the game.  Why?
Because players are, de facto, persons, and we observe from everyday reality
that persons have the power to stop playing the game, therefore players have
this power.  This power, because it proceeds from the person playing, not
the player, is not alienable by any rule.  This is because rules have power
over players, not persons, since they are rules of a game, and the player is
an entity defined by the game, whereas a person is defined independently of
the game.

Because of the unequivocal right to quit, we conclude that there must exist
that inherent right.  Therefore, inherent rights do exist, and all players
have at least one inherent right, the right to quit the game.

To put it another way, because players can quit the game even if the rules
forbid them to do so, we observe that the right to quit is greater than the
power of the rules to govern the players.


Judge Chuck's Arguments:

Before I adress the truth or falsity of this statement, let me first
address its relevance to the Rules; for by Rule 1565, if a statement
bears no relevance to the Rules, it must be dismissed.

What exactly is "relevant to the Rules" is left undefined by Rule 1565,
and indeed by all the Rules.  It has been suggested that the phrase be
interpreted narrowly, to mean only those statements whose truth or falsity
may affect the application of the Rules to the game.  I acknowledge that
this statement would not be relevant to the Rules, given such a narrow
reading; but I reject this narrow reading.

Although the truth of falsity of this statement does not affect the
operation of the Rules--a Player who quit the game in violation of
the Rules would be subject to the same penalties regardless of whether
an alleged "right to quit the game" exists or not--it does speak to
the duty (and here I speak of a moral duty, not a required-by-the-Rules
legal duty) of Players to obey the Rules.  This statement is relevant
to the Rules, in that it may set the expectation of Players with regards
to when and whether other Players will obey the Rules.

It has also been suggested that this broad reading of "relevant to the
Rules" opens up any CFJ to being judged by principles outside the
Rules.  This is simply not so.  The Rules are in fact silent on the
matter of whether Players have inherent rights regardless of the Rules.
Rule 217 permits application of other standards when the Rules are silent,
unclear, or ambiguous on the statement to be judged.  When the Rules
are clear, on the other hand, Judgements must accord with them; if
the Rules explicitly stated "Players have no inherent rights outside of
the Rules," then I would judge this statement FALSE regardless of my
own beliefs or findings on the matter.

Thus, I find that the statement of this CFJ is relevant to the Rules.

The question of whether Players do have inherent rights independent of
the Rules is a difficult one.  One cannot deduce the existence or
non-existence of rights based on reasoning either ab initio, or from
physical evidence.  It seems to be purely a matter of faith.  Given that,
it seems the only way to judge such a statement would be either a) on
my own personal belief of whether or not inherent rights exist, or b) on
the views of a majority of people as to whether inherent rights exist.

Even these methods leave me rather uncomfortable, and I am sorely tempted
to dismiss the statement on the grounds that "After a reasonable effort
... to obtain all relevant information, no determination can be made
on the truth or falsity of the statement."  However, I have decided that
a determination can be made--Rule 1575 states that CFJs, other than
those that allege a Player has violated a Rule or committed a Crime,
are to be judged by the preponderance of the evidence at hand.  This
implies that absolute proof is not required for Judgement of a CFJ;
even my own personal beliefs, or the beliefs of a majority of people,
weak evidence though it is, can be considered as sufficient evidence
for the judgement of a CFJ when nothing more substantial exists.

Fortunately, my personal beliefs seem to coincide with a majority
of people--I believe that all persons do possess an inherent right
to life.  Although I have not conducted a formal study, nor no of
any such study, in my experience most people agree.  The argument
advanced in discussion of this issue--even by myself, at one point--that
the majority of [U.S.] Americans do not believe in an inherent right
to life, because a majority of Americans support the death penalty, is
erroneous.  It only demonstrates that a majority of Americans do not
believe the right to life is absolute.  As has been mentioned in
discussion, the fact that a right is not absolute does not mean that
that right does not exist--in the real world, different rights are
often at odds with each other, such that all rights can be simultaneously
fulfilled.  But this does not mean that one of the rights at issue does
not exist, only that [at least] one of the rights at issue is not

Indeed, even most people who are morally opposed to the death penalty,
including myself, believe that klling is justified for self-defense--
a situation tht pits one person's right to life against another.

Because the finding that Players have an inherent right to life is
sufficent to judge this statement TRUE, I make no ruling on whether
Players have an inherent right to quit Agora, which has been the topic of
much discussion.  I do urge those who advocate the existence of
an inherent right to quit, however, to carefully note the argument
above that an inherent right is not necessarily an absolute right;
even if the right to quit exists, that does not mean it is an
absolute right, to be held above all other rights.