==============================  CFJ 1895  ==============================

    BobTHJ is an R2160 'position'


Caller:                                 omd

Judge:                                  Murphy

Judge:                                  G.
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by omd:                          03 Feb 2008 22:32:33 GMT
Assigned to Murphy:                     03 Feb 2008 22:52:01 GMT
Murphy recused:                         19 Feb 2008 00:36:07 GMT
Assigned to G.:                         19 Feb 2008 01:00:08 GMT
Judged FALSE by G.:                     22 Feb 2008 17:59:18 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

A lookup of 'position' on answers.com includes these as the only
relevant definitions:

5. A situation as it relates to the surrounding circumstances: in a
position to bargain.
8. A post of employment; a job.

I argue that (8) is more appropriate, since (5) would not necessarily
include offices.

Furthermore, Rule 2160 notes
> > (or, if the position is vacant, would so require if the position were

Makes sense for offices, and maybe other things (vote collector?) but
is absolutely meaningless if a person is a position.

Finally, 'position' *is* used elsewhere in the rules, but only in a
rule about offices:

Rule 2154/5 (Power=2)
Replacing Officers
      If intent to achieve consent for a nominee is announced as
      above, then any other active player may be nominated for the
      position with eir own consent by announcement, during the
      minimum waiting period between intent and action defined for
      Agoran Consent.


Judge G.'s Arguments:

Agora, by long tradition, is fundamentally governed by the logic (be it fact
or legal fiction) of Aristotle's Telos: that there is a final cause (telos)
for which actions (efficient cause) are sent over an electronic medium
(material cause) that affects Rules (formal cause).  One way of stating
the uniqueness of nomic is that the causalities interact and change each
other, especially the formal cause (Rules).

But the final cause (telos) for the game's existence is not so mutable.  Put
simply, is that this is a game for the entertainment(?) of unique individuals
("natural" persons or conscious entities with free will, although R2150
currently restricts this to biological English speakers).  The overall telos
is the sum of the individual desires of these unique individuals (hereafter
"persons", meaning first-class persons only) to play.

To this end, these persons may create and hold positions of authority, duty,
or responsibility and governed by the Rules (efficient or formal agencies).
However, these persons, as embodiments of final cause, are irreducible; they
cannot in themselves be made into such positions.  We have repeatedly rejected
"avatar theory" in Agora and instead abide by the Philosophy of Action; that
is, we assume that all efficient actions (i.e. "messages") ultimately emanate
from the telos of a particular person's (the sender's) Intention, even if a
formal agency (Rule) allows that message to act on another person's behalf
(i.e. in executorship).

It is a longstanding principle of Agora that fundamental telos, the Intention,
is non-assumable, irreducible, and non-transferable.  Every assumed act of
free will can be traced to a particular person's desire.  Thus, as final
cause and intention, this intention, and free will is, also non-transferable,
in the most fundamental sense.

In terms of the Rules, and in light of the definitions cited by the caller,
"holding a position" is to be granted specific duties, powers or recordkeeping
status by the Rules.  This is different from being guaranteed "rights or
privileges" by virtue of one's identity (these are guarantees, not grants,
of the rules).  That we accept the Being of a (particular) person as an entity
recognized and guaranteed rights created within the game is to recognize
the irreducible units of telos and intention that ultimately cause the
game to function.  This recognition amounts to a fundamental postulate (or
if you prefer, "Agoran Custom") rather than a derived theorem that arises
from the Rules, that a Person is not a position that can be "held" by others.

R2160(d) allows us to assume counterfactual conditions; that is, we are
permitted to treat certain, untrue conditions *as if* they were true.  But we
also reject the impossible (you can't "do something an infinite number of
times" or act "as if 1+1=3", so it's meaningless to act "as if you can").
Some assumptions are so counterfactual that to "assume" them is to undermine
the very nature of the game.  As root points out, Ex contradictione sequitur
quodlibet; if we assume that Zefram is BobTHJ, whom do we assume is Zefram?

Note that executorship, a different mechanism currently governed by contracts,
is not subject to this same constraint:  for this, we allow one intender
to "act for" another, we don't assume that one intender "is" another as
R2160 requires.

To remove the free-will postulate would be similar to removing the parallel
postulate from Euclidean geometry; it would transform it into a "different
game", "not nomic" over which the Rules have no formal constraints, and
therefore any counterfactual conditioning that the Rules try to apply is
meaningless.    As a metagame, we could follow the axioms of such a game to
logical conclusions, but it would be outside the realm of the counterfactual
conditions allowed by R2160(d) which is clearly a part of the postulates of

Note that is possible, as a matter of practicality, to become arbitrarily
"close" to being a person in terms of position.  Being a party to a contract,
or even "being a party to contract X who sold a ticket and incurred a
specific obligation", IS holding a position that another person could hold.
But for the purpose of this judgement, arbitrarily close is not close enough.