Deposing Dictators

Gareth McCaughan Gareth.McCaughan at
Thu Jul 26 16:57:30 EDT 2001

David Ullrich wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Jul 2001 14:05:34 +0000 (UTC),
> <margg at> wrote:
> >2) The level of dissent required to change the opinion of the BDFL
> >perhaps calls into question the 'B'.
> Nonsense. Without saying anything about who's right and who's
> wrong, or about whether the D is B or not: To be "benevolent"
> towards someone is to act in a way consistent with that
> person's best interests. This is not the same thing as
> giving the person what he asks for, not by a long shot.

More: to be benevolent is to *try* to act in a way
consistent with the person's best interests[1], even
if in fact you're wrong. So even if Guido is as
horribly wrong as some people here say he is about
what their best interests are, that's no reason to
think he isn't benevolent.

> Why in the world should "level of dissent" have any
> bearing on anything? Deciding moral issues by taking
> a vote is one thing - deciding what's best on a 
> technical issue by taking a vote is silly.

Hear hear.

[1] I initially typed "integers". Hmm.

Gareth McCaughan  Gareth.McCaughan at
.sig under construc

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