Reply to post: No, no they don't.

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

User McUser
Headmaster

No, no they don't.

Some laws stop us taking each other's stuff (property, liberty, lives)

Whoa, slow down there fellow - laws do NOT stop anyone from doing anything.

Murder and theft have been officially illegal for at least 4,100 years that we know of[1] and yet stuff still gets stolen and people are still murdered every single day in every single country on the planet. Laws merely establish a fixed and uniform punishment for specific acts so that everyone knows ahead of time what the consequences are should they be caught committing one of said acts.

While some people *might* weigh the punishment against the crime and choose not to murder their coworker or steal that shiny-shiny from the jewelry store, there are plenty of other people who don't perform such calculus, or reach a different conclusion, and thus steal and murder as they please.

It would be more appropriate to say that laws discourage us from taking each other's stuff.

[1] The "Code of Ur-Nammu" dates to ~2100-2050 BCE and specifies punishment for (among other crimes) murder, robbery, adultery and rape. Spoiler alert - the penalty for all of them is death.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019