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Could a Pre-Crime (Minority Report) be legit?

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Let's say we somehow have a method for predicting when murders will occur, who the victim(s) will be, who the perpetrator(s) will be, and there is every indication that this method is 100% accurate. Should we arrest the would-be murderers, even when there is no clear indication (other than the prediction) that they're going to do something illegal?

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Let's say we somehow have a method for predicting when murders will occur, who the victim(s) will be, who the perpetrator(s) will be, and there is every indication that this method is 100% accurate. Should we arrest the would-be murderers, even when there is no clear indication (other than the prediction) that they're going to do something illegal?

Let's say we somehow did perfect our understanding of the law of causality. Would we then be able to causaly instill that understanding and the ideas and principles in such a manner as to eradicate murder, poverty, sickness, etc.?

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Let's say we somehow did perfect our understanding of the law of causality. Would we then be able to causaly instill that understanding and the ideas and principles in such a manner as to eradicate murder, poverty, sickness, etc.?

I didn't say that. I'm saying what if we could only predict murders, but not other things?

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I would say no because the fact ultimately remains that no law has been broken. A violation of rights requires an actual violation of rights, a broken law requires an actual broken law. A potentially broken law isn't an actually broken law, so even if we posit this kind of sci-fi scenario for the sake of argument, it would seem illegitimate to do so, as the person ultimately can still choose the alternative until he actually breaks a law. Even if he isn't going to, he still hasn't actually done anything illegal.

We can postulate that perhaps the indication that he is going to do something illegal by the hypothetical behavioral scientists will be enough to change a pre-criminal's mind. In that event, it might be legitimate for the governmental authorities and police investigators to be aided by the pre-crime scientists in anticipating actual crimes, and stopping them before they happen and/or reaching out to the future perpetrators. But they would be unable to arrest until an actual crime occurred.

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Let's say we somehow have a method for predicting when murders will occur, who the victim(s) will be, who the perpetrator(s) will be, and there is every indication that this method is 100% accurate. Should we arrest the would-be murderers, even when there is no clear indication (other than the prediction) that they're going to do something illegal?

If we were living in an alternate universe, we might need to live by different principles. So what?

This calls to mind a refutation of egoism of my own invention, it’s a lifeboat type scenario which references the James Bond film Moonraker. At the end of the story, James Bond is in a spaceship with his Bond girl, and they’re chasing poison bombs that are going to wipe out life on earth. He destroys them with the ship’s laser gun, then has sex with the Bond girl as they orbit the Earth, FADE OUT. It’s a pretty bad movie, even as 1970’s Bond films go.

Now, let’s fiddle with the situation a bit, making it more realistic and morally instructive. Assume JB and girl have to choose between saving life on earth by sacrificing themselves, or spending the last 12 hours of their lives (before the oxygen runs out) having fantastic sex. Meaning, assume if they go chasing the poison bombs they will burn up in reentry and be dead within 10 minutes. If Bond is an egoist, wouldn’t he choose the 12 hours of fantastic sex? Instead of 10 minutes of the sci-fi equivalent of burning at the stake? Therefore, egoism leads to humanity’s extinction, and is thus anti-life, while altruism, which would have him sacrificing himself, as our collective survival requires, is the better choice, and is the morality we should be teaching our children, so that when faced with this situation, the species will survive. QED.

I should mention that what made me think of this was Rand’s evocation of Epicurus, I think it was on Donahue, when she said “I won’t die, it is the world that will end”. I’m not quite sure how to spell out the connection right now. Another beer and it’ll come to me.

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I didn't say that. I'm saying what if we could only predict murders, but not other things?

If you COULD predict with 100% accuracy a person's actions, then that would essentially invalidate volition, making all ethical questions meaningless.

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Murders are murders. Thoughts about murder are thoughts about murder. "Would it be ok to prosecute thought crime?" NO. It appears to be 100% accurate? How many times would it have to be wrong to be invalid? (The whole point of Minority Report....) To predict the actions of such a complex system would require predicting every movement of every atom in the system, Which would require a transistor (or equivalent) for every single one. In addition, you have Heisenberg's uncertainty principle to deal with, making your imaginary prediction method impossible. No, I'm afraid you cannot predict the future. This is a non-sense thought experiment. Here's another:

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

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