A reply about freedom, precision, and responsibility

(re-printed from facebook):

….The idea that a particular word can only have one valid definition is notably inconsistent with every dictionary that I have ever seen. It is also inconsistent with the entire history of legal systems (who define words and enforce a specific set of definitions for each word) and language in general.
As for the rituals of court systems regarding things like capitalization, I will say only a little, but it seem like a lot. Anyone who has a “racket” or angry tantrum against the local court sytems (or even in favor of them) may be challenged by what I say next (if you understand it).

When someone dies, their legal status is called an “estate” (like the Estate of John Lennon can be a party in a civil lawsuit or the beneficiary of a Life Insurance policy). The Estate as a legal entity (or a “legal fiction”) is simply an invented convenience (and, yes, an estate is just a legal corporation rather than a “lawful” living being).


In cases of a ruling of “legal incompetence,” then someone can be alive and yet be ruled “a ward of the court” and so on, like with the court (or some family member) taking complete authority “over their Estate” while a person is still alive. In other rulings like “mental incompetence,” a court may declare someone “unfit for criminal trial” and then send them to a mental hospital instead of sentencing them to prison.

Court officers (including cops in a traffic stop) virtually always are interacting with citizens as if the citizens are incompetent in some way (presuming incompetence and then baiting people to consent to solicitations using the licensed fraud rituals that are only legal for oath-sworn members of their “priesthood.”) Court rituals include instructing people to argue, then presuming that by complying and presenting an argument (or answering a question) someone is voluntarily granting jurisdiction (which in fact they are). Further, courts are part of an ancient system of organized coercion (as referenced elsewhere) and if a court officer announces a new ritual and then sentences someone (even someone who is not present and has no knowledge of a proceeding) to immediate execution by torture, what is unusual about that when reviewing human history such as the Holy Inquisition?

Courts publicize rulings like “This suspect is wanted, dead or alive, with a $25,000 reward.” In other words, they can order assassinations… with an explicit promise to pay whoever acts as their mercenary (their hitman). They are the “shot-caller” because they “call the shots” or issue the commands of which target to shoot. However, they never fire the shots. They simply *call* the shots.
Back to “agency,” there is also the issue of “competence” in regard to children: a court can rule that a child (like a minor) cannot create a valid contract (which is why there are laws for statutory rape- because a 16 year-old is treated as lacking the ability to give legal consent… which magically appears on their 18th birthday from a legal standpoint). That is very related to the idea of agency used in the LDS (Latter-Day Saints) church, but clearly not identical.

The age range that the LDS church specifies is related to the foundations of self-awareness and self-discipline. We could say that “agency *sprouts* at 7 or 8 and then is presumed to be legally *perfected* by age 18 (or 21 etc).”


As for Megan’s comment about “the real world,” there is an issue of incremental transition in contrast to sudden disorientation. When someone is under a lot of restriction and it is suddenly all released, then that is naturally disorienting. However, when there is a gradual shift of responsibility, that can promote prudence.

For instance, if someone goes from an unrestricted life and then on to a Mormon mission, that would be challenging. Further, to go from a very restricted lifestyle to no supervision would also be challenging. However, to go from intense restriction then on to a Mission (with similar restrictions but also more responsibility) could be a gradual shift of freedom and responsibility.


In my observation of Mormon families since the 1990s, the extended family unit typically encourages young adults to take on big responsibilities early in life (such as parenting!!!) but also offers far more support and partnership than, well, the vast majority of “subcultures” that I have ever seen. The extended family is willing to be very involved (perhaps even without any special competence)

But if I grew up helping to raise 4 younger siblings and also frequently babysat 12 nieces and nephews or cousins, then what would all that experience and responsibility mean? It could mean that I would be much better prepared to begin parenting at 17 or 21.

What if as a new parent, I have 10 experienced babysitters locally available (in my own family) plus 20 extended family members within 6 hours (some teenagers with no experience and some grandparents with decades)? Then not only might I be better prepared for parenting, but I might have fa more support and mentoring than “the average person.”

As for Cheri’s comment that Carl is “playing on words,” I would say “both yes and no.” I think that he is exploring. Yes, he is only “playing with words,” although with a motive to learn and to discover and to advance a conversation that interests him. He knows that he is operating with a degree of confusion and imprecision and he is taking actions to resolve it.

I think Cheri is very clear on a certain sets of distinctions (and I completely agree with her on those). She is speaking from experience in “the real world” and not from second-hand idealism (even if her words echo prior speakers).

Beyond that overlap (in which her comments and mine are extremely consistent with each other), her focus and my focus (or her terminology and my terminology) certainly go in distinct directions on occasion. She operates from a context that I consider “extremely helpful in some cases, but not essential.” In other words, what she has been presenting is for me “not incorrect.”

In her context, her communications are totally correct. If someone does not repsect her context, then how could they really communicate with her? (And if she does not respect theirs, a similar issue would be present.)




Finally… self-respect can also be very important. When someone’s “respect” for the Almighty deepens (and not just the worship of a particular tradition in the use of language, but direct respect for the Almighty), then self-respect and respect for others become “non-issues.” In other words, any prior issues resolve (by grace).

Regret is a non-issue too (so I am talking here about something beyond the “non-essential context” presented by the Abraham teachings of Esther Hicks). Shame is a non-issue and salvation is not just an ideal. The supreme freedom of salvation is simply a label, in that case, for a present experience.


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