Subject: Re: Essay RFC delayed.
From: "Eric S. Raymond" <esr@thyrsus.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 22:20:12 -0400

Brian DeSpain <brian@xao.com>:
> I have watched this debate on this list for some time and really the
> problem is that Eric and Richard will never agree because their world
> views are different. Richards is a deontological world view.  He believes
> that software should be free and not freeing is a bad thing.
> Deontological views believe in a absolute systems of morals and ideals.
> Eric has a consequentialist world view, which mean actions (such as
> software licensing) are only evil in their effects (ie a Windows monopoly
> on the desktop.)

You're correct in your remarks on the deontic/consequentialist split
and in characterizing me as a consequentialist.  I have been
consciously aware of this distinction for many years, and regard deontic
ethics as a sort of map/territory confusion.  That is, *all we have
available to observe is effects*; anyone who claims to have another
basis for judging ethical and moral claims is therefore fooling
himself.  It's a form of self-deception, somewhat like the belief that
one can ever be really "unselfish".

While I agree that this is a difference between RMS and myself, I must
respectfully disagree with your claim that it is the one at issue here.
Some deontists are capable of noticing pragmatically that their tactics
aren't working.  And some consequentialists (like me) have beliefs about
freedom as deep and passionate as Richard's.
-- 
		<a href="Eric">http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr">Eric S. Raymond</a>

The same applies for other kinds of long-lasting low-level pain. [...]
The body's response to being jabbed, pierced, and cut is to produce
endorphins. [...]  So here's my programme for breaking that cycle of
dependency on Windows: get left arm tattooed with dragon motif, buy a
crate of Jamaican Hot! Pepper Sauce, get nipples pierced.  With any
luck that will produce enough endorphins to make Windows completely
redundant, and I can then upgrade to Linux and get on with things.
	-- Pieter Hintjens