My ignorance for sale, for a price .. Allah and Environment

Posted by
Eudaemonic Pie on Jan 18, 2002 at 23:58 (

Re: Well said, mostly (bobbapink)

No special expertise, really.

During the ‘80's and ‘90's, big oil companies and other U.S. concerns doing business with Muslim territories wanted to learn whether there exists any regulatory principles in Islamic arbitration.

Muslim countries have legal systems using rule-to-case jurisprudence which allows U.S. businesses to predict legal consequences of certain business practices in these countries. But, somewhat like our own Uniform Arbitration Act (different versions enacted in each state), so too, Muslim countries practice extra-legal, aka arbitration forms of dispute resolution. Islamic arbitration is far more ‘arbitrary' than our version of arbitration. Our arbitration judgments can't violate our criminal laws or many of our civil laws. Islamic arbitration can do whatever it wants.

The Islamic cleric goes into a room alone. He prays. Smokes some Afghan blend. Comes out of the hashish smoke, and announces, "Allah says! (kill Americans, or whatever)"

End of story.

The only regulative principle to Islamic arbitration is that sometimes the Muslim community itself, as an entire community, doesn't like the judgment. So they kill the cleric. Oh well.

Since we can't find a jurisprudential principle regulating and enabling prediction in Islamic arbitration, then, my question was -- can we find an ethological principle? That was my study.

Answer: no. No prediction.

There appears to be a wide range of community tolerance, perhaps following principles explaining dynamical systems. Predict that. Forecast the weather. It's a no man's land.

So, I had a grant to research it. Got paid to say, "Doh, I dunno. Go ask Allah."

Maybe I should haved sent all questions to Amaranth? ;).

I note all this nonsense because I feel that a similar sensibility might apply to our human care for the environment.

I do agree with you that governmental regulation is extremely suspect. In addition to the two valid concerns you cited, we can't even be sure how the hell to define (in legislation and biology) a boundary condition – how much arsenic ought we tolerate in our water?

Bobba, not bs'ing you here – I don't have a clue.

The one virtue I see in privatization might be a greater sensitivity to the questions qua questions – governments are noxiously slow to respond. And that's exactly why every legal system in the world has some form of extra-legal means of arbitration. And in arbitration, we're back to what Allah says ...

So Bobba, not kidding: I don't have the answer. Privatization needs its advocates. Privatization needs a full and fair hearing. Government sucks.

My earlier mention of revolution (and taxation) was in the context of thinking about how the Islamic community will occasionally get so pissed off at a cleric's arbitration judgment that the community will – kill him. Praise Allah! The judgment is just too taxing on the community. That's the regulatory ethological principle.

Whaddo I know?

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