Experience is not normative. One person’s experience is not more rational or more complete than another person’s enemies experience. Despite this, people base their judgements, decisions, and rationale on past experience when that experience was incomplete.

This works often enough that people continue to do it. It can even be successful for individuals as long as they don’t become perscriptive. If you take a decision you’ve based on your prior experience and try to apply that decision to other people (e.g. legislation, lobbying), you find resistance because those other people have experience that is different from yours.

Since the technique has been used successfully in the past, people continue to trust it. Common experience tells us that murder is bad, so we all agree that it should be banned. We all want to live.

The technique fails when there are different roles that we play. For example, the “content industry” (e.g. Resellers of what Recording Artists Produce (RIAA)) want to continue to make money selling other people’s music. They experience Napster as theft and attempt to legislate against it. Many other people experience Napster as a way to experience a broad range of music easily, so they become incensed when the RIAA tries to legislate against their experience.

All this blather because Shawn thinks we should legislate against Churches.

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