Index ← 1606 CFJ 1607 1608 → text
==============================  CFJ 1607  ==============================

    Non-Unanimous (Voting index not Unanimity) Agoran Decisions may not
    be adopted.


Caller:                                 G.
Barred:                                 Zefram

Judge:                                  Cecilius
Judgement:                              FALSE



Called by G.:                           12 Jan 2007 20:48:00 GMT
Assigned to Cecilius:                   31 Jan 2007 13:03:46 GMT
Judged FALSE by Cecilius:               02 Feb 2007 11:04:40 GMT


Caller's Arguments:

In this argument, I use "Unanimity" and "Unanimous" interchangeably (by common
language, Unanimity is the state of being Unanimous).

Part 1.  Why Agoran Decisions in general can't be adopted.

"Index" is no longer defined in the Rules, and thus they may not be numbers,
and no ordering of indices is implied in the Rules.    But adopting Agoran
Decisions requires a comparison of indices, with the value 1, and with each
other, which requires an ordering.  Since this ordering is not defined, in
general, we must fall on the "otherwise" clause in the last sentence of R955
which requires that REJECTION be the option selected.

Part 2.  Why Unanimous Proposals may be adopted.

One other aspect of Agoran common custom is that this is a legal
game before a logic/mathematical one, and we've used in the past
legal reasonableness to sidestep the more trivial paradoxes.  Especially true
in the current, slimmed-down ruleset.

In legal terms, "Unanimous" means "having the agreement and consent of all".
(Merriam Webster).

By Rule 1503, the Rules are a binding agreement between players,
and the proposal process is defined (prima facie) as a means of
determining consent to changes in the terms of the rules as an
agreement.  Note that the "proposal process" includes proposals
with and without rules changes.

A part of this process (R955) legally declares a decision index
to be "Unanimous" under certain voting results, without further definition of
the term Unanimous.  Unanimous does not in fact have a mathematical
definition, implying the legal or common language usage is a better guide.  We
should use the legal
sense of the term, in that certain conditions (quorum and no
AGAINST votes) legally determine that all parties to the agreement have
consented to a change in that agreement.  Note that this
declaration occurs prior to the index comparison.

And if all parties to an agreement have consented, it would substantially
abridge the rights of the Players in R101 if we *didn't* assume prima facie
that the change was valid.  Therefore,
not accepting a definition of "Unanimous" as consent to change,
and throwing out the change, would legally violate R101.

This consideration surpasses the consideration of an undefined
numerical ordering comparison in R955, in that R101 is superior to R955, both
in its claim over rights and numerical precedence
(R1030, fortunately, Power is not an "index", R1688).

[Note that this only applies as long as "Unanimous" as defined
in the Rules is reasonably like the common language definition.  Currently, a
vote that meets quorum and has no AGAINST votes
is unanimous by the Rules and by common sense: if the rules were re-written so
that "unanimous" were defined as "if the dictator says so", that would be so
far different from the common language definition that we should throw out the
prima facie argument and declare the definition as contrary to R101 rights.]

Finally, to opine that indices and Unanimity are both broken would result in a
violation in R1698, as no proposals at all
could be adopted.

Note that this does not apply to Agoran Decisions that are not Proposals,
which are not considered prima facie protective of rights by R1503.


Caller's Evidence:

Rule 1503/6 (Power=3)
Rules Violations

      In general, the Rules shall be adjudicated as if the Rules were
      a binding agreement between all Players, entered into by every
      player as a part of becoming a Player.  An actual or alleged
      Rule violation shall be treated as the violation of a binding
      agreement to be bound by the Rule or Rules in question.

      The proposal, fora, and registration processes shall, prima
      facie, be considered to be protective of a Player's rights and
      privileges with respect to making and changing the agreement to
      be bound by the rules.

      Other rules may further differentiate the treatment of rules
      violations from the treatment of violations of other types of

Rule 955/10 (Power=3)
Determining the Will of Agora

      To determine which option on a particular Agoran decision was
      selected by Agora, the vote collector shall perform the
      following steps in order after the voting period has ended.

      (a) E shall invalidate any ballots which the rules require em to
          invalidate, and no others.

      (b) E shall count the number of distinct voters who submitted
          ballots which remain valid.  If this number is less than the
          quorum and there is more than one available option, then the
          option selected by Agora is FAILED QUORUM.  Otherwise, the
          decision achieved quorum.

      (c) If the decision is whether to adopt a proposal, e shall
          determine the voting index as follows:

          (1) if the strength of FOR is positive and the strength of
              AGAINST is zero, then the voting index is Unanimity; but

          (2) if the strength of FOR is zero, then the voting index is
              zero; otherwise,

          (3) the voting index is the ratio of the strength of FOR to
              the strength of AGAINST.

          If the voting index exceeds one and meets or exceeds the
          adoption index of the decision, and if further quorum was
          achieved, then the option selected by Agora is ADOPTED.
          Otherwise, the option selected by Agora is REJECTED.

Rule 101/4 (Power=3)
Agoran Rights and Privileges

      The rules may define persons as possessing specific rights or
      privileges.  Be it hereby proclaimed that no binding agreement
      or interpretation of Agoran law may abridge, reduce, limit, or
      remove a person's defined rights.  A person's defined privileges
      are assumed to exist in the absense of an explicit, binding
      agreement to the contrary.  This rule takes precedence over any
      rule which would allow restrictions of a person's rights or

         i. Every person has the privilege of doing what e wilt.

        ii. Every player has the right to perform an action which is
            not regulated.

       iii. Every person has the right to invoke judgement, appeal a
            judgement, and to initiate an appeal on a sentencing or
            judicial order binding em.

        iv. Every person has the right to refuse to become party to
            a binding agreement.  The absense of a person's explicit,
            willful consent shall be considered a refusal.

         v. Every person has the right to not be considered bound by
            an agreement, or an amendment to an agreement, which e has
            not had the reasonable opportunity to review.

        vi. Every player has the right of participation in the fora.

       vii. Every person has the right to not be penalized more than
            once for any single action or inaction.

      viii. Every player besides the Speaker has the right to
            deregister rather than continue to play.

      Please treat Agora right good forever.

Rule 1698/0 (Power=3)
The Proposal System Is Protected

      It must always be possible to adopt Proposals within a 4 week
      period. Any change to the game state which would result in
      this condition becoming false is cancelled and does not take
      place, any Rule to the contrary notwithstanding.


Judge Cecilius's Arguments:

*[1] *The Call for Judgement (cfj) in question was called by Goethe on 12
January 2007 on the statement .Non-Unanimous (Voting index not Unanimity)
Agoran Decisions may not be adopted.. As well as the cfj statement, Goethe
provided a two-part argument and references to four specific rules.

*[2] *On 31 January 2007, this cfj was assigned to me for a decision.

   Agoran Decisions can not generally be adopted

     Summary of Part 1 of Goethe.s Arguments

*[3] *In Part 1 of eir arguments, Goethe argues that, the term /index/ no
longer being defined by the rules, indices can no longer be limited to
numbers, and no ordering is implied.

*[4] *E further argues that the adoption of Agoran Decisions requires a
comparison of indices, which requires an ordering.

*[5] *Because such an ordering is not defined, e argues that the last sentence
of Rule 955 requires REJECTION of any Agoran Decision.

     Judge.s Response

*[6] *For convenience, in this Decision, I will refer to the paragraph numbers
above ([3] through [5]) to refer to the portions of Geothe.s arguments that
each summarizes. Where I quote dictionary definitions in this Decision, I
quote the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.s first definition for the word in

*[7] *I first look at the term /index/. The first dictionary definition reads
.a device (as the pointer on a scale or the gnomon of a sundial) that serves
to indicate a value or quantity..

*[8] *There may be some basis, under that definition, for indices to be
understood as numbers through metonymic reference to the value or quantity
indicated. However, the evidence would need to be much clearer for me to
consider that to be generally true. So I concur with the paragraph [3]
argument, insofar as it applies to all indices as a group.

*[9] *Goethe.s paragraph [4] attempts to build on the paragraph [3] argument,
however it does not clearly reflect the terms of the rule in question.

*[10] *Specifically, this portion of eir argument is grounded in Rule 955, and
its final section:

.If the voting index exceeds one and meets or exceeds the adoption index of
the decision, and if further quorum was achieved, then the option selected by
Agora is ADOPTED. Otherwise, the option selected by Agora is REJECTED..

This section requires that, for ADOPTION, (i) the voting index must exceed
one, (ii) the voting index must meet or exceed the adoption index of the
decision, and (iii) quorum must be achieved.

*[11] *The paragraph [4] argument mis-states the terms of Rule 955 in that it
attempts to infer from the general terms of paragraph [3] that the ordering
required by that rule is always undefined. But these are not generic indices
that are being compared.

*[12] *The term /voting index/ is defined by paragraph (c) of Rule 955 as .the
ratio of the strength of FOR to the strength of AGAINST..

*[13] *Looking to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, /ratio/ is first
defined as .the indicated quotient of two mathematical expressions..

*[14] *The same dictionary first defines /quotient/ as .the number resulting
from the division of one number by another..

*[15] *Insofar as concerns the term /voting index/, the common English
language interpretation of its Rule 955(c) definition is sufficient to
conclude that it refers to a number.

*[16] *I now turn to the term /adoption index/. That term is defined in Rule
106, which states .The default adoption index of a proposal is one.. Rule 106
also provides for the proposer to modify the adoption index of a proposal by
announcement, before its distribution.

*[17] *While the repeal of the definition of /index/ may not require an
/adoption index/ to be a number, there is nothing to prevent it from being so,
and in fact its default setting is numeric.

*[18] *The comparison required for adoption of Agoran Decisions is a
comparison of the voting index and the adoption index, and not of some generic

*[19] *In those cases where the adoption index is a number (i.e. has not been
changed from a number to something else), and thus both items being compared
are numbers, there is an implied numerical ordering from the common language
interpretation of the terms of that Rule 955.

*[20] *For that reason, Goethe.s paragraph [5] argument does not apply to all
non-Unanimous Agoran Decisions, because there are some for which a numerical
ordering applies.

*[21] *In passing, I note that there may be situations where the adoption
index is not a number and where it is possible that no implied ordering can be
found to allow adoption of a given Agoran Decision. However, a detailed
consideration of this issue would be far beyond the terms of the Statement for
which judgement has been called in this matter.

*[22] *Having found sufficient cause under Part 1 of Goethe.s argument to
judge that some non-unanimous Agoran Decisions may be adopted (those with a
number as an adoption index), I need not consider the arguments e raises in
Part 2 of eir arguments to make my decision.

*[23] *For the foregoing reasons, I judge CFJ 1607 as FALSE.