=============================== CFJ 3634 ===============================
Rule 2532, "Zombies", enables zombie owners to act on behalf of
Judge: V.J. Rada
Called by Aris: 19 Apr 2018 07:04:56
Assigned to V.J. Rada: 29 Apr 2018 06:44:50
Judged TRUE by V.J. Rada: 30 Apr 2018 07:53:43
If Quazie bid in the auction, e committed a violation of Rule 2550,
"Bidding", and in particular the provision that "A person SHALL NOT
bid on an Auction if it would be impossible for em to pay that amount
at the conclusion of the Auction." Quazie did not have any money at
the time of the bid, and did not get any by the end of the auction. We
clearly do not hold em culpable for this violation, given that we do
not in general hold people responsible for violations they could not
reasonably have avoided, but the violation remains nevertheless.
If Corona successfully caused Quazie to bid, e violated Rule 2466,
"Acting on Behalf", and specifically the provision that "A person
SHALL NOT act on behalf of another person if doing so causes the
second person to violate the rules." What remains in question is
whether or not Corona's action succeeded. There are three
possibilities: it succeeded, it failed in this specific case, or it
never works at all. I believe that it is one of the later two.
The crucial question is one of interpreting Rule 2532, "Zombies".
which states that "A zombie's master, if another player, is allowed to
act on behalf of the zombie (i.e. as the zombie's agent) to perform
LEGAL actions." The phrase "allowed to" is ambiguous, it could mean
CAN or MAY, although I find it somewhat unlikely that it means both of
them at once. If it means CAN, then the action failed because the
action was ILLEGAL, and the affixed conditional resolves to false.
I believe that the phrase probably means MAY. Granted, the Rule 217
factors suggest that the phrase means CAN, but I don't think that they
can overturn the presumption to the contrary in this case. I'm not
saying that "allow' can never mean "enable', but reading "allowed to"
to mean "able to" doesn't really sound right. For instance, seems
reasonable for someone to say "I will allow you to open your mind",
but (to my ears) it sounds ridiculous to say that "you are allowed to
open your mind". I think the only reason there even appears to be
ambiguity is because of preconceived notions of what the zombie rule
means. Reading the text without judgement, the MAY reading is the
obvious one. Under this reading, there is no provision anywhere that
says that an owner CAN act on behalf of a zombie, so e can't.
I am called to judge the following CFJs, presenting two questions of
statutory interpretation. The first CFJ has the statement " 'Rule
2532, "Zombies", enables zombie owners to act on behalf of their
zombies.". The second CFJ has the statement "Corona has violated of
Rule 2532, "Zombies", and/or Rule 2466, "Acting on Behalf", by causing
Quazie to violate Rule 2550 "Bidding". The first CFJ is TRUE. The
second CFJ is FALSE.
The first CFJ regards the phrase in Rule 2532 "Zombies" stating that
"A zombie's master, if another player, is allowed to act on behalf of
the zombie (i.e. as the zombie's agent) to perform LEGAL actions."
Does this clause enable masters to act on behalf of their zombies when
actions are legal (consequently dooming platonically illegal actions)?
Or does this clause merely clarify that such acting is not prohibited
by criminal law?
I find where the term "allowed" is used in place of the terms of art
MAY and CAN, it generally means both, barring significant context
militating the other way. Agora acts differently than real life laws
do. In Agora, some actions are treated as if they simply do not count.
And some expose the actor to consequences. These actions are separated
by the terms of art MAY and CAN, which in English tend to be synonyms
in legal contexts. "Allowed" is not a term of art. It simply means, in
ordinary English, that a certain action is permitted, and the speaker
(here, the Rules) shall not impede it. In Agora, where we have two
ways of disallowing actions, "allowed" encompasses both within its
broad reach. If the term was meant to mean CAN, that is the word that
should be used. The implications of this interpretation on Rule 2532
are clear. Only LEGAL actions can be performed on behalf of Zombies.
But if a rule of lower precedence would criminalize acting on behalf
of a Zombie to perform otherwise LEGAL actions, such a rule would not
stand. The statement of the first CFJ is TRUE.
The second CFJ is easier to resolve, and does not require me to reach
the underlying issue. There are two options advocated for. One is that
Quazie's bid was legal, allowing Corona to act on behalf of Quazie in
order to place the bid. The other argument is that Quazie's bid was
ILLEGAL. If it was so, the bid never happened, and Corona's attempt to
act on behalf of Quazie did nothing. In either case (and the CFJ's
statement does not require me to reach the underlying issue), Corona
violated neither of the referenced rules. The second CFJ is FALSE.